Amphetamine Drug Abuse: Signs, Withdrawal & Treatment
Amphetamines are classified as stimulants and their usage improves the alertness of the person. So, this is commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and sleeping disorders. But Amphetamine addiction and abuse impact physical and mental well-being. Long-term consumption of Amphetamines destroys the pleasure receptors in the brain and changes the way the brain behaves. It alters the brain's pleasure response as Amphetamine consumption decreases the ability of the brain to feel the pleasure and be happy without consuming the drug. Amphetamine when abused results in depression and motivates suicidal intentions. This produces an intense craving and uncontrollable urge to consume the drug all the while worsening the condition.
This blog describes the chemical composition of Amphetamines, symptoms of Amphetamines, the side effects, and treatment options available to reverse Amphetamine addiction and abuse.
Amphetamine is a carbon compound with the chemical formula C9H13N. These are methyl homologs of phenethylamine which is a mammalian neurotransmitter. It looks colorless with a strong amine smell and has a burning taste. Amphetamine stimulates the central nervous system. Amphetamine when consumed, augment brain activity. It energizes the brain and makes the person feel more focused, euphoric, and confident.
Amphetamines are used to treat a variety of health conditions including weight loss and obesity. These are employed in treating hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy, a form of sleeping disorder. Narcolepsy is a condition in which a person falls asleep suddenly. Amphetamines are used to increase alertness and push the person to stay awake. In addition, amphetamines are used to treat depression. Various forms of amphetamines including Adderall, Dexedrine, Concerta, Ritalin, Vyvanse, and Methylin are prescribed by doctors as medications to cure attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Amphetamines are abused in many ways. The drug on consumption drives a person to the maximum high. The pleasure that results after just swallowing the pills as such is relatively mild compared to crushing the pill and snorting or dissolving the pill in water and directly injecting it into the bloodstream. As this produces a greater pleasure, people tend to involve in such abuses. Also, there are people who abuse Amphetamine as they are under the illusion that Amphetamines are way less harmful than other drugs like heroin and opioids.
Amphetamine addiction can be identified in numerous ways and the addiction is explicit as the drug influences the behavior of the consumer. The changes involved are both physical and mental and some of the Amphetamine Addiction Symptoms are listed below.
Notable physical changes as a part of Amphetamine addiction symptoms include,
- Weight loss and decrease in appetite.
- A surge in blood pressure and heart rate.
- Sleeplessness or insomnia.
Mental disturbances include,
- Aggression, anxiety, and mood swings.
- Hallucinations may be visual, auditory, or tactile.
- Changes in forming relationships
- Losing interest in the activities they were previously involved in.
- Lagging behind in keeping up with responsibilities like school or office work.
- Spending time drug-seeking.
Using amphetamines for recreational purposes is dangerous as such abuse could result in an addiction. Amphetamine addiction side effects include sleep problems, weight loss, malnutrition caused by unhealthy eating habits, and cardiovascular issues due to high blood pressure. Amphetamine addicts are prone to injury risks as they get involved in dangerous activities. Other Amphetamine addiction side effects include the following.
- Dry or parched mouth.
- Eating disorders such as anorexia.
- Abdominal pain, nausea, loss of appetite, or stomach aches.
- Restlessness or dizziness.
- Emotional inability.
- Dental diseases due to bad eating habits. Tooth loss is also a symptom.
- High body temperature.
Amphetamine detox refers to the process of clearing the traces of amphetamine substances from the body. This detox reverses the adverse effects that the drug produced on the body. The detox usually takes longer as amphetamine resides in the central nervous system for a longer time. The primary motive of amphetamine detoxification is to abate the physical and mental effects caused by the addiction.
Amphetamine detox is suggested for people who endure difficulties in amphetamine withdrawal. Amphetamine withdrawal challenges include the physiological symptoms that people experience after abrupt quitting. They may get agitated, depressed, and experience aches, pains, bodily movements, and twitches. Some may even face drowsiness, continuous sleep, increased appetite, and irritability.
The time taken for the withdrawal to start and its lasting duration depends on several factors and some of them are listed below.
- Age, weight gender, and other biological factors.
- Usage of other substances along with the drug.
- The duration of drug intake.
- The time last drug use and the dosage of it.
- Other physical problems.
When a person is addicted to the Amphetamine drug, he/she subsequently requires more of the drug to feel happy and high. During detox, the body develops tolerance to the challenges that result from the sudden withdrawal from the drug. On average, people take about five days to complete the amphetamine detox. The person is also advised to take up extensive amphetamine addiction treatment programs when needed.
Polydrug abuse is using multiple drugs in order to produce pleasure and happiness. Sometimes, people take other drugs like alcohol, and marijuana, and sedatives like heroin are taken along with amphetamines. This complicates the amphetamine addiction symptoms, the withdrawal, and amphetamine detoxification.
Amphetamine addiction Treatments and therapies for recovery is taken up post-detox as cleansing the body and making it free from the drug is highly essential for an effective Amphetamine addiction treatment. Psychotherapeutic treatments begin after the detox. Through this approach, the patient is made to understand how his or her thoughts and feelings influence the behavior. In addition, nutritional plans are suggested to restore body weight. The following are common treatment options available to support amphetamine recovery.
- Addiction education
Addiction education helps families build a strong support system for their loved ones. It also teaches people how to cope with triggers and cravings that incur during the amphetamine addiction recovery phase.
- Motivational counseling
In this communication technique, people are encouraged to change their behavior with compassion and acceptance. People are also motivated to give up their ambivalent attitude toward accepting their addiction and pushed to modify their behaviors.
- Peer support
Trained supporters offer the required awareness, knowledge, and emotional support for people to support amphetamine addiction recovery.
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy
This therapy teaches people to live in the moment, manage stress, improve relationships and regulate emotions.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
This is the gold standard treatment for mental health conditions. This motivates people to explore their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in order to self-analyze themselves and realize their emotional needs better.
- Family counseling
Family members are the people who can closely interact with the person and can help them get rid of the addiction and other issues. This therapy works on building intimate relationships with the family and training them to cope with the addiction as a whole entity.
If you or someone you love is abusing amphetamines, it is recommended that you seek professional help rather than trying to undergo the amphetamine recovery process alone on your own. We urge you to contact well-experienced fully trained counselors. If you are looking for a place to get a serious situation addressed, we at Abhasa Rehabilitation Center, Coimbatore provide one-on-one personal counseling and therapies to alleviate amphetamine addiction. We hold extensive experience in helping people overcome amphetamine addiction. We hope you avail the treatment for your own well-being and enjoy a drug-free joyous life.