Signs of Dexedrine (Dextroamphetamine) Abuse
Dexedrine is a prescription stimulant drug that affects the central nervous system and is used for the treatment of ADHD and narcolepsy. Dexedrine is used off-label to treat obesity and depression as well. The generic name of brand-name Dexedrine is dextroamphetamine. Dexedrine is an amphetamine and, when it is taken by someone who has been diagnosed with ADHD, it can have a calming, focusing effect. However, Dexedrine is a frequently abused drug, and it’s classified as a Schedule II controlled substance in the U.S. Schedule II drugs have medical uses but are also considered to have a high potential for abuse and severe dependence. Dexedrine is believed to affect the dopamine system in the brain. Dexedrine is similar to other ADHD drugs, including Adderall, and all of these treatments stimulate the central nervous system.
When Dexedrine is used as prescribed, a person might not experience any side effects. When it’s abused recreationally, however, that’s not the case. Some of the symptoms of Dexedrine abuse can include taking it in any way other than as prescribed. Dexedrine abuse can also include taking large doses to feel a euphoric high, taking it more often than prescribed, or taking it without a prescription. Someone who is abusing Dexedrine may also crush the tablets or empty the capsules in order to snort or inject the drug. Symptoms of Dexedrine abuse can include:
- Irritability or restlessness
- Seeming to be very excited, euphoric or confident
- Having sleep problems or staying awake for long periods
- Dry mouth
- Gastrointestinal disturbances
- Increased sociability
- Working on things for extended periods of time with increased motivation and concentration
- Loss of appetite
- Changes in sex drive
People may also experience dizziness, upper abdominal pain, and feelings of nervousness. Symptoms may include sweating, rapid heartbeat, feeling angry, head pain, throbbing or pounding of the head, sexual problems, trouble breathing and urinary tract infections. Rare, severe side effects of Dexedrine abuse can include changes in heart rhythm, thoughts of suicide, psychosis, high blood pressure, hallucinations and even seizures or stroke.
People recreationally abuse Dexedrine to achieve the desirable effects, such as the bursts of euphoria and energy that the drug can create. It’s commonly used by people who want to improve their performance at school or work as well. However, along with the desirable effects of Dexedrine abuse, there are many adverse side effects. First, people who abuse Dexedrine may have mood-related side effects. These can include anxiety, paranoia, and irritability. Following the use of Dexedrine, people also experience a crash. Symptoms of an amphetamine crash can include depression, fatigue, and loss of interest and motivation. People who regularly abuse Dexedrine may be malnourished and may have trouble feeling like they can function without the drug.
Dexedrine affects dopamine pathways in the brain and can activate the brain’s reward systems. Any time a drug triggers a sense of euphoria or a reward response, there is a potential for addiction to develop. Addiction is characterized by compulsive, out-of-control drug use. The brain changes in response to the presence of a drug like Dexedrine and even if that person wants to stop using it or cut down their usage, they may find that they’re unable to. The more someone abuses Dexedrine and they longer they use it, the more likely they are to become addicted. Dexedrine addiction is often accompanied by the development of a tolerance and physical dependence. Someone with a Dexedrine addiction will put the drug ahead of everything else in their life. Another sign of a Dexedrine addiction is continuing to use it even if there are negative physical, mental or social side effects that occur as a result.
Long-term Dexedrine abuse can be extremely dangerous. First, Dexedrine abuse can cause damage to the cardiovascular system. This can increase the chances of a severe cardiac event or high blood pressure. Long-term effects of Dexedrine abuse can also be linked to psychological symptoms. For example, people who abuse the drug over a long period of time may experience manic or psychotic symptoms, or aggression that can result in violence. Long-term Dexedrine effects can result in damage to organs, including the brain. Additionally, the brain can start to have difficulty creating its own dopamine because of long-term drug exposure.
Drug addiction is a disease and, at The Recovery Village, we work to develop individualized treatment plans that can help patients escape that burden. Reach out to us to learn more.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.
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