Amphetamine is a stimulant drug that raises energy levels and heightens awareness. Amphetamine-based medications, such as Ritalin and Adderall, are prescribed for the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Illicit variants of amphetamine include methamphetamine (meth) and MDMA (Ecstasy). When used for medical purposes, amphetamines can increase a person’s ability to focus. When misused, amphetamines can cause addiction and adverse health effects.
What Causes Amphetamine Addiction?
Amphetamine-based medications have been used for years to treat ADHD and narcolepsy, conditions of the central nervous system (CNS). Amphetamine acts on the CNS by increasing the transmission of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a key part of the brain’s reward system. Here are a few factors that can cause amphetamine addiction:
Increased Energy and Euphoria. While amphetamine medications provide corrective measures to those suffering from CNS conditions, others using amphetamine may experience an unprecedented surge of energy and euphoria due to the increase in dopamine. The feeling fades, but it can easily compel a person to seek out more of the drug.
Accessibility to the Drug. Roughly 6 million American children between 2 and 17 years old have been diagnosed with ADHD (9.4%) as well as nearly 1% of American adults. Due to their accessibility, some people without ADHD may borrow amphetamine medications from others in order to stay awake or have increased energy, thinking they are safe simply because they are prescription drugs.
Desire to Alleviate Mental Health Issues or Fatigue Conditions. Amphetamine drugs can increase energy, and they may also have an impact on depression. Individuals who suffer from depression and fatigue conditions may be drawn to amphetamines to alleviate exhaustion and pervasive feelings of sadness. But misuse or abuse can lead to dependence and potential addiction
Desire for Weight Loss. Weight loss is a side effect of amphetamine use because it often causes loss of appetite. Individuals feel more energy without needing to eat, which can burn more calories and potentially cause health problems. People looking for quick-fix weight loss methods may misuse amphetamines, and amphetamine abuse can even perpetuate eating disorders such as anorexia.
According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 4.9 million people misused prescription stimulants in the past year. While the prescription stimulant category of drugs includes more than amphetamines, amphetamine-based medications are often misused for the reasons above.
What Does Amphetamine Addiction Look Like?
How can you tell if someone you love is becoming dependent on or addicted to amphetamines? According to Healthline, here are some signs:
They start to miss work or school
They may not complete or perform tasks as well
They lose weight and you don’t see them eating
They have severe dental problems
They have episodes of violence and mood disturbances
They are suffering from paranoia
They are dealing with insomnia or restlessness
They experience hallucinations or delusions
They often seem confused or anxious
If your loved one finds it difficult to stop using amphetamines or begin experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as depression, fatigue, aggression, or anxiety, it may be time to seek treatment. According to Medical News Today, amphetamine abuse can cause damaging physical and psychological health effects, such as:
Cardiovascular problems, including stroke
Breakdown of muscle
Illicit forms of amphetamine, such as meth and Ecstasy, carry heightened risks of adverse cardiovascular events, hyperthermia (overheating), neurotoxicity, and psychosis.
Long-term effects of amphetamine abuse can include seizures, stroke, and dysrhythmias.
Can You Recover from Amphetamine Addiction?
Those suffering from amphetamine abuse or addiction can heal and lead fulfilling lives in recovery. With therapeutic interventions and support, individuals can regain their sense of well-being and rediscover their authentic selves. Because amphetamine abuse can cause long-term health problems, it’s important to get help as soon as possible. At BeWell Network, we treat amphetamine addiction and mental health issues in the same setting for the best chance of long-term wellness.
Help for Amphetamine Addiction and Mental Health Issues at BeWell Network
BeWell Network is a family of evidence-based treatment centers. We help individuals suffering from addiction find the path to recovery, offering customized treatment experiences for the restoration of the mind, body, and spirit. If you or a loved one is seeking help for amphetamine addiction or mental health issues, please get in touch with our team today. We can assess your situation and recommend treatment options, verifying your benefits for free. We have a no-hassle billing process and are committed to providing treatment designed specially for you.