As a group, amphetamine drugs all produce the same “speed” effect in terms of stimulating central nervous system processes. Continued use of these drugs inevitably leads to physical dependence and addiction. Likewise, prescription amphetamines, such as Adderall, Desoxyn and Dexedrine can be just as addictive as illegal varieties like meth and cathinone.
According to the University of Maryland, amphetamines directly interfere with the brain’s chemical balance by increasing dopamine and norepinephrine neurotransmitter levels. Treatment for amphetamine addiction specifically addresses the damage caused by long-term amphetamine use.
Someone seeking treatment for amphetamine addiction may want to consider a few things before choosing a treatment program. As with most every addiction, different people react to drug use in different ways.
The severity of a person’s addiction offers clues as to which type of treatment for amphetamine addiction will work best. Treatment program approaches, program flexibility and the availability of follow-up supports are all factors to consider when choosing treatment for amphetamine addiction.
1. Severity of Addiction
Much like the effects of long-term cocaine use, amphetamines all but destroy brain cells leaving users in a diminished physical and mental state. Not surprisingly, the longer a person uses the worse this damage becomes.
In general, treatment programs specialize in treating different stages of addiction. Program types typically take the form of:
- Detox programs
- Residential programs
- Outpatient programs
People battling long-term addictions will likely require the services offered from each of the above programs, while someone at the early stages of addiction may only require detox and outpatient treatment.
2. Program Flexibility
While many rehab programs go by a set treatment procedure, treatment for amphetamine addiction requires a flexible program approach that caters to the needs of the individual. Programs offering a range of behavioral therapy treatments will likely be able to work with the ups and downs that recovery brings out in a person’s life. As the potential for relapse runs considerably high for amphetamine addiction, relapse prevention training should also be a central part of the treatment process.
3. Treatment Program Duration
Making it through drug treatment is hard enough without having to turn around and go through the same process all over again. More oftentimes than not, the damaged caused by ongoing amphetamine abuse requires a prolonged treatment process. Programs offering treatment for amphetamine addiction should likewise allow for lengthy treatment stays when necessary.
4. Follow-Up Supports
No matter how positive any one program may seem, programs that don’t offer follow-up supports or aftercare leave recovering addicts at high risk of relapse.
Follow-up supports offered should include:
- Ongoing psychotherapy
- Ongoing behavior therapy
- Group therapy
- 12-Step support group meetings
5. Co-Occurring Disorders
By the time a person enters treatment for amphetamine addiction, both medical and psychological disorders can develop from months or years of drug use. People affected by psychological disorders in particular face an especially difficult time in overcoming addiction.
Under these conditions, a person should seriously consider settling in for the long haul in recovery since he or she is battling two disorders (addiction and mental illness) that tend to aggravate one another.