What Are the Long-term Psychological Effects of Amphetamine Abuse?
The psychological effects of amphetamine abuse can be some of the most dangerous issues associated with these drugs. And the longer you continue to continue to misuse amphetamines, the more severe these symptoms become. This is why it is so important to seek treatment for amphetamine abuse and addiction; call 800-768-8728 today.
The Long-term Psychological Effects of Amphetamine Abuse
Amphetamine misuse, even in the short-term, can be dangerous, and a person can experience severe physical and psychological symptoms, some of which can even be deadly. But according to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, “Prolonged amphetamine abuse or abuse in high doses can cause a number of other problems.”
Unfortunately, many of these are psychological and long lasting. They include:
- Severe paranoia
- The anxiety and depression caused by amphetamines can each become their own full-blown disorder, which will often need to be treated simultaneously with one’s substance use disorder.
- Other mental changes that range from minor to severe
- Dizzy spells
- Hostility and aggression
In addition, a person can also experience a psychosis similar to schizophrenia as a result of long-term amphetamine abuse. This can be extremely severe, even leading to homicidal and suicidal thoughts, and the individual can become a danger to themselves or others.
In fact, according to the US Department of Veteran Affairs, “Psychosis is [actually] induced more commonly by amphetamine than by cocaine, perhaps because it is difficult to maintain high chronic levels of cocaine in the body.”
The psychological effects of long-term amphetamine abuse are severe, and the more a person misuses these drugs, the higher chance they have of experiencing these issues. But unfortunately, these are not the only psychological effects of amphetamine abuse.
A person can very quickly become addicted to amphetamines if they are taking these drugs in large doses, but as stated previously, the longer a person abuses these drugs, the more likely they are to become addicted.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Addiction most likely occurs because stimulants, when taken in doses and routes other than those prescribed by a doctor, can induce a rapid rise in dopamine in the brain.”
Other psychological issues accompany addiction when a person has been taking amphetamines in large doses for a long period of time. These can include:
- Tolerance: A person will often become tolerant to the effects of these drugs over time. This means they will need more of the drug in order to experience the same effects. This is extremely problematic, as someone who was originally an amphetamine user could turn to crystal meth, cocaine, or another illicit stimulant to get the fix they desire. This will only intensify their addiction and the side effects of their substance abuse.
- Dependence: A person who uses amphetamines often to get high will become dependent on these drugs, just like someone who takes them as they are prescribed will. However, they will experience severe withdrawal symptoms when they are unable to obtain more of the drug.
- Withdrawal symptoms: Most of the withdrawal symptoms associated with amphetamine abuse are psychological in nature. This is common with stimulant drugs, but issues like depression, anxiety, fatigue, anhedonia (or an inability to experience pleasure), and vivid nightmares can all be extremely uncomfortable, causing many people to attempt to obtain the drug by whatever means necessary in order to avoid them.
- Cravings: Cravings for stimulants are some of the most intense of any substance of abuse. In fact, a person can experience cravings for amphetamines long after they stopped using them, brought on by a sudden trigger from seeing someone or something that reminds the individual of their drug abuse.
How Do I Avoid These Psychological Effects?
The easiest way to avoid any negative effects of amphetamines is to only take them as prescribed and to never abuse them. Though you may start out in control of your substance abuse, eventually, you become more and more likely to lose control altogether. And usually, this is when the severe side effects begin to take hold.
If you have been taking amphetamines in large doses or without a prescription and need help in order to stop, call 800-768-8728 now. We can match you with the best rehab centers available for your specific needs.