An addiction to amphetamines can result from both the recreational use of these drugs as well as from the prescribed use of amphetamines. Regardless of the purpose or intent when taking amphetamines, there is a risk of physical dependence, tolerance and addiction. For those who do become addicted to amphetamines, the best help is often provided by amphetamine addiction treatment centers which can provide insight, oversight and medical care during the extensive and often exhausted period many come to know as “recovery.”
Before you ever take amphetamines you should be aware of the warnings. Unfortunately, many healthcare providers do not address the risks associated with taking amphetamines with their patients and those who do may leave some information out.
If you are thinking about taking amphetamines or about giving your child amphetamines for ADD or ADHD, consider these warnings:
- Amphetamines have a very high potential for abuse
- According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, prolonged amphetamine use can lead to physical dependence and psychological dependence
- Family members could get ahold of amphetamines and develop dependence
- Sudden death may result from amphetamine use
- Serious cardiovascular problems could result from amphetamine use
Taking amphetamines under any circumstances can be habit-forming. Taking a larger dose than is prescribed, taking doses more often than prescribed or taking amphetamines without a prescription can lead to tolerance, physical and psychological dependence and subsequent addiction. If you or someone you know is prescribed amphetamines, follow doctor’s orders exactly as they are and do not change the dose.
Types of Amphetamine Addiction Treatment
Various types of treatment are available to those who become addicted to amphetamines. Initially, the user will have to go through a period of amphetamine detox which could take up to about two weeks to complete. During this time, the user will likely go through a series of withdrawal symptoms and should be under the direct care and monitoring of a healthcare professional to ensure safety.
- Residential detox
- Inpatient amphetamine addiction treatment
- Outpatient amphetamine addiction treatment
- Follow-up care
- Sober living
Those addicted to amphetamines are recommended to go to residential detox to ensure their safety in recovery. Residential detox takes place in a hospital or similar setting that is monitored around-the-clock by medical professionals to ensure the absolute safety of the recovering addict in the event that dangerous withdrawal symptoms appear.
Unfortunately, many of the dangerous symptoms of amphetamine detox cannot be seen such as:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Irregular heartbeat
- Increased body temperature
- Cardiovascular failure
Because these symptoms cannot be seen and must be monitored through vitals checks, the best and safest option for those in recovery is to detox in a residential setting where vitals and both physical and psychological well-being can be monitored 24/7.
Inpatient Amphetamine Addiction Treatment
Following detox, the patient will require extensive counseling and therapy to restore a sense of balance and psychological well-being. Inpatient amphetamine addiction treatment is the ideal choice for those who are heavily addicted or who have suffered psychological impairment or psychosis as a result of their addiction. During inpatient treatment, the user will be provided with a clean and safe environment to live in where the primary focus is on treatment and on recovering from amphetamine addiction.
The following types of treatment and counseling can be expected in inpatient treatment:
- Individual counseling
- Group counseling
- Support groups
- Medical treatment
- Behavioral therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Relapse prevention
Most inpatient addiction treatment programs last about 90 days to allow the user enough time to effectively detox and receive adequate counseling and therapy to change bad habits. Studies show that anything less than 90 days of treatment leaves the user open to an increased risk of relapse as behaviors do not usually change with such a short stint of treatment.
Outpatient Amphetamine Addiction Treatment
Following inpatient treatment or for those who are only mildly addicted to amphetamines and can pursue their recovery on their own, outpatient addiction treatment is another option for recovery. Many of the same techniques and services are offered in an outpatient amphetamine addiction treatment center but the services are provided during business hours or in the early evening hours allowing the patient to handle day to day activities outside of treatment.
Support groups make up a large part of the decision to seek outpatient treatment. Those who are in an outpatient amphetamine addiction treatment program are usually also attending regular support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous or a similar community program in which peer support is provided to help users stay clean and sober.
Follow Up Care
Any effective amphetamine addiction treatment program will include follow-up care to ensure that the user has the continued support necessary to stay sober and life a drug free lifestyle. Follow-up care may include things like job placement assistance, education assistance, continued counseling, and support groups. The primary purpose of follow-up care is to ensure continued abstinence from drug abuse while helping the newly recovered amphetamine addict to reintegrate into society and hopefully find a job, repair relationships at home and build a strong support network that helps them to stay sober for many years to come.
Sober living is different for everyone who overcomes amphetamine addiction. For some, urges to use will continue for many years and the psychological effects of the addiction will never quite go away. For others, a couple of years of sobriety can almost wash away any memory of a life that was once lived on the edge as an amphetamine addict. Sober living is the next step following addiction treatment and may take place at home or it may take place in a sober living facility also known as a sober house.
For those who do not have a family to live with or some other safe, clean place to live following amphetamine addiction treatment, a sober living home provides the next transitional step in recovery. These homes are monitored and allow recovering addicts to live and adjust to living a drug free lifestyle and paying bills without all of the pressures of maintaining all of the expenses of living alone. Multiple recovering addicts live under one roof and share the expenses.