Amphetamines are stimulant-class drugs that affect the central nervous system, and prescription versions include Ritalin, Adderall, Dexedrine, and methamphetamine. Doctors commonly prescribe amphetamines to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but some people use the drug illicitly to get high, lose weight, stay awake, or gain an academic or athletic advantage. The Journal of the American Medical Association described Ritalin in particular as having cocaine-like properties in 2001, and recreational users can crush amphetamine tablets to smoke, snort, or inject the drug. Medicinal use is common with primary and high school students, while illicit use is more prevalent during college years and early adulthood. The 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that illicit amphetamine use is most common among 18 to 25 year olds with a 21.4% usage rate and an average initiation age of 22.2 years. A familiarity with prescription amphetamines makes the drug a more appealing choice for educators as well.
Teachers and Substance Abuse
In 1990, the Journal of Drug Education article “Teacher Drug Use: A Response to Occupational Stress” surveyed 500 Texas teachers and discovered higher rates of alcohol, amphetamine, and tranquilizer use compared to the national sample. Amphetamine use in particular correlated with higher stress levels. Stress and availability can motivate amphetamine abuse among teachers, but there are other potential factors, including the following:
- Prevalence of legal use among students gives the sense that amphetamines are safe
- Amphetamines assist teachers in staying sharp and active in the classroom
- The drugs provide an energy boost for teachers who feel overworked and overtired
A doctor may prescribe amphetamines to an educator who uses them as directed, but any form of drug abuse harms the teacher and his students.
Dangers of Amphetamine Abuse
Long-term amphetamine abuse posses several kinds of risk, including the following:
- An escalating rise in heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature
- Mental health issues including symptoms of anxiety, panic, and depression
- Dramatic and dangerous mood swings manifested as anger, rage, and aggression
- Quality of life issues such as insomnia, nausea, paranoia, and abdominal pain
- Behavioral changes that put financial and workplace security in jeopardy
- Increased risk for seizure, heart attack, and overdose
Amphetamine abuse can also affect the students in various ways, including the following:
- Sets a bad example for students who recognize the drug abuse
- Negatively affects the way students are treated, engaged, and taught
- Increases the likelihood of a drug-related accident occurring on campus
Moreover, the 2007 American College Health Association (ACHA) article “Stimulant Misuse” adds that students often steal amphetamines from teachers’ desks if they know they are there.
Amphetamine Addiction Rehabilitation
If an addiction takes hold, professional rehabilitation is the most effective way to regain control. Treatment centers offer a variety of possible services, including the following:
- Detoxification under medical supervision in a relaxed and comfortable setting
- Mental health screenings and treatment for mood and personality disorders
- Individual counseling to identify substance abuse triggers and cues
- Behavioral therapies that promote more positive mental activity and conduct
- Educational therapies to instill new life skills and coping mechanisms
- Optional holistic treatments to improve the patient’s overall wellbeing
- Group therapy to share experiences, motivations, and feelings
Teachers generally have long breaks in the summer that are ideal for treatment. However, the addiction risks do not wait until the school year ends, and many teachers need to consider getting treatment immediately.
Substance Abuse Help
Our admissions coordinators are available to discuss treatment options, facility locations and specialized care 24 hours a day. We are happy to answer any questions, and we can check health insurance policies for treatment benefits. Our helpline is toll-free so please call now.