The Dangers of Amphetamines
Anytime an addictive substance is a legally prescribed substance, it can be tempting to believe that it is perfectly safe. After all, if a drug were dangerous, why would doctors prescribe it? While it’s true that amphetamines can be safely used to treat ADHD or narcolepsy, it’s important to understand that any use beyond or outside of a doctor’s prescription is extremely dangerous.
Amphetamine abuse can lead to uncomfortable side effects, dependency, addiction, overdose, and even death.
Read on to learn more about the dangers of amphetamines and what you should do if you believe you or a loved one may be addicted to amphetamines.
What Are Amphetamines?
Amphetamines are stimulants that raise the levels of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain. This increases the user’s ability to focus and stay awake, which is why doctors prescribe amphetamines (such as Adderall) to patients with ADHD or narcolepsy. People who use this drug without a prescription often do so to achieve a euphoric high or boost of energy.
Amphetamines shouldn’t be confused with methamphetamines, commonly known as meth. Although it is derived from amphetamines, meth is much stronger and more addictive. Because it is so dangerous, meth is illegal and cannot be prescribed.
What Are the Dangers of Amphetamines?
While amphetamines can be helpful when used as prescribed, those who abuse these drugs beyond or outside of their prescribed use and dosage put themselves at risk of negative side effects, addiction, overdose, and death.
Side effects can include dry mouth, headaches, nausea, anxiety, shakiness, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, heart palpitations, insomnia, and more. If you use and abuse amphetamines over a longer period of time, you are also at risk of paranoia, hallucinations, respiratory problems, violent behavior, convulsions, and more.
Whether or not you have a prescription for amphetamines, there is still the danger of dependency and addiction if you use these drugs frequently and/or over a long period of time. This happens when your brain adjusts to the presence of amphetamines and you have to increase your dosage to achieve the effects you initially experienced.
Taking higher doses in response to increased tolerance can lead to more serious dangers of amphetamines, including overdose. Someone overdosing on amphetamines may experience shaking, nausea, vomiting, aggression, confusion, seizures, coma, and even death.
If you suspect you or someone you know is experiencing an amphetamine overdose, call 911 right away.
What Are the Symptoms of Amphetamine Withdrawal?
If you’re currently abusing amphetamines, you may be torn between a knowledge that you should quit and a fear of uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Perhaps you’ve tried to quit before and experienced anxiety, nightmares, irresistible cravings, paranoia, confusion, depression, or suicidal thoughts. Difficulty detoxing is another one of the dangers of amphetamines.
However, with professional help, these symptoms can be managed to ensure you detox with minimal discomfort. Medically supervised detox is an opportunity to detox under the care of medical staff who will keep you as safe and comfortable as possible. This is an important first step in recovering from an addiction to amphetamines.
How Is Amphetamine Addiction Treated?
The dangers of amphetamines make it important to seek help if you believe you or a loved one is addicted to amphetamines.
An effective addiction treatment plan will often start with a medically supervised detox.
From there, recovering amphetamine addicts benefit from inpatient therapy that combines evidence-based treatment with experiential therapies and holistic health services. This well-rounded approach ensures the client has the tools they need to move forward in life without relying on amphetamines. If you used amphetamines to treat an underlying disorder or simply have a co-occurring disorder, it’s also important to choose a rehab program that offers dual diagnosis treatment.
Inpatient therapy is the best way to access consistent support and professional guidance as you recover from an addiction to amphetamines.
Recover from Amphetamine Addiction in Hawaii
Here at Hawaiian Island Recovery, our team of licensed professionals is equipped and ready to guide you or your loved one to recovery from amphetamine addiction. Evidence-based treatments, experiential therapies, and holistic health services are offered within the framework of a 12-step program. This is a highly effective approach that can help you recover from your addiction once and for all.