Amphetamines are drugs that stimulate the central nervous system (CNS), increasing the levels of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine in the brain. This causes the body to initiate its “fight or flight” response to stressful situations, even though a stressor does not exist. As a result, the body releases adrenalin and other stress hormones, causing a heightened sense of wakefulness, alertness, and focus. Amphetamines can be used legally to treat conditions like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy, and sometimes depression and obesity.
Amphetamine Addiction and Homelessness
Amphetamine addiction is often a cause of homelessness, according to a study presented in the journal, Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Not all people who use amphetamines become homeless, and not all homeless people use amphetamines, but there is often a connection between addiction and homelessness.
Some of the reasons amphetamine addiction may lead to homelessness are included in the following:
- Disruptions in home relationships – Because amphetamine addiction disrupts an entire family system, some families ask the addicts to leave the home in order to preserve the family structure and to protect other family members, especially children.
- Inability to pay bills, rent or mortgage – As an addict loses control, he may lose his job and be unable to pay for housing. Other addicts may simply choose to use all of their money to attain more amphetamines. Either way, failure to pay rent or mortgage can result in eviction and homelessness.
- Single-focus on addiction – Some people who are particularly prone to addiction can become so strongly addicted that nothing else—not even having a place to sleep or live—matters. This single focus can lead to homelessness.
While addiction often leads to homelessness, the reverse can also be true. For some people, homelessness leads to amphetamine addiction. The sense of helplessness about one’s financial situation, social standing, and hopes for a better future lead many homeless people to seek escape their circumstances. Amphetamines may provide individuals temporary relief from their problems, but soon drug addiction only makes their situation worse.
In addition, some people who are homeless may think that they must use drugs like amphetamines in order to be accepted among the homeless community. Furthermore, many homeless people use amphetamines as a means of self-medication to deal with a co-occurring mental illness. Due to the complicated elements surrounding amphetamine addiction and homelessness, it is important to seek professional help in overcoming an addiction.
Treatment for Amphetamine Addiction
The first step in overcoming an amphetamine addiction is detox, which is the process by which the body rids itself of the drug. After detox, a person needs to complete a treatment program that will help him deal with his emotional dependency on amphetamines. This treatment involves evaluating how the addiction developed and discovering and using tools to deal with potential triggers that could cause a person to relapse. Long-term sobriety is possible for most people who are willing to go through the process of detox and treatment.
Getting Help for Your Amphetamine Addiction
If you or a loved one is addicted to amphetamines, we can help. You can call our toll-free helpline any time, 24 hours a day and talk to an addiction recovery specialist who can discuss the best treatment options for your situation. Don’t let amphetamines destroy your life. Take the courageous step and call us now.