Amphetamine Addiction Treatment in Memphis

Prescription & Illicit Amphetamine Abuse & Addiction

Amphetamines are a group of drugs known as psychostimulants. They can be legally prescribed to treat a variety of physical, mental, and behavioral health conditions, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and are also used illegally in the form of illicit substances, such as methamphetamines. Whether they are used to treat legitimate health conditions or taken illicitly, amphetamines are extremely powerful and highly addictive. Many people quickly develop dependencies on amphetamines, which can lead to addiction.

Addiction treatment starts with recognizing that there is a problem. After you decide to do something about your amphetamine addiction, the next step is to get help and support. If you have a loved one who you suspect is addicted to amphetamines, know that there is hope. However, your loved one will need to make the choice to seek treatment.

We Believe in Treating the Individual, Not Just the Addiction

What Are Amphetamines?

Amphetamines are classified as stimulants. They affect the central nervous system by increasing certain types of brain activity. This gives the user a feeling of higher energy, focus, and confidence.

Amphetamines can be prescribed by a doctor to treat health issues such as:

  • Narcolepsy
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Obesity

People do not usually become addicted to prescription amphetamines when they are used at the right dosage for a valid medical condition.

Some of the most common prescription amphetamines include:

  • Adderall: Commonly prescribed to treat ADD/ADHD
  • Dexedrine: Usually prescribed to treat ADHD and narcolepsy
  • Vyvanse: Prescribed to treat ADHD and binge-eating disorder

Although these medications are commonly available with a prescription, amphetamines carry a significant risk for abuse.

Over-the-Counter Stimulants

Although over-the-counter (OTC) medications are commonly believed to be harmless, OTC stimulants can lead to certain negative effects.

Amphetamines and other stimulants can often be found in the following OTC medications:

  • Appetite suppressants
  • Nasal decongestants
  • Bronchodilators (commonly used for asthma)
  • Energy pills

These products contain the ingredients ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, caffeine, and phenylpropanolamine (PPA). Toxic effects could result from overdose, drug interactions, or diseases that increase the body’s sensitivity to those ingredients.

The most important toxic effect of PPA is hypertension (high blood pressure). Severe hypertension can happen at less than three times the recommended dose. Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine can also cause hypertension and an increased heart rate. Toxic reactions from caffeine include hypotension (low blood pressure), seizures, and increased heart rate.

How Do Amphetamines Affect Your Brain?

Your brain is made up of neurons (nerve cells) that talk to each other by releasing chemicals called neurotransmitters.

Amphetamines affect a group of key brain neurotransmitters (norepinephrine and dopamine) associated with:

  • Attention
  • Alertness
  • Blood flow
  • Reward
  • Motor control and motivation

Amphetamines increase the effects of these chemicals in the body and brain. The related increase in the activity of these neurotransmitters can bring on a feeling of euphoria and a rewarding feeling that motivates continued use.

Understanding Amphetamine Addiction

Addiction happens when someone uses amphetamines to get high or improve performance in activities, school, or work. Misusing or abusing prescription stimulants can also lead to addiction. Eventually, the person’s body and mind become dependent on the drug, and they are unable to control their amphetamine use. Addicts will find that they need amphetamines to get through daily life. As the individual’s tolerance builds, they will need more and more of the drug to get the same effect they had in the beginning.

Below are five signs that you or someone you love may be addicted to amphetamines:

  • Off-Label Use: Off-label use means that you are using a prescription in a way that was not prescribed by your medical provider. Swallowing amphetamine pills can cause a mild high but crushing and snorting them gives a stronger high more quickly. Some people dissolve the powder in water and inject it. This method gets the drug into the bloodstream and the brain almost immediately, increasing an intense high. A level of abuse this high can lead to more severe use of the drug to get high.
  • Memory Loss: A 2020 study published in Molecular Psychiatry found that long-term amphetamine abuse can impair short- and long-term memory.
  • Changes in Metabolism: Drugs that contain amphetamine, such as Adderall, can curb your appetite and make your body burn up calories faster than normal. Abuse of these medications can lead to weight changes as well.
  • Increased Anxiety and Insomnia: A study published in Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry in 2020 found that anxiety sensitivity was more common in amphetamine users than people who don’t use amphetamines. This increased anxiety can lead to insomnia. Because it speeds you up, amphetamine can cause a jumpy, jittery appearance but between uses or when coming down from it, the person may appear completely opposite because of drug withdrawal.
  • Changes in Close Relationships: The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy has said that substance abuse, including addiction to amphetamines, can have serious negative consequences on personal relationships. If you have a substance use disorder (SUD) you may find yourself missing important family or social events. This can hurt those who count on your support. In addition, you might also unintentionally cause people who trust you to enable your addiction.

Signs of Amphetamine Overdose

Amphetamine overdose symptoms generally occur in two phases.

First, the symptoms involve overstimulation of certain body functions, such as:

  • Increased blood pressure and body temperature
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Abnormal muscle contractions
  • Shakiness
  • Panic
  • Hallucinations
  • Aggression
  • Extreme anxiety
  • Blurred vision

This is followed in a few hours by a depressive phase. Symptoms include:

  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Depression
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea and vomiting

Death related to amphetamine overdose is relatively rare; however, the rates of overdose deaths from amphetamines—such as Adderall (prescription), methamphetamine (illicit), and Ecstasy (illicit)—have been increasing. Without emergency medical care, the individual may experience a complication related to an overdose, which could be fatal. Death from amphetamine overdose is more likely when the person takes other drugs with the amphetamine.

People who have overdosed on amphetamines will need chemical and physical restrictions to prevent harm to themselves or others, as people overdosing on amphetamines can be hostile with severe paranoia.

Treating Amphetamine Addiction

Detox is considered the first step in treatment. For severe addictions, detox in a medically monitored detox center may be required. Some withdrawal symptoms can be intense, and medical support can help you get through withdrawal successfully.

Following medical detox, patients should enter an inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment program. These programs typically involve:

  • Addiction Counseling: Treatment programs use behavioral therapy techniques through psychotherapy (talk therapy). The goal is to help you explore your feelings and behaviors and how they relate to your amphetamine addiction. Common behavioral therapies include:
  • Group Counseling: Frequently, family members are included in therapy sessions to help address the upheaval that addiction causes to the family members. Support from family and friends can help a person in recovery avoid relapse. Common psychotherapy approaches include:

Amphetamine Withdrawal Symptoms

When you try to stop using or cut back on amphetamine use, your body and mind will experience withdrawal.

Some common symptoms of amphetamine withdrawal include:

  • A strong craving for the drug
  • Mood swings that go from feeling depressed to agitated and anxious
  • Feeling tired all day
  • Unable to concentrate
  • Seeing or hearing things that aren’t there (hallucinations)
  • Headaches
  • Aches and pains
  • Increased appetite
  • Trouble sleeping

No medication has been found to be effective for the treatment of amphetamine withdrawal or cravings. But medications that stabilize neurotransmission (when the brain cells pass messages to one another) may relieve severe withdrawal symptoms.

Amphetamine Addiction Treatment Programs

After detox, you have technically recovered from the physical symptoms of addiction. But that’s just the first step in your recovery. The goal of detox is to prepare you for treatment.

There are several types of common treatment programs:

  • Residential Treatment: In residential programs, you live at the treatment facility and receive around-the-clock medical supervision, free of distractions and triggers.
  • Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs): A partial hospitalization program is an intense outpatient program. You will spend your days at the treatment center but go home in the evenings. You will receive a high level of treatment and supervision while at the treatment center.
  • Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs): Intensive outpatient programs offer a step down from the PHP. You will attend counseling sessions several days a week at the center for several hours a day.
  • Outpatient Programs (OPs): Standard outpatient programs provide the same level of care as IOPs but with a lower time commitment.

An Integrated Approach to Your Recovery

If you or someone close to you is struggling with amphetamine addiction, Grace Land Recovery can help. Our staff is experienced in the treatment of many types of substance use disorders. We use evidence-based treatments designed and proven to get you on your way to long-term recovery. We can provide you with a recommendation for a detox center with medical support to help ease the symptoms of withdrawal, along with three levels of outpatient care, relapse prevention planning, and case management to help you succeed in treatment and afterward.

Don’t let addiction get the best of you. Don’t let it run your life. Take control before it’s too late and contact us today. We are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day or come and visit us to learn more about our amphetamine addiction treatment services in Memphis.

To speak to a friendly and professional member of our team, please call (901) 519-2655 or contact us online.

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Our mission is to help individuals achieve sobriety by getting to the root of their addiction issues. We also aim to treat the minds, bodies, and souls of our patients.

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