Getting Amphetamine Addiction Help

Amphetamine abuse and addiction have become serious problems in the United States. In fact, some experts are even comparing their misuse to that of the current opioid epidemic.

If you’re abusing these drugs, or if you have an addiction, you need to consider getting treatment. You may need to go through a period of detox and then get further assistance through an Amphetamine rehab program.

It’s understandable if you think that your addiction is out of control. Many people believe that there’s nothing they can do to stop taking these drugs. Because of that belief, they resign themselves to taking them forever. We want you to know that you don’t have to continue to live that way. There are ways for you to get help so you can stop.

It’s important to understand the seriousness of your addiction. A doctor may prescribe amphetamine drugs, but that doesn’t mean they’re safe. If you’re misusing them in any way, you are continually putting your life at risk.

What is Amphetamine and What is it Used for?

Amphetamines are psychoactive drugs that are central nervous symptoms stimulants. They have been around for more than 100 years, and they have historically been used to treatment a wide variety of ailments in both adults and children. This was mostly because they produced long-lasting effects, they were readily available, and they were relatively inexpensive. These medications have been used in the treatment of:
  • Depression
  • Weight loss
  • Narcolepsy
  • Morning sickness and vomiting in pregnant women
  • Hyperactivity in children
For many years, the medical community refused to properly acknowledge their addictive capacity. As a result, these medications wasn’t labeled addictive until 1971. Today, doctors still prescribe them, but with the proper warnings, and they’re careful to give small doses. Some of the more popular ones include:
  • Ritalin
  • Adderall
  • Dexadrine
  • Xenical
  • Benzedrine
  • Concerta

On the street, amphetamine can go by several different names. These include:

  • Black Beauties
  • Crank
  • Ice
  • Bennies
  • Uppers
  • Speed

Regardless of what they’re called, these medications are dangerous when they’re taken without a prescription. However, there was a time when they were given out freely because of their perceived benefits.

Amphetamine was first made in 1887 by a Romanian chemist in Germany named Lazar Edeleanu. He named it phenylisopropylamine. Interestingly enough, the drug’s stimulant effects were unknown until 1927. At that point, it was independently resynthesized by a man named Gordon Alles.

As a drug, it didn’t have any medical use at all until late 1933. During that year, Smith, Kline and French started selling it as an inhaler. They gave it the brand name, Benzedrine and it was marketed as a decongestant drug. Three years later, they developed Benzedrine sulfate, which was used to treat a lot of different conditions. They included:

  • Narcolepsy
  • Obesity
  • Low libido
  • Chronic pain
  • Low blood pressure

During World War II, both amphetamine and methamphetamine were used by both sides to enhance their performance. Their stimulant effects were very useful during battle. It was during that time that the drug’s addictive properties became better known.

In the 1970s amphetamine became a controlled substance under Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act. Today, it continues to be used as a prescription medication. However, it is also offered on the black market, illegally.

There’s no doubt that the number of prescriptions written for these drugs has been climbing. Many children are placed on them, but the number of adults taking them has increased as well.

Consider the following statistics:

  • In 2005, there were 169,000 emergency room visits for primary amphetamine or methamphetamine abuse.
  • This represented 9% of all drug related admissions during that year.
  • Of these admissions, the drug users were much more likely to be female.
  • There has been a substantial increase in emergency room visits for people using these drugs between 1995 and 2002.
  • Full time college students between the ages of 18 and 22 were twice as likely as non-full time students to have used Adderall nonmedically during the last year.
  • These individuals were also much more likely to have used another drug during the last year.
  • Close to 90% of full time college students who abused Adderall were heavy alcohol users.

Without a doubt, we’ve become a country that is focused on amphetamine medications as a way to live. Both children and adults are taking drugs like Adderall, and many are doing so recreationally. Today:

  • There are millions of Americans who engage in the unsupervised and illegal use of amphetamine.
  • Hundreds of thousands of these individuals will eventually become addicted to them.
  • By 2012, adults were receiving more prescriptions for these drugs than children.
  • During that year, 4% of all adults were on one of these medications.
  • Two-thirds of them were between the ages of 18 and 25.

Check out this video for more information on the amphetamine problem in the United States:

Like any other drug, amphetamine does have side effects. When you’re taking your medication appropriately – meaning, you have a prescription and follow it correctly – they may go away eventually.

Some of the more common side effects of amphetamine that people experience include:

  • Trouble sleeping at night
  • Maintaining a false sense of well-being
  • Chronic nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Symptoms of anxiety
  • Pain in the upper abdominal area
  • Easily angered or annoyed
  • Feeling nervous
  • Vomiting

There are some side effects that are rare, but that should be reported to your doctor if you have them. These include:

  • An abnormal heart rhythm
  • A painful erection in men
  • Hives
  • Hallucinations
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • High blood pressure
  • The onset of psychosis
  • Seizures

When doctors’ instructions are followed precisely, most people don’t experience many problems with amphetamine use. However, taking this drug for longer than you should could result in serious effects.

What is Amphetamine Abuse?

There are several types of uses that could fall under the heading of amphetamine abuse. Basically, this means that you’re taking this drug in an inappropriate way. Some examples of this type of use are:

  • Mixing the medication with other drugs or alcohol.
  • Taking too many doses of it during the course of the day.
  • Taking too much of the drug at one time.
  • Taking it in a way that doesn’t involve swallowing the pills. For example, some people will snort it or crush the pills and mix them in water to inject them.
  • Taking this medication – even in normal dosage amounts – without a prescription.

It is extremely dangerous to abuse amphetamine medications. You do run the risk of dependence, even if you’re only abusing it for a short time. The following video gives a great explanation of what happens when you abuse these drugs:

This is a great question. For people who have never had any addictive behaviors, it may confuse them as to why someone would abuse amphetamine. However, people do it for all kinds of reasons, and not necessarily for the purpose of getting high.

For many people, abusing their ADHD medications happens because they form a tolerance to them. This means that over time, their bodies adjust to how much they’re taking. Eventually, they start to be less effective, even at the regular, doctor-prescribed dosage. When this happens, what they should do is talk to the doctor. Instead, they’ll often just take more of the drug to get the result they’re looking for.

Others may abuse amphetamine to reach a certain goal. This is a very popular medication among college students. They’ll often take it to stay awake and study at night, or for other reasons. Some people simply like the feeling that these drugs will produce when they take them. They can result in a feeling of euphoria for those who don’t medically need them.

For many college students, finals week consists of staying up late and cramming for their upcoming exams. Many will do this with a pot of coffee or energy drinks by their sides. Others will turn to amphetamine to get them through those long nights. They’re known as “study drugs.”

One student from the University of Nevada Reno says, “It is crazy how many people are on Adderall late at night in the Knowledge Center during finals week. It seems like everyone is using it, and if they’re not, they’re looking for it.”

However for a lot of students, it’s not just about using amphetamine to stay up late and study. Some depend on the drug for other reasons. In fact, many people claim that they don’t even feel smart if they’re not using a medication like Adderall. Others state that they feel depressed without it, which leads them to abuse it consistently.

Students using amphetamine may refer to them in code terms, like “study buddies” or “good grade pills.” The worst part is that a lot of universities don’t view the misuse of these medications as academic dishonesty. Most have rules about the possession or use of unauthorized prescription drugs. Yet, they’ll overlook their use during major exams.

It’s not difficult to score some Adderall, Ritalin or Vyvanse on many college campuses. Students who are diagnosed with ADHD will often not need all of their medications. They’ll sell the rest to their peers to make some extra money on the side. However, this isn’t true across the board.

One student, who has been diagnosed with ADHD, likens the practice of selling their medications to drug dealing. They were quoted as saying, “I think using Adderall is 100 percent cheating, except for me because I need it. It’s a performance enhancer. It’s like an athlete taking steroids. Some people need steroids for growth problems; others cheat for personal gain.”

This video gives an excellent overview of the use of Adderall from the point of view of a college student:

For someone who is abusing amphetamine, the above mentioned side effects will be quite pronounced. The longer the abuse continues, the more dangerous the drug becomes.

The effects of abuse might include:

  • Permanent mental and cognitive impairment (visible through MRI)
  • Serious memory issues
  • The onset of depression
  • The onset of psychosis
  • Heart problems
  • Malnourishment
  • Becoming socially withdrawn

People tend to think that these drugs are safe because they’re prescribed. However, this belief is actually what makes them so dangerous.

Can Someone Become Addicted to Amphetamine?

Yes, you can easily become addicted to amphetamine if you’re abusing it. One of the first signs of addiction is that you form a tolerance to the drug you’re using. You may begin to notice that you need to take more, or take it more often than you did before. Once this occurs, you have developed a dependence on it, which can quickly lead to an addiction.

It’s possible to become both physically and psychologically dependent upon amphetamine. When you take this medication, it causes the release of excess amounts of dopamine in your brain. Dopamine is the chemical that makes you feel happy, and you likely experience its release all day long. When you eat a delicious meal, or you spend time with your friends, you’re experiencing dopamine.

Physically, your brain begins to depend on amphetamine for the release of any dopamine. It’s no longer able to do it on its own, even when you would normally be happy. At that point, you’ve become physically dependent.

Psychologically, people start to believe that they need the drug to feel like themselves. A perfect example of this is when a college student states that they don’t feel smart unless they’re using Adderall. If you are convinced that you need amphetamine to feel normal, you have a psychological dependence.

How Hard is it to Stop Taking Them?

It is extremely difficult to stop taking medications like Vyvanse and Adderall. These drugs become almost like a part of who you are as a person once you’re addicted. If you have the desire to stop, your body and your mind are going to protest to that. For this reason, many people feel that it’s impossible for them to quit using amphetamine.

Amphetamine Rehab Information

When amphetamines are stopped abruptly, because of the impact they have on the brain and body, it makes sense to expect some form of withdrawal to take place.

These are powerful medications, and they alter the brain’s chemistry in a dramatic way. It should come as no surprise that stopping them results in withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • An increase in sensations of hunger
  • An increase in fatigue
  • Stomach pain and discomfort
  • Difficulties with coordination
  • Body shakes and even the possibility of seizures
  • Insomnia
  • Vivid, unpleasant dreams
  • Psychomotor agitation
  • Symptoms of depression and/or anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Body aches and pains

More severe withdrawal symptoms have occurred as well, and these are dependent upon a few different factors. The person’s metabolism, how much of the drug they were taking, and how often they were using them all play a role. These more dangerous symptoms include dehydration, cardiac arrest, tachycardia and arrhythmia.

One of the questions people often want to get answered is, how long will amphetamine stay in my system? What they’re really asking is, when will this all be over?

Again, the duration of your withdrawal symptoms depends largely on a few different factors. How long you were using the medications and how much you were taking are both important indicators. However, there is a general timeline that you can follow.

  • During the first three days, your withdrawal symptoms will at their worst. At the end of this time, you’ll experience the peak. You’ll have intense cravings, depression and other symptoms in the beginning.
  • On days four through seven, your symptoms will begin to improve, but many of them will still be present. You may feel disoriented at times, and you’ll feel extremely tired. However, it may be difficult for you to sleep.
  • During the second week, many of your symptoms will have resolved. You will still have cravings that come and go. You may be more irritable and have bad dreams. .
  • During week three, cravings will still persist. You may feel apathetic or depressed, but you should be feeling better.
  • By week four, many of your symptoms should have resolved. You may be struck by periods of brain fog, and you may still struggle to sleep well at night.
  • At the three to six month mark, you may find that many of your withdrawal symptoms return. You may suddenly feel depressed and very fatigued. Your appetite may increase and sleeping might be a struggle for you once again. This is called post-acute withdrawal syndrome, or PAWS.

Getting Help With Your Amphetamine Addiction

Fortunately, there are ways that you can get help to recover from your amphetamine addiction. You don’t have to go through this on your own, nor should you attempt to. With the right treatment, you can get treatment for your withdrawal symptoms. You can also get help with the psychological part of your addiction when you go to a rehab facility. However, the first step will be to detox your body from these drugs.

The Detoxification Process

Most people are recommended for amphetamine detox when they first stop using these drugs. This allows them to get the appropriate type of treatment, based on their needs.

The idea of detoxing might be new to you. You may have thought that you only needed to go to rehab to recover from your addiction. The fact is that withdrawal can be very serious, and it can even lead to medical complications. Going through detox will help to protect you from potential problems. It may also allow you to avoid many of the above symptoms altogether.

The first step your doctor takes may be to have you taper off your medication. A medical taper is a much better approach than going cold turkey. If you stop amphetamines too quickly, it could throw you into withdrawal very fast. Tapering will allow your doctor to slowly decrease how much of the medication you’re taking. This could reduce the severity of your symptoms.

The next step may be to have you go through medical detox. This simply means that you’ll be given medications to help reduce the severity of withdrawal. Your doctor may prescribe drugs to decrease the chance that you’ll experience dangerous symptoms. For instance, if they deem you to be a seizure risk, you may be placed on an anticonvulsant medication.

As your detoxification continues, you’ll be assessed daily by the medical team. They may add or take away medications as needed. They’ll want to keep you comfortable as the amphetamine leaves your body and you adjust to no longer taking it.

It’s very likely that you will also receive holistic treatments during the detox portion of your recovery. These are non-medical methods that will assist your body in removing toxins associated with amphetamine.

One of the first steps will be to have you meet with a nutritionist. There’s a good chance that your diet will need to be adjusted. You could be malnourished because the medication took away your appetite. The nutritionist will want to work with you to get you back to eating healthy meals. This is also going to strengthen your liver and kidneys so they can process toxins out faster.

You may also begin an exercise program. Exercising during detox is very important because your body will get rid of toxins when you sweat as well. You’ll feel better when you get some type of physical activity every day because of the natural boost in endorphins.

Can You Detox on Your Own at Home?

It may cross your mind to want to attend an at home drug detox right away. Maybe you’ve known others who have tried it, and it seemed to work for them. You can find a lot of information about different methods you can try at home. However, we want to caution you against using them.

As of right now, there are no FDA approved methods for at-home detox. That means that there’s no real way to tell whether or not what you attempt will be safe. You may come across various vitamins and supplements online that all promise fantastic results. However, if you suffer from any complications, you could put your life in danger. It’s best to choose a professional detoxification program instead.

The Need for Amphetamine Rehab

Once you have safely detoxed from amphetamine, you’ll be ready to continue your recovery during rehab. Rehabilitation is such an important part of the healing process. It’s vital for you to address the psychological part of your addiction. Whether you believe it to be true or not, there is a part of your brain that believes you need these drugs. Going to rehab will help you understand that this belief is false.

You’ll be working closely with a therapist who will assess you for any co-occurring disorders. Many people who abuse amphetamine actually suffer from conditions like depression or bipolar disorder. If you have a mental health condition, they will treat it so that you can begin the recovery process the right way.

In most cases, an inpatient rehab is the best option for you if you’re addicted to amphetamine. You probably need a higher level of care; especially if this is the first time you’ve ever sought help.

There is a very good chance that you could relapse if you’re not in an inpatient setting. That’s something you want to avoid, because it could put your life at risk if you end up overdosing.

When you opt for an inpatient treatment program, you’ll find that you receive all the help and support you need. There will always be someone there to talk to when you’re having a difficult time. You’ll also be surrounding yourself with people who all have a recovery mindset. That’s important because you’ll need the time to teach yourself what it’s like to live without relying on amphetamine to help you.

Even though an inpatient program might be the best option, it’s also not feasible for everyone. This might be the case for you. If that’s the case, there are other ways you can get help to recover.

You may want to first consider attending an intensive outpatient program, or IOP. This is a type of rehab that will allow you to live at home. You can even continue to work and care for your family. Your appointments will be held during the evening hours, which makes it very convenient.

Therapy may be another option for you to consider. An outpatient rehab would connect you with a therapist who could help you through your recovery. The only issue is that you wouldn’t see them that often, which could put you at risk for a relapse.

Finally, you can also get support if you go to Narcotics Anonymous meetings on a weekly basis. These meetings are held all over the country, in almost every city. It’s easy to find one near you. They’re led by other recovering addicts and it’s really a group therapy setting. The organization has helped millions of people recover from all types of drug addictions.

Will Insurance Cover Amphetamine Rehabilitation Programs?

One of the most common questions that’s asked about amphetamines rehab is, will addiction treatment be covered by my health insurance? This is a great question, and it’s important to get an answer to reassure yourself that you won’t have to pay for it on your own.

Everyone who needs addiction treatment is able to go because of our new healthcare policy in the U.S. Changes in healthcare have allowed so many more people to get the help they need, because insurance companies are required to provide benefits to help cover the costs. There are even instances in which detox and rehab are covered in full.

If you have questions about your own health insurance coverage, contacting a local treatment center. They can verify your insurance to get information about your policy and benefits. They can also work with your insurance company to minimize your out of pocket costs.

How to Choose the Best Addiction Treatment Center

It’s not always easy to know how to look for the best option for rehab. When you search online, you may find that there are hundreds of possibilities near you. Still, there are a few characteristics that indicate one facility might be better than another.

Before you commit to a rehab program, look for the following features:
  • A smaller patient population with many staff members.
  • A detoxification program.
  • Accreditation through The Joint Commission.
  • A better than average long-term success rate.
  • Staff members who are committed to seeing you recover successfully.
  • Utilization of the most modern addiction treatment methods available.
Amytal Addiction Treatment

How Can You Begin Treatment for Your Amphetamine Addiction?

At Northpoint Washington, we want you to know that we understand the situation you’re facing. Right now, your life might feel hopeless. You may feel like you’re a prisoner to your addiction. We want you to know that you’re not. With the right treatment, you can overcome your dependence on amphetamine.

We offer one of the best detox programs in the area. We can also provide you with rehabilitation services through our inpatient treatment center. Our caring and helpful staff members are here for you every step of the way.

Do you have more questions about amphetamine addiction or rehab? We’re here to answer them. Please contact us right away.

Talk to a Rehab Specialist

Our admissions coordinators are here to help you get started with treatment the right way. They'll verify your health insurance, help set up travel arrangements, and make sure your transition into treatment is smooth and hassle-free.

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