Amphetamines are stimulants to the central nervous system. Originally used as a nasal decongestant, amphetamines can create feelings of higher energy, better focus and greater sense of self-confidence.
Amphetamines do have legitimate medical benefits when prescribed by a doctor and administered at the proper dosage. In particular, they can be used to treat hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder, as individuals with these conditions typically react to amphetamines in a markedly different way. The medications can also be used to treat depression in some instances.
Prescription amphetamines include Dexedrine, Vyvanse, Adderall, and other ADD medications. You may also be familiar with illegal stimulants — such as methamphetamine (or just “meth”), which is even stronger than amphetamine but shares a similar molecular composition, and MDMA (a.k.a. “ecstasy” or “Molly”), which amplifies certain senses and also has hallucinogenic qualities.
Prescription amphetamines may be taken orally, providing energy and a mild high. However, many people who abuse amphetamines prefer to crush up the pills to form a powder and snort it through the nose, as it provides a much quicker, more intense feeling of euphoria. Others dissolve the pills or powder in water, then inject the amphetamine solution into the veins.
No matter what form they take, amphetamines are extremely addictive. In fact, a study from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2015 reported that as much as 1.8 percent of the United States population over the age of 12 is addicted to prescription amphetamines. Meanwhile, a separate study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse focused on methamphetamine abuse, which affects about 0.4 percent of the population.
Amphetamines (including meth) cause changes to the brain’s neural pathways, effectively neutralizing the pleasure receptors and severely limiting the body’s ability to experience pleasure without the drug. As a result, people who use amphetamines deal with powerful cravings when not using, along with depression and anxiety. In addition to destroying dopamine receptors, amphetamine abuse can destroy gray matter in the brain.
There are a number of physical and behavioral symptoms that accompany prescription amphetamine abuse, including:
Also, the use of meth can lead to sores on the body, as well as dental decay, tooth loss and drastic weight loss.
Misusing amphetamines can lead to physical injury due to risk-taking behavior, cardiovascular problems (such as heart attack and stroke), sleep deficiency, and malnutrition.
The loss of pleasure that accompanies amphetamine abuse can make it a challenging addiction to treat. However, amphetamines treatment through drug rehab is possible, and there are a number of therapies that have demonstrated success — including cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and trauma therapy. These approaches work to uncover the origins of your substance use disorder and work through them, incorporating tools to cope with cravings and other challenges along the way.
We understand from experience the challenges of dealing with amphetamine abuse and can help. Give us a call today, and let’s get started.