While nowhere near as “popular” as opiates, amphetamines pack a powerful punch all the same, placing users at considerable risk of serious physical and psychological harm. Compared to other types of drugs, amphetamines act aggressively, overpowering the brain’s chemical system within a short period of time.
Anyone who’s abused amphetamines on a frequent basis has likely engaged in bingeing practices along the way as bingeing entails consuming multiple drug doses in rapid succession all at once. Amphetamine abuse and bingeing practices tend to go hand-in-hand due to the powerful effects of these drugs on the brain. Ultimately, by the time a person starts engaging in bingeing behavior, amphetamine abuse has reached a point of no return until he or she seeks out needed treatment help.
Amphetamine’s Abuse Potential
Amphetamines consist mainly of prescription stimulant drugs, such as Dexedrine, Ritalin and Adderall. Commonly used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy, these drugs can cause brain chemical imbalances to develop in people who don’t have these conditions.
According to the University of Maryland, amphetamines work by stimulating the chemical activities that regulate brain and central nervous system functions. In effect, amphetamine effects force the body’s systems to function at a faster rate, which can have harmful effects in cases of amphetamine abuse.
Tolerance Level Increases
Within a fairly short period of time, the brain loses its sensitivity to amphetamine effects. This loss of sensitivity mutes or muffles the drug’s effects. Someone expecting to experience the energy surge and enhanced mental acuity these drugs normally produce will likely increase his or her dosage amount in order to strengthen the drug’s effects.
The truth of the matter is the brain will continue to lose its sensitivity to amphetamine in degrees, for as long as a person keeps using. These increases in tolerance level not only drive the amphetamine abuse process, but also set the stage for bingeing practices to begin.
As the brain’s tolerance levels continue to rise, amphetamine effects gain an increasing hold over the brain’s chemical system. In the process, widespread brain chemical imbalances start to develop.
According to the U. S. National Library of Medicine, amphetamine withdrawal effects develop out of these imbalances since the brain can no longer regulate the body’s systems as normal. These effects typically take the form of:
- Problems concentrating
- Pronounced fluctuations in mood state
Not surprisingly, these developments also play into the amphetamine abuse and bingeing cycle as users tend to keep ingesting drugs in order to gain relief from uncomfortable withdrawal effects.
Bingeing & Its Effects
Bingeing practices place an incredible strain on the body, most notably the body’s cardiovascular and circulatory systems. With a high enough dosage level, amphetamines can easily cause a heart attack or stroke episode.
After ingesting large doses of amphetamines and experiencing the expected “high” effects, the body’s energy levels plummet. Also known as “crashing,” a person can easily sleep for multiple days in a row. Once he or she wakes up, severe withdrawal effects take hold, which only works to drive ongoing bingeing behaviors.
When to Get Help
Amphetamine abuse and bingeing open a person up to serious health complications, some of which may result in permanent damage. Brain damage and damage to the cardiovascular system are common in cases of long-term amphetamine abuse and bingeing. Without needed treatment help, these practices will likely send a person to an early grave.
If you or someone you know struggles with amphetamine abuse and have more questions about substance abuse and addiction, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-768-8728(Who Answers?) to speak with one of our phone counselors.