Amphetamines are strong stimulant medications often available only by prescription. These medications are used to help people stay alert in certain conditions. Amphetamines may be prescribed to treat narcolepsy (a disorder that affects the brain’s ability to control sleep-wake cycles) or to help pilots and soldiers stay awake for long periods of time. Some amphetamines are also used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Amphetamine use without a prescription is a growing problem. These drugs stimulate the nervous system, creating higher focus, energy, and a feeling of euphoria. Abuse of amphetamines is common in high school and college students as a study aid to increase focus and concentration. Abuse of these drugs is dangerous and can lead to addiction and other serious health problems.
Signs of Amphetamine Addiction
Amphetamine use often leads to addiction. If your partner misuses these drugs, it is important to watch for signs of addiction. The symptoms can be mild if the drugs haven’t been used for long periods of time. Continued abuse can lead to severe health problems.
Some of the most common signs of addiction include:
- Mood swings
- Increased energy
- Digestive problems
- Increased heart rate
- Decreased appetite and weight loss
- Dry mouth
- Dilated pupils
- Decreased fatigue
- A disproportionate amount of time devoted to seeking the drug
Amphetamine abuse often begins as a temporary solution to a stressful situation. As mentioned, these medicines are sometimes referred to as study drugs or performance drugs and have a reputation for helping improve focus in school or work. While users report higher focus and concentration while using these drugs, research suggests that these students do not actually perform better while taking the drug.
Amphetamines & The Brain
If your partner begins taking amphetamines as self-treatment for anxiety, depression, weight loss, or increased motivation, the initial reaction may seem like an improvement. However, amphetamines change the way the brain functions. These drugs can destroy the pleasure receptors in the brain, making it difficult for the user to experience happiness without them. The result is extreme hostility and depression when the drugs cannot be obtained.
Amphetamines are designed to be taken orally in pill form. Most people begin using the drug this way. As addiction increases, users may begin looking for ways to increase the effects and get high faster. Amphetamines are sometimes crushed and snorted or dissolved in water and injected directly into the bloodstream. These methods create a faster stronger high. If your partner has resorted to these methods, addiction is likely.
Severe Addiction & Binges
Severe addiction may trigger a desire within the user to seek the effects of the drug at all times. This level of abuse is extremely dangerous. Amphetamine binges are most likely the culprit if your partner is staying awake for days at a time. These binges are characterized by a strong desire to feel the continued effects of amphetamines. Users may take the drug continually without rest or nutrition until the body collapses. Repeated cycles of this type of binging have severe long-term effects on the heart and brain.
Extended abuse of amphetamines can have serious effects on the body. Repeated high doses of the drug can lead to medical emergencies including seizures, stroke, and heart attack. While high blood pressure is the most commonly reported problem related to amphetamine use, long-term abuse can weaken the heart and cardiovascular system.
The Road To Recovery
Recovering from amphetamine abuse is difficult. Patients often experience severe mental and physical distress when they stop taking the drug. Depression, extreme fatigue, and malnutrition are common. Withdrawal may be experienced, and mental symptoms can include hallucinations and violent behavior. Cravings for these drugs can be so strong that a patient suffering from withdrawal may not want to live without them. If your partner is facing amphetamine addiction it is important to seek medical help for recovery. The effects of these drugs can be reversed over time, and complete recovery is attainable.
Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing substance abuse and/or symptoms of a mental disorder, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.