Ephedrine is a nervous system stimulant drug that acts as a decongestant and bronchodilator. The drug is primarily used to provide temporary pain relief for shortness of breath, chest tightness and wheezing caused by bronchial asthma. Doctors also prescribe this drug for other uses at their discretion.
Ephedrine works by reducing swelling and constricting blood vessels in the nasal passages, as well as widening the lung airways which allows for easier breathing.
Products containing ephedrine are commonly sold as over-the-counter aids to improve athletic performance, enhance weight loss, decrease cigarette craving, promote uterine contractions, and promote menstruation. It can help with a number of medical conditions. However, people often abuse ephedrine due to their association with weight loss. Many users of ephedrine are unaware of the risk of developing an addiction to ephedrine. However, with prolonged use, a tolerance can develop leading to dependence. Many countries have banned ephedrine, however, it is still legal to use for certain medical conditions.
The use of ephedrine can cause a series of adverse effects with both short and long term use. Some of the more common effects associated with use of ephedrine include:
The adverse effects do not always depend on the dose that has been consumed; however longer use can heighten the severity of the effects associated with the use of ephedrine.
As with most addictive substances, individuals who abuse or have developed an addiction to ephedrine will typically experience withdrawal symptoms when attempting to reduce ephedrine use or abruptly stop using the drug. The symptoms experienced during withdrawal vary, and treatment is similar to that of amphetamine withdrawal. Without medically assisted detox, the withdrawal symptoms will cause the individual to have an unpleasant and discomforting experience, including:
Withdrawing from ephedrine typically isn’t as severe as it is with other drugs; however, it can be very difficult for those who have developed a dependence on the drug. Harbor Village has ample experience treating stimulant abuse, including ephedrine, and can provide you with the tools for long-term recovery.
People who are addicted to ephedrine commonly take the drug in excessive doses only for recreational purposes. Prolonged use of ephedrine can result in the development of a tolerance for the drug, or even an addiction. Signs and symptoms associated with ephedrine abuse and addiction includes:
Ephedrine has been the cause of multiple deaths since its use has gained popularity. As a result, it is highly recommended to seek treatment for ephedrine abuse and addiction. Effective treatment implements the use of both medication and psychotherapeutic approaches.
In our detox environment, a non-addictive prescription drug is generally used in ephedrine addiction treatment to ease symptoms of withdrawal and to control cravings. Meanwhile, therapy and counseling are also effective in treating ephedrine abuse. This approach both identifies the root of the addiction and treats the psychological effects caused by ephedrine abuse.
If you or someone you love may have developed an addiction to ephedrine or has an ephedrine use problem, Harbor Village is here to help. We provide the support you need for a successful recovery. Give us a call today.