- PrintArticle Summary
- Withdrawal Symptoms
- Withdrawing from Amphetamine: Treatment Methods and Options for Help
- Detoxing, Addiction Treatment, Rehab, and Recovery
- Questions and Answers (FAQ)
The 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
Withdrawing from Amphetamine: Treatment Methods and Options for Help
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 detox 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 facilities 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.
Tracking ADHD Medication Abuse
A surprising number of college-age people can get their hands on doctor-prescribed ADHD stimulants without a prescription.
According to a Recovery Brands survey in 2016, a shocking majority of college-age individuals 18 to 28 years old get access to stimulant medications via companions. Almost 21 percent get their hands on them from a member of their family, more than 18 percent by means of other students, and nearly 15 percent through a street dealer.
Detoxing, Addiction Treatment, Rehab, and Recovery
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.
Rehab centers surround you with treatment professionals whose goal is to steer you toward a drug-free lifestyle.
- Inpatient treatment centers place you in an isolated environment and under constant supervision. These programs also provide various treatment methods and activities, such as individual counseling, group therapy, art and music therapy, yoga, and recreation.
- Outpatient programs offer therapy and counseling on certain days of the week. Participants visit the facility during scheduled times.
- 12-step programs offer a structured, step-by-step recovery program that includes the support of peers. Many people complete the steps with the help of a sponsor, who is available to provide support when recovering amphetamine users need it.
Certain therapies have proved effective in treating addiction to amphetamines and other stimulants. These include:
- The Matrix Model
- Contingency management
- Behavioral family/couples therapy 1
You may want to see if the program you’re considering offers evidence-based treatments such as these.
|Amphetamine Information at a Glance|
|Medication Name, Costs||Class of Medicine|
|Generic Name: Amphetamine|
Chemical Name: Amphetamine, dextroamphetamine, methamphetamine, lisdexamfetamine
Brand Name: Adderall, Dexedrine, Desoxyn, ProCentra, Vyvanse, Zenzedi
|Used to Treat Addiction? No|
Function or Use at Low Dose: CNS stimulant, appetite control, treatment of narcolepsy, attention deficit disorder (ADD), and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) 3
Duration of Action: varies on administration route and dose (ex., injection produces faster and more intense effects)
|Form, Intake, and Dose||Interactions and Complications|
|Drug Forms: tablets, capsules, liquid, crystallized|
Administration Routes: oral, intranasal, intravenous, smoking 3
Dose: 5 – 30 mg tablets (Adderall)
Overdose amount: varies
Overdose symptoms: hyperthermia, tachycardia, severe hypertension, convulsions, chest pain, stroke, cardiovascular collapse, death 3
|Contraindications: a history of heart disease, hypertension, glaucoma, arteriosclerosis, hyperthyroidism, known hypersensitivity to sympathomimetic amines, agitated states, history of drug abuse, within 14 days of monoamine oxidase inhibitor use 4|
|Effects and Adverse Reactions||Substance Abuse|
|Short-Term: light sensitivity, irritability, insomnia, nervousness, headache, tremors, anxiety 3|
Long-Term: psychosis, picking at skin, hallucinations, paranoia, violent and erratic behavior3
|Risk of Substance Abuse: High|
Signs of Abuse: insomnia, anxiety, paranoia, irrational behavior, hallucinations, suspiciousness 3
|Physiological Problem Signs and Symptoms||Dependence and Addiction Issues|
|Withdrawal Symptoms: extreme fatigue, mental depression, apathy, irritability, exhaustion 3|
Tolerance: Yes 3
|Cross Dependence: High|
Physical Dependence: High
Psychological Dependence: High
|Legal Schedules and Ratings|
|Controlled Substances Act Classification: Schedule II – high potential for abuse and dependence 3|
Questions and Answers (FAQ)
How Long Does Amphetamine Withdrawal 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
Do You Have a List of Popular Slang or Street Names for Amphetamines?
- Eye openers
- Lid poppers
- Pep pills
- Black beauties
- Bumble bees
- Cross tops
- Hot ice
- L.A. glass
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.
How Long Does It Take to Detox From Amphetamine?
- 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.