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 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.