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Amphetamine Addiction Treatment

Amphetamines are also known as “uppers,” and for good reason. These drugs stimulate the nervous system to create a sense of well-being or euphoria. People who use uppers can become addicted to these drugs quickly, and start taking more in an effort to recreate the intensity of the initial high they experienced.

These drugs act as an appetite suppressant and can be prescribed to treat obesity on a short-term basis. They can also be prescribed for narcolepsy and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Amphetamines are a treatment choice for depression that has not responded to other forms of treatment, as well as asthma.

Amphetamine Addiction Facts

  • Amphetamines work by increasing the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. These are two chemicals that are linked to feelings of pleasure.
  • When someone takes these drugs, they work to increase the user’s heart rate and blood pressure. The blood glucose levels in the body increase and the pathways in the respiratory system open up.
  • The increased level of dopamine causes the user to experience a sense of well-being or a “high.”
  • Over time the user finds it difficult to experience pleasure that is not accompanied by the drug use.
  • Long-term use of amphetamines can affect the user’s brain and cause memory problems and difficulties with coordination.
  • High doses of amphetamine taken during a short time can cause feelings of paranoia.
  • A person who has been using amphetamine for some time will start using higher doses of the drug1 in an attempt to get the same level of euphoria that he or she experienced previously. At that point, they have become addicted to the drug.
  • High doses of amphetamines can cause an increase in body temperature, which can lead to confusion and convulsions2. In some cases, amphetamine use can be fatal.
  • Dental problems are another symptom of amphetamine addiction. Meth mouth is a term used to describe the tooth decay that some addicts experience.
  • Stopping amphetamine use all at once will trigger withdrawal symptoms in users.

How Amphetamine Addiction Treatment Works

A person who is addicted to amphetamine needs to follow a treatment approach that includes a detox phase first. This is the part of the program where the addict’s body gets rid of the drugs. Withdrawal symptoms that the addict will experience during this time include cravings, sleep disturbances, body aches and pains, increased appetite and irritability3.

This phase of the amphetamine addiction treatment should be supervised by people who are knowledgeable about this form of addiction and can monitor the addict’s condition during the process. This phase can last for up to 14 days, depending on how long the person used the drug and how much of it they were ingesting.

Once the drugs have left their system, the addict needs to go to an amphetamine rehab facility or a center that specializes in treating amphetamine addiction to complete the treatment process and put them on the road to recovery.

Citations

1Medline Plus
 General information about amphetamines
 View Resource

2KidsHealth.org
 Methamphetamine facts, including what happens when someone uses a high dose.
 View Resource

3Meth.org.au
 Guide to getting off meth; withdrawal symptoms
 View Resource

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