3 Unseen Effects of Amphetamine Withdrawal That Shouldn’t Be Ignored

Feelings of euphoria, increased energy and laser-sharp concentration are the most sought after effects from amphetamine abuse. When amphetamine withdrawal occurs, users experience the exact opposite effects, such as fatigue, confusion and depression.

While symptoms of amphetamine withdrawal may be all but impossible to ignore, it’s the unseen effects that turn casual drug use into an out-of-control drug problem.

Understanding the role amphetamine withdrawal plays and the effects it has on drug using behavior can be a good first step towards taking back control of your life from this drug abuse.

For help with overcoming the effects of drug abuse in your life, call our toll-free helpline at 800-816-1059(Who Answers?).

Amphetamine Withdrawal Episodes

Amphetamine drugs like Ritalin, Concerta and Adderall act as powerful stimulant agents, speeding up the body’s central nervous system activities in drastic ways. According to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, the abuse of these drugs gradually cripples the brain’s functional capacity to the point where it can no longer function normally in the absence of the drug.

Withdrawal episodes develop out of these effects. Rather than just come and go, amphetamine withdrawal plays a pivotal role in driving continued drug use.

3 Unseen Effects of Amphetamine Withdrawal

Effects of Amphetamine Withdrawal

Overwhelming feelings of depression can occur with amphetamine withdrawal.

1. Emotional Instability

If you’ve experienced amphetamine withdrawal, you’re well aware of how emotionally distressing this condition can be. Feelings of depression, anxiety and helplessness can quickly become overwhelming during a withdrawal state.

These symptoms result from the overall state of brain chemical imbalance amphetamines cause. Unless you have the willpower to wait it out, the urge to self-medicate these symptoms by using more of the drug is all but impossible to resist.

2. A Growing Physical Dependence

As brain chemical imbalances worsen, casual amphetamine use turns into a growing physical dependence on the drug. According to the U. S. National Library of Medicine, physical dependence develops out of:

  • Damage to brain cell structures
  • Increasing brain tolerance levels
  • Changes within the brain’s neurotransmitter pathways

Amphetamines work by forcing neurotransmitter-producing brain cells to work overtime, which creates chemical imbalances along the way. In the process, increasing structural damage to cells makes them less responsive to amphetamine’s presence.

In effect, amphetamine withdrawal becomes the first visible sign of physical dependence. With continued drug use, this physical dependence will continue to grow stronger.

3. A Growing Need for the Drug

With continued drug use, a physical dependence on amphetamines will soon give way to psychological dependence, or addiction. Much like the brain’s physical processes come to depend on the drug’s effects to function, a person’s mind starts to believe he or she needs the drug to meet daily responsibilities and pressures.

This “need” lies at the heart of addiction. Once a person reaches this stage of drug abuse, the discomfort that comes with amphetamine withdrawal episodes only works to reinforce the addiction problem.


Considering the role amphetamine withdrawal plays in causing addiction, a person remains all but helpless to prevent drug-using behaviors from getting worse over time. For these reasons, it’s important to take note of just how strong an influence amphetamine effects have in your daily life.

If you’re considering getting help for a drug problem and need help finding a rehab program that’s right for you, call our helpline at 800-816-1059(Who Answers?) to speak with one of our addiction specialists.