Even though we live in an age of excessive information, many people still don’t know the facts about amphetamine addiction. We may accept what we hear or see in the media about addiction and fail to understand the true nature of addiction. Knowing the facts can help you make a wise decision about how and when to get help for a loved one or yourself.
Amphetamines stimulate the central nervous system (CNS), increasing heart rate, blood pressure and brain activity. They also increase the release of adrenalin and other stress hormones. Prescription amphetamines are most commonly used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy (a physical condition that causes sleep and sleepiness). Commonly abused illicit amphetamines include cocaine, ecstasy, and meth.
Taking amphetamines recreationally (in ways not prescribed by a doctor) can carry serious side effects, especially when taken long-term. These side effects include:
- Increased anxiety
- Dramatic weight loss
- Aggressive and violent behavior
These behaviors and symptoms are signs that you or a loved one is addicted to amphetamines. If you are experiencing these side effects, seek help immediately.
Some people may not realize that addiction to amphetamines can occur even when using them as prescribes. Physical addiction develops as your body becomes adjusted to the presence of amphetamines, after which point you would experience withdrawal symptoms if you were to stop taking them. Psychological addiction develops as you begin to think that you cannot function without the use of amphetamines and taking amphetamines becomes the focus of your daily life.
Other symptoms of an amphetamine addiction include:
- Stealing money or property to pay for more amphetamines
- Taking more amphetamines than prescribed by a doctor
- Taking amphetamines more often than prescribed
- Acquiring prescriptions for amphetamines from more than one doctor
- Becoming defensive when asked about your amphetamine use
- Lying about how often you use amphetamines
- Poor performance at the workplace or at school
One of the most common signals of an amphetamine addiction is denial that you have a problem. The first step in recovery is admitting that you have a problem with amphetamines.
Recovery from amphetamine addiction is possible. The process will begin with detox. This is the time during which the body rids itself of the drugs. In this phase, you are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms as your body adjusts back to a normal chemical balance. Symptoms of amphetamine withdrawal include:
- Mental fatigue
- Hypersomnia (sleeping too much)
- Agitation and restlessness
- Heightened dream states
- Suicidal thoughts
This detox can take anywhere from a few weeks to a month or more. After detox, you will continue treatment to address your psychological dependence and any underlying emotional issues that led to the addiction. During that phase of rehab, you will also identify and learn how to break the habits that you developed as an amphetamine addict.
Getting Help for Your Amphetamine Addiction
If you or a loved one is struggling with an amphetamine addiction, we can help. You can call our toll-free helpline any time, 24 hours a day and talk with an admissions coordinator who can help you determine the best course of treatment for your unique situation. Don’t let amphetamines destroy your life. Call us today and get the help you need.