Amphetamine Addiction Withdrawal
Amphetamines are a group of stimulant drugs. They are marketed under many different names and are used in the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obesity, and narcolepsy. They are also frequently diverted from medical use to the illicit drug market and can be manufactured in underground labs.
Amphetamine abuse can lead to dependence. Regular users may build a tolerance to the effects of the drug and may need to take increasingly higher doses to produce the desired effects. With chronic and heavy use, the user’s brain adapts to the continuous presence of the substance. When the person stops using, they may experience unpleasant symptoms as their body adjusts to not having the drug in their system anymore. 1
Amphetamine withdrawal symptoms are not life-threatening. However, certain side effects, such as cravings or depression, can lead to relapse or risk of suicide. Detoxing in a treatment program offers the best chance for a safe detox and sustained recovery.
Amphetamine Withdrawal Symptoms
Amphetamine withdrawal symptoms include cravings, depression, and increased appetite. Several factors can affect how long symptoms last. Symptoms of amphetamine withdrawal can develop within hours of the last dose and include:
- Increased need for sleep
- Increased appetite
- Lack of ability to experience pleasure (anhedonia) 2
The duration and severity of the symptoms depend on the dose and how long the user was taking amphetamines. Heavy users may experience certain symptoms, such as anhedonia and cravings, for weeks, months, or even years. 2
How Long Does Amphetamine Withdrawals Last?
The duration of amphetamine withdrawal symptoms may vary. Possible timelines range from a few weeks to several months. The length of withdrawal will be influenced by the frequency and duration of drug use, as well as any concurrent physical or mental health issues. 2
Treatment Methods and Options Amphetamine Withdrawal
Amphetamine withdrawal programs include detox centers, inpatient detox, and outpatient detox. Amphetamine withdrawal treatment programs provide medical professionals who can supervise and monitor the process of detoxification and withdrawal. No medications have been approved for the treatment of amphetamine withdrawal. But the medical staff can prescribe medications to manage certain symptoms, such as antidepressants for depression.
Treatment options include:
- Detox facilities are designed to treat and manage withdrawal symptoms. They provide medical care, medication, and a supportive environment. People usually attend some type of substance abuse program after they have completed withdrawal.
- Inpatient facilities are usually part of treatment programs that include extensive counseling and therapy. These programs allow you to recover in an environment solely focused on overcoming amphetamine addiction. The programs provide access to medical staff experienced in substance abuse treatment and detoxification.
- Outpatient detox can monitor your withdrawal and prescribe medications as needed. You do not live at the facility while going through withdrawal. People with less severe amphetamine dependence may benefit from these programs.
Detoxification is the first stage on the road to overcoming addiction. The next step is to work on the reasons for addiction and prevent future abuse and relapse through inpatient or outpatient treatment.
Are There Any Home Remedies for Getting Clean Safely?
Amphetamine withdrawal is not generally life-threatening. However, professional help is advised over a home remedy or natural cure. Treatment centers have the resources available to help ease the discomfort of detoxing.
Alternative treatments may not be as successful in offering relief as a treatment program, and many people relapse without medical and psychiatric support. For that reason, you should consider professional treatment.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (1999). Treatment for Stimulant Use Disorders. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 33. Rockville, MD: Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.
- McCrady, B. and Epstein, E. (1999). Addictions: A Comprehensive Guidebook. Oxford University Press.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (n.d.). Methamphetamine (and Amphetamine).
- Food and Drug Administration. (2013). Highlights of Prescribing Information: Adderall.