Amphetamine Use on College Campuses

Amphetamine Use on College CampusesAmphetamines are drugs that stimulate the central nervous system (CNS). They are used to treat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and narcolepsy (a physical condition that causes sleep and sleepiness). Sometimes, amphetamines are used to treat depression and obesity. These drugs cause a person to feel more awake and more focused, and they reduce appetite.

On college campuses, prescriptions drugs containing amphetamines are often abused by students who want to stay up longer to study or complete class assignments. According to a 2010 report from ABC News, an estimated 25% of college students have abused Adderall, a prescription drug that contains a combination of four time-released amphetamines that increase dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. According to a report issued from Western Michigan University, abuse of prescription drugs is the second most common form of illicit drug use in the college population, second only to marijuana use. Many students share the drugs, sell them to each other or fake ADHD symptoms in order to obtain a prescription.

In some cases, abuse of amphetamines is difficult to spot because the drugs often just make a person seem alert or awake. However, over time, more apparent symptoms can appear.

Common signs of amphetamine abuse include the following:

  • Anxiety and excited speech that may look like an acute panic attack
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Worsening academic performance
  • Increased wakefulness and physical activity
  • Irritability
  • Memory loss
  • Anorexia, sometimes severe
  • Paranoia
  • Aggressive or even violent behavior
  • Psychosis
  • Tremors and convulsions

If you see these symptoms in you or in someone you love, take action immediately. Contact your family physician or go to the emergency care clinic at a local hospital. Do not try to treat these symptoms without the help of qualified physicians or other individuals trained in drug addiction and recovery.

Treatment for Amphetamine Addiction

The key to stopping amphetamine addiction is simple but difficult: entering rehab to deal with the addiction. Rehab can either take place in an outpatient program, during which a person lives at home but spends a good portion of time at the treatment center, or in an inpatient program, during which a person lives at the treatment center and works on recovery full-time.

Regardless of the type of rehab, the first stage to overcoming amphetamine addiction is detox. During this time, a person will taper off the drug usage slowly. Once detox is complete, you can choose among several treatment options. Most treatment facilities offer 30-day, 60-day or 90-day treatment programs for drug addiction. The right program for you is determined in part by the medical professionals who examine the depth of your addiction and in part by a circle of caring people who want to give you the best chance of recovery.

During the rehab process, you will identify and seek to break the habits that you developed as a amphetamine addict. You will also identify and work through any underlying emotional or relational issues that could have triggered the addiction, as well as those that might trigger a relapse once you leave treatment. You will also work on building skills necessary to reenter your life drug-free.

Getting Help for Your Amphetamine Abuse

Amphetamine abuse among college students is a serious problem, but we can help. You can call our toll-free number anytime, 24 hours a day to talk to one of our admissions counselors. We can help you determine the best treatment options for your unique situation. Don’t let your amphetamine addiction destroy your future. Call us today and get started on the road of recovery.

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.

Recreational Amphetamine Use among 18-25 Year-Olds

Recreational Amphetamine Use among 18-25 Year-OldsAmphetamines are a class of stimulant drugs that primarily affect the central nervous system. There are several prescription amphetamines, including Ritalin, Adderall, Dexedrine and methamphetamine. Many of these are manipulated so that the user can smoke, snort or inject the drug. Despite the medicinal properties, amphetamines are often used recreationally. There are several potential motivations for illicit use, including the following:

  • Exploitation of the euphoric elements to get high
  • Energy to stay awake for late-night partying
  • An academic or athletic edge
  • A dangerous method of weight loss

Doctors prescribe certain types of amphetamines, but none are safe when abused. Ritalin, for example, has cocaine-like properties with more potent neural effects, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2001.

Amphetamine Use Rates

As far as stimulant use among 18-25 year olds, the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health provides detailed data, including the following:

  • The highest prevalence of amphetamine and stimulant use occurs in 18-25 year olds.
  • Ritalin was the most commonly used amphetamine at 4.9 percent.
  • The average age for first-time illicit use was 22.2 years old.
  • Stimulant dependence in the past year reached 67,000 people for this age group.
  • For all illicit drugs, this age group had the highest usage rate at 21.4 percent.

Illicit drug use among young adults is slightly up in recent years, but stimulant abuse is in decline. The survey listed 3.17 million users in this demographic for 2011, marking a steady year-to-year decline since 2002 when that number was 3.8 million.

Amphetamine Abuse Signs

Young adults may think their recreational use is safe and under control, but amphetamine addiction can ensnare the user with force. There are several behavioral signs that suggest a problem, including the following:

  • Consuming more amphetamines or using them for a longer time than the doctor prescribed
  • Taking legal and safety risks by acquiring amphetamines through illicit sellers
  • Experiencing amphetamine cravings and obsessive behaviors between doses
  • Experiencing lifestyle changes, such as withdrawing socially or regularly skipping work and school

Other warning signs involve amphetamine side effects, which include the following:

  • Spikes in heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature
  • Mood disorder symptoms, such as anxiety, depression and panic attacks
  • Bouts of insomnia, nausea, irritability and paranoia
  • Unexplained outbursts of aggression and rage

Long-term health risks include organ damage, eyesight problems, psychosis development and an increased likelihood of strokes, seizures and heart attacks.

Addiction Treatment for Amphetamines

Rehab facilities typically provide medically supervised detox, behavioral therapies, counseling, mental health screenings, optional holistic treatments and integrated care for any co-occurring conditions. There are also rehab programs that cater to young adult interests, including the following:

  • Adventure therapy programs with action sports activities
  • Facilities with locations that offer surfing, hiking and fitness
  • Arts-based programs that include writing, painting and music
  • Treatment programs in exotic locales throughout the world

Loved ones must often stage an intervention to encourage the young adult to seek treatment, and professional interventionists can help do it right. For example, choosing the right participants is very important for this age group as you don’t want the loved one to feel threatened, misunderstood or unnecessarily embarrassed by anyone’s presence.

Drug Abuse Helpline

Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to discuss treatment options, warning signs and any other concern you might have. We can also assist with an intervention, and if the person has health insurance, we can check the policy for rehab benefits. Our helpline is toll-free, so please call now.

Will a Treatment Center Help Me Stage an Intervention?

Will a Treatment Center Help Me Stage an Intervention?Interventions can be key to helping a loved one get treatment for addiction, but most families do not feel prepared to stage an intervention on their own. Finding a trained interventionist is challenging, and selecting the right interventionist is a daunting task. One option that is becoming more and more popular is using an addiction treatment center to stage an intervention for a user. This makes it easier to get the user right into treatment following the intervention, and the user and his family can trust that the treatment center will provide a professional interventionist.

How to Find an Addiction Interventionist

Looking in the phone book for an interventionist may not be the easiest way to find one, but interventionists are available and can help your loved one overcome addiction. An Internet search will yield many results for interventionists, but you should also check with treatment centers and ask if they can stage an intervention for your family. Many treatment centers will now do full-service interventions, where the interventionist is flown in and meets with the family at their house. Another option is for the family to travel to the addiction treatment center so that when the intervention is over the user can immediately begin addiction treatment without having to travel.

What Is the Goal of an Addiction Intervention?

Ultimately, the goal of an intervention is for the user to get treatment for his or her addiction. Having an interventionist from a treatment center may be effective because the interventionist will know specific details about the treatment center in question and can tell the user about what to expect during addiction treatment. This information can put a user at ease and cannot be provided by any members of the family or even other professional interventionists.

Why Stage an Addiction Intervention?

Staging an intervention is often a big step in a family’s struggle with addiction, and many times it results in the user receiving addiction treatment. Staging an intervention will allow you to confront your loved one about his or her addiction. If you would like to learn more about staging an intervention, you can call our toll-free helpline anytime, 24 hours a day. Our trained addiction experts will give you more tips on staging an intervention and can answer any of your questions about addiction or addiction treatment, so pick up the phone and call now.

Preventing an Amphetamine Addiction from Getting Worse

Preventing an Amphetamine Addiction from Getting WorseAmphetamines are drugs that stimulate the central nervous system to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, narcolepsy and sometimes depression and obesity. These drugs cause users to feel more awake and focused, and they also reduce appetite. Because of these effects, many people obtain and take amphetamines illegally. The problem is that over time long-term amphetamine use can turn into addiction that can cause other serious side effects. However, with the right help you can mitigate this damage and break the addiction.

Amphetamine Abuse Effects

Side effects of long-term amphetamine use include the following issues:

  • Increased anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Tremors
  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Aggressive and violent behavior

These side effects can worsen over time, which underscores the need to get help as early as possible to prevent the addiction from getting worse.

How to End Amphetamine Addiction

The key to stopping amphetamine addiction is simple, albeit difficult: seek rehab. Rehab can either take place on an outpatient or inpatient basis, which means the patient lives either at home or at the treatment facility, respectively. Either option yields considerable benefits, but inpatient rehab helps addicts with more serious problems. However, regardless of the type of rehab, the first stage to overcoming addiction is detox, which will taper an addict’s drug use. The time this phase will take depends on the severity of the addiction, which is why stopping the addiction in the early stages is so important. The earlier someone stops taking amphetamines, then the easier detox will be.

After the last dosage has passed through a person’s system, he may experience any of the following withdrawal symptoms:

  • Mental fatigue
  • Depression
  • Hunger
  • Anxiety
  • Hypersomnia (sleeping too much)
  • Agitation and restlessness
  • Heightened dreams
  • Suicidal thoughts

The most severe withdrawal symptoms will likely occur for about five or more days, but the second day may be the worst. Complete detox can take from days to months, depending on the severity of the addiction. Also, you should only undertake this process under medical supervision.

After detox, addicts can choose among several treatment options. Most treatment facilities offer 30, 60 or 90 treatment, but some facilities offer 12 month programs to break addiction. The option you choose should depend upon your addiction and the people who want to give you the best chance of recovery. During rehab, you will identify and break the habits that you developed as an addict, but you will also work through any underlying emotional or relational issues that may trigger relapse. You will also work on skills that facilitate drug-free living.

Amphetamine Addiction Help

An important step of recovery is getting help for your amphetamine addiction before it gets worse. It demonstrates that you recognize the need to break free from amphetamines, and we can help with this process. You can call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline any time to talk to one of our addiction recovery specialists. With help you can determine the best treatment options for your unique situation, so don’t let your amphetamine addiction get any worse. Call us today and get started on the road to recovery.

Misconceptions about Interventions for Amphetamine Users

Misconceptions about Interventions for Amphetamine UsersThe media has presented interventions as emotionally charged, high drama confrontations that result in shouting, foul language, crying and even violence. However, most interventions are much different than that. In general, an intervention is a meeting that takes place between an addict and the people who love him or her. During that meeting, the addict is presented with the facts of his or her addiction, the impact of the addiction on loved ones and the ultimatum to go into treatment or face severe consequences.

Steps commonly involved in an amphetamine addiction intervention include the following:

  • Deciding to act: The family and loved ones should talk to a trained interventionist (also called a mediator) about setting up and participating in the intervention. An interventionist helps families and loved ones prepare for the most successful intervention possible. He or she is also present during the intervention to guide the process and diffuse any potentially volatile situations. An interventionist can moderate more successfully because he or she is not emotionally involved.
  • Inviting other family and friends to participate: The group must determine when and where the intervention will take place. The group should also talk about how to present the facts of their loved one’s amphetamine addiction.
  • Talking about consequences:  The group must determine what will happen if their loved one refuses treatment. This may include asking him or her to move out, choosing to distance themselves from the person or removing children from the home.
  • Writing a letter: Each person involved in the intervention should write a letter that talks about instances when the loved one’s amphetamine addiction caused painful emotional, financial or physical consequences.
  • Meeting with the amphetamine addict: The amphetamine addict should be asked to a neutral location. Each person at the meeting shares his or her letter. The addict is then given two options: enter treatment or face consequences.
  • Following through: If the addict refuses treatment, the addict’s loved ones should let the consequences unfold. If he or she agrees to treatment, then the addict’s loved ones must provide the help and support they promised.

Each of these steps prepares family members and friends with the information and support they need to confront the amphetamine addict. This preparation can also be crucial in creating a positive atmosphere for the intervention.

Does an Intervention Have to Be Confrontational?

Contrary to what television shows or movies portray, an amphetamine intervention does not have to be fraught with shouting, violence and dramatic endings. Each intervention is different, based not only on how friends and family members behave, but also on the addict’s response. Many interventions occur without a thrown punch, loud word or a cliffhanger conclusion. The goal is to show the addict why treatment is critical, but high drama antics are not necessary.

Getting Help for a Loved One’s Addiction

If a friend or family member is struggling with an amphetamine addiction, seek help immediately. Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to talk with one of our addiction recovery specialists. We can provide information about the addiction treatment options available to your loved one and give you the support you need as you encourage your loved one to get help. You don’t have to walk through this alone, so call us today.

Uniting as Family to Overcome Amphetamine Addiction

Uniting as Family to Overcome Amphetamine AddictionAmphetamines are drugs that stimulate the central nervous system. Certain amphetamines can be useful in treating behavioral disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. However, when abused, amphetamines can be destructive. When not taken according to a physician’s instructions, these drugs can be as powerful as cocaine and produce similar side effects and risks.

Amphetamine addiction is a struggle no one should have to face alone. Whether it began with a legal prescription or through recreational use, an individual who abuses amphetamines, or “speed,” needs a strong support system. Family members who are uninvolved in one another’s lives or who do not express their concerns in a helpful and healthy way may actually enable addiction. If untreated, short-term recreational use of amphetamines can quickly evolve into long-term addiction. Conversely, family members who offer support can help the addict quit without enabling habits that prolong the addiction.

How Family Members Can Help

Family and friends will face frustration and anxiety when trying to help an addict seek recovery. Concerned family members should use the following guidelines to help addicts:

  • Learn to communicate with the addict – Communicating with an addict may require some delicacy and tact, but that does not mean that hard truth should be ignored or made to seem like a small issue. It is important to be heartfelt and honest without being harsh. The addict may react a number of ways. He may be angry, defensive, wounded, or indifferent to the opinions and advice of family members. But his reactions should not stop the people who care about him from asserting themselves.
  • Attend family counseling – Coming together as a family and attending counseling shows the addict that the family members are concerned about her amphetamine addiction and willing to learn how to change their own behaviors and expectations in a way that is encouraging to the addict.
  • Hold an intervention – For some people, holding an intervention seems like a daunting task. Interventions are often emotionally charged events that bring anger and sadness to the surface. But when a family comes together with the common goal of relating their feelings in a helpful and healthy way, an intervention can help spur an amphetamine addict toward recovery.
  • Follow through with promises and goals – Mean what you say. It may be difficult for loving family members to follow through on consequences they establish, but it hurts rather than helps the addict if you go back on your word. The addict will not have to face the natural consequences of his behavior, and will also be more inclined to break promises if he sees the family members who hold him accountable breaking their promises.
  • Be involved in treatment – Most treatment programs offer chances for family members to be involved. Because an addict’s family members may know her better than anyone, going through therapy with the addict may help keep her honest and remind her that her decisions affect others. Because family members may be the most important support system after treatment, involving them in the rewards and struggles of recovery will better prepare them for the day that the addict leaves rehab.

Help for Amphetamine Addiction

If you have a love one that is addicted to amphetamines, help them find the individualized treatment program they need to get their life back. Recovery is possible, and with your support and the help of a professional and personalized treatment program, your loved one can achieve lifelong recovery. Call our 24 hour, toll-free helpline to speak with a trained counselor about recovery options. Don’t hesitate; call us today.

The Importance of Holding an Intervention for Amphetamine Use

The Importance of Holding an Intervention for Amphetamine UseWatching someone you love struggle with addiction is painful. Although there is nothing you can do to force someone into sobriety, holding an intervention can increase an addict’s motivation to get help. An intervention is a focused, structured confrontation designed to help the addict recognize her problem and seek help.

Amphetamine users often deny the trouble from their habit, but you can open your loved one’s eyes by joining forces with others in an intervention. Typical interventions accomplish this through the following means:

  • Clearly communicate what destructive behaviors you have all witnessed and the impact they had
  • Offer a prearranged treatment plan with steps, goals and guidelines
  • Set boundaries for how each person will respond if she refuses treatment

Interventions create opportunities for addicts to see the consequences of their actions and take the first step toward recovery.

When and How to Hold an Intervention

Knowing when to schedule an intervention is almost as important as planning it. It may be time to confront an addiction if you see several of the following signs:

  • Rapid weight loss due to amphetamine-related appetite suppression
  • Job loss
  • Stealing
  • Habitual lying
  • Sudden drop in grades or job performance
  • Doctor shopping to obtain more prescriptions than necessary. This sign is particularly dangerous as it can also have legal consequences.

Organizing and preparing for the intervention will maximize the chance that it will succeed. With this in mind, accomplish the following important tasks before you confront a loved one:

  • Choose a neutral meeting place that is free of distractions, like a home
  • Research and decide on the treatment option that will best help your loved one
  • Outline your action plan for the actual confrontation
  • Hold a meeting before the intervention to inform and prepare participants

If you want to succeed with your intervention, clarify the reason for the meeting and provide each person with time to talk. Sometimes it is also helps to enlist support from a treatment professional who can objectively facilitate the dialogue. Professional interventionists can even further prepare families for these difficult meetings.

Help for Addiction

If you or someone you love struggle with amphetamine addiction, you must know that help is available. Recovery counselors are available at our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to guide you to wellness. Don’t go it alone when support is just one phone call away. You never have to go back to a life of addiction. Please call today and start your recovery.