Amphetamine Withdrawal

Amphetamine withdrawal shouldn't be something that is dealt with at home or alone. Some of the symptoms can be serious and even fatal.

The sustained or repeat use of amphetamines can lead to physical and psychological dependence that will also result in withdrawal when the drugs are no longer being used.  When use of amphetamines abruptly stops, withdrawal symptoms quickly set in causing the brain and the body to go through a series of uncomfortable, not so pleasure some reactions both physically and psychologically.

Amphetamine use actually causes an initial spike in the creation of the natural hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine which is followed by a lowered production of these naturally occurring hormones over time.  The result is a physical dependence that the body develops on amphetamines to cause this spike in the development of naturally occurring hormones to make the individual feel good or feel pleasure.

Physical Symptoms of Amphetamine Withdrawal

amphetamine withdrawal

Amphetamine withdrawal can be painful but you can overcome these symptoms!

Physically, the body will go through a range of withdrawal symptoms when amphetamine use is abruptly stopped including a boost in hunger and extreme fatigue. Most people who use amphetamines tend to binge on the drugs feeling extensive highs followed by a crash and burn cycle that includes extreme fatigue and long periods of sleep.

Additional physical symptoms of amphetamine withdrawal include:
  • Oversleeping
  • Excessive hunger that doesn’t go away
  • Pain and discomfort in the stomach as a result of overeating
  • Lack of coordination
  • Shaking and the potential for seizures
  • Dehydration
  • Tachycardia
  • Arrhythmia
  • Cardiac arrest

Psychological Symptoms of Amphetamine Withdrawal

With all the symptoms that the user experiences physically, one may overlook the psychological elements of withdrawal—that is unless you are the one experiencing the symptoms.  Psychologically, the symptoms of amphetamine withdrawal can be different from one person to the next and may depend on the psychological well-being of the user prior to amphetamine use and other factors.  The most common symptoms include panic attacks, increased paranoia and mood swings as well as major cravings for amphetamines.

Additional psychological symptoms of amphetamine withdrawal include:
  • Irritability
  • Short-temper
  • Hypersensitivity to light and sound
  • Drug cravings
  • Extreme mood swings similar to bi-polar disorder
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Realistic nightmares
  • Hallucinations
  • Sensory misperception
  • Auditory hallucinations
  • Psychosis that is similar to schizophrenia

The Need for Medically Supervised Amphetamine Withdrawal Treatment

If you or someone you know is addicted to amphetamines, quitting may not be as easy or as safe as you think—at least not at first.  Amphetamine withdrawal can be a potential hazardous scenario for some users and the dangers associated with detox should not be overlooked.  Because amphetamine withdrawal can have potentially serious complications and side effects that are both physical and psychological in scope, it is recommended that anyone who attempts to quit using amphetamines do so under the guidance and care of a doctor or medical professional.

Ideally, amphetamine detox should take place in an inpatient or residential treatment facility to ensure the safety of the user during the early days of recovery.  With a professional staff who understands the dangers of amphetamine withdrawal and is able to provide around-the-clock supervision and treatment you can rest assured that you are in safe hands and that even if complications associated with amphetamine withdrawal do arise you will quickly get the treatment that you need.

Inpatient amphetamine addiction treatment centers have the proper equipment to monitor vitals and keep track of your temperature, heart beat and your overall well-being.  If blood pressure spikes or an irregular heartbeat is detected, there is often medical treatment such as medications that can work to get these symptoms of withdrawal under control without posing any major health threats to the recovering addict.

Another advantage to seeking medically supervised amphetamine withdrawal treatment comes with the ability for the professional staff at these centers to provide medications that will reduce the effects of the withdrawal and make you feel more comfortable.  Various other means of treatment can also be offered such as herbal remedies and holistic practices including acupuncture or massage to help ease the discomforts associated with amphetamine withdrawal, promote relaxation and further alleviate the symptoms that may otherwise cause discomfort during detox.

Resources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19370579

http://www.cesar.umd.edu/cesar/drugs/amphetamines.pdf

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