As a class of drugs, amphetamines actually started out with legitimate medical uses in the early part of the 20th century. It wasn’t until the 1960s that these drugs really began to be used recreationally here in the UK. Since then, we have seen a gradual increase in amphetamines misuse to the point of significant addiction. Amphetamines are now classified as prescription-only drugs, even though that has not always been the case.
Are you concerned that you or someone close to you is addicted to amphetamines? If so, help is at hand. Continue reading through this guide to learn more about these dangerous drugs and how you can obtain treatment to kick your habit. Please do not hesitate to contact Addiction Helper if you need assistance locating a rehab facility in your local area. We can help by assessing your situation and walking you through all the treatment options so that you can choose what is most appropriate for your needs.
The Basics of Amphetamines
Amphetamines were first introduced for medicinal purposes in the 1930s despite having been discovered during the 1800s. The drugs were used for a variety of purposes including asthma control, appetite control, and to relieve hypertension. Use gradually expanded to include them as treatment for seizure-related disorders and migraine headaches. What doctors found most appealing about amphetamines are their stimulating effects.
Believe it or not, British military forces were given amphetamines during the second world war to relieve battle fatigue. More than 70 million tablets were dispensed over the course of the war. Unfortunately, one of the unintended consequences of this decision was that it led to addiction among some soldiers and eventually created the recreational market of the late 1950s and early 60s.
Amphetamines are drugs classified as synthetic stimulants. Their use for medical purposes has now been greatly diminished due to their tendency to create addiction combined with limited efficacy. On the streets, amphetamines are generally known as ‘speed’. Derivatives include amphetamine sulphate, dexedrine and dexamphetamine.
The drugs are popular for recreational use because their effects can last up to six hours, followed by a very slow and gradual withdrawal. They are also easy to take. Amphetamines can be swallowed as pills or injected directly into the bloodstream.
Signs of Amphetamines Use
Recognising regular amphetamine use may be challenging if you don’t know what to look for. But rest assured there are very definite signs that, when recognised, could indicate a person is at least abusing amphetamines – if not already addicted. Those signs include:
- dilated pupils while the drug’s effects are still present
- mood swings that include mild to moderate depression
- excessive fatigue during withdrawal
- the tendency toward antisocial behaviour, including violence.
With regular, excessive use of amphetamines comes more specific physical symptoms including headaches, dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, poor co-ordination, and irregular breathing and heartbeat. You should understand that amphetamines take a terrible toll on the body by directly affecting heart rate, blood pressure and the immune system. They can also lead to psychological problems including paranoia and psychosis. Most importantly, combining amphetamines with alcohol or anti-depressants can be fatal. Overdose may result in coma, seizures, or even death.
Treatment for Amphetamines Addiction
If you or someone you love is struggling with amphetamines right now, the first step in the treatment process is to assess the seriousness of the problem. Someone in the earliest stages of drug misuse may not yet be addicted but still require medical intervention. Those who are addicted absolutely need professional treatment to get well.
Treatment for amphetamines addiction begins with detox in a medically supervised environment. We cannot stress this enough. The withdrawal symptoms related to amphetamines use can be severe to the point of creating a dangerous situation. Attempting to detox by oneself can result in serious injury or death.
Undergoing detox under medical supervision offers the added benefit of prescription medications that can help take the edge off withdrawal symptoms. The right medications can help patients better cope with the physical symptoms as well as any anxiety or depression. Once detox is complete, usually about 7 to 10 days, the patient should begin a therapeutic rehab programme designed to teach patients about their addiction and those underlying psychological issues that trigger addictive behaviour.
Rehab therapy is valuable for preventing relapse by teaching patients coping and avoidance strategies for the future. This kind of therapy is necessary given that recovered addicts will eventually have to reintegrate into the normal life they lost when they started taking drugs. Simply put, they will have to learn to live without amphetamines.
Before beginning rehab therapy, the amphetamine addict needs to understand that relapse rates for this particular class of drugs are rather high. Those who truly want to get well will have to commit themselves to treatment, give a 100% effort, and be faithful to follow-up treatments once residential rehab has been completed.
Help and Support for You
Addiction Helper exists to provide you and your family the help and support you need to overcome addiction. If you are currently struggling with amphetamine addiction at any level, we would encourage you not to continue to allow drugs to destroy everything you hold dear. You or your loved one can get well; your family can get back to those days before drugs became a problem.
The road to amphetamine treatment begins by contacting the 24-hour Addiction Helper helpline. Our helpline is staffed by trained and experienced counsellors who use current medical standards to evaluate each and every client. By asking targeted questions and walking you through the basics of addiction, we can help you determine the seriousness of your problem and the kinds of treatments that would work best for you. You will ultimately choose if, when, and where to seek treatment.
Addiction Helper works with residential rehab clinics throughout the UK. As an independent referral service, we have the ability to connect you with the treatment provider best suited to your needs and circumstances. Why not contact us today so we can help you and your family?