Amphetamine Addiction and Abuse

Amphetamines are drugs that make people feel awake and alert and can create euphoria. They are often prescribed to people with ADHD. Just as with many other drugs, they can be misused and an addiction can form. Learning about these drugs can aid people in finding help.

Amphetamines can usually look like small, dark- or light-blue tablets. Some people may cut them in half or in quarters. A 5 mg pill — which is light blue — says “M A5” to denote the formula. These drugs are used for symptoms of ADHD because they increase a person’s focus and attention. People with narcolepsy may also use these drugs. Since the drugs “wake up” the brain, they can sometimes help people counter narcolepsy issues.

The phrase “amphetamine salts” refers to the mixture that makes up generic Adderall. The combination used to create Adderall is chemically considered salt.

Due to their ability to boost levels of a few “feel-good” chemicals in the brain, amphetamines are often misused. Although college students may try to misuse Adderall to increase focus levels, people of all ages can abuse these drugs and develop an addiction to them.

Like many drugs, amphetamines have more than one name. People who sell or misuse drugs may use these names to deter attention. If you hear a person use drug slang, they may be misusing them. Some of the most common slang for amphetamines are:

  • Speed
  • Bennies
  • Uppers
  • Wake Ups
  • Dexies
  • Pep pills
  • Chalk
  • Zip
  • Crank
There are several different types of amphetamines. All prescription amphetamines in the United States are taken orally. Most of them drugs have generic versions. Some newer drugs, like Vyvanse, are only available under their brand-name formulas. Only about 6% of people who use them with a prescription use the brand-name medications. Some of the popular brands are:

  • Adderall – an oral tablet
  • Adderall XR – an oral extended-release capsule
  • Desoxyn – an oral tablet
  • Dexedrine – an oral tablet
  • Dexedrine Spansule – an oral extended-release capsule
  • DextroStat – an oral tablet
  • Ritalin – an oral capsule or chewable tablet
  • ProCentra – an oral solution
  • Vyvanse – an oral capsule
  • Zenzedi – an oral tablet

Amphetamine addiction can happen. These drugs are among the most addictive in the world. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies them as Schedule II controlled substances. This means that they have limited medical use and a high risk of addiction. Due to the potential for addiction, the DEA mandates that these drugs cannot be refilled. A new prescription is needed to get more.

Despite these barriers to illegal drug use, people still manage to get them. It is easy to become dependent and develop an addiction. Studies show that people with ADHD are just as likely as those without it to develop an addiction. Regular use puts people at a greater risk for addiction. These drugs can warp the brain. Over time, such changes in the brain can cause lasting effects.

Mixing amphetamines with other drugs can be deadly. This is especially true if a person is already addicted. Some drugs react poorly with amphetamines and produce a toxic effect on the nerves. Speak with a doctor before using two or more drugs at the same time.

Mixing amphetamines and alcohol is unsafe, as is mixing Xanax and Adderall. Both alcohol and Xanax are depressants, which means that they slow down the central nervous system. Mixing them can increase the chance of an overdose.

Even mixing drugs from different groups can have dangerous results. The risk of overdose is one of the major issues with mixing different drug types. The risk is due to the “upper” (stimulant) hiding the fact that a person has taken too much of the “downer” (e.g., alcohol or Xanax). By the time a person realizes they are overdosing, it may be too late to get help. In many tragic cases, a person dies before they know that they were in danger.

When someone gets addicted to amphetamines, there may be changes in their behavior and attitude. For example, they can experience:

  • Personality changes
  • Decreased appetite or weight loss
  • Bouts of euphoria followed by a “crash”
  • Always talking about drugs
  • Looking unusually older
  • Insomnia

People who misuse these drugs may also experience serious effects when the drug is used long term. Vertigo, ulcers, poor diet, kidney problems, lung issues and a risk of heart symptoms may all be experienced.

The best way to treat an addiction is to seek the aid of a professional treatment facility. When working with therapists, people have a safer detox. 

Doctors and therapists can help people figure out the best way to detox and give medicine to help with any side effects of the process. At rehab, the person can learn the skills needed to continue living without drugs after rehab. Some rehab programs include:

Remember these statistics to know how many people are affected by amphetamines:

  • Amphetamines are the second most commonly used drugs in the world, after cannabis
  • About 13 million Americans abuse these drugs
  • People who abuse Adderall are likely to abuse other drugs too
  • One study found that almost 90% of college students who abuse Adderall also regularly binge drink
  • About 15% of high schoolers in grades 10 through 12 have abused an amphetamine at least once
  • Amphetamines can stay in a person’s body for one to three days after the last use

Contact The Recovery Village to learn how professional treatment can help. Call now, you deserve a healthier future.

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