What is Amphetamine?

Amphetamine is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that affects the brain in a way to make the person feel more alert, focused, and energized. They can be both prescription medications and illegal substances. As a prescription medication, they are used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obesity, and narcolepsy. However, amphetamines are also used for non-prescription purposes in order to get high or stay awake. As a Schedule II substance, they have a high potential for abuse. Some prescription amphetamines include:

  • Adderall (a combination of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine)
  • Ritalin (dextromethylphenidate)
  • Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine)
  • Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine)
  • Evekeo (amphetamine)

Prescription amphetamines usually come in pill or capsule form. People usually take amphetamines by swallowing pills or crushing pills to snort the powder or mix into water to inject into their veins to get a faster high. Illegal forms of amphetamines can also come in liquid, powder, paste or crystal form, which is snorted, injected, or smoked.

Effects of Amphetamine

Amphetamines work by producing a stimulating effect throughout the rest of the body. Taking amphetamine stimulates the effects of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain in the reward center of the brain, causing the person to want to repeat the pleasurable experience. The short-term effects of amphetamine include:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Rapid breathing rate
  • Increased blood sugar
  • Increased blood pressure
  • A high, or feeling of euphoria
  • Decreased blood flow to organs
  • Feelings of energy
  • Quicker reaction times
  • Increased focus and concentration

Signs of Amphetamine Abuse and Addiction

Amphetamine abuse is not always easy to spot, but if you notice some of the signs and symptoms some are addicted to amphetamines, you may want to talk to them about their use. Stimulant use disorders can happen to anyone and some signs of prescription drug addiction to look for include:

  • Taking amphetamine more frequently or at a higher dose
  • Having strong cravings to use stimulants
  • Spending a lot of time getting, using, and recovering from the effects of amphetamines
  • Drop in performance at work or school due to stimulant abuse
  • Continues to use amphetamines despite negative health, social, or professional consequences
  • Not participating in the same social or recreational activities as before
  • Being unable to stop using or reduce the usage of stimulants even when wanting to
  • Tolerance to amphetamine abuse, needing more of the drug to get the same effects
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using the drug

Amphetamine Withdrawal Symptoms

When a person has developed an amphetamine drug dependence, their body does not know how to function without the drug. So when a person stops using, they may experience withdrawal symptoms. Different types of amphetamines may have their own set of symptoms, however common symptoms of amphetamine withdrawals include:

  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sleep problems
  • Unable to feel pleasure
  • Cognitive issues
  • Impaired sexual function
  • Cravings
  • Confusion

Long-Term Side Effects of Amphetamine Abuse

Substance use disorders can have several negative consequences on a person’s health, personal life, and professional life. They can lead to co-occurring disorders such as mental health issues, cancers, gastrointestinal issues, and much more. Frequent and long-term amphetamine abuse can lead to several health problems, some can even be fatal. Some of the long-term effects of amphetamine addiction include:

  • Weight loss and malnutrition
  • Mood swing
  • Insomnia
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Aggression
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Panic attacks
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Toxic psychosis
  • Seizures

Amphetamine Addiction Treatment

Amphetamine addiction can be difficult to overcome, however with the right types of treatment, addiction recovery is possible. Rehab centers offer the best approach to treatment for amphetamine abuse and addiction. Amphetamine addiction treatment comes in several levels of care including drug detox, inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment programs to fit each individual’s personal and addiction needs. Substance abuse treatment in rehab centers include individual therapy, support groups, family therapy, medication-assisted treatment, and dual diagnosis for co-occurring disorders. Relapse prevention is an important part of drug addiction treatment because it teaches skills and gives you tools to use in the real world once your substance abuse treatment is complete. Substance use disorder is a chronic disorder but can be managed with the right types of treatment and the work that is put in.

If you or someone you love is struggling with amphetamine abuse, it is important to get help for stimulant use disorder as soon as possible. Addiction specialists at DayBreak Treatment Solutions are ready to answer any questions you may have about substance use disorders or amphetamine addiction treatment.

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