Amphetamines, also known as “speed” or “uppers,” are powerful stimulants that can create a near instant physical and psychological addiction. Some amphetamines come in the form of prescription medications designed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder while others are created by illicit chemists by “cooking” cold medications. These drugs give users a wide range of effects, including the following:
- Increased self-confidence
- Heightened emotional responses
- Increased energy and little or no need for sleep
- Ecstatic pleasure or euphoria
- Increased sex drive
- Decreased appetite
- Reduced inhibitions
Once individuals have experienced a party atmosphere while high on amphetamines, it can be difficult or impossible for them to imagine ever having fun while sober again. Not only is the pleasure of the party intensified, but also all negative emotions, anxieties and stresses are blocked by the drug. Continued abuse, however, places the user at an increasingly dangerous risk for any of the following consequences:
- Irreversible brain damage
- Increased tolerance requiring higher and higher doses
Learning how to have a good time while sober is a critical component of amphetamine rehabilitation.
Psychological and Physical Amphetamine Addiction
Amphetamines are some of the hardest drugs to quit. They cause massive spikes in dopamine levels in the brain. This causes euphoria and blocks all negative emotions. The brain recognizes this relief and then uses every emotional tool at its disposal to keep it coming. The brain also stops producing its own natural supply of dopamine and becomes completely dependent on amphetamines in order to function. The resulting physical and psychological cravings are often impossible to overcome without specialized help.
The most successful amphetamine addiction recovery programs offer addicts the following therapeutic elements designed to accurately diagnose their overall psychological health and to reprogram their brain chemistry to its pre-addiction functioning:
- A full diagnosis of any and all co-occurring psychological disorders, such as depression and anxiety
- Personal counseling
- Education designed to empower the addict’s eventual recovery process
- Group counseling
- The cultivation of effective coping skills
- Introduction to healthy relaxation techniques
- Opportunities to serve others
While there are outpatient programs available for this kind of treatment, the most effective programs are often inpatient environments that allow the addict to focus all attention and energy on the recovery process without the distraction of day-to-day life.
Having a Good Time without Drugs
If you find it difficult or impossible to have a good time while sober, there is a very good chance that you are facing a full-blown addiction to amphetamines. The truth is that there are many great ways to have fun without using drugs, but your addiction will not let you comprehend them. This is a direct result of this complicated disease. The neural pathways that drive behavior and reinforce habits must be chemically rewired to function without relying on drugs or alcohol.
A few examples of ways that recovering amphetamine addicts learn how to have a great time without getting high include the following:
- Finding ways to serve others
- Learning to enjoy music, theater, film or other arts
- Cultivating rich and meaningful friendships with sober people
- Eating healthy foods, exercising and getting adequate sleep
Find Amphetamine Addiction Help
If you would like to talk about your drug use or you are concerned about the behavior or habits of a friend or loved one that is using amphetamines, please call our toll-free helpline right now. We’re available 24 hours a day to help you in any way we can.