Is Dextroamphetamine addiction claiming the life of someone you know? Find out how to spot the warning signs of stimulant abuse
The abuse of dextroamphetamine and other stimulants is a serious problem that can severely impair the emotional and physical well-being of addicted individuals. Medications containing dextroamphetamine (Dexadrine, DextroStat, Dexamphetamine, and when combined with amphetamine, Adderall) are commonly prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHA), narcolepsy, and obesity. These medications affect dopamine levels to suppress appetite, increase wakefulness, and enhance focus and attention. When used as prescribed, stimulants can be useful, but they have become some of the most frequently abused prescription drugs in the United States. Individuals that are drawn to abuse dextroamphetamine and other stimulants out of a desire for the euphoria, performance enhancement, and weight loss effect these medications produce, often find themselves struggling with a full-fledged dextroamphetamine addiction that can be difficult to overcome.
According to the National Drug Intelligence Center, between two and four million children have been diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and legally prescribed Dextroamphetamine and other stimulants. When used as prescribed, these stimulants are effective at combating the symptoms of ADHD and controlling weight gain. They work by increasing the brain’s levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with attention, motor function, and pleasure. Increasing the levels of dopamine decreases hunger signals in patients struggling with obesity and helps to curb their appetite. Stimulants produce a paradoxically calming and stabilizing effect on ADHD patients that improves their focus and helps them to concentrate and feel more alert. Because dextroamphetamine, Adderall, and other stimulants affect the pleasure center of the brain, they lend themselves to abuse. Users often smoke, snort, or inject the drugs instead of taking them in tablet form, which enhances the euphoria and “rush” but increases the likelihood that dextroamphetamine abuse will turn into addiction.
Signs of dextroamphetamine abuse
Abusing stimulants causes certain side effects in users. Initially, abusing stimulants may seem to enhance the performance of individuals, but negative side effects quickly develop. If you are wondering if someone you know is struggling with dextroamphetamine abuse, there are certain physical and behavioral changes in users that can indicate a stimulant addiction. Some of the short-term dexamphetamine side effects include:
- Increased alertness and energy
- Long periods of wakefulness
- Decreased appetite
- Excessive weight loss
- Increased heat rate, body temperature, and blood pressure
- In high doses, heart failure, seizures, and death can occur
Over time, dextroamphetamine abuse begins to take a considerable toll on the emotional and physical health of addicted individuals. The long term effects of Adderall and other stimulants can show themselves in a decrease of physical wellbeing, in the form of heart problems, malnutrition, and convulsions. Users develop emotional disturbances such as psychosis, anger, and paranoia. They can experience hallucinations, and display an increase in risky behavior or altered sexual behavior.
Treatment for dextroamphetamine addiction
When users who are addicted to dextroamphetamine try to stop taking the drug, they experience withdrawal symptoms that can be extremely unpleasant. These symptoms may include intense cravings for the drug and feelings of anxiousness, restlessness, and irritability. Sleep disturbances, fatigue, sadness, and depression are common, and some addicted individuals may experience panic attacks or become suicidal. Because of the severity of these withdrawal side effects, anyone addicted to dextroamphetamine, Adderall, or any other stimulant is encouraged to undergo medically supervised withdrawal at a certified drug rehab center, where addiction specialists can help manage their symptoms.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.