Often, children and teens are prescribed amphetamines in order to treat issues associated with ADHD and other attention problems. However, sometimes, these drugs can be abused by adolescents who want to stay up later, perform better in school, or get high. How can you know if your child needs amphetamine addiction treatment?
Talk to Them
The best first step toward finding a solution is to talk to your child calmly about their use of amphetamines and to ask them whether or not they are taking the medication as prescribed. Discussing the issue should be your first attempt at fixing the situation, and it may allow your child to admit that there is a problem. Unfortunately, though, drug abuse––and addiction––can cause people to hide their problematic behavior because they do not want to stop.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Taking some stimulants in high doses or repeatedly can lead to hostility or feelings of paranoia.” Often, adolescent abusers who are asked about their drug use become extremely hostile or evasive when the subject comes up. If your child shows these signs when you try to talk to them, or if you still have reason to believe they may be abusing amphetamines, look for some of the other signs listed below.
Signs Associated with Amphetamine Abuse
Amphetamine addiction can cause a series of dangerous behaviors, many of which are obvious to loved ones as they are difficult to hide. These can include:
- Mood swings
- Long periods of wakefulness and then a crash where the individual sleeps for a prolonged period
- Euphoria (when on the drug)
- Talkativeness and increased activity
- Tendency toward risky or dangerous behavior
- Not wanting to eat and losing weight
Those who abuse amphetamines also often experience issues with malnutrition, headaches, heart palpitations, tremors or twitching, skin problems, and “repetitive motor activity” (Center for Substance Abuse Research). Some of these issues can be serious side effects of normal amphetamine abuse, but for the most part, if more than one are occurring at once, it is likely that your child is abusing their medication and may already be addicted to it.
In addition, those abusing these substances often have different types of paraphernalia in their rooms or homes that will help to indicate their abuse. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, “Amphetamines are generally taken orally or injected” when abused. If you find needles, tubing, and other paraphernalia used for injection, your child is abusing their medication and likely to become addicted. Also, if you notice extra pill bottles hidden in places, blank prescription pads, or other indications that they are taking more of the medication than they are meant to, addiction is a possible outcome.
Does My Child Need Amphetamine Addiction Treatment?
If your child is lying about the extent of their amphetamine use or abusing the drug often, they will probably need some sort of professional treatment in order to stop. Addiction to stimulants often builds quickly because most users abuse these drugs in a binge-crash pattern. Call 800-768-8728 to find out how you can begin to seek treatment for your child and help them stop abusing amphetamines today.