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Amphetamine Addiction And The Best Rehab Centers For Treatment

Medically reviewed by

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

February 1, 2019

Amphetamines are psychoactive drugs that affect the central nervous system of the user. Because the effects of these drugs are very similar to those of cocaine, amphetamines are highly addictive and readily abused.

Reviews are mixed regarding the rather widespread medical use of synthetic psychoactive drugs called CNS (central nervous system) stimulants – or amphetamines. First synthesized, in the late 1880’s, by a German chemist, the’ stimulating’ properties of this drug went unrecognized until the 1930’s, when it was formulated as an inhaler to help reduce nasal congestion, known as Benzedrine.

From this application, its prescription was readily applied to a host of other ailments (as it was long-lasting, available and inexpensive), such as narcolepsy, depression, weight-loss, hyperactivity (in children), vomiting associated with pregnancy, and alcohol hangover. The other ‘properties’ of Amphetamine – increased tolerance, dangerous side effects, and addiction went unrecognized and unaddressed for thirty years.

It took thousands of cases of WWII veterans (no longer being given ‘stimulants’ to improve alertness, mood, endurance as during wartime) experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms, followed by housewives ‘helped’ and addicted to anti-depressants in the 1950’s (such as Miltown), and the prevailing illicit intravenous use of the drug, especially methamphetamine, in the 1960’s, before the medical profession acknowledged the addictive nature and dangers of amphetamines. Finally, in 1971, amphetamine was included in Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act.

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Since then, there is general agreement that amphetamine prescription for narcolepsy is acceptable, yet, its application in ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) with chemical derivatives such as Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta, and Dexedrine, as well as, in weight-loss or anti-obesity regimens (using orlistat aka Xenical), remains controversial.

The adverse and harmful side effects, especially in long-term use, or with the higher dosages associated with tolerance or recreational use, are pronounced and painful, for both body and brain. Very low-dose therapeutic applications for narcolepsy and certain children with ADHD show positive results in improved alertness and function, but unfortunately, most people using or misusing this readily available drug are risking their health, not realizing that ‘withdrawal’ from its influence is easier said than done.

High School and College students, innocently using amphetamines to enhance cognition, concentration, while maintaining a curricular and social life without enough sleep, can easily become dependent. Those individuals using purposefully or recreationally to enhance energy, alertness, initiative, libido, or to increase the effects of alcohol or other drug use, may well find, after a short time that they are in a ‘binge and crash’ cycle. ‘Crashed’ users experience severe depression, anxiety, extreme fatigue, and as expected, a craving for more drugs and the cycle continues… Chronic abuse can result in erratic, and violent behavior and even psychosis similar to schizophrenia involving paranoia, picking at the skin, and visual/auditory hallucinations.

Amphetamines affect the release of neurotransmitters, dopamine and norepinephrine, from nerve endings in the brain, inhibiting their uptake. This influx creates a buildup of neurotransmitters at synapses in the brain resulting in accentuated focus, alertness, ability to stay awake which lasts for hours, similar to the effects of cocaine which normally lasts only about an hour. But continual use begins to completely alter these relays in the brain, and they begin to breakdown and dysfunction, resulting in severe problems, in many cases, irreversible, even after complete withdrawal.

Those ‘bennies,’ ‘black beauties,’ ‘lid poppers,’ ‘white crosses,’ ‘chalk, crank, crystal, ice or glass,’ are dangerous and extremely addictive, with short- term and long-term side effects that can alter health in striking and severe ways.

Short-term Side Effects

  • Irregular or increased heart rate/beat
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased respiration
  • High body temperature
  • Decreased fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Dilated pupils
  • Decreased appetite
  • Hostility or paranoia
  • Increased activity/talkativeness
  • Release of social inhibitions
  • Euphoria, heightened sense of well-being
  • Heightened alertness, energy
  • Unrealistic feelings a grandeur, cleverness, power
  • Headache, nausea, palpitations
  • Altered sexual behavior
  • Cardiovascular system failure
  • Tremor / twitching of small muscles

Long-term Effects – from prolonged abuse or use in high dosages

  • Dizziness
  • Pounding Heartbeat
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Repetitive motor activity
  • Mood or mental changes
  • Mental Illness
  • Ulcers
  • Malnutrition
  • Skin disorders
  • Pale or flush skin
  • Vitamin deficiency
  • Loss of coordination and physical collapse
  • Toxic psychosis
  • Physiological and behavior disorders
  • Convulsions, coma, and death

Addiction to amphetamines needs immediate attention and action, whether for prolonged use or relatively recent use, and if a friend or loved one, or user needs help, inpatient care is the best way to heal, in order to have a real chance for recovery and to restart a life, once altered by addiction.

Recognizing the serious nature of these symptoms is mandatory, as they reveal life-threatening conditions which require inpatient care in a rehabilitation center. A monitored treatment for withdrawal from amphetamine addiction, whether it be meth or other types of amphetamine, is the best choice, as detox from this class of drug is truly difficult, and requires constant care due to the altered physical and mental states of the patient.

Quality rehabilitation considers those factors which helped spawn the addiction, as well as, the patient’s age, medical history, life-style and habits, exercise, nutrition, work, interests and overall well-being, in helping to foster a healthy and fulfilling life, long after inpatient care.

Please take and consider contacting as the next step in your recovery. Our caring counselors will help you find the right rehabilitation center to fit your needs. If you or a loved one is suffering from an addition to Amphetamine or other stimulant drugs, please contact us, now.

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