The Dangers of Prescription Amphetamine Addiction during the Holidays

Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve mark the end of the year within a season known for celebration and cheer. The holidays draw on traditions of old that carry over from one generation to another. Likewise, families carry over their own traditions.

While intended to be a good thing, both holiday and family-based holiday traditions disrupt everyday life, which comes with certain dangers for people living with prescription amphetamine addiction. Prescription amphetamine drugs work as central nervous system stimulants, which imply a certain degree of risk whether taken for medical or recreational purposes.

The dangers of prescription amphetamine addiction during the holidays can vary depending on your circumstances, though the pressures that come with the holidays tend to exacerbate an already dangerous situation.

Holiday Pressures

As festive as the holiday season can be, it nonetheless comes with specific stressors and pressures unlike any other time of year. For those who celebrate Christmas, shopping and gift selection tasks not only strain the pocketbook but also require a level of care and consideration for each gift recipient.

Add to this the increase in family time that naturally happens during this time of year, as well as interactions had with friends not seen for years, and someone struggling with prescription amphetamine addiction will likely “need” to increase his or her drug intake in order to cope with it all. Ultimately, the stressors that the holiday season brings play right into the addiction cycle.

Dangers of Prescription Amphetamine Addiction

prescription amphetamine addiction

The stress that accompanies the holidays can lead to prescription amphetamine abuse.

Prescription amphetamines, such as Ritalin, Strattera and Adderall work in much the same way as cocaine, increasing dopamine neurotransmitter production in the brain. Whereas cocaine produces short-term effects, a prescription amphetamine “high” can last anywhere from six to 12 hours.

This difference in duration of effect comes with grave consequences in cases of prescription amphetamine addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, compulsive amphetamine use can cause any number of medical and psychological problems to develop, including:

  • Elevated heart rate
  • Increase in body temperature
  • Sleep problems
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety episodes
  • Bouts of depression
  • Aggressive behaviors
  • Feelings of rage
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack

Under these conditions, any increase in drug-using practices poses a considerable threat to a person’s health and well-being.

The Prescription Amphetamine Addiction Cycle

If you use prescription amphetamines for recreational purposes for any length of time, you’re well aware of the withdrawal effects that develop once the “high” wears off. You may have even noticed how it takes larger and larger drug doses to produce the desired effects of the drug.

Once addiction sets in, bingeing behaviors become the norm as the brain’s tolerance for amphetamines reach dangerously high levels. According to the University of Maryland, each of these effects plays an active role in the prescription amphetamine addiction cycle.

In effect, addiction develops out of the psychological effects of the drug rather than the physical effects, though withdrawal episodes and rising tolerance levels do perpetuate ongoing drug use all the same. Within the context of the holiday season, it’s easy to see how dangerous prescription amphetamine addiction can be during this time of year.

Treatment Considerations

With prescription amphetamines, a mild addiction can quickly turn severe under the right circumstances. Likewise, holiday pressures can easily drive a person to believe he or she needs the drug to cope or make it through. After a certain point, the body can’t keep up, placing a person in considerable danger, both physically and psychologically.

If you or someone you know struggles with prescription amphetamine addiction this season, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-768-8728(Who Answers?) for more information on addiction or for help in finding drug treatment programs in your area.