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Amphetamine Addiction: A Closer Look
“A Closer Look at Amphetamine Abuse: Side Effects, Withdrawal Symptoms and Overdose”
Amphetamine can be good or bad—it really depends on how you use it. It has its fair share of medical benefits. It is used in the treatment of ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, as well as narcolepsy.
However, when misused, this drug can also cause harmful side effects. This is why people are discouraged from using it recreationally.
Still, many people abuse amphetamines. That is why we’re discussing the various health effects of amphetamine abuse, and how addiction can ruin a person’s life. Later on, we will also discuss various treatment options that a person may go through in order to recover from their addiction.
An Overview: Amphetamine
Amphetamine is a powerful stimulant for the central nervous system. This substance affects the brain’s impulse control. This is what allows it to treat hyperactivity. It is also sometimes used to fight nasal congestion, obesity, and depression.
Its name is a contracted form of alpha-methylphenethylamine. And aside from the medical benefits mentioned above, it can also be used as a cognitive enhancer, or as a performance enhancer for athletes.
This drug is popular amongst illicit users because of its ability to provide euphoria. People risk getting addicted just to get that false sense of joy.
Because of the health problems associated with amphetamine misuse, this prescription drug is tightly controlled in many countries. Some people taking therapeutic doses can also experience side effects due to the drug’s potency. If your doctor prescribes it, be sure to follow their instructions carefully. Get in touch with your physician if you experience unusual symptoms.
It’s generally a good idea to stick with the prescription; don’t take this drug in higher doses, or for longer than is recommended.
Most side effects occur when someone takes too much of the drug too soon.
Side Effects of Amphetamine
Amphetamine side effects will vary from person to person. The intensity of such effects will also differ depending on the dosage taken and how often the drug is abused.
Unfortunately, amphetamine intake is usually higher in recreational settings because no one knows how much is “too much”. Abusers also don’t make it a habit of regulating their intake anyway. This is what puts them at higher risk of serious side effects.
Many amphetamine abusers see a sudden drop in their body weight. They may also experience hypertension, hypotension, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. Men may also suffer from erectile dysfunction, prolonged erections, or frequent erections.
Other common side effects are dry mouth, blurred vision, and profuse sweating.
The drug also affects a person psychologically. Users may become irritable, moody, anxious, and restless. However, in the worst cases, the person may even develop psychosis.
On top of all these adverse effects, overdosing on amphetamine is also a possibility. It is rarely fatal if the user is given proper treatment, but it is still quite uncomfortable.
With continued use of amphetamines, the abuser may become addicted to it. They will crave the drug compulsively, even when they are already experiencing its negative effects. The consequences won’t matter to them even when it is ruining their body, their career, and their interpersonal relationships.
In some people, they are physically unable to stop taking the drug. This is because they have already developed dependence.
They wouldn’t be able to get it out of their system without suffering from withdrawal symptoms. This often forces people into relapse. Amphetamine withdrawal kicks in after 24 hours of the last dose. This is known as a “crash”. Common withdrawal symptoms include depression, fatigue, sleeplessness, and intense craving for the drug.
Amphetamine Addiction Treatment
Finding a good treatment facility near you can go a long way in helping an addicted individual recover. There are many treatment methods that may be used to handle amphetamine addiction, but it will depend on their condition.
Most patients undergo detoxification, a medically supervised procedure that involves gradually lowering their amphetamine intake. During this process, their withdrawal symptoms are monitored and managed.
Some medications may also help keep these symptoms away. For example, benzodiazepines can help against irritability and agitation.
Once the detox is over, the patient will go through counseling, so they can readjust to a sober life. They will learn how to cope with their problems without relying on drugs or relapsing. After all, the ultimate goal of addiction treatment centers is to achieve sobriety and maintain it.