Amphetamines may work great for late night studying, enhanced athletic performance or even weight loss, but the benefits will be short-lived at best. The extra energy, alertness and confidence amphetamines provide come with a cost; a cost that tends to loom larger the longer a person keeps using these drugs.
While you may not set out to abuse amphetamines, the way these drugs interfere with brain chemical processes makes abuse all but inevitable when taken on a regular basis, according to the Semel Institute. Amphetamine addiction soon follows once brain chemical imbalances reach a certain point.
For these reasons, people who use amphetamines often have a difficult time drawing the line between occasional and frequent use. If you’ve been taking amphetamines on a regular basis, here are 10 signs you need help for amphetamine addiction –
1. Strong Drug Cravings
Strong drug cravings typify a growing amphetamine addiction as the brain and body grow more dependent on the drug’s effects. After a certain point, these cravings start to influence your priorities in damaging ways.
2. Increase in Drug Use
Amphetamine abuse slowly deteriorates brain cells over time. Gradually, a person starts to ingest increasingly larger drug doses to override weakened brain chemical reactions. This cycle will continue for as long as a person keeps using amphetamine drugs.
3. Eye Twitching
Amphetamine effects attack the body’s central nervous system, causing widespread damage to nerve signal transmissions. These effects impair voluntary muscle movements, especially the muscles in the face. As a result, eye twitching becomes more and more noticeable.
4. Mood Swings
The effects of ongoing drug use inevitably take a toll on the brain’s cognitive and emotion-based processes. Frequent mood swings mark the first signs of a growing amphetamine addiction. With continued drug use, mood swings intensify, eventually disrupting a person’s ability to manage daily life affairs.
Amphetamines naturally speed up chemical processes throughout the body. With frequent use, this excess work weakens cell functions in general, especially cell metabolism functions. As cells lose their ability to metabolize food nutrients, feelings of fatigue will develop and persist.
6. Weight Loss
Not unlike the decrease in appetite that comes after drinking lots of coffee, amphetamines likewise decrease a person’s appetite. Consequently, amphetamine addictions tend to bring on noticeable weight loss over time.
7. Severe Depression
The brain chemical imbalances brought on by amphetamine addiction drain essential neurotransmitter supplies. Before long, users start to experience feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and suicidal ideations that only intensify over time.
According to the University of Arizona, once amphetamine addiction reaches a certain point, the brain has all but been rewired. At this point, impulse control, reasoning and emotional responses have been warped to the point where paranoid delusions start to take shape.
9. Loss of Control Over Drug Use
Amphetamine addictions gradually take over a person’s power of choice in terms of being able to limit or control drug use. Someone who’s tried to stop using on multiple occasions and failed is likely struggling with amphetamine addiction.
10. Lifestyle Changes
The most telling signs of amphetamine addiction show up within a person’s daily behaviors and lifestyle. Lifestyle changes usually take the form of –
- Disheveled appearance
- Poor hygiene
- Money problems
- Problems at work
- Damaged relationships
- Legal problems
At this point, amphetamine addiction has taken over a person’s life.