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What is Amphetamine?

Amphetamine affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that act upon hyperactivity and impulse control. It is a central nervous system stimulant. Amphetamine is used to treat ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder).

Dextroamphetamine is a stereoisomer of Amphetamine. It just has a different orientation of the atoms, but essentially is the same. Amphetamine is an addictive drug. Therefore it is important not to share prescriptions of the drug or the drug to other people. It is also important not to consume Amphetamine with problems such as moderate or severely high blood pressure, heart disease, thyroid problem and severe anxiety.

Amphetamine or Dextroamphetamine is often abused for increased energy, heightened focus and alertness, reduced appetite and euphoric feelings. Consuming the drug in different ways, like crushing the pill and snorting or injecting it, is often common with Amphetamine abuse.

Side Effects

Mild side effects of Amphetamine consumption are headaches, insomnia, and restlessness. Sometimes the effects can be drastic. Use of Amphetamine can lead to weight loss due to its appetite suppressing ability. Dizziness, nausea, fever, hyper or frenzied behavior is also seen as some of the side effects of usage of Amphetamine. Sometimes users can exhibit aggressive behavior or psychotic symptoms. Hallucinations and seizures are other side effects experienced by the drug intake.

Short-term Effects

Stimulants like Amphetamine (and Dextroamphetamine) intensify the effects of neurotransmitters in the brain (like Dopamine and Norepinephrine). Therefore the user feels a high, which is caused with increase in heart rate, blood pressure and energy levels. Self confidence is boosted and sociability is increased. Often the drug helps suppress appetite and therefore is taken to help with weight loss. Amphetamine is often abused before a performance because of its ability to boost energy and increase alertness.

Symptoms of Overdose

Amphetamine is an addictive drug, therefore there are chances of users overdosing the drug. Some of the signs and symptoms to watch out for are aggressive or violent behavior, often accompanied by confusion. Breathing being fast and heart beat being irregular are also signs to keep an eye out for. Reddish or brownish urine can be indicative of drug overdose. Other symptoms include vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, dizziness, seizures and coma.

Long-term Effects

Long term use of Amphetamines cause mood changes and sometimes depression. However, long term abuse of the drug leads to psychotic paranoia like symptoms. Other issues persistent with long term abuse are malnutrition, weight loss, memory problems, mood and behavioral changes, dry mouth, sleep disturbances, heart problems. If the drug is consumed through injection, symptoms like skin infections may also occur apart from risk of HIV or hepatitis.

Signs of Addiction

An addicted user of Amphetamine has craving for the substance all the time. The user finds it difficult to stop using the drug or even cutting down the amount of drug intake. Abuse of Amphetamine has a lot of negative effects, but despite that an addicted user compulsively uses the drug. Social obligations or personal hobbies are often ignored and time is devoted to acquiring and consuming the drug. An addicted user builds up a high tolerance for the drug, thereby needing more amount of drug to get the same high. The addicted user also experiences terrible withdrawal symptoms when the drug is not consumed.

Withdrawal Treatment

Withdrawal from Amphetamine can cause a lot of discomfort in terms of cravings, inability to concentrate, insomnia, fatigue, increased appetite, mood swings and even depression or hallucinations.

Treatment for drug abuse happens in two ways: inpatient and outpatient treatment. Inpatient treatment requires the patient to stay at the rehab facility for the length of the treatment. This warrants intensive treatment for the problem. Outpatient treatment requires the patient to check in with the doctors every day of the week, except for weekends and holidays. In the inpatient treatment chances of relapsing are very low due to lack of access to drugs within the facility. Further the distractions of day-to-day life are lesser in the facility. 24/7 care is provided in the inpatient treatment, which could help long term users.

Since the withdrawal can cause a lot of discomfort, it is best to opt for inpatient treatment. The steps in the withdrawal treatment include individual counseling, group counseling, individual and family therapy sessions, doctor examinations and medical treatment.

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