Amphetamine Addiction: Signs, Symptoms, & Treatment

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Amphetamines are stimulants that accelerate metabolism and enhance alertness. They are legally prescribed to treat conditions like ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and narcolepsy. That said, amphetamines are also used illicitly for their euphoric effects or to prolong wakefulness. DEA (United States Drug Enforcement Administration) classifies amphetamines as Schedule II controlled substances due to their high potential for abuse. Read on to learn all about this substance and discover how to engage with amphetamine addiction rehab near you.

Are Amphetamine Addictive?

Amphetamines are highly addictive. This addictive potential stems from how these substances interact with the brain, particularly affecting the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter or chemical messenger that is associated with pleasure, movement, and attention.

The dopamine release triggered by amphetamines leads to euphoric effects that many people seek to recreate. The sustained use of this class of drugs, though, causes tolerance to form rapidly. When this occurs, the effects of amphetamines diminish. Increasing consumption accelerates the development of physical dependence. When someone is dependent on stimulants, they require the substance to function normally and experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms in its absence. Dependence often but not always leads to addiction.

Amphetamine addiction (stimulant use disorder) is a chronic, relapsing brain disorder. While incurable, amphetamine addiction is treatable. Before you find out how to connect with effective treatment for stimulant abuse, discover the signs and symptoms of amphetamine addiction.

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Signs of Amphetamine Addiction

These following signs of amphetamine addiction may be noticed by friends, family, or even the individuals themselves:

  • Change in physical appearance: Noticeable weight loss, poor skin condition, and a general lack of attention to personal hygiene and grooming.
  • Behavioral changes: Increased secrecy, lying, or deceptive behavior, especially regarding their whereabouts and activities.
  • Social withdrawal: Withdrawing from family, friends, and social activities that were once enjoyed, often to spend more time using or recovering from amphetamines.
  • Financial problems: Unexplained financial issues or a sudden need for money, which could be related to purchasing amphetamines.
  • Mood swings and irritability: Extreme changes in mood, from euphoria to agitation or irritability, especially when they can’t access the drug.
  • Altered sleep patterns: Drastic changes in sleeping habits, such as insomnia or an irregular sleep schedule.
  • Increased risk-taking behavior: Engaging in risky or dangerous behaviors, especially when under the influence of amphetamines.
  • Performance issues: Decline in performance at work or school, including absenteeism or a drop in grades or work quality.
  • Legal problems: Encounters with the legal system, which could include arrests for behaviors related to drug use.
  • Physical symptoms: Symptoms like rapid heart rate, dilated pupils, dry mouth, or excessive sweating without physical exertion.

Recognizing these signs can help inform prompt intervention and could be the first step to helping someone seek the treatment and support they need to conquer amphetamine addiction.

Amphetamine Addiction Symptoms

Amphetamine addiction is clinically described as stimulant use disorder. The symptoms are outlined in American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5-TR as follows:

  1. Needing more of the stimulant to feel the same effects or noticing that the same amount doesn’t have as strong an effect as before.
  2. Experiencing physical or mental discomfort when not using the stimulant, such as fatigue, depression, or sleep problems.
  3. Wanting to cut down or stop using the stimulant, but not being able to do so.
  4. Spending a lot of time obtaining, using, or recovering from the effects of the stimulant.
  5. Having strong urges to use the stimulant.
  6. Failing to fulfill work, school, or home duties due to stimulant use.
  7. Continuing to use the stimulant even though it’s causing social or relationship issues.
  8. Stopping or reducing important social, work, or recreational activities because of stimulant use.
  9. Using the stimulant in situations where it is physically hazardous, like driving.
  10. Knowing that the stimulant is worsening a physical or mental health problem, but still using it.
  11. Experiencing significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning due to stimulant use.

These symptoms illustrate the various ways stimulant use disorder can impact an individual’s life, affecting everything from personal health to social and occupational functioning.

Treatment for Amphetamine Addiction

The treatment for amphetamine addiction involves a comprehensive approach that addresses both the physical and psychological aspects of the addiction.

The first step in treating amphetamine addiction usually involves detoxification, where the body rids itself of amphetamines under medical supervision. This process can help manage withdrawal symptoms, which can be intense with this class of drug.

While detox addresses the issue of physical dependence on amphetamines, ongoing treatment is required to tackle the psychological side of addiction. Both inpatient and outpatient rehab programs can be effective. Inpatient programs provide a structured environment, which can be beneficial for those with severe addictions. Outpatient programs offer more flexibility and are often suitable for those with milder amphetamine addictions.

Many people with amphetamine addiction also suffer from co-occurring mental health disorders. In the case of co-occurring disorders, it is most effective to treat both the addiction and mental health condition simultaneously.

Currently, there are no FDA-approved medications specifically for the treatment of amphetamine addiction. That said, medications may be used to treat specific symptoms like depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions that often co-occur with addiction.

Behavioral therapies are central to treating amphetamine addiction. CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) helps people recognize and modify their drug-use behaviors and develop coping strategies. Other therapeutic approaches might include motivational interviewing and contingency management.

Engaging in support groups like NA (Narcotics Anonymous) or other peer support groups can offer emotional support and practical advice for managing addiction and maintaining sobriety.

Incorporating healthy lifestyle changes like regular exercise, proper nutrition, and stress management techniques can significantly aid in recovery. Holistic therapies like yoga, meditation, and acupuncture may also be beneficial.

Developing a comprehensive aftercare plan is central to long-term recovery. This may include ongoing therapy, regular check-ins with a counselor, and strategies to manage triggers and cravings.

Each person has a unique recovery journey, and treatment plans should be tailored to meet their specific needs and circumstances. With the right support and treatment, recovery from amphetamine addiction is achievable. Here’s how you can go about this in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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Get Treatment for Drug Addiction at Ohio Recovery Centers

If you need effective amphetamine addiction treatment, we treat stimulant addictions in an outpatient setting at Ohio Recovery Centers. Outpatient rehab is a flexible and affordable approach that can deliver comparable treatment outcomes to residential rehab for many people with milder addictions.

All addictions are unique, treatment for amphetamine addiction plans at our rehab in Cincinnati, Ohio, offer a personalized blend of evidence-based therapies to reflect this. This may include counseling, psychotherapy, medication-assisted treatment, and holistic interventions. Crucially, all treatment programs also incorporate a comprehensive aftercare component to minimize the likelihood of relapse. Call 877-679-2132 today and begin your recovery from drug addiction tomorrow.

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Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
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Christopher Glover CDCA

My name is Christopher Glover, and I am from Cincinnati, Ohio. I am currently in school and working to grow in competence to better support our community. As a recovering individual I know the struggles that you or a loved one can go through and that there is help for anything you may be struggling with.

The hardest part is asking for help and we are here as a team to best support you and your decision to start your journey towards a better future. Connect with Chris on LinkedIn

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Amanda Kuchenberg PRS CDCA

I recently joined Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers as a Clinical Case Manager. I am originally from Wisconsin but settled in the Cincinnati area in my early 20s.  My career started in the fashion industry but quickly changed as I searched to find my drive and passion through helping others who struggle with addiction. 

As someone who is also in recovery, I wanted to provide hope, share lived experience, and support others on their journey.  I currently have my Peer Recovery Support Supervision Certification along with my CDCA and plan to continue my education with University of Cincinnati so I can continue to aid in the battle against substance addiction. Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn.

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Patrick McCamley LCDC III

 Patrick McCamley (Clinical Therapist) is a Cincinnati native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2019. Patrick received his bachelors degree in psychology from University of Cincinnati in 2021 and received his LCDC III (Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2022. Patrick has worked in Clinical Operations, Clinical Case Management, and Clinical Therapy throughout his career.

Patrick has tremendous empathy and compassion for the recovery community, being in recovery himself since 2018. Patrick is uniquely qualified to be helpful because of the specific combination of his academic background and his own experience in recovery.

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Bill Zimmerman CDCA

Bill Zimmerman is a Greater Cincinnati Area native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2018. Bill received his (Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2020.

Bill has worked in Clinical Operations in both support and supervision, and Program facilitating and 12 step recovery support during his career. Bill has a passion for the recovery community, having been in recovery himself since 1982. Connect with Bill on LinkedIn

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Taylor Lilley CDCA, PRS

Growing up in Louisiana with addiction running rampant on both sides of my family. A life away from drugs and alcohol seemed impossible for someone like me. I remember what it was like sitting across from someone thinking there is no way they could ever understand what I was going through.

Sharing my experience offers a credibility and a certain type of trust with clients that only someone who has walked down this road can illustrate. To immerse myself further into the field of addiction, I am currently studying at Cincinnati State for Human and Social Services.  I hope I never forget where I came from, if I can do it, so can you!

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Thomas Hunter LSW

Hello my name is Thomas Hunter. I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am a licensed social worker.In my scope of practice I have worked in the areas of mental health and recovery for thirty years. The clients I have worked with in my career have ranged in age from seven to seventy.

I strive each day to serve my purpose of helping those in need and I believe I do so by utilizing all of my experiences to accomplish my goal of supporting those who desire to establish their sobriety and maintain it in their recovery. Connect with Thomas on LinkedIn.

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Mary D.Porter,LICDC

 My name is Mary D. Porter. I received my Masters of Social Work in 2008 from The University of Cincinnati. I received My Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor Licensure in 2001. I retired from The Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center on April 14, 2014. Currently, I am the Associate Clinical Director for The Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers in Cincinnati.. Due to the fourth wave of the Opioid Epidemic in 2019,  I decided to enter back into the workforce to assist the addicted population.

The overdoses were astounding and I wanted to help.  I consider myself  to be an advocate for the addicted population. My compassion, resilience, empathy, wisdom, knowledge, experience and  love I have for this forgotten population goes beyond words. I consider what I do for the addicted population as a calling versus a “career,” because I too was once an “addict and alcoholic.” Today I am 45.5 years alcohol and substance free.

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Ben Lemmon LCDC III

Hello, my name is Ben Lemmon, and I’m the Vice President and Clinical Director at Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers. I’ve been working in the addiction and mental health field since 2013 and decided to enter the field after overcoming my own challenges with addiction.

When I first meet a client, I always explain to them that the reason we are meeting is because they are not capable of obtaining or maintaining sobriety, and my goal is to create a person that can maintain sobriety. I believe a person’s personality is made up of their thoughts, feelings and actions and my job is to help clients identify the thoughts, feelings and actions that have them disconnected from recovery and provide them with the tools to live a healthy and happy life. Connect with Ben on LinkedIn