Amphetamine-class drugs, such as Adderall, Cylert, Dexedrine and Ritalin, are considered Schedule II substances in the United States, which means they are categorized alongside opiates, cocaine and hallucinogens. Though doctors commonly prescribe amphetamines for conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the medicine earned its Schedule II status due to its high potential for abuse and severe psychological and physical dependence. Certain non-medical amphetamines, like crystal meth and bath salts, carry even more dangerous risks. When it comes to illicit possession, the maximum prison sentence is five years, while production and exportation can carry a life term. Still, many courtrooms make use of alternative sentencing to send a convicted drug user to professional rehab. This attests to the dangers of addiction and the effectiveness of proper treatment.
Dangers of Amphetamine Addiction
Amphetamine and cocaine abuse are actually similar in that they can both lead to a psychosis akin to schizophrenia. The symptoms of amphetamine abuse begin more slowly and last longer, and they include the following:
- Intense paranoia
- Possible hallucinations
- Picking at the skin
Long-term abuse can also result in ulcers, seizures, tremors and nausea. There are, of course, amphetamine abuse signs that are more common and immediate. They include the following:
- Insomnia and restlessness
- Irregular heartbeat
- Significant mood changes
Prescription stimulants create a launch-and-crash effect. The user experiences an energized and euphoric rush, and this effect is not just mental. Blood pressure, body temperature and heart and breathing rates all rise significantly, and the user is even at risk for a heart attack. Afterward, everything comes crashing down, and feelings of exhaustion and depression can persist for up to two days. Amphetamines also share similar withdrawal symptoms with cocaine. These withdrawals, which occur when a person quits the drug or does not keep up with the body’s demand for greater amounts, include the following:
- Depression and irritability
- Fatigue and excessive sleep
- Memory loss and confused thoughts
When someone develops an amphetamine dependency, it can be difficult to quit. Withdrawal symptoms begin after a few days and peak after about 10 days. While this might sound overwhelming, professional treatment can help a person through the withdrawals and set the stage for a successful recovery.
Amphetamine Addiction Help
Amphetamines cause considerably more damage the longer they are abused, which is why it is important to seek professional help right away. Proper rehab typically includes the following:
- Medically supervised care in a relaxed and comfortable environment
- Tapered detox that weans the patient off the drug and minimizes the withdrawals
- Mental health screenings to treat co-occurring mood disorders and emotional issues
- Tools to recognize and combat drug-use triggers and temptations
- Behavioral therapies that purge unhealthy habits and encourage new life skills
- Treatment for any physical health issues related to the abuse
- Holistic options to deal with issues like insomnia and anxiety
- Group therapy to learn and share with one’s peers
- Ongoing aftercare support and counseling
Addiction alone is not a crime, but illicit possession is. Still, the damage to one’s health and life might be the biggest risk that comes with amphetamine abuse.
Drug Addiction Helpline
Do not let amphetamines ruin your life. Our addiction counselors are available 24 hours a day to discuss warning signs, treatment options and rehab facilities. We can even check health insurance policies for treatment benefits. Call our toll-free helpline today and get started down the path to recovery.