Amphetamine Addiction

Addiction to amphetamines is currently on the rise in the United States. Although this stimulant drug does not capture as much popularity as other substances, there is an increase in amphetamine abuse, addiction and overdose. 

Amphetamines are legally prescribed to treat Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), obesity, narcolepsy and other health conditions. However, both illicit and legal use of these drugs is a serious problem in America today. In 2017, amphetamine related deaths increased by 30%. This indicates that more individuals are becoming addicted to these substances. 

Amphetamines are highly addictive stimulant drugs that produce euphoric-like highs. These drugs give individuals a heightened sense of focus and energy. However, those who suffer from addiction to amphetamines are recommended to begin professional drug treatment. 

The Development of Amphetamine Addiction

To begin, let’s first understand what addiction really is. There isn’t one determining factor that causes substance abuse and addiction. That’s because addiction affects everyone differently. However, factors like mental health, genetic makeup, emotional distress, and so on, are common causes that can lead to addiction to drugs or alcohol.

Addiction to amphetamines is caused when a person becomes both physically and psychologically dependent on the drug. It is possible to have one of these dependencies without the other. However, if this is the case, you should still seek addiction treatment for amphetamines. Substance abuse addiction is not solely focused on the physical dependency to the drug; but also the psychological effects it causes.

Individuals who repeatedly use and abuse illicit or prescribed forms of amphetamines are at a greater risk for developing an addiction. When an individual must increase their dosage to amphetamines, chemical dependency to the drug is most likely forming. Those who establish patterns of tolerance, increased cravings and higher amounts of dosage to amphetamines can very well be on the path to addiction. 

If you or a loved one are both physically and psychologically attached to a substance, treatment for drugs and alcohol is right for you. It doesn’t mean a person is addicted if they are only physically dependent. To be considered an addict, physical and psychological dependence must be present.

In relation to amphetamines, individuals can quickly develop a psychological dependence to these substances. Amphetamines typically increase alertness and focus to the brain. If a person feels they need the drug to be able to perform everyday tasks, it is likely a psychological dependency to the drug has formed.

In most cases, amphetamine abuse comes before amphetamine addiction. Developing an addiction to amphetamines varies on the individuals specific factors. If you or your loved one experience a chemical dependency to amphetamines, The Recovery Team would love to be your sober support.

When Amphetamine Use Becomes an Addiction

Addiction can be a hard subject to bring up, because a lot of people aren’t aware of their addiction to drugs or alcohol. Whether you believe you are addicted or not, people like to think they have their drug use under control. However, despite one’s beliefs, individuals can be diagnosed as addicted. In order for this to happen, a person must develop both a psychical and psychological dependency to the substance of choice. 

An easy way to distinguish whether or not you are physically addicted, is to be aware of withdrawal symptoms. On the other hand, it’s harder to recognize when a psychological dependency is forming. If you have attempted to stop using amphetamines but have failed, this may be an indicator of a psychological dependence. 

Common ways to recognize if you or someone you love is addicted to amphetamines: 

  • Increased Aggression
  • Sweating 
  • Daily Mood swings 
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Reduced appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Heightened periods of alertness
  • Dry mouth and throat 
  • Increased heart rate
  • Blurred vision
  • Headache
  • Hallucinations

Overall, those addicted to amphetamines should consider receiving professional treatment. These substances are highly addictive, and can be very difficult to stop. Call The Recovery Team today for more information on amphetamine treatment. 

Building a Tolerance to Amphetamines

Repeated users are likely to develop a tolerance to amphetamines. As with most other drugs, tolerance happens when a drug is consistently taken at specific dose levels. These levels and its effects tend to wear off over time. 

In cases like this, people continue using the drug at a higher level of dose, increasing their tolerance. There is a constant need for more to achieve those wanted effects. If you notice this type behavior pattern in yourself or someone you love, addiction may be coming.

In accordance with amphetamines, tolerance is generally based on which effects of the drug will start to wear off throughout time. When talking about amphetamines, the term “reverse tolerance,” is mentioned a lot as well. 

Reverse tolerance is more likely to occur in long-term amphetamine users. This phenomena believes the more you use amphetamines, the more likely you are to become vulnerable to the drug. 

This vulnerability then leads to amphetamine-induced psychosis. In simpler terms, long-term users of amphetamines are at a greater risk to become psychotic from the drug. Regular tolerance and reverse tolerance may occur at the same time in serious cases.   

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What Is the Amphetamine High That Users Are Chasing?

Amphetamines create a euphoric effect that make individuals feel more alert, intelligent, and all around better at life. It is difficult to explain the high that users experience, because it differs from case to case.

Some people rely on these substances to increase their awareness and focus. While others use it to feel more self-confident and happy. Not all amphetamines, especially in small doses, lead you to feel the euphoric high. But most recreational amphetamine users consume larger levels of the drug, where they experience this high.

Individuals who have felt this tend to compare it to a high off one experiences off of cocaine.

The Long-Term Health Effects of Amphetamine Addiction

Using and abusing amphetamines over time can change your brain chemistry. Problems such as paranoia, depression, anxiety, psychosis, hallucination and more can occur. In some cases, those who have small psychological symptoms oftentimes link these to schizophrenia outbursts.

Common health conditions related to amphetamine addiction:

  • Irregularities of the heart
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Chest tightness 
  • Muscle tension
  • Increased breathing
  • Weight loss and malnutrition 
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Skin disorders 
  • Tics 
  • Migraines and frequent headaches

In serious cases, amphetamine addiction can result in death. 

Do I Need Detox for my Amphetamine Addiction?

Individuals who are experiencing an addiction to amphetamines, no matter the form or type, should not quit alone at home. Amphetamine withdrawal symptoms can be extremely serious and life threatening. 

Common amphetamine withdrawal symptoms:

  • Chills
  • Intense drug cravings
  • Nausea 
  • Shakes 
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression 
  • Vomiting

Life-threatening amphetamine withdrawal symptoms can include, but not limited too:

  • Negative suicidal thoughts
  • Heart complications 
  • Heart attacks 
  • Death

Due to the nature of these symptoms, it is recommended to attend a professional detox facility for care. You will receive 24-hour medical supervision, and get back on the right track. Nobody should do this alone.

Is Treatment Necessary for an Amphetamine Addiction?

Treatment is highly recommended for those with an addiction to amphetamines. Due to the highly addictive nature of these drug substances, the relapse rate for those addicted to methamphetamines is 90%. This indicates that rehab and drug treatment are needed. 

Addiction is difficult, but extremely possible. Detox and rehab treatment will teach you all of the tools and techniques needed for a successful life in recovery. Through proven  treatment modalities, addiction specialists will help you navigate the mental health disorders and traumas that may have led to your addiction. Treatment is recommended for the most successful and strong results.  

The Recovery Team is committed to helping you find the right rehab for you or your loved one. Call us today (800) 817-1247.