Dexedrine Addiction and Abuse

A general problem arising from stimulant medication for ADHD(Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is that using medications in this class of drugs leads to substance abuse. In the US, they are classified by the DEA as a Schedule II medication, meaning that they have a medical purpose, but pose a high risk of addiction. If you take ADHD medications, you’ll enjoy consistency across your days, focus better and are able to enjoy a normal life.

Most of the people abusing ADHD medication are self-medicating without a prescription, increasing the risk of abuse. However, abuse doesn’t automatically lead to addiction. Consult your doctor if you find that you’ve built tolerance for these drugs. Most adults respond better to smaller doses, so you won’t’ face the problem of tolerance or withdrawal symptoms if you follow your doctor’s orders.

What Is Dexedrine?

Dexedrine is the brand name of dextroamphetamine, a stimulant for treating narcolepsy and ADHD. It was used for depression, nasal congestion and alcohol hangovers in the 20th century but switched focus in the 21st century.

Dextroamphetamine is stronger than amphetamine, which means Dexedrine has a higher potential for abuse based on its stimulant effects. Dexedrine releases hormones responsible for increasing energy and alertness, thus amplifying your ability to concentrate, curbing restlessness, increasing attention span and reducing fatigue.

The Various Forms of Dexedrine

Dextroamphetamine comes in three forms:

Extended-release capsule (Dexedrine): this drug comes in various strengths ranging from 5mg-15 mg.

Immediate release tablet (Zenzedi): various strengths ranging from 2.5 mg, 5mg and up to 30mg.

Oral solution (ProCentra): the single strength of 5mg.

Dexedrine Addiction and Abuse: What Is It?

There have been various studies on the non-medical use of stimulants. Abuse occurs when you take Dexedrine for non-medical purposes. If you crush the capsule, chew, snort, smoke or inject it, this is considered abuse. This also applies if you take higher doses, increase the frequency of usage, take Dexedrine to get ‘high’, use it without a prescription or fail to inform your doctor when you’ve built a tolerance.

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What Causes Dexedrine Addiction and Abuse?

You more than likely started out with a legitimate prescription for Dexedrine but failed to inform your doctor after noticing your regular dose was not effective anymore. Increasing the dosage to achieve the original effects leads to drug dependence and the urge to take more of Dexedrine to achieve the desired results.

How Does Addiction Develop?

Abuse does not automatically develop into an addiction. However, the path to addiction includes abuse. This means that, if you have ever done any of the actions considered abuse, you are at risk of developing a dependence on Dexedrine.

One of the causes of addiction is tolerance. If you have grown used to the recommended dose and have started taking more, and more – your body is already used to the drug. Amending the dosage into higher dosages or increased strength, without a doctor’s permission is practically forcing your body into an addiction.

Many are afraid of the withdrawal symptoms that follow an attempt to stop. If you have been feeling alright because of your treatment, you may feel dependent on the medication. One of the biggest fears is that stopping a medication will cause the initial problems to recur. Thus, continues the use of Dexedrine, feeding your mind and body with an already unneeded substance.

How Dexedrine Addiction and Abuse Affect the Brain and Body?

While there’s not enough evidence to adequately determine the full effect of Dexedrine abuse on the body and brain, we can deduce the harm it can cause from its effects.

Dexedrine releases ‘feel-good’ chemicals associated with regulating energy, mood and feelings of pleasure. When you’re not taking, you’ll feel fatigued, extremely hungry and unable to feel happiness or pleasure.Your blood pressure, heart rate and physical health worsen. You’ll crave more drugs, as addiction is reinforced by the release of dopamine neurotransmitters. It also damages brain cells – most of which can be reversed in treatment and recovery.

Who Becomes Addicted to Dexedrine?

People become addicted to Dexedrine because they use it for non-medical purposes and are not fully aware of the appropriate dose to prevent the onset of tolerance and addiction. Stress or pressure to perform at high levels leads to abuse and consequentially – addiction. It should be treated with comprehensive Dexedrine rehab treatment.

Individuals who abuse Dexedrine include athletes, academics, students, performers and recreational drug users. Due to ease of access and positive effects of the ‘high’, there are tens of millions of people abusing stimulants like Dexedrine across the globe.

Signs, Symptoms and Effects of Dexedrine Abuse and Addiction

If you are concerned about a loved one and their use, you may want to try and compare the symptoms with the ones of Dexedrine addiction and abuse. Some of them may be lighter or heavier, but if at least some of them are present at the same time, then your friend or family member may, in fact, be addicted.

Short-term effects of Dexedrine on the body

  • Fearlessness
  • Improved feeling of self-worth
  • Improved mood
  • Decreased stress
  • High alertness
  • Improved attention, energy and ability to make decisions
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Shakiness
  • Dizziness
  • Restlessness

Long-term effects of using Dexedrine

Research from the National Institute of Drug Abuse shows that long-term stimulant abuse leads to damaged brain cells and atrophy result of overloading dopamine neurotransmitters with Dexedrine. Damage to dopamine systems makes it almost impossible to feel pleasure or happiness without drugs in your system, causing you to crave more – an action that degenerates into the vicious cycle of addiction.

Other long-term symptoms include manic symptoms, such as difficulty making the right choice and inability to sleep, psychosis that manifests with paranoia, delusional thinking, hallucination and a disconnect from reality, aggression through verbal outbursts and physical violence.

Physical Signs and symptoms of Dexedrine abuse and addiction

  • Tremors
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Increased energy
  • Headaches
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dry mouth
  • Insomnia
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Psychological signs and symptoms of Dexedrine abuse and addiction

Depression: When you ‘come down’ from Dexedrine ‘high’ or stop feeling the effects of the drug, you’ll be incapable of feeling pleasure or positive emotions, leading to a state of depression.

Dependence: The brain adjusts to the influx of drugs and learns to function with it. Psychological dependence on Dexedrine changes your personality, affects mood and causes damage to the thought-process.

Other symptoms include:

  • Erratic behaviour
  • Paranoia
    • Hallucinations
    • Mood swings
    • Hostility

    Signs of Dexedrine withdrawal and overdose

    Taking it at increased frequency, consuming larger doses than prescribed or combining Dexedrine with suboxone, alcohol and other dangerous substances could lead to overdose. Some of the warning signs of Dexedrine overdose include:

    • Accelerated heart rate
    • Vomiting
    • Seizures
    • High blood pressure
    • Headaches
    • Shallow breathing
    • Vomiting
    • Severe mood changes

    If you notice any of these symptoms, please call your local medical emergency services, as any sign of overdose shouldn’t be ignored. Doctors might have to pump your stomach to remove most of the drug toxins, in addition to any other medication.

    Withdrawal symptoms manifest when you quit after building a dependence on Dexedrine. The severity of withdrawal depends on the dose of medication, dual diagnosis and combination of drugs. Due to the uncomfortable side effects of Dexedrine withdrawal, it’s safer to detox at a designated medical centre. Common withdrawal symptoms include depression, seizures, violence, confusion, hunger and irritability.

    Dangerous Effects of Dexedrine Abuse and Addiction

    Acute Dexedrine withdrawal sometimes leads to medical and physiological complications, which increases the danger of detox. When coming down from the ‘high’, it’s not uncommon to feel depressed or harbour suicidal thoughts. When you can’t access drugs, you might put yourself in danger, become agitated, disorganised, paranoid, violent and erratic, especially if you have a dual diagnosis of mental illness and addiction.

    Long-term abuse also affects your liver, causing damage to a vital organ that clears toxins from the bloodstream. Taking large doses of Dexedrine overworks the liver and leads to tissue necrosis, scarring, chronic inflammation and sometimes even cancer.

    Depression associated with drug abuse sometimes lingers even after rehab and requires long-term treatment and medication to properly manage. If you experienced any mental health issues alongside ADHD and addiction, Dexedrine (and other substances you may have combined) increases symptoms of depression that ultimately complicates recovery.

    Physical, psychological, emotional, behavioural and mental effects of Dexedrine abuse and addiction

    According to NIDA, you’re likely to abuse drugs for their euphoric, pleasurable effects on the brain. Over time, drug use seems normal and the effects almost unnoticeable. Consequently, in this case, you’re not able to feel pleasure or positive emotions unless under the influence of Dexedrine. This produces negative emotions that worsen as an addiction develops. Addiction is linked to mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. You will likely self-medicate these problems via increased drug use.

    When you abuse Dexedrine, you adopt a stale, unfulfilling outlook on life. The realisation that you have no real control over your drug habit further worsens self-image and pushes you deeper into addiction. It’s especially difficult if you have a dual diagnosis of addiction and mental health issues because it’s tough to tell where symptoms of one manifest or overlap each other. Addiction interferes with medication for mental health, disrupts natural brain function and worsens symptoms of any mental health issues.

    The social impact of Dexedrine

    Abusing Dexedrine not only threatens your health but gives rise to socioeconomic problems. Your family suffers from your drug use. It drains your family resources until you might find yourself dipping into your children’s college fund to buy drugs. You neglect responsibilities, suffer ailments, destroy marital bonds, become aggressive, violent and depressed. Subsequently, if you don’t seek help on time, you could lose it all.

    In time, you could lose your job or become unable to attend school. Studies have shown that addiction is a major reason why many people switch jobs. If you’re not working, you’ll need to fund your drug lifestyle in another way. This is when many turn to crime, but you don’t have to be like them if you seek help before it becomes a problem.

    Your relationship with your peers may suffer as you become more reclusive and isolated. This is another common social effect they have on us. People don’t enjoy the company of those who misbehave or ruin their fun with their constant nervousness.

    Coping with Withdrawal

    The best way to cope with withdrawal is to detox at a medically supervised facility, where doctors and addiction experts are on hand to supervise the detox process. They’ll use the tapering method to reduce your regular dose and wean you off Dexedrine until all drugs (if you used anything else in addition) have left your system. However, withdrawal symptoms might persist, in spite of tapering.

    How to treat Dexedrine withdrawal?

    When the body and brain are used to performing normal functions with unnaturally high amounts of Dexedrine in your system, and you take out the drug, it fights back with withdrawal symptoms, hoping to force you to resume drug use. While medication and therapies are used for withdrawal, you need to also be prepared emotionally. Here is some advice on how to do it:

    Knowing what to expect from Dexedrine withdrawal:  the first thing is to know the common withdrawal symptoms of Dexedrine. This helps you prepare for them, so it doesn’t come as a surprise and you can ‘ride it out’, knowing it will pass.

    Ride it out: Dexedrine withdrawal symptoms vary across individuals, both in intensity and duration of withdrawal. ‘Ride out’ the symptoms at a detox centre to ensure you’re not tempted to use Dexedrine to alleviate withdrawal. Medical professionals will provide medication to ease painful symptoms.

    Motivation is key: It’s important you have a strong family network or the support of friends. Motivation to get clean makes it worth the effort and easier to cope with withdrawal. Family plays a strong role in substance abuse treatment.

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    Therapy, Treatment and Rehab for Dexedrine Abuse and Addiction

    Dialectical behavioural therapy ( DBT) focuses on changing poorly formed behaviours, beliefs and thoughts to reduce symptoms of ADHD. DBT believes that the most critical problem is difficulty managing emotion, as most problems develop from there.

    DBT enhances your ability to improve motivation, manage emotional and psychological functioning, ensure new behaviours are in line with daily life and structure your environment to enhance your therapist’s ability to provide motivation. Core elements of DBT include guidelines for identifying treatment targets, biosocial stages, acceptance, stages of treatment and creating dialectical treatment strategies. The initial goal is to help you stop problematic behaviours and in time, improve emotional experiences and the general quality of life.

    Motivational Interviewing is a therapeutic approach that helps you break substance abuse, maintain a healthy diet and improve wellbeing. The technique is especially useful if you’re ambivalent towards treatment. Researchers found that sessions could help you reduce drug abuse, stay in therapy and reduce the stigma associated with seeking professional help for addiction and mental health issues.

    This is an evidence-based approach that encourages you to explore discrepancies between your values and actual behaviour. By articulating to a counsellor, you’re motivated to make positive changes in your thought and behavioural patterns that improve the outcome of treatment.

    Dexedrine addiction treatment prices

    The price of Dexedrine treatment is determined by several factors, such as:

    • The location of rehab: treatment facilities in city centres and abroad are more expensive.
    • Number of therapy approaches used in the treatment
    • Type of facility: standard, state-run, luxury or executive drug programmes
    • Staff-to-patient ratio
    • Expertise of staff

    Standard private rehab programmes in the UK cost around £7,000 a month and £2,000 a week, while luxury rehab costs£10,000 a week on average and £50,000 a month. You can sometimes pay for rehab via your medical insurance. It can cover the full or partial cost, depending on your policy. Alternatives includean equity bank loan, credit card, personal funds, financial support from loved ones and an NHS grant.

    Staying off Dexedrine

    Staying drug-free and preventing relapse is at the centre of all aftercare programmes. Little everyday events may turn into a trigger for relapse, hence, the need for structure and support from others is as important as are detox and rehab. Things will be different when you go home. Follow your relapse prevention plan which you created with the help of your therapist whilst in rehab.

    Positive psychology that promotes hopefulness, optimism, positivity and emotional vitality will help you lead a meaningful, fulfilling life. Avoid negative thoughts and find activities that reinforce positivity.

    You’re also going to need a daily schedule that encourages healthy living and prevents boredom. Re-establish healthy patterns as soon as you settle in, as this helps to restore balance to affected neurotransmitters. Your schedule should include exercises, nutritious diet, family activities, support groups, work and therapy.

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    Individual counselling

    Individual therapy offers a platform for you to work through psychological issues related to addiction with your therapist. The therapist could be a marriage and family counsellor, psychologist, social worker or psychiatrist. This is a professional service offered by a trained and government-licensed therapist.

    The one-on-one attention you receive from your therapist helps you understand problems that led to drug use and develop an individualised approach to working through all issues. The pace depends on you.

    Therapy approaches used in individual counselling include Cognitive behavioural therapy, Motivational interviewing, Contingency management and Dialectical behavioural therapy.

    Support groups

    The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that relapse rates are around 40%-60%. Attending and participating in support groups is at the core of addiction treatmentbecause it reduces the rate of relapse and increases your chances of lifelong abstinence from Dexedrine. While addiction treatment helps you learn how to cope with daily triggers and stressors without turning to drugs, support groups provide an avenue for sustaining the recovery goals you made during treatment.

    Most support groups are based on the 12-step philosophy introduced by Alcoholics Anonymous and altered to fit other recovery programmes. SAMSHA advises Narcotics Anonymous as the ideal support group if you’re suffering from Dexedrine addiction and other prescription pill abuse.

    Family therapy

    Applied to several rehab treatments, family therapy is effective in both adolescents and adults. This type of therapy uses the strength of the family as a unit to help you learn to live without drugs. Issues addressed in treatment include family conflict, parenting skills, depression, unemployment, financial troubles and abuse.

    Multidimensional family therapy: popularly used in teen drug rehabilitation programmes, this approach focuses on behavioural problems and substance abuse. You’ll work on developing coping skills and strengthening relationships between family members and peers.

    Behaviouralcontracting: the family creates a written contract for maintaining a home free of drugs,with the aid of your therapist. Your family also learns to identify triggers and predict problems before they happen, as well as develop strategies for preventing them.

    Facts and Statistics

    • Dexedrine was approved to treat narcolepsy and ADHD by the FDA in 1976.
    • Dexedrine is one of the most prescribed medications for treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
    • 35% of college students in the US used Dexedrine for non-medical purposes.
    • Of this figure, 25% with a prescription for ADHD used the drug to get ‘high’.
    • Over 10% of medical students abuse stimulants and 5.5% have ADHD; most were diagnosed after 18 years of age.
    • 11% of children aged 4 to 17 were diagnosed with ADHD in 2011.
    • 25% of high-school or middle-school students were asked to sell their Dexedrine medication to others.
    • 13 million Americans use amphetamines without medical supervision.
    • There were 15,585 ER visits in 2010 related to ADHD medication abuse.

    FAQs

    What is Dexedrine?

    Dexedrine is a powerful amphetamine enantiomer and central nervous system stimulant, prescribed for treating narcolepsy and ADHD. Recreationally, it is also used as a cognitive enhancer, to boost athletic performance and for its euphoric and aphrodisiac properties.

    What is it used for?

    Dexedrine is a medicament used for treating ADHD, but often times can be purchased by athletes, students, and recreational users off the black market.

    What is the annual fatalities rate?

    According to 2016 statistics, amphetamine deaths in the England and Wales hit record highs, with nearly four thousand people dying from using amphetamines according to the ONS.

    Who becomes addicted to Dexedrine ?

    Anyone who uses Dexedrine can develop an addiction if they abuse the drug. With a legitimate prescription, you might abuse it after building tolerance and failing to inform your doctor. Sports athletes take Dexedrine to boost performance, even though it’s illegal. Also, students who are preparing for exams use Dexedrine to improve cognition and stay more alert when they study.

    What are Dexedrine withdrawal symptoms?

    Withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, dehydration, nightmares, fatigue, extreme paranoia, poor memory, frustration, depression, loss of motivation and cravings for Dexedrine.

    What are the effects of Dexedrine abuse and addiction?

    Positive effects of Dexedrine include high alertness, improved attention, self-esteem, energy and better decision-making skills. Side effects include: dry mouth, headache, restlessness, insomnia, vision problems, dizziness, tremors, impaired movement, diarrhoea, increased blood pressure and heart rate, constipation, seizures and sexual dysfunction.

    Do you get ‘high’ on Dexedrine?

    Dexedrine is a Schedule II-controlled substance (in the US), which means it has therapeutic benefits, but with a risk of abuse. You can get ‘high’ on Dexedrine because it stimulates neurotransmitters in the brain such as dopamine (related to motivation, pleasure and emotion), serotonin and norepinephrine.

    Is there a‘normal’ level of Dexedrine use?

    Yes. The medication is used to treat a number of conditions. The prescribed dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment, usually taken one to three times daily.

    What are the various forms of Dexedrine?

    Dexedrine comes in three forms; capsule, tablet and oral solution. The capsule comes in 5mg-15mg strengths; the tablet (which is immediate release) ranges from 2.5mg-30mg, and the oral solution (ProCentra) has a strength of 5mg/5mL.

    Can Dexedrine be abused?

    You abuse Dexedrine by taking higher doses than prescribed; taking the drugs at an increased frequency; using Dexedrine without a prescription; taking Dexedrine for non-medical purposes; or for getting ‘high’.

    Dexedrine addiction symptoms: Can they be treated?

    Symptoms of Dexedrine addiction can be treated by a combination of pharmacology and behavioural treatment. The first step involves detox to rid your body of all drug toxins. You’ll be provided with medication to ease painful withdrawal symptoms. Once you’re physically stabilised, you’ll be moved to rehab, where a range of therapeutic approaches are used to treat the psychological symptoms of addiction.

    How much Dexedrine does it take to overdose?

    The normal dose for Dexedrine ranges from 5mg-60 mg a day. If you’ve never used amphetamines or Dexedrine before, 20mgcould cause an overdose. If you’re currently taking the prescribed 130 mg or more, thiscould make you overdose.

    Do Suboxone and Dexedrine really work to treat addiction?

    The combination of Suboxone and Dexedrine is typically not recommended, as they’re both addictive substances. If you’re using both together, it has to be under the supervision of a physician. Generally, if you’re receiving suboxone for opioid addiction, your doctor waits until you’ve been weaned off it before prescribing Dexedrine to avoid any harmful effects of drug interaction. Combining both drugs increases the risk of seizures, hallucinations, increased heart rate, blood pressure, paranoia, heart attack and stroke.

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