What Makes Amphetamines Different from other Substances?

What Makes Amphetamines Different from other Substances?
Amphetamines are Different from other Substances

Amphetamines are central nervous system stimulants. Amphetamines are used to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and are highly habit forming. Those who use amphetamines in ways other than prescribed by a physician risk addiction. Some people use amphetamines to get high or to stay awake for long periods of time. Others use the drugs to increase school or job performance, reduce inhibitions, and increase self-confidence. Although amphetamines are classified as a Schedule II drug, they are not considered a narcotic by medical professionals.

Amphetamine Addiction

Amphetamine addiction usually begins when the person using the drug for medical reasons becomes dependent on the substance to feel and function normally. Tolerance happens prior to dependence as the body needs more of the drug to achieve the same level of relief. Many people begin taking amphetamines as children to deal with the symptoms of ADHD. Amphetamine dosages depend on many factors, such as height, weight, and medical history. Although amphetamines are a central nervous system stimulant, they work by calming brain chemicals that may become unbalanced, especially in the areas of impulse control and hyperactivity. If you or a loved one struggles with amphetamine abuse, look for these signs of addiction:

  • Becoming preoccupied with getting and using amphetamines
  • “Doctor shopping” for new prescriptions for amphetamines
  • Needing a supply of the drugs on hand at all times
  • Engaging in illegal activities, like stealing, to get and use amphetamines
  • Participating in dangerous activities, like driving, while under the influence of the drug

These signs may indicate an addiction.

Narcotics Vs. Amphetamines

Although narcotics and amphetamines are Schedule II drugs, amphetamines are different in that most Schedule II drugs are prescribed for pain relief. Drugs are classified as Schedule II narcotics due to the high incidence of abuse. This is due in part to the feelings of euphoria brought on by opioid and opiate pain relievers. Amphetamines like Adderall are classified in the same category as narcotics because of their high abuse potential, but they are not pain relievers and do not produce the same feelings of euphoria as other Schedule II drugs.

Finding Help for Amphetamine Addiction

Amphetamines can be an important part of a treatment program for ADHD and narcolepsy when used in appropriate ways. Using amphetamines in larger amounts or for longer periods of time than prescribed by a physician can lead to addiction. If you or a loved one struggles with amphetamine addiction, we are here to help you. Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to speak to an admissions coordinator about treatment options.

When Does Amphetamine Experimentation Become Addiction?

When Does Amphetamine Experimentation Become Addiction?Millions of people experiment with drug abuse at some point in their lives, however while not everyone who experiments becomes addicted, many people do. Amphetamines, such as Adderall, Ritalin, Strattera, Concerta are incredibly addictive – and also one of the most popular experimental drugs.

When Does Experimentation Become Addiction?

It is important to understand that even just experimenting with drugs is still considered drug abuse. The continual experimentation of amphetamines can lead to further abuse, which in turn can cause an addiction to develop. Some of the many ways in which experimentation can become addiction include the following:

  • Increased tolerance – Continued amphetamine abuse (even if it is just experimentation) can lead to an increase in tolerance, meaning that individuals will require more amphetamines to feel the effects.
  • Psychological dependency – The presence amphetamines in the system can create psychological issues, especially when they are leaving the system. To avoid withdrawals from amphetamine use (such as anxiety, depression, etc.), individuals will continue to use, thus leading to the development of addiction.
  • Physical dependency – Amphetamine use can also lead to physical dependency that can include withdrawal symptoms such as shakiness, dizziness, heart palpitations, and much more. These withdrawals can all occur through experimentation.

Experimentation can produce both physical and psychological side effects, as well as an increased tolerance that can quickly cause experimentation to turn into addiction.

Additional Information

In general, those who experiment with drugs and find themselves addicted have not only gone through dependency issues, but have also developed reasons to continually use, despite the many warnings that they could be come addicted to amphetamines. In most cases, emotional issues cause continued amphetamine experimentation that leads to addiction, and it requires professional help to get sober. Not only can professional help treat the addiction issues, but it can also help provide answers for the emotional issues that are continually fueling the amphetamine addiction.

The only way to prevent experimentation from turning into addiction is to not experiment at all. If you are having trouble coping with your emotions, reach out for help before turning to drugs such as amphetamines.

Do You Need Treatment for Amphetamine Abuse?

Call our toll-free, 24-hour helpline right now. Do not waste one more day abusing amphetamines. Call us today to get the help you deserve.

How Cost and Availability Influence Amphetamine Use

How Cost and Availability Influence Amphetamine UseThe more inexpensive and available a substance is, the more frequently it will be abused. Lower income people comprise a disproportionately large percentage of drug abusers and addicts in the US. More expensive drugs, such as powered cocaine and heroin, are as big a problem as ever among people of means, but inner city and rural people who struggle financially or college students are much more likely to become hooked on inexpensive drugs like amphetamine.

What Is Amphetamine?

Amphetamine and related chemicals function as stimulants in the central nervous system. They are extremely common for the following reasons:

  • Methamphetamine can be manufactured from over-the-counter supplies in make-shift laboratories that are difficult for law enforcement to find and shut down.
  • Millions of people are given “legitimate” prescriptions for amphetamine-based attention deficit hyperactivity disorder medication that they sell on the street or give to their friend instead of using.

Whereas crack cocaine once reigned as the drug of the lower class, methamphetamine has quickly become the drug of choice due to its low price and easy availability. Ritalin pills can be obtained for as little as 5 dollars, and meth can cost as little as 20 dollars. Ritalin is referred to as “poor man’s cocaine” because it gives users a similar rush but costs significantly less on the street.

Treating Amphetamine Addiction

Amphetamine creates both physical and psychological dependencies when used by individuals who do not suffer from ADHD. Addicts will experience physical withdrawal symptoms as their body re-establishes its proper chemical balance. They will also experience a wide range of powerful psychological symptoms that are usually even more challenging to endure than any physical withdrawal. Psychological effects of amphetamine include the following:

  • Loss of interest in previously important activities and relationships
  • An inability to relax or have fun without using the drug
  • Failed attempts to quit
  • Fear of withdrawal
  • Justification for continued abuse
  • Strong obsessive cravings

Treating amphetamine addiction requires an integrated and holistic approach that addresses all aspects of the disease, including identifying and addressing underlying or co-occurring disorders, such as depression, anxiety disorders, self-esteem problems or untreated trauma. In many cases, the most effective treatment happens in full-time, residential programs that allow the addict to focus all attention on the process of healing.

24 Hour Amphetamine Helpline

Amphetamine costs much more than whatever the dealer charges. It can destroy your mind, limit your enjoyment of life, estrange you from the people who love you most and strip you of your dreams. Don’t let that happen to you. Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline for answers to all of your questions about amphetamine addiction and access to the most successful rehab programs in the country.

What Can I Do as the Friend of an Addict?

What Can I Do as the Friend of an Addict?In 1990, a new PSA told the public, “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.” Today, that tagline could be expanded to say “friends don’t let friends stay addicts,” but addressing a substance addiction can be trickier than simply taking a friend’s keys and providing a ride home. There are several potential issues friends face when trying to help an amphetamine addict, including the following:

  • Addicts become experts at hiding or denying the problem
  • The friend becomes combative if questioned about drinking or drug use
  • Family members often enable the addiction by providing cover or excuses
  • Those who admit abuse often promise to fix the problem on their own

These issues should never stand in the way of helping friends deal with their addictions, and there are several ways to provide help.

Amphetamine and Substance Abuse Warning Signs

An addiction problem can reveal itself through physical and behavioral symptoms. Friends need to watch for potential warning signs, including the following:

  • Being drunk or high at inappropriate times or places
  • Scheduling appointments with several different doctors
  • Financial problems that often lead to borrowing money
  • Escalating tendencies toward social withdrawal and isolation
  • Drastic changes in the person’s mood and emotional state
  • Ailments like nausea, itchiness, constipation and headaches
  • Physical signs like bloodshot eyes, dry throat and pale skin

If you take drugs like amphetamine together socially, watch for an increased willingness to take risks and an obsession with acquiring more drugs.

Addressing a Friend’s Addiction

If the friend denies the problem, makes empty promises or responds in anger, there are several options, including the following:

  • Reach out to loved ones to see if they detected addictive behavior
  • Encourage the use of a mediator if there are complex family issues
  • Contact the sponsor or rehab facility if the friend is in recovery
  • Provide printed materials on addiction and professional treatment
  • Recruit family members and loved ones to stage an intervention

Remember that discussing a friend’s addiction should be done with the utmost discretion and tact, and it must never turn into criticism or gossip. What you say might be repeated to the friend, and negative words can compromise your ability to help.

Amphetamine Addiction Intervention Tips

If an addiction intervention is necessary, consider using a professional interventionist or the family doctor. However, if the intervention is done independently, learn the best ways to make it effective, including the following:

  • Select participants with whom the friend feels comfortable and respected
  • Make sure everyone learns about the particular substance addiction
  • Choose a time and location when the addict is least likely to be high
  • Write down and rehearse exactly what will be said at the intervention
  • Maintain a calm, compassionate and steadfast tone against rebuttals

If opting not to use a professional, at least get professional advice on how the intervention should be staged. Try to get family members involved, but recognize that they might have fears, including the following:

  • Reprisal against family members who speak out
  • Admitting addiction will tarnish the family’s reputation
  • The impact that treatment might have on the family

Sometimes helping an addicted friend also means helping the family. The same principle applies to professional rehab, which typically engages the family in the recovery.

Get Help for Amphetamine Addiction Now

If you or a friend struggles with amphetamine addiction, we can help. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to assist with interventions, discuss warning signs and explain treatment options. We can also provide printed brochures on treatment and check health insurance policies for rehab benefits. Call our toll-free helpline now.

How Amphetamine Abuse Complicates Mental Health Issues

How Amphetamine Abuse Complicates Mental Health IssuesAmphetamine-related mental illnesses are conditions resulting from long-term use of amphetamines. Amphetamines are central nervous system stimulants and appetite suppressants. The most common uses for amphetamines are to treat the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and to treat narcolepsy, a condition causing increased sleepiness throughout the day. The most common amphetamines used to treat these conditions are Adderall, Ritalin and Concerta. Although illegal use of amphetamines in the form of methamphetamine has stabilized over the past few years, methamphetamine remains a popular street drug. If undiagnosed mental illness is present in a person who uses amphetamine, whether by prescription or illegally, the risk of complications from dependence or addiction to the drug increases.

Mental Illnesses Linked to Amphetamine

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, by the American Psychiatric Association, there are 10 amphetamine-related psychiatric disorders, which are as follows:

  • Amphetamine-Induced Anxiety Disorder: a pattern of constant worry over activities or events
  • Amphetamine-Induced Mood Disorder: depression, mania, seasonal affective disorder or bipolar disorder
  • Amphetamine-Induced Psychotic Disorder with Delusions: the inability to tell what is real from what is imagined
  • Amphetamine-Induced Psychotic Disorder with Hallucinations: unusual sensory experiences or perceptions of things that are not there
  • Amphetamine-Induced Sexual Dysfunction: difficulty experienced during any normal sexual activity
  • Amphetamine-Induced Sleep Disorder: a range of sleeping problems from insomnia to narcolepsy
  • Amphetamine Intoxication: intoxication from excessive or long-term use of amphetamines
  • Amphetamine Intoxication Delirium: confusion that comes on rapidly
  • Amphetamine Withdrawal: a variety of physical and psychological symptoms brought on by the discontinuation of amphetamines
  • Amphetamine-Related Disorder: a disorder not otherwise specified

Amphetamine-induced psychiatric disorders that resolve after the medication is discontinued are directly related to the medication itself. If the symptoms of any of these disorders do not resolve within two weeks of the medication being discontinued, it is possible that a mental illness is present that is not related to the medication. If the person is recovering from an addiction to amphetamine, treatment of the mental illness should begin as soon as a proper diagnosis is determined.

Mental Illness and Addiction Recovery

Addiction recovery can be complicated by mental illness. It takes time and a proper diagnosis to determine whether or not the addiction is being caused by the mental illness or whether there is an amphetamine-induced psychiatric disorder present. Using a treatment facility that offers Dual Diagnosis treatment is important. In this type of facility, the body is first given the opportunity to rid itself of the toxins of the drug during detox. After detox, a team of psychotherapists, doctors and counselors work to determine whether or not an underlying mental illness exists. After diagnosis, the recovery team builds a treatment plan that addresses both the mental illness and the addiction. Through this holistic approach, the risk of addiction relapse is greatly reduced.

Find Help for Amphetamine Addiction

Amphetamines can be an important part of treatment for ADHD and narcolepsy. When the drug is misused or there is an undiagnosed mental illness present, the risk of addiction to the drug increases. If you or a loved one is addicted to amphetamines and have an undiagnosed metal illness, we are here to help you. Our trained helpline counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions about amphetamine addiction and help you find a treatment program. Call our toll-free number now.

Amphetamine Abuse and Bipolar Disorder

Amphetamine Abuse and Bipolar DisorderBipolar disorder can be a very difficult disorder to maintain, as it completely modifies and interrupts normal behavioral characteristics and patterns of temperament. Many people with bipolar disorder choose not to receive the appropriate treatment needed to get these imbalances under control, and choose to self-medicate to cope with the side effects.

Why Amphetamines Appeal to Those with Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder can be an incredibly difficult disease to live with. Included in the following are some of the reasons why a person with bipolar disorder may turn to amphetamines:

  • Evade depression: For most, amphetamines work to keep the mind and body going at a quicker pace than normal. This includes rapid thinking, increased focus and an overall jolt to the system where a large amount of energy is produced. Bipolar disorder can cause this kind of excitement naturally, but it generally drops quickly as a more depressed state begins to occur. This up and down of emotions can be exhausting for a person with bipolar disorder to deal with, and it may scare them away from experiencing the lows that keep a dark cloud hanging above them. Through the use of amphetamines, they can keep the feeling of heightened energy without sinking into depression.
  • Control impulses: People who have bipolar disorder have impulsive characteristics. This impulsiveness can lead to dangerous habits such as overspending, outrageous behavior, miscommunication, lack of attention and more. For those this disease, these impulses can be uncomfortable, as they do not want to engage in these acts but their illness is driving them to do so. By taking amphetamines, these feelings can be appeased quickly and make them feel as if the problem is solved.

Bipolar Disorder and Addiction

Because amphetamines can provide a sense of stability to a person battling bipolar disorder, it is extremely easy for him or her to develop an addiction. Once a user begins to form a dependency upon amphetamines, it becomes increasingly difficult for them to stop using without experiencing signs of withdrawal and/or experiencing depression.

Bipolar disorder is one of the most common disorders linked to addiction. The feeling of going from highly depressed to highly satisfied are overwhelming to most who live with bipolar disorder, and the need to curb these emotions can quickly become their top priority.

Do You Have Bipolar Disorder and Struggle with Addiction?

Call our toll-free, 24-hour helpline right now to get the guidance you need to deal with your disease and get off amphetamines. Do not wait any longer. Call us today.

How to Manage Amphetamine Withdrawal Symptoms

How to Manage Amphetamine Withdrawal SymptomsAmphetamine, prescribed as Adderall and known on the street as speed, has a rapid rate of escalation and is therefore easy to get addicted to, whether the addict’s use of the drug began legitimately or not. Medically, amphetamine is prescribed to help narcoleptic patients or people with attention deficit disorders. Many students and athletes take amphetamine recreationally to get them through a long study session or grueling workout. Because of the addictiveness of this drug, as well as the severity of its withdrawal symptoms, users who want to quit need to enlist professional help immediately.

Symptoms of Amphetamine Withdrawal

Amphetamine withdrawal commonly includes the following symptoms:

The longer an individual has been abusing amphetamine, the worse these withdrawal symptoms will be. That is why proper recovery under the supervision of a medical professional is essential.

Recovering from Amphetamine Withdrawal

The doctor in charge of the amphetamine addict’s detox will implement a tapering regimen that keeps the body from having severe reactions to a sudden cessation of amphetamine input. The cold turkey approach is not a safe way to quit drug use. While the user is physically and mentally coping with the fact that he or she must take a decreased amount of the drug, the user will spend time in support groups and in one-on-one therapy. Support groups provide encouragement for the user to press on with recovery when cravings hit hard or the user’s willpower is low. Individual therapy sessions help to uncover the psychological causes of drug abuse and find healthy ways of placating the deep desires that amphetamine seems to satisfy, but only ends up aggravating. Professionals can also suggest practical ways for former addicts to cut themselves off from their former drug suppliers and fellow addicts, which will noticeably diminish temptation. There are currently no safe substitute drugs for doctors to prescribe to recovering amphetamine addicts; tapered use, support from loved ones and persistence are an amphetamine addict’s greatest allies in the pursuit of recovery.

Amphetamine Addiction Recovery Treatment

If you want to escape amphetamine addiction but are frightened by withdrawal, we are here to help. You can call our toll-free helpline anytime, day or night, for encouragement as you seek treatment and for help in finding the most effective treatment program for you. Call today and let us help you beat amphetamine addiction.

Amphetamine Abuse and Drug Interactions

Amphetamine Abuse and Drug InteractionsAmphetamines are prescription drugs that help with impulse control used to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and are often abused by students and workers wanting to increase their productivity.

Tolerance builds quickly with amphetamines, and an increasing amount of the drug becomes necessary for the user to experience the desired effect. This is one reason that the drug is abused. Abuse typically begins slowly, with an abuser gradually altering the drug prescription. By increasing the dosage of the drug, users are also able to develop a more euphoric feeling when under its effect.

Additionally, there are intense withdrawal symptoms that may occur when ending amphetamine use that can drive a user back to the drug. Not surprisingly, there are many substances that do not mix well with amphetamines, and it is recommended that the drugs are not used in conjunction with one another.

Amphetamine Drug Interactions

Dangerous complications can occur when amphetamines are combined with a number of other substances, including the following:

  • Fluoxetine drugs such as Cymbalta, Effexor XR, Lexapro and Prozac – Extreme jitteriness, racing thoughts, stomach cramps, dry eyes, palpitations, tremors and restlessness are some common side effects that have followed just a single dose of a fluoxetine drug for patients who have also taken a previous dose of amphetamines. With this drug combination, there is also the additional risk of serotonin syndrome, a rare but potentially fatal condition.
  • Nexium – Nexium can affect the release rate of forms of amphetamines that are intended for extended-release and should be closely monitored.
  • Alcohol – As with many prescription drugs, alcohol use is not recommended when using amphetamines. It has been shown to increase the effect of the drug when the two substances are used together, which can lead to adverse effects on the cardiovascular system.

Where to Find Help for Amphetamine Abuse

Due to its addictive nature, amphetamine abuse should not be taken lightly, particularly when combined with other substances such as alcohol. If you suspect that you or someone you love is addicted to amphetamines, we can help. Please call our toll-free helpline, where our counselors are standing by 24 hours a day to answer your questions.

How Common Is Amphetamine Addiction?

How Common Is Amphetamine Addiction?Amphetamines are drugs that stimulate the user’s nervous system and cause the user to feel more alert and focused. Prescription amphetamines are most commonly prescribed for treating the symptoms of ADD, ADHD, and epilepsy. While some people take these drugs to help manage the symptoms of these disorders, many use them illegally. Illegal users often abuse amphetamines by disregarding the drug’s prescribed amount and frequency guidelines or by using the drug without having any associated disorder.

When abused, amphetamines may temporarily increase the user’s sense of well-being. Once a user becomes dependent on the drug’s effects, however, he or she can easily become addicted. As the addiction sets in, many amphetamine users feel the need to increase the drug’s dosage amount in order to achieve the same level of high to which they have grown accustomed.

Reasons Amphetamine Addicts Avoid Seeking Treatment

Amphetamine addiction should be taken seriously and treated as soon as possible. Since drug addiction can carry a negative stigma, however, many people who are struggling with amphetamine abuse do not seek out help. Some users may be afraid of what others will say and worry that they could lose their jobs or social standing if anyone finds out about their amphetamine abuse. Others may believe that their addiction situation is beyond hope and that no drug treatment program would be able to help.

Reasons Amphetamine Addicts Should Seek Rehabilitation

While some amphetamine addicts may feel that they are alone, studies estimate that hundreds of thousands of people struggle this type of addiction. There are also many different types of treatment programs available to help treat amphetamine addiction. Treatment options include everything from professional counseling to inpatient detox to support groups. A professional rehab facility can help provide recovering addicts with a treatment program that leads to lasting recovery.

Where to Find Help for an Amphetamine Addiction

If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to amphetamines, you are not alone. The counselors on our toll-free helpline are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you may have about amphetamine addiction and rehabilitation. Let us help you start down the road to recovery. Please call now.

Amphetamine Tolerance and Abuse

Amphetamine Tolerance and AbuseAmphetamine acts as a stimulant and an appetite suppressant. It is a key ingredient in a wide variety of illegal drugs with street names such as the following:

  • Speed
  • Uppers
  • Ups
  • Black Beauties
  • Pep Pills
  • Copilots
  • Hearts
  • Bumblebees
  • Benzedrine
  • Footballs
  • Biphetamine

What Makes Amphetamine Tolerance Dangerous

Amphetamine use is characterized by a high that lasts for several hours. During this time the user will feel euphoric. He or she will be overly cheerful and energetic, have a decreased appetite and increased stamina. This high will end, and what makes amphetamine use so dangerous is not only the actual high itself but also what comes afterwards. Coming down off an amphetamine high is an awful experience. The user immediately experiences the opposite of the euphoric effects felt earlier and may struggle with the following:

  • Depression
  • Sluggishness
  • Anger

These aftereffects can cause users to quickly return to amphetamine. When a person comes down off the amphetamine high, they have an almost irresistible urge to use the drug to get back up. This situation rewards constant drug use. As a person uses drugs more and more, the body compensates by lowering the amount of dopamine (the “pleasure chemical”) released in the brain, and users will have to take more of the drug to feel its effects. Repeated and increased use will lead to amphetamine dependency and addiction.

Effects of Amphetamine Tolerance and Dependency

Tolerance leads to profound changes in the brain. Prolonged drug abuse will lead to neurological alterations that affect the brain’s reward system and ability to learn. The brain will become unable to function naturally and will begin to depend on artificial stimuli. This state of dependency occurs after tolerance leads to increased amphetamine use. Dependency is the predecessor to long-term abuse and addiction, and a dependent user will suffer withdrawal symptoms if he or she tries to quit the drug.

Hope for Amphetamine Abuse Recovery

Amphetamine addiction is a powerful disease that requires professional help. If you or someone you know is struggling with amphetamine tolerance, abuse and addiction, don’t fight it alone. Call our 24 hour recovery helpline. We are here to talk with you about your concerns and offer treatment options personalized for your specific situation. All calls are free and confidential. We are here you help. All you have to do is call.