Amphetamine is the active addictive ingredient found in prescription drugs prescribed for weight loss, insomnia, and ADHD. However, although it is prescribed for medical purposes it has also become a more recreational used drug in the past few decades because of its stimulant effects like increased focus, energy, and euphoria. Additionally, more and more amphetamines can be seen on the street by way of new illegal production methods, giving people easier access to this dangerous drug. The harsh reality is that amphetamines are highly addictive and can take control of lives, leaving destruction and misery in its terrifying path.
It has been determined that amphetamines are the second highest abused class of drugs in the United States. Additionally, amphetamines are the most often used prescribed drugs in America. To make things worse, records show that children who are prescribed these drugs have a higher risk of damage to the brain’s electronic mechanisms and functionality. Since over 11 percent of children are diagnosed with ADHD in this country, prescribing of these drugs are not slowing down.
Signs and Symptoms of Amphetamine Addiction
Amphetamines work by manipulating the production of “feel good” chemicals in the brain, dopamine, and serotonin. This effect of the involvement in the brain this drug implements is the reason for the highly addictive nature and tendencies of amphetamines, driving a user to want to use more to feel good again. Unfortunately, this stimulant’s manipulation of brain chemicals causes plenty of side effects, both physical and mental. The most apparent signs of amphetamine abuse and addiction include:
- Irregular heartbeat and blood pressure
- Decreased sex drive
- Decreased appetite
- Mood swings
Long-term effects of amphetamine abuse are even worse, endangering the entire overall function of the body. Prolonged use and abuse of amphetamines cause symptoms of:
- Permanent amnesia and memory loss
- Changes in brain structure that is seen by MRI
- Development of psychosis or other mental health disorders
- Development of diseases like eating disorder or heart disease
- Avoidance of social responsibility like family relationships
Leaving amphetamine addiction behind is possible with addiction treatment. FHE Health believes that each patient has their own needs and desires for addiction treatment so we come up with a personalized treatment plan for each individual specifically designed for their addiction goals. Amphetamine treatment may include medical detox, in or outpatient rehabilitation, cognitive therapy, sober living skill education, and aftercare program options. Living a sober life does not have to be terrifying and accomplished alone, but can be a peaceful, holistic, guided experience by addiction recovery professionals available to you at FHE Health.
Undoubtedly, the hardest part of amphetamine treatment is the detoxing process. Withdrawing from amphetamines includes many negative side effects that don’t make the detox period a pleasant experience. Many amphetamine users are long-time addicts, using the drug daily. When a person abuses a substance daily, their tolerance for that substance raises. Tolerance is the level of the drug in the system that it takes for an individual to feel the desired effects. Once tolerance rises, an individual is likely to up their dose, putting them at a higher risk for dependence. Dependence is when the body cannot function properly without the abused drug. After a period of time, the body stops producing chemicals that the drug administers. When the drug is not present, withdrawal symptoms occur. Many that abuse amphetamines understand that they will start to feel withdrawal effects as soon as the drug wears off, so they continue taking doses to keep the high. Since amphetamines keep a person from sleeping, they stay awake for days until their body eventually crashes from lack of nourishment and sleep. The individuals addicted to amphetamines going through detox experience all the opposite effects that the drug is supposed to help with. Withdrawal symptoms for a detoxing amphetamine user will include:
- Extreme fatigue
- Mental depletion
- Effects from malnourishment
- Inability to focus
No matter what the withdrawal symptoms, they are better than the effects of long-term use of amphetamines. During detox, an individual may feel like they will never get better. It is important to understand that this is just the negative effects of not administering the drug, and your body just has to get back to normal functionality. Medical detox programs provided by FHE Health provides a guided detox in a safe environment. Our medical staff makes sure that our patients in detox get all the help and attention they need, including withdrawal medications when deemed necessary. It is important to understand that withdrawing from amphetamines can be dangerous if not carefully monitored by professionals.
Programs for Amphetamine Addiction
If you or a loved one struggles with an addiction to amphetamines, the programs offered at FHE Health can help. Because we understand that addiction affects everyone differently, we offer both residential and outpatient programs to. This means that each individual has the option of staying at our facility for a period of time or coming to the weekly meeting so that daily responsibilities can continue being met. Upon arrival, each patient is examined clinically, medically, and psychologically so that our professional staff can determine the best course of treatment action for each person. What may be effective for one person in treatment may not be the same for another person, which is why we offer those that are struggling with amphetamine addiction multiple therapy services, both individual and group, to determine underlying causes of addiction. Additionally, we help to develop skills that can help outside of treatment like relapse prevention strategies.
Aftercare for Amphetamine Addiction
We wish to give each individual that walks through our doors at FHE Health the best possible chance for long-term recovery success, which is why we include additional aftercare services. These provided services are ranked the highest in the country because of our complete dedication to all of our treatment alumni. All of the services available to patients during treatment are available to our alumni, including medical and psychological programs. Upon completing treatment, you will have the choice to live in one of our gender-specific sober living homes that will help you continue your journey of recovery. There, you will be given the tools you need to build a career, find a job, and maintain sobriety. Many are not ready to quickly jump back into their old lives in fear of returning to old behaviors like using drugs or alcohol. Instead, surround yourself with a support system that wants to see you succeed in addiction recovery in our sober living environments.