Amphetamines encompass a wide range of drugs, some prescription-based, some illegal. Whether legal or illegal, amphetamines carry the same addictive properties when taken for non-medical purposes.
According to the World Health Organization, some of the more commonly used amphetamine drugs include:
- MDMA or ecstasy
Amphetamine detox marks the starting point for breaking the hold of these drugs over a person’s life. What happens after amphetamine detox will either make or break a person’s chances of overcoming addiction in his or her life.
Someone addicted to amphetamines struggles with both a physical and psychological addiction to the drug. Amphetamine detox addresses the physical aspects of addiction. What happens after amphetamine detox addresses the psychological aspects of addiction. For these reasons, ongoing counseling, psychotherapy and relapse prevention training become an especially necessary part of the addiction recovery process.
Amphetamine Addiction Rehab
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, chronic amphetamine use alters the brain’s physical structures and chemical processes. In effect, addiction produces long-term aftereffects that persist long after a person completes the amphetamine detox stage of recovery.
Changes in the brain’s reward system, in particular, account for the persistent drug cravings a person experiences throughout the recovery process. For these reasons, rehab programs place a heavy emphasis on addressing the psychological aspects of addiction. Once a person completes amphetamine detox, ongoing treatment works towards helping him or her work through the underlying issues that drive addiction behaviors.
Protracted Withdrawal Effects
More than anything else, the emotional turmoil experienced by recovering addicts becomes the most challenging part of the recovery process. This is especially the case for people coming off chronic amphetamine addictions.
The brain chemical imbalances leftover from long-term drug use can take months or even years to return to normal, which accounts for the ongoing emotional ups and downs a person experiences. These leftover chemical imbalances can actually develop into full-blown psychological problems, such as depression or anxiety disorders.
Under these conditions, the importance of treating the underlying issues driving addiction becomes all the more pressing as psychological disorders only work to increase the potential for relapse.
Counseling & Psychotherapy Treatment
Addiction, in general, creates a psychological attachment between the user and the drug. In effect, a person comes to believe the drug serves an essential role in his or her overall survival and ability to function.
While amphetamine detox treatment does provide some level of counseling and psychotherapy treatment, ongoing work in these areas remains necessary as a means for replacing addiction-based beliefs and behaviors with a healthy productive mindset. Both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs can provide the types of guidance and support recovering addicts need to overcome the damaging aftereffects of addiction.
Relapse Prevention Training
While the whole of addiction recovery entails developing needed relapse prevention strategies, certain types of psychotherapies are specifically geared toward developing strategies for everyday life. Behavior medication therapies in particular focus on the following strategies –
- Learning to identify and avoid certain cues that trigger the urge to use, such as old hangouts, other drug users and certain activities like going to the bar
- Developing a system for rewarding abstinence behaviors
- Working through difficult emotional issues that fuel drug-using behaviors
While some may regard these types of interventions as optional, amphetamine detox treatment alone is not enough to equip a person for the challenges he or she will face in recovery.