Amphetamine Dependence2017-11-20T22:19:37+00:00

Amphetamine Dependence and Addiction

Amphetamine Dependence and Addiction

Amphetamine Dependence and Addiction

Many amphetamines are used in the treatment of attention deficit disorders such as ADD or ADHD or the treatment of sleep disorders such as narcolepsy but when taken excessively or for recreational purposes amphetamines can be habit-forming and may lead to dependence. Amphetamine dependence is different than amphetamine abuse, in that it is a serious addiction with psychiatric implications and the person is usually unable to control or quit their dependence without outside help. It is unclear why some people are more susceptible to amphetamine dependence than others, but it is believed that the highly addictive characteristics of amphetamines can cause serious problems if a person abuses them on a regular basis. The more a person uses them, the more they will need to feel the desired “high,” which consistently increase their tolerance.

This consistent increase can cause dependence, which will lead to numerous other neurological and physical problems. Speed, meth, Adderall, they are all types of drugs that are known as amphetamines and all can cause addiction. Amphetamines are either snorted, injected, orally consumed or smoked to produce a euphoric effect that includes increased energy, heightened alertness and an inability to fall asleep. Many amphetamines are used in the treatment of attention deficit disorders such as ADD or ADHD or the treatment of sleep disorders such as narcolepsy but when taken excessively or for recreational purposes amphetamines can be habit-forming and may lead to dependence.

Signs and Symptoms of Amphetamine Addiction:

You may not recognize the signs of amphetamine addiction at first but as the addiction progresses and the effects of amphetamine use set in, the signs of addiction become more and more evident. Some of the early signs of addiction are tolerance and physical dependence or an urge to use amphetamines. During this early phase, quitting amphetamine use is encouraged before major side effects really begin to set in.

  • Compulsive use of amphetamines
  • Using amphetamines to feel good
  • Lack of personal appearance or ill desire to take care of one’s self
  • Taking amphetamines to cope with everyday activities
  • Using amphetamines to socially interact
  • Lack of pleasure when not taking amphetamines
  • Taking amphetamines despite problems in a relationship or with loved ones
  • Taking amphetamines despite the known consequences of taking the drugs
  • Withdrawal symptoms when not taking amphetamines

Withdrawal Symptoms when addicted to Amphetamines

According to the US National Library of Medicine, when use of amphetamines abruptly stops, withdrawal symptoms quickly set in causing the brain and the body to go through a series of reactions that are not necessarily comfortable or exciting for the recovering addict. While most of the symptoms will gradually dissipate on their own and go away, there may be a need for treatment to balance out the mental instability that comes with sustained amphetamine use.

Symptoms of Amphetamine Withdrawal may include:

  • Excessive hunger
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Sleeping for more than 24 hours at a time
  • Lack of coordination
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Irritability
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Hallucinations
  • Irritability
  • Short-temper
  • Hypersensitivity to light and sound
  • Drug cravings
  • Extreme mood swings similar to bi-polar disorder
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Realistic nightmares
  • Sensory misperception
  • Auditory hallucinations
  • Psychosis that is similar to schizophrenia

Amphetamine Tolerance:

The first signs of amphetamine addiction tend to be tolerance. Tolerance is the reaction that the body has been given a drug repeatedly. Over time, sometimes faster if taken with other drugs, the body will have less of a reaction to the drug and the user will have to take more of the drug in order to feel the same effects. As tolerance builds, the user will no longer feel the same effects of amphetamines and may resort to using more or to using the drugs more often.

Regular amphetamine use can quickly lead to tolerance of the drug. Though tolerance does build rapidly, taking a break from the drug use can quickly cause the tolerance to diminish. Unfortunately, this is one of the greatest dangers associated with amphetamine addiction treatment; users who stop taking amphetamines for a period of time have a lowered tolerance and when they relapse are more likely to overdose because they think that they can return to previous patterns of drug abuse which could prove to be too much for their newly reduced levels of tolerance.

Amphetamine Dependency and Addiction Treatment:

Amphetamine abuse is treatable. The most effective method of treatment is cognitive-behavioral therapy, which can be administered by a professional therapist. Through this kind of therapy, the amphetamine addict can learn how to change their destructive behaviors and patterns. This kind of therapy helps people to learn healthy ways of coping with stress so that amphetamines won’t be an option. Another helpful method of treatment is joining a support group such as Narcotics Anonymous. In this kind of environment, there are many people who understand where you are coming from and have effective tools for helping you overcome your addiction. A combination of cognitive-behavioral therapy and support from a group like NA is generally very effective. Sometimes antidepressants are used to help with the symptoms of withdrawal and depression after quitting.

If you or someone you care about is suffering from amphetamine dependence, please seek help immediately. This is a very dangerous and destructive substance that can take a negative toll on the lives of those associated with it. Talk to your health care provider for advice, or look for a local therapist who can help.

Medications Often Used For Patients Going Through Withdrawal Of Amphetamine Abuse

No medications have been approved to specifically manage amphetamine withdrawal. In clinical studies, a few medications were able to reduce symptoms.

  • Provigil is a brand name for the medication modafinil. It has shown promise in alleviating some symptoms associated with withdrawal from methamphetamine, as well as cocaine
  • Aripiprazole is an anti-psychotic medication that may relieve some of the symptoms of amphetamine withdrawal

Physicians may prescribe medications to relieve specific withdrawal symptoms, such as insomnia. Frequently used medications that provide help for amphetamine withdrawal include:

  • Benadryl which can help with sleep and agitation during detox from amphetamines
  • Trazodone which is a sedating antidepressant medication sometimes prescribed as a sleep aid. This medication can help with cases of severe insomnia
  • Analgesics which are an option for relief of headaches and other minor aches/pains
  • Antidepressants which are another treatment option if a person in amphetamine withdrawal develops significant clinical depression during the detox and treatment process

Signs and Symptoms of Amphetamine Addiction:

You may not recognize the signs of amphetamine addiction at first but as the addiction progresses and the effects of amphetamine use set in, the signs of addiction become more and more evident. Some of the early signs of addiction are tolerance and physical dependence or an urge to use amphetamines. During this early phase, quitting amphetamine use is encouraged before major side effects really begin to set in.

  • Compulsive use of amphetamines
  • Using amphetamines to feel good
  • Lack of personal appearance or ill desire to take care of one’s self
  • Taking amphetamines to cope with everyday activities
  • Using amphetamines to socially interact
  • Lack of pleasure when not taking amphetamines
  • Taking amphetamines despite problems in a relationship or with loved ones
  • Taking amphetamines despite the known consequences of taking the drugs
  • Withdrawal symptoms when not taking amphetamines

Withdrawal Symptoms when addicted to Amphetamines

According to the US National Library of Medicine, when use of amphetamines abruptly stops, withdrawal symptoms quickly set in causing the brain and the body to go through a series of reactions that are not necessarily comfortable or exciting for the recovering addict. While most of the symptoms will gradually dissipate on their own and go away, there may be a need for treatment to balance out the mental instability that comes with sustained amphetamine use.

Symptoms of Amphetamine Withdrawal may include:

  • Excessive hunger
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Sleeping for more than 24 hours at a time
  • Lack of coordination
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Irritability
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Hallucinations
  • Irritability
  • Short-temper
  • Hypersensitivity to light and sound
  • Drug cravings
  • Extreme mood swings similar to bi-polar disorder
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Realistic nightmares
  • Sensory misperception
  • Auditory hallucinations
  • Psychosis that is similar to schizophrenia

Amphetamine Tolerance:

The first signs of amphetamine addiction tend to be tolerance. Tolerance is the reaction that the body has been given a drug repeatedly. Over time, sometimes faster if taken with other drugs, the body will have less of a reaction to the drug and the user will have to take more of the drug in order to feel the same effects. As tolerance builds, the user will no longer feel the same effects of amphetamines and may resort to using more or to using the drugs more often.

Regular amphetamine use can quickly lead to tolerance of the drug. Though tolerance does build rapidly, taking a break from the drug use can quickly cause the tolerance to diminish. Unfortunately, this is one of the greatest dangers associated with amphetamine addiction treatment; users who stop taking amphetamines for a period of time have a lowered tolerance and when they relapse are more likely to overdose because they think that they can return to previous patterns of drug abuse which could prove to be too much for their newly reduced levels of tolerance.

Amphetamine Dependency and Addiction Treatment:

Amphetamine abuse is treatable. The most effective method of treatment is cognitive-behavioral therapy, which can be administered by a professional therapist. Through this kind of therapy, the amphetamine addict can learn how to change their destructive behaviors and patterns. This kind of therapy helps people to learn healthy ways of coping with stress so that amphetamines won’t be an option. Another helpful method of treatment is joining a support group such as Narcotics Anonymous. In this kind of environment, there are many people who understand where you are coming from and have effective tools for helping you overcome your addiction. A combination of cognitive-behavioral therapy and support from a group like NA is generally very effective. Sometimes antidepressants are used to help with the symptoms of withdrawal and depression after quitting.

If you or someone you care about is suffering from amphetamine dependence, please seek help immediately. This is a very dangerous and destructive substance that can take a negative toll on the lives of those associated with it. Talk to your health care provider for advice, or look for a local therapist who can help.

Medications Often Used For Patients Going Through Withdrawal Of Amphetamine Abuse

No medications have been approved to specifically manage amphetamine withdrawal. In clinical studies, a few medications were able to reduce symptoms.

  • Provigil is a brand name for the medication modafinil. It has shown promise in alleviating some symptoms associated with withdrawal from methamphetamine, as well as cocaine
  • Aripiprazole is an anti-psychotic medication that may relieve some of the symptoms of amphetamine withdrawal

Physicians may prescribe medications to relieve specific withdrawal symptoms, such as insomnia. Frequently used medications that provide help for amphetamine withdrawal include:

  • Benadryl which can help with sleep and agitation during detox from amphetamines
  • Trazodone which is a sedating antidepressant medication sometimes prescribed as a sleep aid. This medication can help with cases of severe insomnia
  • Analgesics which are an option for relief of headaches and other minor aches/pains
  • Antidepressants which are another treatment option if a person in amphetamine withdrawal develops significant clinical depression during the detox and treatment process