What is Amphetamine?

Amphetamine is a category of drugs that stimulate the central nervous system and the brain and is often prescribed for people with narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These medications increase alertness and focus by speeding up the metabolism and enhancing the effects of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. Because these medications have a high potential for abuse and addiction, they are classified as Schedule II substances by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).Amphetamines are a broad category of drugs, and there are several types that vary in chemical structure. You can find them in tablet, powder, pill, liquid, and paste form. They may be pharmaceutical, or produced illegally in a lab, and can be swallowed, snorted, injected, smoked, or dabbed on the gums. Some of the most commonly used amphetamines include:

  • Amphetamine – street names: uppers, speed, whiz, gooey, and louee
  • Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine or Adderall) and Dextromethylphenidate (Ritalin) – street names: uppers, pep pills, kiddie speed
  • Methamphetamine – street names: meth, crystal meth, base, crystal, ice, speed, pure, wax, fast, and in liquid form it may be called liquid red, red speed, leopard’s blood, or ox blood
  • Methylendedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) – street names: molly or ecstasy

Using any of these substances carries a high risk of addiction.

Amphetamine Effects

Common effects seen when using amphetamine drugs include:

  • Increased activity
  • A “rush”
  • Euphoria
  • Mental alertness and increased focus
  • Improved short-term performance
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Dilated pupils
  • Increased blood pressure and blood sugar
  • Decreased blood flow to organs

Using these types of drugs increases the risk of developing serious health issues, like irregular heartbeat, heart failure, developing dangerously high body temperature, and seizures, all of which may lead to coma or death if untreated by medical professionals.

Signs of Amphetamine Abuse and Addiction

Some of the most common signs a person may be abusing or has become addicted to amphetamine drugs include:

  • Marked weight loss and a decreased appetite
  • Spending a lot of time thinking about and using amphetamine drugs
  • Doctor shopping to get more prescriptions for amphetamines
  • Experiencing digestive issues
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Having difficulties keeping up with responsibilities and maintaining relationships
  • Continuing to use amphetamines even when it causes health issues, relationship issues, trouble at work, or other life problems
  • Having amphetamine cravings, feeling like you can’t get through the day without using, or experiencing discomfort or other withdrawal symptoms when you try to cut back or stop using amphetamine drugs
  • Experiencing serious mental health and mood changes including paranoia, anxiety, mood swings, and hallucinations

Amphetamine Withdrawal Symptoms

Common withdrawal symptoms people with a substance use disorder involving amphetamine drugs may experience when quitting may include:

  • Irritability and anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue                    
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory loss
  • Depression with or without suicidal thoughts

Some people may experience severe withdrawal symptoms from amphetamines that include cardiac problems and chest pain, serious headaches, and seizures. A medical detox program is the safest way to stop using these types of drugs, even prescription Adderall or Ritalin, ensuring you have 24-hour medical care and prescription medication options to keep you safe as your body adjusts to the lack of amphetamine medications in your system. A safe detox program will ensure you do not suffer from agitation, restlessness, pain, or other distressing symptoms, allowing you to rest and heal as your body cleanses itself and rebalances your brain chemistry back to normal levels.

Long Term Side Effects of Amphetamine Abuse

There are serious long-term side effects that are often found with amphetamine addiction and abuse, like:

  • Malnutrition due to unhealthy eating habits
  • Dental and periodontal diseases
  • Blood vessel, skin, and heart damage
  • Organ and tissue damage due to high body temperatures

Amphetamine Addiction Treatment

At TruPath, we can help you overcome your addiction to amphetamine drugs through a safe medical detox program, followed by inpatient residential treatment and outpatient programs like our intensive outpatient program, day programs, and continuing care. We incorporate our core values of integrity, personal growth, empowerment, teamwork, and education into a holistic treatment plan that will be customized to your unique needs, with therapies and treatments like:

  • Medication management
  • Medical care and treatments
  • Group therapy, individual therapy, and family therapy
  • Biofeedback treatments
  • Experiential therapy
  • Holistic therapy like yoga and meditation
  • Dual diagnosis for co-occurring mental health issues
  • Behavioral therapy like cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy
  • Case management services and connections to trusted sober living homes and sober communities

Overcoming amphetamine addiction is not easy, but with our team of caring and non-judgmental professionals by your side providing trauma-informed care, you can move forward in life healthy, drug- and alcohol-free, and prepared to face any challenge life can throw at you. Please call us today to verify insurance coverage or to learn more about our levels of care and how you can start down your road to recovery with TruPath now.