Despite amphetamine being first discovered in late 19th century, it did not catch on as a recreational drug until the 1960s. Now it is widely used throughout Europe. Here in the UK, we have the first-hand experience of helping people get over this high-powered stimulant safely and effectively. We recommend anyone dealing with an amphetamine addiction seek professional help rather than trying to go through the amphetamine recovery process alone.
Bear in mind that there are legitimate medical purposes for amphetamine. However, any prescribed use of the drug must be approached with great care and caution. Patients taking prescription medication have to abide by doctors’ instructions implicitly. Why? Because amphetamine is highly habit-forming. It does not take much to get hooked.
The biggest problem with amphetamine is that tolerance develops rapidly. Tolerance is a condition in which the body gets used to a certain level of the drug, thereby not responding in the same way. Therapeutic doses used under the supervision of a doctor are not likely to cause tolerance, but the condition is very normal among amphetamine abusers.
You will know that you have developed tolerance if you need to take larger doses of the drug in order to still enjoy its pleasurable effects. Please understand that tolerance is a dangerous warning sign. It means you are either addicted already or well on your way to being so.
If you or someone you love is using or abusing amphetamines, the first step in any potential recovery programme is recognising whether a problem exists or not. Your GP can help you figure things out if you have already set an appointment. If not, we urge you to contact us and speak with one of our fully trained counsellors. We use a step-by-step process recognised by the medical community for its effectiveness in identifying drug addiction.
We will ask a series of questions designed to identify the symptoms of amphetamine abuse and dependence. The following are a few examples of these symptoms:
Long-term amphetamine use can result in some symptoms that are more pronounced and severe. Although there are too many to list here, some of the most common includes:
We will ask other questions about how often you take amphetamine and in what dose. Our counsellor will want to know how long you have been using the drug, if you use other substances, why you use, and how you would feel about stopping. All of these things combined will help us determine if your situation qualifies as either abuse or addiction.
Studies have shown that more than 87% of long-term amphetamine users will need to undergo detox in order to fully recover from abuse or addiction. Detox from amphetamines is similar to other drugs in the sense that the abuser will need to be separated from his or her drugs in order to allow the body to cleanse itself. This is best done in a controlled environment supervised by medical professionals.
Amphetamine detox is different in some ways as well. For example, where a person can completely detox from alcohol in about ten days, amphetamine withdrawal can take as long as four weeks. Withdrawal symptoms generally begin within 24 hours of the last dose, peaking at two or three days and then gradually subsiding from there. The two most often voiced complaints associated with amphetamine withdrawal are the severe crash that usually occurs within the first week and the intense cravings that can go on for months.
After the first week of detox, the average patient is ready to begin psychotherapeutic treatments. Through these treatments, patients learn triggers that encourage addictive behaviour so that they can be avoided in future. These are combined with a nutritional programme designed to alleviate the malnutrition that comes with an amphetamine addiction.
Some drugs produce withdrawal symptoms that are more severe than others – amphetamine is one of them. We recommend professional treatment for this reason. When professional treatment is sought, the addict benefits from medical supervision that can prevent any serious withdrawal symptoms from becoming life-threatening.
For example, amphetamine withdrawal has been linked to potentially dangerous psychotic effects. A person coming off amphetamine can have very vivid auditory, visual, and tactile hallucinations that could lead to self-harm or other dangerous behaviours. It is not uncommon for amphetamine addicts to become rather hostile as well. Trying to overcome the drug without professional help could lead to injuries to the addict, his/her family members and friends.
In a professional environment, the amphetamine addict is provided nutritional supplements from the very start. These can make the withdrawal process somewhat easier. He or she will also be made as comfortable as possible; therapists provide some extra assistance to help the mind and body relax. Amphetamine withdrawal is not completely painless in a professional setting, but the assistance of trained medical staff does make it safer and more bearable.
Any abuse of amphetamine is a serious situation that needs to be addressed. If you are using any form of the drug, you need to know that prolonged use can have very dangerous physical and mental side effects. You would be the rare case if you could continue using amphetamine without causing yourself harm.
We urge you to enrol in a treatment programme today. You can do so by contacting our 24-hour helpline. We have access to clinics throughout the UK, many of which have open space right now. Just one call to our helpline means you could be preparing for treatment in as little as 24 hours. For your own sake, we hope you will take advantage of it.