Amphetamines have an addiction syndrome that can easily be compared to the syndrome caused by cocaine abuse. As stated by the NLM, “In the past, people underestimated how addictive cocaine can be,” but both drugs cause intense cravings, depression, and other issues that can linger long after withdrawal and even treatment has ended. Because of this, it is important to be able to recognize the warning signs of relapse into amphetamine use.
When someone leaves addiction treatment for amphetamines, they will often be very subdued, at least for some time. This is because their body and brain are becoming used to experiencing everything again without the use of amphetamines. In some cases, the individual may even experience anhedonia, or an inability to feel pleasure. But with patience, they will soon be able to feel like themselves again. It merely takes time.
However, “abuse of amphetamines… is characterized by… the ‘binge and crash’ cycle, when users attempt to maintain their high by overindulging in these drugs” (CESAR). If you suddenly notice that your loved one has extreme amounts of energy, does not sleep or eat very much for several days, and then suddenly crashes, sleeping for a prolonged amount of time, it is very likely that they have relapsed back to amphetamine abuse. A person’s ability to feel happy and excited again after amphetamine addiction treatment should be gradual, not sudden, and this could be a serious sign of a return to drug abuse.
A person could show many signs that point to a possible relapse or even warn you that a potential relapse could be on the horizon. It is important to watch for these signs, especially because those who suddenly revert back to drug abuse are more likely to experience an overdose (as their tolerances have become much lower).
These warning signs may include:
Any behavior that reflects those a person exhibited while abusing amphetamines is also a cause for alarm. Because relapse is a likely part of recovery, it is important to remember that it may occur, and the person can still recover safely. However, there are ways to prevent relapse, especially when you know the potential warning signs of a return to amphetamine abuse.