Get help to quit amphetamines with the UK’s leading rehab placement service.
*This page was medically reviewed by Dr Robert Lefever in April 2021
Those unfamiliar with the world of drugs will not know that Amphetamine is another name for “speed”. This drug is commonly taken recreationally to enhance a night out. It is a known ‘dance’ drug, meaning it is often used in nightclubs.
Amphetamine is dangerous because it imbibes the user with a carefree attitude. While there is no harm in happiness, there is harm in being so suggestible that you go home with a perfect stranger because you are unable to contemplate those actions might have consequences.
What is Amphetamine Addiction?
To understand whether you or someone else has an addiction to amphetamines and how to get help for amphetamine addiction, it is first important to understand exactly what this drug is and how it works.
Amphetamines are stimulants and they have an impact on the central nervous system. They can be prescribed as a health treatment for several different issues, for example, asthma, hyperactivity disorders like ADHD, and narcolepsy[i].
Adderall and Ritalin are two of the most common stimulants that doctors will prescribe for hyperactivity. While these drugs are medically intended for ADHD and other disorders like this, they are also two of the most abused stimulants.
How is Amphetamine Used?
There are several different ways in which amphetamines are abused. The first is when the person taking them does not have a prescription and is purchasing them illegally. Another scenario would be when an individual has been prescribed them by their doctor, but they are taking doses more often than prescribed or taking a higher dose than was recommended to them.
Although amphetamines are usually taken orally, some people may crush them and then snort them so that they can have a more powerful high. If you are crushing and snorting prescription drugs, you are addicted
Amphetamines Mixed with Other Drugs
Some users will mix amphetamines with other drugs to get a different high. There are also differing categories of amphetamine. Methamphetamine, for example, is better known as Crystal Meth. Amphetamines are known to have been mixed with heroin, barbiturates, and can come in concentrated form.
Other Names for Amphetamine
Amphetamines are known by their prescription’s names. Some of these include:
Street names, on the other hand, might include:
- Pep Pills
What does Amphetamine do to your Body?
The brain is made up of nerve cells, which are called neurons, and they communicate with each other through the release of neurotransmitters[ii]. Amphetamines have an influence on your brain’s key neurotransmitters that are related to your levels of motivation, motor control, reward, blood flow, alertness, and attention.
Amphetamines increase the impact that these chemicals have on the brain and the body. This means that they induce a feeling of euphoria, as well as creating a rewarding feeling that motivates you to continue using them. If you use amphetamines regularly, you will start to become tolerant to them, which means that you need to continue to increase the amount you take all the time to have the same effect. This is how you end up being addicted.
The Causes of Amphetamine Addiction
What causes someone to turn to addiction in the first place? The causes of amphetamine addiction are wide and varied, but here are a few scientific reasons.
Employment or Lack of it
You may feel like you are unable to perform in the workplace to the level that is demanded or that you cannot get the job that you want. It can be tempting to take amphetamine to increase your sociability, confidence, concentration, alertness, and energy.
A Stressful Life and Underdeveloped Coping Strategies
A lot of people have stresses in their life that appear to build up and it seems like there is no end in sight. If this sounds familiar and you are struggling to tolerate stresses in your life, it can be tempting to turn to drugs after trauma because you are not aware of any other adequate coping strategies[iii].
Peer Pressure and Social Elements
A lot of people today start taking amphetamines because they want to lose weight. There is a lot of pressure on us to look a certain way. For men and boys, you may want to have a thin and muscled physique. For women and girls, you may want to look skinny like all the models that you see on Instagram and social media.
If you have a parent that has a drug problem or a close relative that has had a drug problem, you are more likely to suffer from the same disorder. Interestingly, studies[iv] have found that children from addicted parents also suffer from comparatively poorer health.
What are the Signs a Loved One is Addicted to Amphetamine?
Luckily, amphetamine use is difficult to hide. Unlike other drugs, the symptoms of amphetamine use are unmistakable.
Look out for the following:
- Talkativeness – people who are high on amphetamine talk faster and more than they normally would. Amphetamines are a stimulant which works to speed up neural processes.
- Insomnia – if you are stimulated night and day, you are less likely to sleep at night.
- loss of appetite – losing weight quickly and a lack of a normal appetite are indicative of amphetamine addiction.
- Inability to stay still – again, the stimulation makes tranquilly difficult.
- Dilated pupils – the term “wide-eyed” can be applied to amphetamine addicts.
- adverse behaviours – if your loved one suddenly seems incredibly motivated while simultaneously struggling to keep up with their responsibilities, they may have an amphetamine addiction.
Psychological symptoms of an Amphetamine Addiction
We can break down the symptoms of amphetamine addiction and to physical and psychological signs.
Some of the psychological symptoms of an amphetamine addiction include:
- Powerful cravings
- Excessive bursts of energy
- Short periods of euphoria
- An inability to control the amount you take
- Reduced social interactions
- An increase in fatigue between uses
- Severe mood swings
- A reduction in inhibitions
Physical symptoms of an Amphetamine Addiction
Some of the physical symptoms of an amphetamine addiction include:
- Shaking and jittering
- Hyper fixation
- Sudden bursts of productivity
- An inability to sleep or stay still
- Blurred vision and headaches
If you experience any of the physical or the psychological symptoms of amphetamine addiction, you should seek immediate help. Call us today on 0203 955 7700 to discuss your rehab options.
Treating Amphetamine Addiction
No matter how long you have been suffering from an amphetamine addiction, the treatment method will be the same.
Detoxing from Amphetamines
Detoxing from amphetamines is best completed in a dedicated detox clinic. Although it costs less to detox at home by going “Cold Turkey” this method may result in serious harm to your body. it is far better to go through detox for amphetamine addiction in a specialist medical facility. that way if something goes wrong, the help you need is on hand.
What is Medically Assisted Amphetamine Withdrawal?
Medically assisted detox for amphetamine withdrawal simply means that the medical professionals in charge of your care well offer you medicines to help with the detox process. These medicines will be deemed safe for use in detox situations[v].
Once the detox process is complete, you will move into rehab for amphetamine addiction. Rehab will include several therapies aimed at getting you off drugs. Your rehab centre may also contain leisure activities to entertain you well you are staying with them.
Therapy types used to treat Amphetamine Addiction
Some common therapy types you might have access to when and rehab for unfetter mean addiction include the following.
This is a type of treatment using positive reinforcement for achieving desired tasks and goals.
Cognitive behavioural therapy
This is a type of talking therapy that gives you the ability to identify and change unhealthy and negative thoughts and behaviours that contribute to amphetamine abuse.
There are several studies that have shown that this is an amazingly effective form of treatment for sufferers of stimulant abuse. This is a time-limited instruction form of treatment that uses several different techniques, for example, self-help groups, relapse prevention education, drug education, family therapy, and group therapy.
Secondary Treatment Options
If you have been treated as an inpatient for amphetamine addiction, it is likely that your rehab clinic will provide you with secondary treatment. Secondary rehab treatment as designed to help you make the transition back into normal life. It usually includes the likes of group therapy and telephone support.
Timeline for Recovery from Amphetamine Addiction
Although how long it takes to recover from amphetamine addiction varies per person, we can give you a rough estimate for how long it will take you to be a recovering amphetamine addict.
The detox process should start a few hours after your last use and will cause the symptoms of amphetamine withdrawal to become prevalent. These symptoms should peak within 72 hours. After this, they will fade over the course of the next month or so[vi].
Rehab for amphetamine addiction starts when you can manage those withdrawal symptoms enough to begin therapy work. This could take a few days and it could take a few weeks.
The sooner you start your recovery from amphetamine addiction, the sooner you will break free from drugs.
What are the Symptoms of Amphetamine Withdrawal?
When you do go through the detox process you should be prepared to suffer the symptoms of amphetamine withdrawal. These are as follows:
- Aches and pains
- impaired social functioning
- depression and anxiety
In one study these were the most frequently reported amphetamine withdrawal symptoms[vii], although there may be others such as sickness, diarrhoea, and flu-like symptoms.
How much does rehab for amphetamine addiction cost?
One of the main reasons why a lot of people overlook rehab is because they are worried about the amphetamine rehab cost. The cost of going to rehab will vary considerably based on several different factors, which include the type of treatment you undergo and the facility that you attend. The average charge for a private rehab facility in a residential program is around £1000 per week, though you will pay more for luxury. However, you may find that there are more affordable treatments available to you or you may be entitled to assistance under the NHS[viii].
Can I be Treated for Amphetamine Addiction as an Outpatient?
Free Consultation about your Amphetamine use
You can visit the free consultation link above to start researching ways to treat your amphetamine use.
Get Help for Amphetamine Addiction Today
We have a free helpline that is available to support families and individuals that are struggling to cope with the impact of amphetamine addiction. If you are ready to look at the different treatment options that are available to you or if you simply want to talk to someone that understands your situation, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.
Call now on 0203 955 7700.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is speed?
Are amphetamines a prescription medication?
How do you know if you have an amphetamine addiction?
Can Amphetamine Detox kill you?
Are amphetamines legal in the UK?
Can you have an amphetamine overdose?
What are the symptoms of withdrawal from amphetamines?
How long does amphetamine stay in your system?
Are there different types of amphetamines?