What Are Amphetamines and How Do They Work?

Commonly prescribed to those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), amphetamines can increase an individual’s ability to focus and concentrate. They are also used to treat narcolepsy, a condition that causes people to fall asleep unintentionally.

As noted above, when amphetamines are administered, they enhance energy levels. It is this ‘energy boost’ that individuals seek out and become dependent on. Although people of all ages are at risk of abusing amphetamine and becoming addicted to the drug, it is common to find teenagers and young adults at school and college misusing amphetamines such as Adderall.

Amphetamines are usually found in tablet, powder, paste, crystal, and liquid form and are administered orally, via injection, snorting, or smoking.

There are many different names for amphetamines. However, in the United States, some of the most used names are:

  • Bennies
  • Crank
  • Chalk
  • Speed
  • Uppers
  • Zip

Why Are Amphetamines Addictive?

Amphetamines are among the most addictive drugs in the world. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) categorizes them as Schedule II controlled substances. This means they have limited medical use and carry a high risk of dependency. Due to this risk, the DEA restricts refills of amphetamine. Instead, a doctor must prescribe a new dose for them to be made available.

However, people are still able to access illegal and dangerous quantities of amphetamines. According to research by NCDAS, this results in 4.9 million people abusing prescription stimulants every year.

Regular use of amphetamines makes people more susceptible to addiction. An addiction develops when an individual begins using the drug to feel high or improve performance. Over time, the body and brain become addicted to the stimulant, leaving many reliant on it to cope with everyday life.

It should be noted that taking a prescribed amount of amphetamine drugs as advised by a medical professional does not usually lead to addiction.

Amphetamine Addiction at NP Addiction Recovery Center

Dangers of Amphetamine Abuse

"Amphetamines can have harmful effects on the body if they are abused. In addition to having a physical and psychological impact, they give way to many behavioral problems that impair a user's work performance, education, and social life.

Some dangers of amphetamine abuse include:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Heart problems
  • Increased body temperature
  • Skin flushing
  • Memory loss
  • Aggressive or violent behavior
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Hallucinations
  • Restlessness
  • Tremors
  • Skin sores
  • Insomnia
What Are Amphetamines and How Do They Work?
What Are Amphetamines and How Do They Work?
"Amphetamine addiction is signaled by a number of symptoms, including using medication in a non-prescribed way, loss of memory, changes in metabolism, increases in anxiety and/or insomnia, and changes in close relationships. If you experience these symptoms, do not hesitate and seek help today."

What Are The Signs of an Amphetamine Addiction?

When an amphetamine addiction develops, the individual may show changes in their behavior and actions. Some of the main signs and symptoms of addiction include the following:

Altered Drug Use

Using an amphetamine in a different way from how it was prescribed may be a sign of addiction. When prescribed, amphetamines are swallowed, which can cause a mild high.

However, when abused, many people will crush the pills into powder form before snorting them. Doing so provides a stronger and faster high.

In addition, many people will dissolve the powder of amphetamines to create a liquid form of the drug. From here, it is injected. This method creates an almost immediate, intense high.

These illegal ways of using the drug are considered an indicator of drug abuse.

Changes in Metabolism

Amphetamines can have a suppressing effect on your appetite, making those who abuse the drug feel less hungry. They can also cause the body to burn calories at a faster rate than normal.

Amphetamine Addiction at NP Addiction Recovery Center

Increased Anxiety and Insomnia

Amphetamines create such a drastic spike in chemical activity in the brain that it becomes difficult for the mind and body to switch off. Therefore, insomnia and increased anxiety are among the most frequent side effects of addiction.

Under the influence of amphetamines, many appear energetic and jittery as the drug has a speeding effect on the body. However, when it is wearing off, it is not uncommon to feel lethargic and depressed.

Increased Heart Rate and Breathing

Amphetamines speed up processes within the body that the central nervous system controls. This means that normal bodily functions, such as breathing and heart rate, may increase with drug use.

Amphetamine Detox

The first step in the recovery process is detox. When detox takes place, harmful toxins associated with amphetamine use are removed from the body.

It is entirely normal for changes in an individual's behavior and psychological state throughout the detox process to occur. This is because brain chemistry is forced to adapt. As amphetamine use reduces and an individual stops using drugs, the brain can go into shock. Leaving many people feeling that their brain isn’t functioning correctly, this side effect can be extremely challenging. For many people, this is the hardest part of recovery.

Various therapies can be used during this initial detox phase to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. The detoxification process generally lasts between one and two weeks and typically takes place under professional medical supervision.

At NPAC, we guide all our clients through the detox process in the most compassionate way possible. Our team is available twenty-four hours a day to monitor health and well-being. They can also prescribe any medication that may be required.

Amphetamine Addiction at NP Addiction Recovery Center

Amphetamine Addiction Treatment

At NPAC, we recognize that every person is unique, and their experience with addiction is too. However deep into addiction you are, support is available.

Unbeknown to many, detox is just the first step in the recovery journey. A full recovery requires those progressing through treatment to identify the root of the addictive behavior and develop coping mechanisms to manage them.

The most successful healing is holistic healing, which considers an individual’s well-being and provides necessary treatment for mental health disorders, such as anxiety, depression, or stress. As these underlying disorders often perpetuate addiction, treating them leaves many able to make a long-term recovery.

Providing personalized treatment programs tailored entirely to each person’s needs, we aim to give everyone the best chance of achieving their recovery goals. Focusing on personal growth, we help our clients by incorporating 12-step groups and creative therapies to help them reconnect with themselves physically and emotionally.

Our evidence-based treatment approaches include:

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Support groups
  • Art therapy
  • Music therapy
  • Recreational therapy
  • Medication

Contact Us Today

When you choose to embark on your recovery journey, you must remind yourself that you are not alone. Some of us at NPAC have also experienced recovery.

With our medical excellence, compassionate care, extensive knowledge and understanding, and unyielding respect, you can find an alternative to addiction.

Contact us today to discuss your needs with us. In doing so, our team can provide you with the support you need.

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~ Former Client
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