Today, amphetamines are well known for their highly addictive properties; however, there was a time when amphetamines were used to treat a range of different medical conditions. According to the University of Rochester, it wasn’t until the 1960s that amphetamine’s addictive properties came to light. From that point, certain restrictions were placed on the use of these drugs.
Medical uses for amphetamines still exist today, though their high potential for abuse still places many at risk of addiction. With an addiction potential comparable to cocaine, it doesn’t take long for amphetamine addiction signs to take root.
Amphetamine addiction signs develop gradually over time as the effects of the drug become more prominent within the brain’s inner workings. With long-term use, amphetamine addiction signs are all but impossible to miss.
Here are five amphetamine addiction signs you can’t miss –
1. Physical Dependency
Amphetamines work by increasing the amount of dopamine chemicals secreted in the brain. Dopamine plays a central role in regulating a person’s emotional state as well as maintaining a state of equilibrium for many major bodily processes.
Over time, brain chemical processes become dependent on amphetamine effects leaving them unable to function normally in the absence of the drug, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. After a while, the brain starts to require the drug’s effects in order to function normally.
2. Larger Dosage Amounts
Amphetamine’s effects stimulate certain cell sites in the brain, which in turn release large amounts of dopamine chemicals. With ongoing use, amphetamine wears away at cell structures and weakens their ability to secrete dopamine chemicals.
Before long, users find themselves taking increasingly larger doses in order to experience the drug’s expected “high” effect. This process will continue for as long as a person keeps taking the drug. This amphetamine addiction sign accounts for amphetamine’s high addictive potential.
3. Violent Outbursts
As brain cell structures continue to deteriorate, chemical imbalances start to persist throughout the brain. After weeks or months of abusing amphetamines, these imbalances can throw off a person’s emotional stability in a big way.
Since amphetamines affect the areas of the brain responsible for impulse control, these conditions make for highly unstable emotional displays. By the time a person starts exhibiting this amphetamine addiction sign, he or she is, for the most part, trapped inside an addiction cycle.
4. Inability to Stop Using
Amphetamine addiction signs mark a progressive loss of control over drug behaviors. Three variables contribute to a person’s inability to stop or reduce drug using practices –
- Rising tolerance levels
- Physical dependence
- Withdrawal effects
With long-term use, it becomes all but impossible to break the addiction cycle without professional treatment help.
5. Needing Amphetamines to Cope
Of all the amphetamine addiction signs, “needing” the drug’s effects to cope with daily life demonstrates a full-blown addiction at work. Not unlike the brain’s physical dependency, needing amphetamine’s effects means a psychological dependency has taken hold. At this point, a person has rearranged his or her entire lifestyle around drug-using and drug-seeking activities.