Meth (methamphetamine; also known as crystal meth or speed), Adderall, and Ritalin are all classified as amphetamines. While some amphetamines are illicit drugs, Adderall and Ritalin are used by the medical community to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as well as a list of other disorders and diseases. According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, amphetamine addiction is as much a problem as opiate, opioid, and barbiturate abuse.
Amphetamines can be smoked, snorted, and injected. Amphetamine users experience a feeling of euphoria, an increase in adrenaline and in arousal, however the feelings do not last very long and the sense of euphoria ends abruptly. This reaction usually results in the amphetamine user taking more of the drug to reach the same feeling as before and developing a tolerance whereby it takes more and more of the drug to attain and sustain the level of high as before. Some users combine amphetamines with barbiturates, heroin, or alcohol to sustain the effects.
The effects of amphetamine addictionare mainly physical. Users will require more of the drug to be able to get through the day and to be able to function creating a tolerance level to prevent a physical withdrawal. Those abusing amphetamines may exhibit a "binge and crash" cycle where they overindulge in the drug so they can experience the highs as seamlessly as possible and avoid the "crashes" or lows. When users crash from amphetamine use, they can experience severe depression, anxiety, fatigue, and cravings. Heavy users may engage in erratic, even violent, behavior. There is a toxic psychosis where users display behavior and delusions, similar to those seen in individuals with schizophrenia, characterized by auditory and/or visual hallucinations, paranoia, and skin picking.
The side effects of amphetamine use are an increase in heart rate, increase in body temperature, increased respiratory action, anxiety, paranoia, twitching, irritability, loss of appetite, weight loss, and tremors. Amphetamine users are prone to feelings of hypersexuality and engaging in risk taking behaviors that they normally would not do otherwise, including unsafe sex practices and sharing needles when injecting amphetamines. As a result HIV, AIDS, and Hepatitis are not uncommon, as well as other sexually transmitted diseases.
Stopping amphetamine use suddenly may result in physical withdrawal symptoms such as:
Physical withdrawal symptoms may begin within a few days after the last time amphetamine was used and may last up to ten days. Withdrawal symptoms may range from mild to severe and will depend on the type of amphetamine use, the amount of the drug taken, how long the amphetamine was used, and how often amphetamine was used.
Medical detox by IV (intravenous) therapy is seen as the best method for detox from amphetamine addiction, especially from Adderall and Ritalin. IV therapy medical detox is administered by a physician and it allows the physician to make any necessary changes to the medication to meet the withdrawal symptoms and to keep the patient comfortable.
Saint Jude Retreats is a non-treatment program that you may enroll into when finished with detox. Our Cognitive Behavior Education (CBE) program can help you reevaluate your current choices and decisions regarding drug use and help you to make better, more productive life choices moving forward. Our guests learn to develop positive habits and behaviors and as a result increase their self confidence and self esteem. Saint Jude Retreats can help you understand the truths in the addiction industry and culture and, more importantly, help you to realize that you can overcome drug use through your own choices and commitment to change.