What Is Amphetamine Dependence?
Amphetamines are a type of stimulant. They treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, a sleep disorder.
are two types of amphetamines. They’re sometimes sold illegally. Both
prescribed and street amphetamines can be abused and cause addiction. Methamphetamine
is the most commonly abused amphetamine.
Amphetamine dependence occurs when you need the drug to
function on a daily basis. You’ll experience symptoms of withdrawal if you’re
dependent and you abruptly stop using the drug.
What Causes Amphetamine Dependence?
Using amphetamines frequently and for a long time can cause
dependence. Some people become dependent faster than others.
You may become dependent by using these drugs without a
doctor’s prescription. You can also become dependent if you take more than
you’re prescribed. You may even develop dependence if you take amphetamines
according to your doctor’s directions.
Who Is at Risk for Amphetamine Dependence?
You have a higher risk of developing amphetamine dependence
easy access to amphetamines
in a culture where amphetamine use is viewed as acceptable
mental disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders,
low self-esteem or relationship problems
- have a
What Are the Symptoms of Amphetamine Dependence?
If you’re dependent on amphetamines, you may:
work or school
complete or perform tasks as well
care about physical appearance
- lose a
lot of weight
severe dental problems
to get money to support your drug habit
- try to
hide your amphetamine abuse from others
amphetamines when you’re alone
it difficult to stop using amphetamines
excuses to yourself and others to use amphetamines
withdrawal symptoms if you don’t use amphetamines
episodes of violence and mood disturbances
visual or auditory hallucinations
delusions, such as the sensation that something is crawling under your
How Is Amphetamine Dependence Diagnosed?
To diagnose amphetamine dependence, your doctor may:
you questions about how much and how long you’ve been using amphetamines
blood tests to detect amphetamines in your system
a physical exam and order tests to detect health problems caused by your
Check for the following symptoms. You may have amphetamine
dependence if you’ve experienced three or more within the same 12-month period.
Build Up of
You’ve built up a tolerance if you need larger doses of
amphetamines to achieve the same high.
Mental Health Is
Withdrawal is characterized by depression, anxiety, fatigue,
paranoia, aggression, and intense cravings. You may need to use a similar drug
to relieve or avoid amphetamine withdrawal symptoms.
Inability to Cut Down or Stop
You have wanted to cut down or stop using amphetamines but
have been unsuccessful. You continue to use amphetamines even though you know
thye’re causing persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problems.
You miss out on or don’t go to as many recreational, social,
or work activities because of your amphetamine use.
How Is Amphetamine Dependence Treated?
Treatments for amphetamine dependence may include a
combination of the following.
If you experience strong drug cravings, you may find it
easier to go through amphetamine withdrawal in a hospital setting. This setting
may also help if you have negative mood changes, including aggression and
Individual counseling, family therapy, and group therapy can
why you use drugs
problems that led you to use drugs
relationships with your family
ways to avoid amphetamine use
activities you enjoy in place of drug use
support from others who have been amphetamine users because they
understand what you’re going through (usually in a 12-step drug treatment
Your doctor may prescribe medication to ease severe symptoms
of withdrawal. Your doctor may prescribe methylphenidate
if you have severe intravenous amphetamine dependence. Fluoxetine
may decrease your cravings. Imipramine
may help you stick with your treatment for amphetamine dependence. Your doctor
may prescribe other medications to help relieve symptoms of anxiety,
depression, and aggression.
What Are the Complications of Amphetamine Dependence?
Consistent amphetamine dependence and abuse can lead to:
damage (you may notice symptoms that resemble Alzheimer’s disease,
epilepsy, or stroke)
What Is the Long-Term Outlook?
Amphetamine dependence can be difficult to treat. You may
relapse after treatment and start using amphetamines again. Participating in a
12-step drug treatment program and getting individual counseling can reduce
your chances of relapse.
Can I Prevent Amphetamine Dependence?
Drug education programs can reduce the odds for new amphetamine
use or a relapse. Counseling for emotional problems and family support can also
help. However, none of these have been proven to prevent amphetamine use in