Those who abuse amphetamines––and even those who take them safely as a kind of prescribed medication––can possibly encounter depression during the withdrawal stage. According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, “When binge episodes end, the abuser ‘crashes’ and is left with severe depression, anxiety, extreme fatigue, and a craving for more drugs.”
As these individuals are attempting to end their dependence on amphetamines and stop abusing these drugs, the depressive symptoms of withdrawal can linger for weeks or even months at a time. Fortunately, though, depression as the result of amphetamine withdrawal can be treated medically.
Usually, the depressive symptoms associated with amphetamine withdrawal begin early after the individual’s last dose. This is often called the crash period and the individual will feel tired, sluggish, depressed, and anxious. However, the depression itself can last for months and become very difficult on the individual. Because the condition can cause suicidal thoughts as well as the other issues associated with depression, medication must be a possible treatment option for individuals in this situation.
As stated by the US Department of Veteran Affairs, “During the late withdrawal phase, when depression may be present, antidepressants may be an appropriate choice for treatment.” These medications can be given on both an outpatient and inpatient basis, and they can be incredibly necessary for the individual’s wellbeing. Though the person’s depression may be fully based on the changes that the drugs have caused to the brain and not on a preexisting mood disorder, it is still important that these medications are available to them to help them avoid the serious consequences of depressive symptoms.
Behavioral therapy is extremely beneficial for individuals in addiction treatment as well as those struggling with mood disorders. A treatment option like cognitive-behavioral therapy can treat both of these issues simultaneously, which is very important in the care of comorbid disorders. The depression itself, though a symptom of the individual’s drug abuse, must be addressed and treated seriously so as to avoid further issues as well as the possibility of the individual relapsing back to drug abuse in order to self-medicate.
In behavioral therapy, patients learn how to recognize certain emotions as well as triggers that may cause them to experience depressive symptoms. They also learn better coping skills and ways in which to avoid triggers for drug cravings. This minimizes the severity of the depression as well as the other issues caused by the person’s former drug abuse.
In many ways, you may be living with amphetamine withdrawal and the depression that ensues for a long time. But through the use of medication and therapy, the serious symptoms associated with these issues can be managed, and you can live your life while recovering from amphetamine dependence and addiction. If you have more questions about stimulant addiction treatment or the withdrawal syndrome associated with stimulant abuse, call 800-768-8728.