In recent years, amphetamine abuse has become a significant challenge facing Americans of all ages. Amphetamines are prescription medications such as Adderall and drugs used to treat ADHD. They are also found in illicit forms, such as methamphetamine and ecstasy. The safest way to overcome amphetamine addiction is to seek help at a treatment program in Southern California.
What are Amphetamines?
Amphetamines act as central nervous system stimulants meaning their use causes an increase in certain types of brain activity. This results in feelings of higher energy, increased focus, and elevated confidence. Amphetamine use elicit feelings of euphoria depending on the frequency and the amount of dose taken. Amphetamine is not a new drug. However, its stimulant properties were not discovered until the 1900s, when it was first used to treat symptoms of nasal congestion.
Today, amphetamines are used to treat a variety of conditions. Most notably, they remain a frequently prescribed drug for the treatment of hyperactivity in adolescents and teens (including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and in the treatment of narcolepsy. Occasionally, mental and medical health professionals may prescribe amphetamines to treat depression.
Are Amphetamines Dangerous?
Many people are first introduced to amphetamines for legitimate medical, typically as a treatment for a mental health condition such as ADHD. When used as prescribed, they can be beneficial components of a comprehensive treatment program. For some, however, the powerful effects of amphetamines lead to misuse and, inevitably, addiction. In time, untreated addiction can lead to permanent, sometimes fatal physical health consequences.
Which Drugs are Amphetamines?
Several prescription medicines contain amphetamine or its two active components. The most well-known include Adderall, Dexedrine, and various generic ADHD medications. Adderall is a prescription medication used primarily to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in narcolepsy. Adderall has high abuse potential and increased potential for addiction. Those who use it long-term may find it difficult to quit due to physical changes in the brain caused by the drug.
Dexedrine is another stimulant-type drug used to treat behavioral disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The action of Dexedrine in the body is similar to that of cocaine but longer-lasting. For this reason, it is frequently misused and abused due to the euphoric high it can create and the energy and confidence-boosting effects it has on the individual.
How Do Amphetamines Impact the Body?
Amphetamine use can cause physical and functional changes in the brain. Specifically, amphetamines can alter the brain’s pleasure response. They work within the brain to destroy the pleasure receptors and decrease the body’s ability to feel pleasure naturally, without using the drug. As pleasure receptors disappear, it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to feel pleasure without being high.
Along with dangerous short-term side effects, long-term amphetamine abuse can have an irreversible physical impact on the body. Abuse of amphetamines can lead to a risk of cardiovascular difficulties, including heart attack, stroke, and heart failure. As previously mentioned, amphetamine use can destroy the brain’s grey matter and dopamine receptors (pleasure receptors). This drastically changes brain function and affects your ability to stop using without help and comprehensive addiction treatment.
Other effects of amphetamine use include weight loss, appetite changes, elevated body temperature, flushed skin, heart problems, restlessness, memory problems, stroke, mood and behavior changes, tremors, skin sores, tooth decay (meth mouth), problems sleeping and death.
How to Find Amphetamine Addiction Treatment in Southern California
Due to the changes amphetamines produce in the brain, treatment for amphetamine addiction can be complex. Sometimes, loss of pleasure and overwhelming depression that occur as one reduces and eventually stops taking the drug can be a significant challenge when trying to avoid relapse. Despite the challenges, several evidence-based therapies have been used successfully as part of a comprehensive treatment program to treat amphetamine addiction.
Therapy aims to help you understand and adjust your behaviors based on the unique triggers and circumstances that drive you to use. Some of the most commonly used treatments include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing, and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Depending on what works best for you, these therapies can occur in individual and group settings.
If you or a loved one has an addiction to amphetamines and you are ready to take your first steps towards sobriety, contact a member of our admissions team today to learn more about detox and amphetamine addiction treatment in Southern California.