Amphetamine Addiction: Treatment, Rehab, Timelines, and Recovery

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Addiction can be extremely debilitating, having negative consequences on all areas of your life. Amphetamine abuse can quickly turn into an addiction, which can be difficult to overcome without the right support.

The longer you go without the right treatment, the longer you are spending in active addiction. This is why it’s so important to seek treatment at a quality rehab facility. But what should you expect from amphetamine rehab? That’s what we’re going to explore on this page.

Read on to learn more about amphetamine addiction, including the effects of amphetamines and the key signs of amphetamine abuse and amphetamine addiction.

We’ll also delve into the addiction treatment process, and discuss how our team of experts at Help4Addiction can help you overcome your addiction.

What Are Amphetamines?

Amphetamines are synthetic stimulant drugs that speed up processes of the body, including breathing and heart rate. Ultimately, they increase alertness and cause energy levels to rise.

They create this effect by stimulating your central nervous system, speeding up the messaging between your brain and body.

Amphetamines can fall under two categories – prescription amphetamines and illicit/ recreational amphetamines. Doctors may prescribe amphetamines for various reasons – for example, to relieve symptoms of narcolepsy, a sleep disorder, or ADHD.

Prescription stimulants can still be abused, even if they are prescribed for legitimate health problems, just like recreational drugs can.

Taking your prescription in any way other than prescribed by your doctor is a form of drug abuse – which may include taking more than recommended, taking to feel high, mixing amphetamines with other substances/ drugs or alcohol, or sourcing prescription medication through illicit means.

Illicit amphetamines may include amphetamine sulphate – also known as ‘speed’ – or methamphetamine/ crystal meth.

Crystal meth is a colourless substance that resembles small glass rocks. Typically, meth has a high purity level – and the effects of the drug can last between four and 12 hours. However, this depends on how it is consumed.

Drug users may consume crystal meth in a variety of ways – for example, smoking it using a glass pipe, or injecting it directly into their bloodstream.

Crystal meth and speed are highly addictive substances – if you take amphetamines for a prolonged period, this can quickly turn into physical dependence.

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Amphetamines For Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder/ ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder. It is one of the most common childhood neurodevelopmental disorders.

Often diagnosed in childhood, ADHD can continue into adulthood. It can have many symptoms and is often characterised by trouble paying attention and impulsive behaviours.

Several forms of amphetamine can be prescribed to treat the symptoms of ADHD. For example, dexamphetamine, lisdexamfetamine, and mixed amphetamine salts.

Stimulants help those with ADHD and reduce symptoms by increasing the levels of dopamine in the brain – slowing down how much dopamine the neural network absorbs. However, different stimulants have different effects – so people with ADHD may respond better to one form of stimulant medication than another.

Amphetamines are considered the most effective drug treatment for adults with ADHD, displaying the most improvement in the key symptoms of ADHD in the short term.

The Effects of Amphetamines

Drug abuse, whether it be prescription drugs or illicit drugs, can have a range of effects. In terms of stimulant drugs/ amphetamines, you may experience a range of unpleasant physical and psychological effects – for example, heart failure, weight loss, increased blood pressure, and many more.

The leading cause of death in those who use methamphetamine is cardiovascular disease. Amphetamines have a significant effect on your heart rate, and they ultimately cause high blood pressure.

Amphetamines are addictive – so one of the most prominent effects of amphetamine abuse is addiction. There is rarely just one cause for amphetamine addiction – instead, it is often a range of psychological, social, genetic and environmental factors.

Amphetamine use isn’t something to be taken lightly, and you should always follow your doctor’s instructions when taking prescribed medication. Read on to learn more about the effects amphetamines can have on your mind and body.

Weight Loss

Often, an unwanted effect of amphetamines is weight loss. Amphetamine medication can cause you to lose weight – drugs such as dextroamphetamine or methylphenidate can make you less hungry, and can also cause your body to burn calories faster. This means that you may struggle to gain weight.

Illicit amphetamines (e.g speed and meth) can also have this effect; even more so when abused. Likewise, amphetamines such as meth can lead to you engaging in higher levels of physical activity – resulting in the loss of weight.

Mental Health

Frequent amphetamine use can harm your mental health. It has been known to cause amphetamine psychosis, which can resemble synonyms of acute schizophrenia spectrum psychosis.

Some symptoms of amphetamine-induced psychosis can include:

Signs of Amphetamine Abuse and Addiction

Amphetamines can be abused in two ways – through misusing your prescription medications, or by taking illegal amphetamines.

Abusing prescription drugs can include taking prescribed amphetamines with other drugs or alcohol, taking a higher dose than prescribed, taking prescribed amphetamines to feel ‘high’ (or any reason other than prescribed), or sourcing prescription medication illegally.

Several signs can indicate somebody is abusing amphetamines. The signs of amphetamine abuse and amphetamine addiction are often similar – however, substance abuse doesn’t always indicate addiction.

Prescription amphetamines are generally taken orally – however, people may abuse the drug by crushing them and snorting them.

People who abuse amphetamines may:

Some amphetamine addiction signs may include a lack of control over taking amphetamines. For example, you may feel as though you are struggling to function without them, and it may feel like amphetamine drug use is taking over your life.

Substance use disorder, whether it is heroin or amphetamines, can be debilitating. You may have the desire to stop taking amphetamines, but struggle to do so. Likewise, you may have tried to stop but ended up relapsing.

If you have a physical amphetamine addiction/ amphetamine dependence, you may also experience a range of withdrawal symptoms when you suddenly stop taking the drug or lower the dose that your body is used to.

Amphetamine withdrawal symptoms may include aches, pains, irritability, depression, increased appetite, fatigue, slow movements, twitches, vivid and unpleasant dreams, and more.

However, symptoms may persist for several weeks – these are known as post-acute withdrawal symptoms. In severe cases, symptoms may persist for up to a year.

If you think you have a stimulant use disorder, or you’re concerned about your drug addiction, our team at Help4Addiction can help – scroll to the bottom section of the page to learn more.

Treatment for Amphetamine Addiction

Amphetamine addiction can be difficult to overcome, especially if you don’t seek the right treatment. Different rehab clinics may have different facilities and there is a wide range of rehab programs available.

For example, you have the choice between outpatient rehab and inpatient rehab. As an outpatient, you will reside at home throughout your course of rehab, attending the rehab clinic to attend your scheduled sessions.

Residential rehab, however, involves residing in a facility, with your meals and accommodation provided as part of the cost of rehab.

You will attend your rehab sessions at the same clinic, meaning you will not have to travel. This option is often preferred among those with severe addiction, as inpatient treatment removes you from the temptation of your previous environment.

With both forms of rehab, you’ll have access to healthcare professionals and addiction specialists that can help you overcome your substance abuse and amphetamine addiction.

The three core treatment stages remain similar. You’ll begin treatment by detoxing from amphetamines, and then you may continue through rehab, receiving therapy and secondary treatment.

Amphetamine Detox

The detox stage aims at removing the physical addiction to a substance. During this stage, you may experience withdrawal symptoms; a range of physical symptoms as well as psychological symptoms. If you have a severe dependence, you may experience more uncomfortable symptoms.

In most cases, we recommend a medical detox or a medically-supervised detox. This means that you will have professional support throughout your amphetamine withdrawal – and in some cases, you may be given detox medication.

We never recommend that you detox ‘Cold Turkey’ as this can seriously harm your body. Instead, we recommend that you go through detox for amphetamine addiction in a specialist facility, so help is on hand when needed.

We recommend that you undergo amphetamine detox as part of a larger rehab programme – including therapy and aftercare. Detoxification alone doesn’t address the social or psychological aspects – instead, detoxification only focuses on the physical side of amphetamine addiction.

Amphetamine Addiction Rehab

Once you have completed a successful amphetamine detox, you may progress into the further stages of rehab. This includes receiving addiction therapy.

Addiction therapy for amphetamine addiction can not only improve your general health but improve your confidence and prepare you for the event of relapse. For example, through talking therapies, you may learn valuable and effective coping techniques.

Therapy and counselling can also give you an insight into yourself and your addiction. What are your addiction triggers? What events could’ve contributed to your addiction? This will likely be explored during this stage of rehab.

There are many therapies available that can effectively treat addiction. Some common therapies available in many rehab clinics in the UK include:

Secondary Treatment/ Aftercare

Secondary treatment has the aim of supporting you after you have completed rehab. Leaving rehab and returning to your day-to-day life can be difficult – after all, this is where you developed the amphetamine addiction. However, with secondary care, the treatment is sure to be much more streamlined.

You may receive aftercare on an outpatient basis, whether it be in the form of further therapy and counselling, online support, telephone support, or support groups. Ultimately, secondary treatment can help not only manage relapse but prevent it.

How Help4Addiction Can Help You Overcome Amphetamine Addiction

At Help4Addiction, we understand the difficulties people can face when dealing with addiction, whether it be to alcohol, prescription drugs, or illicit drugs.

This is why we dedicate ourselves to helping people overcome their addiction – and can help you overcome your amphetamine addiction. Likewise, if you have a family member with an addiction, we can help.

First of all, we’ll discuss your preferences and requirements and talk through your treatment options. One size does not fit all when it comes to addiction treatment, which is why we’ll find the right treatment plan for you, at the right clinic.

Whether you’re looking for residential rehab or outpatient rehab, we can help. Likewise, if you’re concerned about the cost of rehab, we can assess the NHS-operated rehab options.

Alternatively, if money isn’t an issue, we can source a quality luxury rehab option or private rehab.

Remember, you don’t have to deal with amphetamine addiction alone – contact us today to begin your recovery journey.

About Author

Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn is a leading industry addiction expert who runs the UK’s largest addiction advisory service and is regularly featured in the national press, radio and TV. He is the founder and CEO of a drug and alcohol rehab center called Help4addiction, which was founded in 2015. He has been clean himself since 2009 and has worked in the Addiction and Rehab Industry for over a decade. Nick is dedicated to helping others recover and get treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. In 2013, he released a book ‘The Thin White’ line that is available on Amazon.

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