Do Amphetamines Damage the Brain (and Can It Be Reversed)?

Unfortunately, there are many ways in which amphetamine abuse can damage the brain, and while some of these are reversible, certain issues may not be. If you are struggling with stimulant abuse and addiction, call 800-768-8728 now.

Amphetamines and the Brain

According to a study from the medical journal Molecular Psychiatry, “Effects of prolonged stimulant treatment have not been fully explored, and understanding such effects is a research priority.”

However, we do understand that amphetamines can cause strange effects to one’s behavior and brain and that these effects become even more severe and problematic when a person is abusing these drugs. Therefore, it is always important for someone to take amphetamines only as prescribed and even then to make sure they understand their medication’s potential effects as much as possible.

Do Amphetamines Damage the Brain?

As stated above, we do not actually have enough research on medical amphetamine use and how it may affect the brain in the long run to be certain of whether or not the brain is completely safe from damage when an individual uses one of these drugs.

According to the National Library of Medicine, Adderall, one of the most used and abused prescription stimulants, can possibly cause a number of brain-related side effects, such as:

Amphetamines Damage

Hallucinations and mania are potential side effects of amphetamines.

  • Headache
  • Shaking or tremors
  • Seizures
  • Motor or verbal tics
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Mania
  • Aggression

While most of these symptoms are more likely to occur when someone is abusing the drug, they can still happen to a person taking their medication exactly as prescribed. It is also unknown whether some of the more mild effects that a person will likely experience during regular treatment will cause damage to the brain or not. However, it is known that abusing these drugs can cause severe brain damage.

According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, long-term methamphetamine has the ability to create “damaged nerve terminals in the brain” as well as “brain damage similar to Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s Disease.”

Since methamphetamine is a type of amphetamine (and is sometimes prescribed to treat ADHD just like Adderall and other drugs in this class are), there is definite danger that someone who abuses any of these substances for a long period of time will like sustain some damage to the way the brain works.

Can Any of These Effects Be Reversed?

As stated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Some of the neurobiological effects of chronic methamphetamine abuse appear to be at least partially reversible.” As a result, one can assume that it is likely the same with other amphetamines.

However, the effects that are actually reversible can sometimes require a year or more of intensive treatment in order for real change to occur. In addition, psychosis caused by the abuse of these drugs does seem to dissipate over time, but stress or other uncomfortable emotions might cause the issue to resurface.

As for other types of brain damage, a person may or may not be able to actually recover from it, depending on the extent of the damage.

Amphetamine Dependence & Mental Health Problems: When to Consider Treatment

How Do I Avoid These Dangerous Side Effects of Amphetamines?

Avoiding the dangerous side effects of amphetamine abuse requires never abusing these drugs for any reason. Although you may feel at first that you are completely in control of your substance abuse, over time, that control will likely start to slip, and the more you continue abusing these drugs, the harder it will be to stop.

We know that amphetamine and methamphetamine abuse cause brain damage, especially when a person misuses these drugs in large doses and for a long period of time, but you may also be concerned about the lack of knowledge of whether or not regular use of amphetamine drugs can cause brain damage.

If you are taking one of these medications and are concerned about your health, it is very important to discuss this with your doctor in order to find out all you can and to avoid any serious issues.

Do You Need Help for Amphetamine Abuse?

Any type of amphetamine drug abuse can possibly lead to brain damage and other issues if it continues long enough. Therefore, if you have been abusing any drugs in this class, it is absolutely time to seek help.

Call 800-768-8728 now to find the best, safest option for your recovery from stimulant abuse and to avoid experiencing any additional side effects of substance abuse.

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