Amphetamine Addiction: The Facts You Should Know About Amphetamines

In a world where millennials are desperate for liberty, drug abuse has taken its free, unhindered course. With alcohol taking the lead, amphetamines follow, as the second most abused drugs in the world today. 

It is general news that these drugs, over time, bring users to a state of helpless, compulsive use. This is known as addiction, and it is never pretty. Here, we consider some facts about amphetamine addiction that you might not have heard elsewhere.

We don’t intend to give you a long, boring lecture on chemical compounds, names, or structures. We promise to make this fun, educative, and easy to understand. Here are some interesting things to know about amphetamine and its addiction. 

Amphetamines: What about Them?

Here are some facts that can quickly give you a grasp of what amphetamines are.

  • Amphetamines are a group of highly addictive chemical substances that are strong stimulators of the CNS (Central Nervous System). 
  • They are not all bad. No drug is – they can only be abused. Amphetamines have original therapeutic uses. They are used for people with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hypersensitivity Disorder) and depression. In the past, they were used to treat some forms of epilepsy and obesity.
  • There’s a lot of ‘fake’ amphetamine circulating the drug market today. Many of these so-called look-alikes are produced in non-certified laboratories, and they’re the ones that many abuse. Like you can imagine, these counterfeits have a very high risk of overdose. 
  • When a doctor prescribes amphetamine, you hear brand names like Adderall, Concerta, Focalin, and Ritalin, to name a few. In the streets, meanwhile, nobody calls it “amphetamine” for obvious reasons. You hear common code names like crank, ice, speed, black beauties, bennies, hearts etc.
  • Ma-Huange is the name of the Chinese plant amphetamine is derived from. 
  • It was first synthesized by L. Edeleano, a German Chemist, in 1887.

Debunking Some Myths About Amphetamines

Over time, we find that most people delve into amphetamine abuse because they believe it can help them. Here are common myths about amphetamine addictions and the truth that surrounds them. 

Amphetamines do not improve focus

Many students, in the bid to score higher in their tests, begin amphetamine usage. In the long run, the opposite is the truth. All amphetamine does is give you a false feeling of increased focus. 

Amphetamines do not act like cocaine

The body immediately metabolizes cocaine and similar substances. Amphetamines, however, remain longer in the body system. Hence, their effects last longer. This is why amphetamine addiction is not as severe as cocaine.

That they’re legal doesn’t make them safe

Amphetamines should only be used when doctors prescribe them. Even when prescribed, folks who use them experience some forms of side effects.

Not all amphetamine is pharmaceutically-manufactured.

As we pointed out earlier, there are many counterfeit and look-alike amphetamine products. Caffeine and sugar are the most common additives these other products contain.

The effects of amphetamine abuse

Here’s how to know a person has been abusing amphetamine or using it for recreational purposes.

  • Inability to sleep (insomnia)
  • Ever conscious of your heartbeat within the chest (palpitations)
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure due to excess adrenaline.
  • Toxic psychosis conditions like hallucinations, panic, and paranoia.
  • Snorting amphetamine makes you suffer prolonged consequences like nose bleeds, and anosmia (inability to smell).
  • Injection, on the other hand, presents the risk of dangerous disease conditions like HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B&C, and tetanus.

Amazing Facts About Amphetamine Addiction

  • Amphetamine desensitizes the pleasure receptors in the brain. It messes so much with the reward centers that it is nearly impossible to feel any pleasure whatsoever until the drug is used.
  • Other humans who do not abuse amphetamines are not euphoric every time. When they’re not excited, they’re not helplessly sad either! They’re just normal. This, however, is not the case for amphetamine addicts. In the absence of pleasure, amphetamine provides, they experience a searing depression. Some of them even have suicidal thoughts. It’s that bad. These symptoms are more profound during attempted amphetamine addiction treatment.
  • When trying to stop, addicts may also experience other withdrawal symptoms. Some of them often include vivid and unpleasant dreams, sluggish movements, and slurred speeches.
  • Amphetamine has a therapeutic function of weight loss since it drastically reduces appetite. Amphetamine addicts are thus usually very skinny and malnourished. They barely feel hungry, and even when they do, they want ice!
  • Asides the feelings of depression, amphetamine addicts experience some unconventional amphetamine addiction symptoms. Some have auditory and visual hallucinations, while some have feelings of ants crawling beneath their skin.
  • Combining the abuse of opioids and amphetamine is an excellent recipe for disaster. They perform opposite functions in your body (opioids calm, while amphetamine excites), and do a good job of messing your system up. Nothing hastens amphetamine addiction like this poisonous combo.

How Do Amphetamines Work?

Here’s what we know thus far:

  • A so-called VMAT-2 protein functions to form small vesicles around excitatory neurotransmitters (majorly adrenaline and dopamine) in the neuron. Amphetamine inhibits this protein.
  • With VMAT down, storage is impossible, and these neurotransmitters leak outside the neurons into the central nervous system space.
  • Amphetamine also inhibits the reuptake of these chemicals into the neurons.
  • With damaged storage and hindered reuptake, there is a flood of these excitatory substances in the blood. They cause the effects that you see.
  • Increased levels of these chemical substances in the blood cause the effects of amphetamines that you see.

The Role of Dopamine in Amphetamine Addiction

Of all the neurochemicals that flood the nervous system, dopamine is the most relevant in any addiction.

Dopamine is a strong stimulant, and product of the brain’s reward system. The brain’s reward system produces dopamine in response to pleasurable experiences like having sex, eating food, or even something as trivial as talking with your crush. This way, it majorly contributes to the reinforcement effects of the drug.

The hallmark of amphetamine addiction is when tolerance sets in. At this point, the abuser needs increased doses of amphetamine to feel the same way he should feel when he uses the drug. And the required dosage keeps increasing.

How to Recover From Amphetamine Addiction

Bad habits die hard. Addictions die ‘very’ hard!

There’s no hard and fast route to amphetamine addiction treatment. However, one thing is certain: it takes a lot of time, courage, and patience. More importantly, it is possible to recover fully from amphetamine addiction.

Here are some tips to help:

  • The first step is detoxification.

You need to get out all the amphetamine from your system. Only medical professionals are certified to do this.

  • Work with addiction professionals and counsellors in changing behaviours that reinforce your drug use.
  • Depending on the severity of your addiction, you could need any of these: partial hospitalization, outpatient treatment, residential treatment, or recovery groups.
  • Different behavioural therapies are adopted in rewiring your brain to get off dependence on amphetamines. 

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

You have long talks with professionals, and together, you discover the truths behind the circumstances that stimulate you to use amphetamines.

Contingency Management

This treatment option focuses on reinforcing good behaviour (not taking drugs), as opposed to getting rid of the bad.

Matrix Model

This remains one of the most intense and effective treatment options. It is better structured and combines several therapies in one.

Remember that recovery doesn’t end with treatment. It is rather a lifelong process. You’d be doing yourself a service by getting into an aftercare program following amphetamine addiction recovery. Attending support meetings is a good place to start.

Conclusion

Amphetamine is a dangerous drug with even more dangerous side effects. It should only be used upon a doctor’s recommendation for severe mental illnesses. 

Now that you know how amphetamine addiction works, the next step is to recover from the addiction. The best course of action is to do it with the help of addiction treatment professionals. 

Here at Addiction Healing Centre, we offer customized treatment methods for amphetamine addiction. Together with our addiction experts, you can develop a coping mechanism that helps you maintain long-term sobriety. Contact us to get started today!

Amphetamine Addiction Treatment: What To Expect During Withdrawal

Typically, the withdrawal process for Amphetamine consists of several stages. This means there is a lot to expect during Amphetamine Withdrawal. By a lot, we are referring to the symptoms. The symptoms you may experience while undergoing withdrawal from any drug depend on personal factors and the medication you take. Examples of such individual factors include your metabolism and genetics.

Also, withdrawal problems can begin within a few hours of your last use of the drug. Conversely, they may take a few days to appear. It depends on the severity level of substance use. Sometimes, this uncertainty and the apparent severity of the symptoms may prevent you from trying to get amphetamine addiction treatment.

You may assume that life without a steady dose of amphetamines is impossible seeing how addicted you may have become to having them.

Nevertheless, a life without amphetamines is possible. A drug-free lifestyle is attainable. But first, you have to go through a detox process that begins with amphetamine withdrawal.

A thorough detoxification process can take anywhere from several days to a few weeks, so don’t be discouraged if changes are not felt immediately. Are you worried about withdrawal? This article will discuss Amphetamine withdrawal symptoms, treatment and effects. And most of all, we will also explore what to expect during amphetamine withdrawal. Come along, let’s take the first step to getting rid of amphetamine addiction in Vancouver together.

What is Amphetamine Addiction Withdrawal?

Amphetamine withdrawal is a class of metabolic trauma your body experiences when you stop using the drug after being dependent on it. Furthermore, the feelings associated with this process come in a different range of psychological and physiological symptoms. 

Sometimes, these symptoms can be dangerous if managed poorly.  Also, they may continue for weeks and thus lead to mental illness and physiological disorders. Your system is physically averse to pain, discomfort, and cardiac problems. If they occur, they can cause mental problems such as suicidal thoughts, depression, and increased paranoia. The symptoms that come with amphetamine withdrawal should be monitored 24/7 by experts with medical equipment on hand. This way, you can guarantee your health and safety.

Amphetamines are a class of stimulant-type drugs known for increasing energy, blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature. Typically, Amphetamines refer to prescription drugs like Adderall, which consist of Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, Methylin, and Concerta, etc. 

Medications like these are often used to treat ADHD, known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. These drugs are unlikely to cause addiction when prescribed by a doctor and taken at the intended dosage. However, when used over the dosage or for recreational purposes, addiction can happen.

What To Expect During Amphetamine Withdrawal

As you become physically dependent on Amphetamine, your body steadily adapts to its existence in your system. However, when you suddenly stop using drugs following long-term use, your body might become fiercely ill. It can also produce a range of withdrawal signs as it tries to adapt to the sudden absence of drugs.

These are what we call withdrawal symptoms. Amphetamine withdrawal symptoms can vary in severity level and type depending on the lifespan of use.

Some symptoms can be dangerous and life-threatening if you attempt to withdraw without consulting a professional. This is why residents in Vancouver are enjoined to get professional addiction treatment. It also increases the chances of reliable, comfortable withdrawal. To understand what amphetamine withdrawal will feel like, let’s take a look at the common symptoms below.

  • Pain and aches
  • Increased appetite
  • Realistic nightmares
  • Sluggish reaction or movement
  • Irritability and agitation
  • Hallucination and depression
  • Anxiety, seizures, twitches, and insomnia etc.

The Side Effects of Amphetamine Addiction Withdrawal

Withdrawal from specific drugs like benzodiazepines or alcohol can cause a critical or fatal risk to abusers. Luckily, the side effects of amphetamine withdrawal are not that intense. Nevertheless, withdrawal from Amphetamine results in almost mild physical signs that are undesirable but not life-threatening. 

These symptoms vary in intensity level and number for different people, but generally, they are often less critical than the threat posed by continuous abuse.

Although amphetamine withdrawal doesn’t normally pose a bodily risk to abusers, it doesn’t mean that quitting will be an easy ride. Drugs that can contain amphetamine withdrawal are often labelled as “severe psychological dependence drugs.” These drugs can help manage the symptoms.

Also, the usual psychological risks during the withdrawal process include drug cravings, depression, and anxiety. These psychological signs often make it extremely challenging for an abuser to combat the itch to resume using the drug. In severe cases, the anxiety and depression induced by drug withdrawal can cause violent or suicidal actions. This can harm you or those around you.

Treatment for Amphetamine Withdrawal

Generally, the treatment for amphetamine withdrawal includes care, support, and medication that can prevent possible complications and lessen symptoms.

Luckily, you can stop the use of amphetamine abruptly, and also manage your withdrawal symptoms alone. However, this is not recommended. Severe dependence and a pre-existing medical condition can heighten the symptoms and side-effects. Medically-assisted withdrawal at an addiction treatment centre is necessary to guarantee that you are safe and also help to minimize unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

How Long is Amphetamine Withdrawal?

Generally, the types of symptoms and severity level you may experience during withdrawal depend on several factors:

  • The lifespan of amphetamine usage
  • Height
  • Age 
  • Gender
  • Weight
  • Physical health and psychological health, and more.

However, a standard timeline for amphetamine withdrawal usually follows this pattern:

  • Day 1 – 3: Generally, the first few days of detox are naturally the hardest physically. This is because the brain is adjusting and re-learning to function without the drug. During this time, it’s natural for you to have disturbed sleep patterns, anxiety, depression, exhaustion, and irritability. Also, cravings for more amphetamine will probably manifest during this period.
  • Day 4 – 7: From the fourth day onward, symptoms will likely decrease in concentration, even though fatigue and cravings often persist.
  • Days 8 – 14: In this period, i.e., the second week of detox, unpleasant dreams while sleeping and insomnia is feasible. However, your appetite may be back to normal after prolonged suppression by the drug.
  • Day 15 – 28: Towards the end of the first month, a few symptoms from the second week may persist, especially cravings.

All in all, amphetamine withdrawal should not take more than a month. With the benefits you stand to enjoy when you get rid of this addiction, it’s certainly worth it.

Conclusion

Amphetamine withdrawal is the mixture of mental and physical effects that you may experience after quitting the abuse of the drug. Additionally, amphetamine addiction disorder can be challenging to treat. Sometimes, you may relapse after treatment. It’s a long process that is better undergone with expert addiction treatment services in the picture.

This way, even in the event of a relapse, they can provide encouragement and an actionable plan for getting sober again. Here at Addiction Healing Centre, we offer world-class addiction services for residents in Vancouver and across Canada. We can help you manage amphetamine withdrawal smoothly. Call 888-508-9802 to set up an appointment today!

Amphetamine Addiction: A Comprehensive Guide to Help You Stop It

The need for amphetamine addiction treatment is more rampant than most people in Canada know. The dependence on stimulants such as Dexedrine, Adderall and other illegal amphetamines is a widespread situation. If you or a loved one is addicted to amphetamines, the best recourse is to get addiction treatment in Vancouver ASAP.

However, understanding what amphetamine addiction is can be vital to the treatment process. Furthermore, knowledge of how amphetamines work can help recognize the symptoms of addictions and dependence. Finally, an extensive knowledge base comes with the tools to take on amphetamines addiction with a positive mindset.

In this blog, we will discuss the best addiction treatment techniques for amphetamine dependence, how it happens and what to expect during recovery.

What are Amphetamines?

The best description of amphetamines is that of a central nervous stimulant. Popular as a recreational drug, its use elicits feelings of confidence, increased energy and focus. Some experts describe the overall feeling as euphoric. 

Amphetamine was first produced in the late 1800s. However, the stimulant nature of its properties didn’t come into prominence until the later thirties. Since then, it has been used to treat hyperactivity disorders and narcolepsy.

However, the stimulating properties of amphetamine is the reason why there is a need for addiction treatment. This euphoric feeling is sought after by users, leading to a body dependence that is difficult to break. 

The popular versions of amphetamines that most people in Canada are addicted to include:

  • Adderall 
  • Dexedrine
  • Vyvanse 
  • Molly (a street name for an amphetamine)
  • Ecstasy (another street name)

Dexedrine is synthesized from dextroamphetamine. This is one of the key active components found in amphetamine. Dextroamphetamine is stronger than the other component (levoamphetamine) and has strong addictive properties. 

When it comes to how to recover from amphetamine addiction, Molly is a street (club) drug to be aware of. Dependence on it can lead to vivid mind-altering effects that can cause serious mental issues if left unchecked.

How People Use Amphetamines

Amphetamine addiction comes about in different ways. Most people crush the pills before snorting them. Others just take the pills like they would pain-relief medication. Cases of intense addictions are experienced for people that dissolve the pills in water before injecting it into the bloodstream.

A high percentage of people that need amphetamine addiction treatment are college students and young teens. This stat is due to a myth that the drug can enhance academic performances. However, a TIME article has debunked these conclusions. Conclusively, part of recovering from amphetamine addiction is understanding that it won’t help with academic performances. Any effects you or a loved one may be feeling is just the famous placebo effect.

The Top Signs of Amphetamine Abuse

A guide to beating amphetamine addiction is not possible without proper recognition of the signs. There are different ways to know if you have an amphetamine abuse problem. Various mental as well as physical indicators include:

  • Faster heart rate 
  • Increased blood pressure 
  • Mood swings 
  • Digestive upset 
  • Anxiety and paranoia 
  • Auditory and visual hallucinations 
  • Failure to fulfill home, school or social responsibilities due to the drug. 
  • Loss of interest in abilities except amphetamines are involved

The Dangers of Amphetamine Addiction 

The need for quick intervention when it comes to amphetamines cannot be understated. Some of the health risks that come with an abuse of the drug include:

  • Cardiovascular issues 
  • Stroke
  • Heart failure 
  • Extreme weight loss 
  • Health problems due to malnutrition 
  • Sleep-related issues. 

With high blood pressure comes damage to vital blood vessels as well as the heart. It also leads to elevated body temperatures that can affect tissues and certain organs.

In more detail, addiction to amphetamines can cause structural changes in the brain. This is why knowledge of how to recover from amphetamine addiction is important. A study has shown that it can destroy important grey matter present in the brain. Similarly, dopamine receptors can be damaged by amphetamines. This can affect how long addiction treatment will take. 

Treatment for Amphetamine Abuse and Addiction

Treating amphetamine abuse and addiction is a challenging prospect. The way it alters brain chemistry and severe withdrawal that follows the sudden loss of “pleasure” can be tough. However, thanks to advances in addiction treatment, experts in Vancouver can help people adjust this addictive behaviour for the better.

Some of the best treatment techniques for amphetamine addiction include:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

This covers the step-by-step review of the addictive behaviour. This method of amphetamine addiction treatment helps recovering addicts register the damaging effects of the drug. Also, it helps to develop personal coping techniques and emotional regulation prowess. 

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational techniques are designed to help addicts see that there is another path to take. Usually, it involves participation from recovered amphetamine addicts who have been sober for a long time. 

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Useful for treating mood disorders and personality issues that come with this kind of addiction.

Family Counseling

This usually starts with an intervention. Sometimes a supportive family may be the catalyst that helps an addict get treatment. However, it is important that family counselling is paired with professional addiction treatment.

Peer support or 12-Step Group Participation

Support groups are an important part of amphetamine addiction treatment. Through this group, recovering addicts can share inspiring stories, get questions to vital answers and build relationships that can help prevent a relapse.

Amphetamine Addiction Treatment in Vancouver

The best recovery plan from Amphetamine Addiction is to work with a professional addiction treatment service near you. With the combination of the treatments described above, it is very possible to recover from amphetamine addiction.

Here at Addiction Healing Centre, we offer top notch addiction treatment facilities coupled with expertise from the best in Vancouver. Let’s help you chart a recovery plan for amphetamine addiction. Call 8885089802 to speak with a friendly rep today!