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Amphetamine Addiction

Amphetamine Addiction

The increasing number of ADD and ADHD cases can be considered the cause of amphetamine addiction growth. Ritalin, Captagon and Aderol are some examples of amphetamines. These medications are used to treat attention deficit disorder.

Forged prescription papers and over prescription has caused these drugs to find their way into the mainstream populace. On people who use the drug due to necessary reasons, and on those who have no need for the drug at all, amphetamine addiction has a tremendous effect.


Increase tolerance levels to these drugs happen quickly and insidiously, so that amphetamine addiction can occur unknowingly. Problems get even worse because most amphetamine addicts take the drug during their withdrawal period. Unfortunately, to curb the effects of amphetamine withdrawal, amphetamine addiction can lead to the use of benzodiazepines.


The number of people with attention disorder is increasing, making amphetamines needed drugs. However, this is a tricky point because amphetamine addiction grows on the back of the natural laws of demand. Not everyone who is prescribed amphetamines will develop addiction, despite the fact that amphetamines have a potential for abuse or addiction. Some people can develop amphetamine dependence or addiction, manifested in a variety of ways, while others take them as prescribed and stop when they no longer need them.


When health professionals realize at least three of the below mentioned behaviors in someone for a twelve month period, they consider that person an amphetamine dependent:


  • Developing a tolerance to the medication to the extent that the patient will need more of the drug to achieve the same effects
  • Taking higher and higher dosages against the doctor's prescription and when not needed, such as to control pain.
  • Skipping social engagements, ignoring responsibilities, or other drastic changes in habit or lifestyle
  • An inability to stop
  • Preoccupation with acquiring more medication or another prescription
  • Withdrawal symptoms when discontinuing the medication (taking other drugs to relieve the symptoms).


Some of the symptoms that indicate amphetamine addiction include:


  • Malnutrition
  • Depression
  • Delusions
  • Exhaustion
  • Severe anxiety
  • Weight loss
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Poor judgment
  • Suicide


Amphetamine withdrawal may cause some of these symptoms:


  • Fatigue
  • Panic
  • Hunger
  • Cravings
  • Restless sleep
  • Anxiety
  • Over-sleeping
  • Nightmares
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Irritability



Helping a person recover from an acute amphetamine reaction usually takes several days. Reassuring the person who is undergoing the psychological effects of the drug and controlling his/her body temperature is quite important. Tranquilizers can be administered to quiet the patient, so that his/her violent behavior can be controlled. Depression that usually starts as an after-effect of heavy usage should also be treated. Patients tend to use the drug again in order to deal with the fatigue that is experienced after the body has eliminated the drug. A long-term program for maintaining abstinence from the drug has to be adhered to. Support groups can be beneficial for recovering addicts, as is the case in recovering from other forms of drug abuse or alcoholism.


There isn't any effective medication that can treat amphetamine withdrawal. Reduction in discontinuation rates and improvement in clinical presentation was showed with the use of amineptine when compared with placebo. Amineptine is an atypical tricyclic antidepressant that selectively inhibits the reuptake of dopamine and to a lesser extent, norepinephrine. However, this medication hasn't had any effect on cravings or reducing symptoms of withdrawal. Due to concerns over abuse liability when using the drug, amineptine isn't available for use in spite of its limited benefits. Yet another drug is mirtazapine, but its benefits as a withdrawal agent are less clear.


Medications that increase central nervous system activity involving norepinephrine, dopamine and/or serotonin neurotransmitters including mirtazapine should be examined in further potential treatment studies.


Prepared By: Dr. Mehyar Al-Khashroum
Edited By: Miss  Araz Kahvedjian

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