Amphetamine Addiction Rehab: The Effects

When soldiers began taking amphetamine during World War II, we had no idea how addictive and destructive the drug is. But then many of those soldiers who used amphetamine to survive the battlefield came home to lives marred by addiction. They had to undergo amphetamine addiction rehab to get their lives and families back.

Today, amphetamine users find themselves in a similar position. The longer a person uses the drug, the more likely that individual is to develop tolerance and eventual addiction. Once addiction sets in, it can be very difficult to kick an amphetamine habit without professional help. The cravings are so intense that they often drive those trying to recover right back to drug use.

In this article, we will discuss amphetamine recovery as both a physical and psychological necessity. Quitting is not a simple matter of stopping the use of the drug and immediately being done. Nearly 90% of those who use amphetamine long-term require both detox and psychotherapeutic treatment to conquer their addictions completely.

How Amphetamine Affects the Brain

Amphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant that does have a noticeable effect on the entire body. However, its effect on the brain is that which causes most of the problems associated with this drug.

The drug is also known as ‘speed’ because it affects the balance of chemicals in the brain, increasing energy levels and leading to very vivid hallucinations. The affected chemicals are known as neurotransmitters; they are responsible for regulating mood and carrying signals throughout the brain. Three of these chemicals are especially sensitive to amphetamine: dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.

Amphetamines inhibit the brain’s ability to manufacture these three neurotransmitters. In addition, the drug affects the receptors that typically respond to the chemicals in such a way as to produce feelings of euphoria and high-energy. But there is a problem: the more often a person uses amphetamine, the less his or her brain produces those natural chemicals. Brain receptors do not work as well either. This results in the user having to take more of the drug to derive the same amount of pleasure.

You might recognise this condition as tolerance. The brain gets so used to having a certain amount of amphetamine in the system that it just doesn’t respond the same way it used to. Achieving the same pleasurable effect requires taking larger doses of the drug more frequently.

What Amphetamine Addiction Rehab Involves

It should be apparent that tolerance is a condition that can eventually lead to addiction. The brain can get to a point of being so dependent on amphetamine that it cannot function normally without it. You will know you have reached this place if you begin to exhibit withdrawal symptoms between doses.

Assuming you or someone you love either abuses amphetamine or is addicted to it, your only way out is an addiction rehab programme. As the title of this article implies, rehab is both physical and psychological.

The physical portion of rehab is a detox and nutrition treatment designed to eventually cleanse the body of the drug and its associated chemicals. Detox can be administered either cold turkey or gradually. As for the nutrition portion, it is usually necessary because the amphetamine addict is malnourished. Nutritional supplements are given throughout the detox process, followed by establishing a healthy diet in the weeks following detox.

The psychological aspect of rehab is the more important and more difficult part of recovering from amphetamine. It turns out that amphetamine has a very strong psychological effect that can linger for up to four months after detox is completed. And in terms of the hallucinations and cravings, some users report flashbacks years after amphetamine rehab. Flashbacks are not as common as they are with LSD, but they are possible.

Therapists use a number of psychological treatments that may include:

  • cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • art and music therapy
  • group counselling
  • diet, nutrition and exercise therapy.

There is no single rehab programme that can be prescribed for every individual. People are different. What may work for you may not work for someone else. This is another reason we recommend professional treatment. Enrolling in a one-size-fits-all detox programme is just not appropriate where amphetamine is concerned.

Amphetamine Cravings during Rehab

Another reason for not attempting to get off amphetamine by oneself is related to the tremendous cravings the drug induces. As previously mentioned, people undergoing amphetamine withdrawal can become overwhelmed by the cravings to the point that they go back to taking the drug just to alleviate them. This can establish a dangerous cycle of attempted withdrawal and relapse that only accelerates the adverse effects of the drug.

Beware that if you are using amphetamine, you may continue experiencing cravings for several weeks following detox. This is absolutely normal. But undergoing professional treatment in a residential clinic gives you access to the help and support you need to successfully deal with them.

Withdrawal a Medical Emergency

In closing this article, we should address amphetamine withdrawal becoming a medical emergency in some cases. This is not necessarily due to the fact that coming off amphetamine can cause things such as heart attack, stroke, and delirium tremens; it is because of the psychotic effects of the drug.

Auditory, visual and tactile hallucinations tend to be very common among amphetamine addicts. During withdrawal, those hallucinations can be so powerful that they cause an individual to become violent or aggressive. Addicts are prone to self-harm as well as violent tendencies toward caregivers. This can mean a medical emergency that is dangerous for both the addict and those trying to help him or her.

If you or someone you know is using amphetamine, we encourage you to let us help them find the most suitable amphetamine addiction rehab. We are an expert organisation that works closely with rehab providers in all parts of the UK and we can help you by putting you in touch with the one that is most suited to your requirements. We can help you determine how serious your problem is, then offer numerous treatment options you can choose from. We will even help you enrol in a treatment programme if you need that assistance.

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