If you or someone you love use amphetamines, then you should be aware that they can be addictive. Even when legally prescribed by a doctor, a user can easily build tolerance and develop dependence for it. Amphetamine is a strong stimulant drug and a user can quickly become psychologically addicted to it. An amphetamine addiction can be difficult to overcome and a user would most likely need to seek professional treatment. The effects are similar to that of cocaine, and frequent use can lead to psychosis.
According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, although the physiological experience of using amphetamines and cocaine is almost identical, the effects of amphetamines can last several hours whereas the effects of cocaine generally last less than one hour.
What are Some Early Warning Signs of Amphetamine Addiction?
Amphetamines, whether taken as pills, crushed to snort or smoke, or melted into a liquid to inject, the effects are generally the same, and whichever way it is administered -can become addictive. Getting professional help early on helps avoid health complications later down the road, and possibly save a life. The more aware you are of the warning signs of addiction, the sooner treatment can be sought. Some signs that you should look out for include:
- Dosage has increased without doctors approval
- Amphetamine is being bought illegally
- Cravings for the drug get stronger when supply has finished
- Difficulty falling asleep and can stay awake for hours
- Mood swings include feeling happy one moment and sad the next
- Aggressive behavior
- Feel hyperactive and as drug effects wear down, may experience tiredness
- Dilated pupils
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Lack of interest in activities with family
- Lack of motivation in school or at work
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Cannot stop thinking about the drug
- Cannot function unless amphetamine is taken
- Hallucinations may be experienced
Not everyone will show the same signs as listed above. Some may not be affected in the same way as another. However, these are common signs that can alert you of amphetamine addiction. The longer a person keeps using the drug, the more dangerous it can be, and the higher the probability of an overdose. An overdose requires immediate medical attention and can cause coma or death.
What Happens if the Addiction Goes Untreated?
The more the drug is used, the higher the risks that the user may experience harmful consequences. Prolonged and frequent use of amphetamines can lead to psychosis. According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR), chronic abuse of amphetamine and methamphetamine is characterized by violent and erratic behavior, as well as a psychosis similar to schizophrenia, that can involve paranoia, picking at the skin, and auditory/visual hallucinations.
How an Amphetamine Addiction Affects Your Social Life
When addicted to a drug -especially one like amphetamine- users tend to act differently and in most cases when the drug is abused can make them aggressive and act violently. This can ruin friendships that were once special and can also affect family members. Friends or family may not trust you any longer.
If your addiction becomes severe to the point that you will steal money just to get more, then you can end up in serious legal trouble, and this can have a permanent record that can affect other areas of your life, such as job opportunities.
The sooner you decide to change your negative habits and get help to stop taking amphetamines, the quicker you can get back to living a healthier life free from drug use. Calling an addiction specialist will be the best decision you can make to improve your life, or that of a loved one.