Signs someone you love may have an amphetamine addiction
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Physical symptoms and behaviors that indicate amphetamine addiction withdrawal
With all the issues people are facing these days, it is easy to become caught up in substance abuse. It has become a major problem and can impact every part of a person’s life. Amphetamine addiction is becoming more common as these are easier to acquire and are highly addictive. Learn the signs of amphetamine addiction withdrawals and other indications that someone may be abusing stimulants. There is help available to break harmful addictions and end the vicious cycle.
What are amphetamines?
Amphetamine addiction is the body’s dependence on stimulant drugs. They speed up the signals from the brain to the body. Some common names types are methamphetamines like ecstasy/Molly, but also include drugs prescribed for depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). They have a legitimate purpose when prescribed by a doctor but they have the potential for addiction because the body adapts to them and suffers amphetamine addiction withdrawals when it is taken away. College students favor them as a way to stay awake for long periods when studying for exams. They help improve focus and concentration.
Common central nervous system stimulants:
- Generic ADHD medications (methylphenidate)
What stimulants do:
Central nervous system stimulants work by increasing the amounts of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. They improve concentration and give the user a feeling of alertness – even when they may be physically tired. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter often associated with pleasure and norepinephrine affects the blood pressure, blood vessels, and heart rate. While these stimulants have their benefits, they also come with negative side effects and are highly addicting.
Signs of amphetamine use
People often use stimulants to enhance concentration and performance rather than to produce a “high” as with other types of prescription drugs. Here are a few signs that someone may be using stimulants:
- Decreased appetite
- Talks excessively
- Increased energy
- Problems sleeping
- Nervousness or anxiety
- Increased blood pressure or heart rate
The negative side effects of amphetamine abuse
These signs are on the mild end of the spectrum and are common in early use, but can increase with continued use and get much worse. The longer the person uses it the more dependent the body becomes on it requiring a larger amount to continue the pleasurable effects. The more intense side effects include:
- Irregular heart rhythm
- Disrupted sleep
- Rapid weight loss
- Frequent headaches
- Intense food cravings
- Panic attacks
- Paranoia, increased anxiety
- Violent behavior patterns
- Hallucinations, hostility
- Heart failure
The nature of stimulants is that they increase activity in the brain, so when they are removed, the person will experience withdrawal symptoms because the brain has been conditioned to expect the increase of dopamine and increased blood flow. The addict often keeps taking the drug to feel “normal” as they have come to know it. Without it they have trouble concentrating, may lack the motivation to go to school or work, or do any of the activities they would normally do.
How to recognize the symptoms of amphetamine addiction
Endless energy – when someone is abusing stimulant medications they will often appear euphoric or unusually happy and then crash when the dopamine levels drop. They may be up for days cleaning, working, studying, and then fall asleep for an entire day. This becomes a pattern because they’ve convinced themselves they are more productive when taking it.
Avoid social situations – as their dependence deepens, they may begin to avoid social gatherings because people notice their behavior or physical changes such as weight loss, dark circles under the eye from lack of sleep or dilated pupils, and ask questions.
Hallucinations – they may hear voices or see things that aren’t there. For a teenager, it might appear as a reluctance to sleep alone or being in their room for extended periods because that is when they experience these things. They may not express these specifically but may mention someone being in their room or feeling like they’re being watched or followed.
Frequent mood swings – if their mood changes frequently from calm and relaxed to anxious or angry it may indicate amphetamine addiction. Mood swings alone are not necessarily a sign of addiction and may indicate other problems.
The social effects of amphetamine abuse
Besides the physical side effects of stimulant use, there are other areas of the person’s life that are affected as well. They may experience problems at school or at work, with close friendships, relationship issues, and family distancing. When a person begins displaying erratic behavior, others often distance themselves from them because of their behavior or mannerisms.
Addicts often lose jobs, friends, and relationships due to their substance abuse. The good news is that family and friends are often supportive and are willing to help if they know there is a problem. It is only when the addicted person refuses help and continues their addiction that things get worse.
Breaking the cycle of addiction
When it comes to breaking the cycle of addiction, change must come from within to have a lasting effect. Addiction recovery can be achieved and the cycle broken by taking the right steps. It’s not enough to physically stop using amphetamines, the addicted person often requires support to learn how to make good decisions and avoid situations that might lead them back into addiction.
What can help
Recovery coaching has been very beneficial in helping people end their addictions and improve their quality of life. Qualified recovery specialists can help them realize their triggers and how to end the dependence on these substances and not be controlled by them anymore.
If you recognize the symptoms of amphetamine addiction in yourself or someone you love, get the help you need to stop letting it control your life. Call HKC Recovery and speak with one of our friendly, professional staff to regain control and put a stop to addiction.
If you are ready to make your pain the source of your power, just give us a call!
Addiction has become major problem of modern humanity. It should be known that HKC is not just a drug addiction recovery center. Primarily, HKC recovery coaching is a place for those who are ready to change and can no longer remain in despair. Our goal is to create a supportive environment so that you can better understand yourself and destroy your addictions, fears, and fixations. Remember, you are not alone in your struggle. If you are ready to make your pain the source of your power, just give us a call!