Amphetamines are a group of CNS (central nervous system) stimulants that include any drugs or medications classified as amphetamine, dextroamphetamine, and methamphetamine. Methamphetamine is most often abused in an illicit form, also commonly known as crystal meth or ice.
Stimulants such as these work to increase alertness, focus, and energy. People may use amphetamine for obesity, narcolepsy, and ADD/ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder). Common brands of amphetamine include Adderall, Desoxyn, and Dexedrine.
What Is Amphetamine?
Amphetamine is commonly prescribed in pill form and intended for oral consumption. People who abuse the drug may crush and snort the residual powder, smoke it, or combine it with water and inject it.
Abuse of amphetamine can cause several side effects, including the following:
- Increased body temperature
- Hostility and aggression
- High blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Alertness, talkativeness
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Increased respiration
- Headache or nausea
- Heart palpitations
- Tremors and muscle spasms
- Changes in sexual behavior
The severity of these effects may be exacerbated with extended abuse and can lead to psychosis, psychological disorders, behavioral changes, convulsions, coma, or death.
What Is Methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine (meth) is a stimulant within the amphetamine class sometimes used to treat ADHD and obesity in those who do not respond to other medications. While it can be beneficial for these disorders when taken as directed, methamphetamine, primarily when found in illicit form, has become a popular drug of abuse.
As with amphetamine, methamphetamine is available by prescription in pill form. When abused, people may crush and snort it, or mix it with water to make a solution to inject. However, meth is also produced in a solid, crystalline form and smoked. Meth poses substantial health and behavioral risks for persons who abuse it, similar to amphetamines. The drug is also highly addictive, meaning a person can develop an addiction after using it for a brief period.
Some of the most common severe problems associated with meth abuse include the following:
- Increased body temperature
- Severe itching, which can lead to scratching, sores, and infections
- A condition known as “meth mouth,” which includes dental and mouth issues, such as cracked teeth
- Changes to thought processes
- Adverse changes to mood and behavior
Dangers of Abusing Meth
With prolonged abuse, the severity of the above mentioned can be exacerbated and can result in psychosis, psychological disorders, behavioral changes, convulsions, coma, or death.
As noted, meth is a highly-addictive drug, and it will produce effects more rapidly and intensely when smoked versus administering it orally. This rush-like feeling of euphoria drives addiction development, and a meth addiction is a very severe disorder that requires intensive treatment to overcome.
In essence, an individual who is addicted will be living to satisfy that addiction, and his or her priorities will be closely aligned with the obtainment and use of the drug. Activities in pursuit of meth use include dangerous home manufacturing, stealing, prostitution, and other illegal endeavors.
Meth abuse also comes with a high risk of overdose, leading to life-threatening effects, including heart attack, stroke, and permanent damage to organs.
Risks of Prescription Drug Abuse
Unfortunately, people usually trust prescription drugs to be safe and have a small or non-existent risk of dependence and addiction. However, many medications are habit-forming, can lead to abuse, and later result in full-blown addiction. These include prescription-only amphetamines, methamphetamine, and other stimulants.
Thousands of people in the U.S. become addicted to prescription drugs each year, but only a small percentage of these people receive professional treatment for this problem. If an individual cannot refill their prescription and begins experiencing uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms like headache, nausea, or vomiting, this person is dependent. At this time, he or she may be likely to try using an alternate drug, even an illicit one.
Abusing prescription drugs isn’t dangerous just for the duration of the prescription, but for the health consequences that may result.
Comprehensive, personalized treatment is the best solution available to people overcome substance abuse and addiction. It has been clinically proven to be useful for thousands of people each year in the U.S. alone.
The facilities at Just Believe Detox and Just Believe Recovery provide some of the best evidence-based treatment approaches available. We recognize that each individual requires different treatment aspects, and each treatment plan will be customized to a person’s unique needs.
Some of the methodologies we integrate into treatment programs include the following:
- Behavioral therapy
- Family counseling
- Individual counseling
- Group support
- Art therapy
- Music therapy
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Substance abuse education
- Health and wellness education
- Aftercare planning