Amphetamines, which imitate the human hormone adrenaline, are a class of drugs that include prescription medications like Adderall, Ritalin and Dexedrine and street drugs like speed and methamphetamine. Suburbs, which are residential areas linked to an urban city, are commonly associated with prescription amphetamine use. In 2012, the New York Times published “Raising the Ritalin Generation,” which called attention to ambitious parents and educators who are quick to put their children on amphetamine-class drugs.
Amphetamine Use Statistics
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website lists data on stimulant-class drug use from 2002 to 2004. The numbers show that small metropolitan communities have the highest usage rate at 1.7 percent. In a 2004 report, SAMHSA’s Drug and Alcohol Services Information System (DASIS) also provided data on amphetamine treatment admissions, which included the following:
- In non-metro cities, 160 admissions per 100,000 citizens constituted the highest rate.
- Amphetamine admissions in non-metro cities were nearly double that of other admissions.
- In small metros, 95 admissions per 100,000 constituted the second highest rate.
Prescription amphetamine use is particularly high around college towns. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reported in 2009 that nonmedical use of Adderall is twice as likely among full-time college students aged 18 to 22, comparing 6.4 percent to 3 percent. In 2006, the Journal of American College Health looked at northeastern university students and estimated that 16 percent used Ritalin.
Reasons for Amphetamine Use
The drug medically treats attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) by stimulating the release of dopamine and norepinephrine, chemicals used by the brain for focus and memory. There are several potential reasons for nonmedical use, including the following:
- Boosting brain efficiency for an academic advantage during study or test taking
- Increasing energy and focus for an advantage in athletic competitions
- Assisting in weight loss by increasing energy and impulse control
- Chasing the euphoric high created by the rise in dopamine levels
Illicit amphetamines like ecstasy, speed and crystal meth have lower usage rates in the suburbs, and reasons for use typically involve getting high. As with all amphetamines, regular use can result in addiction and serious health risks.
Amphetamine Abuse Health Risks
Several common side effects are associated with amphetamine abuse, including the following:
- Increase in heart rate, blood pressure and sweating
- Skin reactions involving dryness, itching and rash
- General discomfort like nausea, vomiting and headaches
- Potential for tremors, convulsions, heart attack and overdose
Amphetamines can also cause paranoia and anxiety, which are especially problematic for users with mental illness or personality disorders. The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) report tracks drug-related emergency room visits, and the 2012 edition found that medical emergencies involving amphetamine-class drugs tripled between 2004 and 2010. Oxycodone is the only drug with a higher rate increase over that same period.
Amphetamine Addiction Treatment
Should an amphetamine addiction take hold, professional rehab is the most effective form of treatment. Rehab facilities provide a variety of potential services, including the following:
- Medically supervised detox to wean the toxins from the body
- Integrated treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders
- Counseling for unresolved internal conflict and drug use triggers
- Therapies that foster positive thinking and improve behavior
- Holistic options to treat insomnia and other withdrawal symptoms
Rehab facilities exist around the world and in many suburban communities. Patients have options to seek care locally or away in rural, suburban, urban or even nature-centered locations.
Amphetamine addiction can strike anyone no matter where they live, but we can help. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer questions about treatment methods, facility locations and warning signs. We can also check health insurance policies for rehab coverage. Please call our toll-free helpline now.