Amphetamines are a class of drugs that are stimulants for the central nervous system. Certain kinds of amphetamines are often prescribed by physicians to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD or narcolepsy The most common amphetamines prescribed for treatment of ADHD are Adderall (amphetamine) and Ritalin or Concerta (methylphenidate). Unfortunately, the abuse of these drugs has become extremely common. When not used for their prescribed purpose, amphetamine use can become highly addictive and have serious side effects.
Amphetamine Abuse Statistics
Amphetamine drug use is under-reported. While much attention is given to the new amphetamine drug class – methamphetamines and the opioid crisis, it is likely that amphetamine drug users may surpass opiate and cocaine users. This may be due in part to more availability of the drugs and with so many people being treated for disorders such as ADHD, it also means that amphetamine users are starting at younger ages, some even under the age of 15. Abuse of these drugs dates back as far as the 1940’s when American soldiers were prescribed Benzedrine to keep them awake and alert while flying planes and fighting in World War II. Another wave of abuse surged in the ‘60s when people began abusing speed amphetamines and the term “speed freaks” was coined. It was during this time of heavy drug use that abuse of the prescription drug began to show obvious adverse effects.
Effects of Amphetamine
This class of drugs has a lengthy list of side effects. Amphetamines affect the central nervous system, so they have the ability to disrupt the way the brain communicates with the rest of the body. Not only can amphetamine abuse cause long-term brain damage, but it can also have an adverse effect on many of the other systems in the body. Below is a list of just some of the most common side effects related to this kind of drug abuse. The short-term effects of amphetamines are also the reason that many people become addicted to them in the first place. These drugs tend to create a “rush” sensation, which leaves users craving more. Short-Term Effects
- Increases blood pressure and heart rate
- Users begin breathing more rapidly
- Decreased blood flow throughout the body
- Increases blood sugar levels
- Opens airways so users feel like they can breathe better
Unfortunately, after the “rush” is over, the use of amphetamines leaves lasting effects on the body and mind. People who become addicted to these drugs often experience much more serious long-term effects and consequences. Long-Term Effects
- High blood pressure
- Constant dry mouth
- Mood swings
- Loss of appetite
- Extreme weight loss
- Dangerously high body temperature
- Heart attack
- Heart Failure
- Amphetamine psychosis
Needless to say, the long-term effects of abusing stimulant drugs are serious. Abuse of these and other prescription drugs have lasting adverse effects on one’s well-being and damage both their physical and mental health. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction to amphetamines, please seek the help that you need. Addiction is a disease, for which treatment is necessary, just like any other disease.
Amphetamine Abuse Treatment Options
There are many drug rehab facilities that offer different treatment options for amphetamine abuse. At BrightView Treatment Centers, we don’t really like to use the term “rehab.” We believe in taking an approach that focuses on long-term recovery. We have outpatient treatment centers throughout Ohio that are designed to work with individuals on recovery options that help them lead as much of a normal lifestyle as possible. Patients are encouraged to maintain any daily responsibilities such as a job or activity that encourages long-term wellness. Treatment for amphetamine abuse includes therapies centered around both physical health care as well as mental health. Our team of physicians can prescribe medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to help patients ease withdrawal symptoms. We also encourage participation in both individual and group therapies as studies have shown that participating in both offers long-term success rates in recovery. If you or a loved one need help to recover from amphetamine addiction, please call us today 1-833-510-HELP. Our caring and friendly staff answer the phone 24 hours a day. We never judge and can answer any questions that you may have. If you are concerned about cost, we can also answer your questions about payment options, and we are a treatment center that accepts Medicaid for substance abuse treatment. Don’t let fear get in the way of reclaiming your health.