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  • Amphetamines are stimulant drugs that speed up your central nervous system (CNS). 

    Prescription amphetamines, such as Adderall and Dexedrine, are used to treat health conditions like attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. There are also illegal amphetamines, such as methamphetamine (or “meth”).

    Some people abuse amphetamines to feel energized, focused, or euphoric. Amphetamine abuse can lead to amphetamine addiction (also called amphetamine use disorder). This disease likely requires professional treatment. 

    What Causes Amphetamine Addiction?

    Amphetamines make you feel happy and energized by boosting a neurotransmitter (brain chemical) called dopamine. If you regularly abuse amphetamines (use them in a manner not prescribed by a doctor), you might struggle to feel good without the drugs. 

    You may then develop an addiction. That means you’ll feel unable to stop using amphetamines despite negative consequences, such as:

    Amphetamine Addiction Treatment

    Most addiction treatment centers offer both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs.

    Inpatient & Outpatient Treatment

    If you choose an inpatient program, you’ll live at a treatment facility and receive 24/7 care and supervision. If you choose an outpatient program, you’ll regularly attend a treatment facility while still living at home. 

    Depending on the program and your needs, you may attend an outpatient program anywhere from once a day to once a week. 

    In most cases, inpatient care is recommended for people with moderate-to-severe addictions, while outpatient care is recommended for people with mild addictions and strong support systems at home. Talk to your doctor to determine which option is right for you. 

    Whether inpatient or outpatient, most treatment programs for amphetamine addiction (and other substance use disorders) offer a wide range of services,

    Medical Detox

    If you’re addicted to amphetamines, you’ve likely developed amphetamine dependence. That means your body can’t function properly without amphetamines. If you stop taking them, you may experience amphetamine withdrawal symptoms, such as:

    • mood swings
    • fatigue
    • trouble sleeping
    • trouble concentrating
    • hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that aren’t there)
    • headaches
    • increased appetite 
    • intense cravings for amphetamines

    To ensure you’re staying safe and healthy, your doctors will likely monitor your vital functions (such as blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature) throughout medical detox. They may also prescribe medications to ease certain withdrawal symptoms. 

    Behavioral Therapy

    Therapy is one of the most essential parts of drug abuse treatment. In fact, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, behavioral therapies are the most effective treatments for methamphetamine addiction, which is the most dangerous form of amphetamine addiction.

    The most common types of therapy for amphetamine addiction are:

    • cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), where a therapist will help you change unhealthy behaviors that contribute to your drug addiction and develop coping skills to strengthen your mental health
    • contingency management (CM), where you’ll receive tangible rewards (such as gift cards) for not using amphetamines and progressing in your treatment
    • motivational interviewing (MI), where you’ll learn to become more motivated to stay in treatment
    • family therapy, where you and your family members will learn how to support your recovery and resolve conflicts related to your addiction 
    • group therapy, where you’ll learn important coping strategies alongside other people recovering from addiction 

    Such therapies help you recover not only from addiction but also from any underlying mental disorders that contribute to your use of amphetamines. 

    Support Groups

    Whether you were addicted to an illegal stimulant like meth or a prescription stimulant like Adderall, recovering from amphetamine addiction can make you feel ashamed and alone. Support groups ease these feelings by connecting you with people who’ve also struggled with amphetamine use or other types of drug use. 

    One of the most popular support groups for drug addiction is Narcotics Anonymous (NA). This group encourages members to seek help from a higher spiritual power. There are also non-spiritual support groups such as SMART Recovery, LifeRing, and Women for Sobriety

    Wellness Activities

    If you don’t take care of yourself during recovery, you face a much higher risk of relapse. That’s why most addiction treatment programs promote and teach wellness activities, such as:

    • exercise
    • healthy eating
    • yoga
    • meditation 
    • acupuncture
    • aromatherapy 
    • journaling

    These activities can boost your mood, ease stress, and decrease drug cravings. 

    Aftercare Planning

    According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), it’s important to develop an aftercare plan before you leave treatment. This plan will include short-term and long-term relapse prevention strategies, such as:

    • ongoing therapy to treat your addiction and any underlying mental illnesses
    • ongoing support groups
    • transitional housing, such as a sober living house
    • assistance with education or employment

    The doctors at your treatment program can help you create a personalized, effective aftercare plan. 

    If you or a loved one struggles with amphetamines, please reach out to an Ark Behavioral Health specialist. We offer comprehensive substance abuse and addiction treatment options to help you stay sober and healthy. 

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2022 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.
    Sources

    National Institute on Drug Abuse - Behavioral Therapies
    National Institute on Drug Abuse - What treatments are effective for people who misuse methamphetamine?
    Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration - The Next Step Toward A Better Life
    United States National Library of Medicine - Substance use - amphetamines

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