Facts About Amphetamines
Amphetamines are drugs that are known as stimulants. They stimulate the brain which in turn creates pleasure-causing hormones such as dopamine. The rush of these hormones creates a “high” in the user that’s often described as euphoric. The high from amphetamines can last several hours.
With amphetamines, the “crash” when they wear off is sometimes as strong as the high. Amphetamines users often feel tired and unwell when they come down. They may feel depressed or lethargic and eager to feel high again. This feeling may increase as the body builds a tolerance to amphetamines.
Amphetamines are highly addictive medications and should only be used as prescribed by a doctor.
Amphetamines Are Also Called
- Lid poppers
- Pep pills
- Black Beauties
There are legal prescription drugs that are classified as amphetamines. These include “smart drugs” such as Adderall or Ritalin – meant to help to help people with ADD or ADHD. These prescriptions have also been shown to have a high propensity for abuse.
Amphetamines can be taken as pills. Some people abuse them by crushing and snorting them, or dissolving them in water to inject them. Some users will smoke and inhale the vaporized drug, but this method is much more common with methamphetamine – a “street” amphetamine that is illegally created in a clandestine labs.
Symptoms/Signs of Amphetamine Abuse
Amphetamines are stimulants, which act similar to drugs like methamphetamine or cocaine. When a user is high they will have an elevated body temperature. They may turn red or sweat a lot – even if it’s cool outside. They may speak quickly or seem more talkative than usual. Some people who use amphetamines become paranoid or hallucinate when they are on a binge.
Users who binge on amphetamines may experience rapid weight loss. They may forget to eat and have weak muscles. Some amphetamine users involuntarily grinding their teeth while they’re on the drug. Tooth decay and loss is very common in those who abuse amphetamines.
Dangers of Long-Term Amphetamine Use
In addiction to becoming addicted, chronic amphetamine users can develop a myriad of chronic health problems. Malnutrition is often an issue for long-term users. They also risk death from heart attack or overdose as they begin to use more of the drug and build a tolerance.
It’s not uncommon for an amphetamine user to develop mental health problems. One well-known effect of long-term amphetamine use is termed “amphetamine psychosis.” Similar to schizophrenia, users experience hallucinations, paranoia and other frightening symptoms. Because of this, they may be a danger to themselves or others and require hospitalization.
Chronic amphetamine users also can experience depression, anxiety attacks and wild mood swings. Some users also become dependent on other drugs, usually “downers” or tranquilizer drugs to help “even out” their mood after using amphetamines.
Signs and Symptoms of Amphetamine Addiction
A long-term amphetamine user will have a tolerance to the drug, needing more and more of it to “get high.” Many users go on binges that leave them up for days, and then crash into exhaustion. They may disappear or be unavailable for days at a time. When a person is addicted to amphetamine, the pleasure centers of the brain will begin to crave the drug when it’s not supplied.
You may notice an amphetamine user has become hostile and paranoid towards family or friends. They may have intense mood swings, seem anxious or nervous, or develop alternating periods of euphoria (when they are high) and depression (when they come down.) A person addicted to amphetamines will exhibit increasing drug-seeking behavior in an effort to get high again soon. If they’re abusing pills, they may doctor-shop in order to get as many prescriptions as possible or slice them in half to ration them. They may keep small stashes of pills around the house.
Amphetamine users experience problems in their personal relationships. They may lose their job or have trouble keeping a job. Some people may start to steal or commit crimes to support their habit. Many amphetamine users suffer from serious financial and legal consequences, as the drug takes over more and more of their life. Some amphetamine users start out with a legitimate prescription for the drug, and turn to street versions once the prescription can’t be obtained.
For users who are physically dependent on amphetamine, there are some dangerous withdrawal symptoms that they will experience when they cease using. Because of this, addiction professionals recommend that amphetamine users detox from the drug in a safe and professional clinical setting.
Getting Help for an Amphetamine Problem
If you think that you or a loved one has a problem with amphetamines, you may be wondering what options you have to get help. We’ve helped many people reclaim their lives from the turmoil addiction and start a new way of life. We have several options available to help you start your path to recovery, depending on your individual needs. Give us a call. It’s 100% confidential.