Amphetamine misuse is a common concern for parents of teenagers and young adults. Amphetamines are often misused to help increase focus, concentration, energy, and performance. Unfortunately, misusing amphetamines regularly can trigger amphetamine withdrawal symptoms. Unfortunately, once someone reaches this point, they continue to use amphetamines to avoid withdrawal.
What Are Amphetamines?
Amphetamines are classified as stimulant medications often prescribed to treat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), narcolepsy, and obesity. The drugs speed up the transmission rate of messages sent via neurotransmitters and the central nervous system.
They do this by forcing the body to increase the release of the following neurotransmitters:
- Norepinephrine. This neurotransmitter regulates the body’s “fight or flight” response.
- Serotonin. Serotonin regulates moods, feelings of happiness, and sexual desire.
- Dopamine. Dopamine is directly related to feelings of pleasure and reward.
For someone prescribed amphetamines, the increase in these neurotransmitters helps rescue impulsive behaviors and hyperactivity while increasing attention, focus, motivation, and mood. When someone uses amphetamines illegally, the increase in these neurotransmitters causes them to feel more energetic, attentive, alert, excited, happy, focused, and calm. They will also experience appetite suppression. Additionally, some people can experience a euphoric state.
Amphetamines vs. Methamphetamines
Methamphetamines are synthetic drugs with longer-lasting and more intense effects compared to amphetamines. They are often made illegally by combining various household cleaners, cough medicines, and harsh chemicals. You may have heard methamphetamines called by these common street names such as meth, crystal meth, speed, crank, ice, and Scooby Snax.
While the chemical structure is similar to amphetamines, it is more dangerous and powerful. Meth is snorted, smoked, injected, and swallowed. Even at small doses, it is easy to get hooked on it. Since it is more potent than amphetamines, meth causes more damage to the brain and central nervous system with prolonged use.
Types of Amphetamines
Some of the more common brand names of amphetamines you may have heard are:
Dangers of Amphetamines
When amphetamines are used recreationally, the rush experienced from the increased release of neurotransmitters can make someone feel euphoric, reduce inhibitions, boost libido, and make one feel highly alert and energized. These sensations can lead to continued use of the drugs to experience these effects again.
However, continued recreational use causes the body to develop a tolerance to the drug’s effects. As a result, one needs larger doses to achieve the desired effects. Sadly, this results in an ongoing cycle of increasing doses as the body continues to build tolerance.
Long-term misuse of amphetamines can cause:
- Dependence and Addiction
- Anger and Hostility
- Drug-Seeking Behaviors
Additionally, the risks of accidental overdose, heart attack, and stroke are more likely to occur with elevated doses.
Amphetamine Withdrawal Symptoms
Amphetamine withdrawal symptoms will appear as the drug wears off. Some of the more common symptoms of withdrawal include the following:
- Irregular Sleep Patterns
- Feeling Constantly Fatigued and Tired
- Increased Appetite
- Stomach Cramping
- Mood Swings
- Deceased Focus and Concentration
- Uncontrolled Twitching
- Vivid Nightmares/Night Terrors
- Generalized Body Aches and Pains
Amphetamine Withdrawal Timeline
The amount of time to go through amphetamine withdrawal does vary based on several factors, such as:
- How long amphetamines were misused.
- The dosage amount being taken.
- The frequency of use.
- Genetic factors and family history.
- Your age, weight, and gender.
In general, withdrawal symptoms will become noticeable within the first day or two of discontinuing amphetamine use. The initial withdrawal symptoms can seem mild, and you may feel extremely sleepy.
After this initial “crash,” the amphetamine withdrawal symptoms continue to intensify until they peak in about four to seven days. After they peak, the symptoms slowly begin to wane until they subside entirely, which can take two to three weeks.
However, some people can also experience PAWs (post-acute withdrawal symptoms) that continue to last for several months or longer after the initial amphetamine withdrawal symptoms subside. Some of the more common PAWs symptoms associated with amphetamine use disorders are:
- Ongoing Depression or Anxiety
- Short-Term Memory Problems
- Difficulties Feeling Pleasure/Happiness
- No Self-Control
- Difficulties Maintaining Concentration and Focus
These symptoms will eventually subside with proper care and treatment for amphetamine addiction.
How to Safely Detox from Amphetamines
Attempting to discontinue amphetamine misuse at home by yourself is rarely effective and can be dangerous. The withdrawal symptoms can become so intense that you relapse just to make the symptoms go away.
Furthermore, some people can experience severe depression with self-harm thoughts. Sadly, this can cause them to commit suicide because they cannot see a way forward or past the withdrawal symptoms.
To safely detox from amphetamines, medically supervised detox at a Joint Commission-Accredited (JCA) facility is highly recommended. Accreditation ensures you receive the highest care level in a safe, supportive and caring environment. In addition, accredited facilities are held to high standards of care to maintain their accreditation.
Furthermore, your detox is managed by healthcare professionals and addiction treatment specialists to help reduce the risks of intense and severe withdrawal symptoms. You also have access to a range of amenities available at the facility, such as prepared meals, exercise, and individual and group counseling.
Detox and Addiction Treatment for Amphetamines in Pompano Beach, FL
Taking the first steps to amphetamine addiction recovery is easy by starting your detox at Retreat of Broward in Pompano Beach, FL. Our JCA facility offers medically supervised detox and personalized treatment programs to help you overcome your addiction. Get the help you deserve by contacting us today.