Amphetamines are powerful central nervous system stimulants, produced from an oil base and can be obtained in various forms, such as a powder or tablets. The stimulant, amphetamine has the ability to diminish ones appetites and causes insomnia and a sensation of ecstasy. Other symptoms that amphetamines cause are paranoia, hallucinations and suicidal behaviour.

Amphetamines were first synthesized in the late 19th century and marketed for various medical purposes. Their stimulating effects made them popular for treating conditions like narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Approximately 70% of adults and 70%-80% of children with ADHD experience symptom relief from these drugs. They are effective in reducing behaviors like hyperactivity, unnecessary interruptions and restlessness and they support task completion and enhance interpersonal relationships.

The continued use of these medications typically results in improved attention spans and behavior. While the impact on social skills and academic performance is debated, many individuals report significant benefits.

How Stimulants Work for ADHD

In individuals with ADHD, stimulant drugs increase brain chemical levels, such as dopamine and norepinephrine, enhancing communication between brain neurons. These chemicals are also naturally produced during enjoyable activities. Stimulant medications for ADHD are designed to release slowly, mimicking the brain’s natural production, which can boost energy, focus and alertness.

However, they soon gained a reputation for misuse and addiction due to their euphoric and performance-enhancing effects.

In the addiction recovery community, amphetamines are commonly referred to as uppers or speed. These terms reflect their ability to boost your mood and energy levels. Some other street names for amphetamines include meth, ice or crystal.

Addiction to Amphetamines

Using amphetamines for medical purposes typically does not lead to addiction. However, misuse, such as taking higher doses than prescribed for mood or performance enhancement, increases the risk of developing an addiction. Tolerance to amphetamines can develop rapidly, requiring larger doses to achieve the desired effects.

Attempting to discontinue amphetamine use may trigger withdrawal symptoms, including intense cravings, mood fluctuations, anxiety, aggression, hallucinations, fatigue and sleep disturbances, along with physical discomfort like headaches and body aches.

Fatalities linked to amphetamine addiction rose by 30% from 2016 to 2017. Furthermore, the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that approximately 11% of individuals aged 12 to 25 have used prescription amphetamines nonmedically or without a prescription.

Side Effects of Amphetamines

If you develop an addiction to amphetamines, you may experience several adverse effects. These can include insomnia, rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, anxiety and even psychotic symptoms like hallucinations or paranoia. Prolonged abuse can also lead to malnutrition, dental problems and significant damage to your brain and other organs.

Addressing amphetamine addiction usually requires professional help and treatment in specialised rehabilitation centers. These facilities often provide a structured environment where you can receive counselling, therapy and support from addiction experts. They can help you manage withdrawal symptoms, develop coping strategies and work towards maintaining long-term recovery from amphetamine addiction.

It’s important to note that amphetamine addiction is a real and serious issue. If you or someone you know is struggling with amphetamine abuse, seeking help is crucial. Treatment options are available to assist you in overcoming this addiction and regain control of your life.

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    Founded in 2008, WeDoRecover has evolved from an advisory service for addiction treatment into a comprehensive provider of care, following its 2019 merger with Changes Addiction Rehab in Johannesburg. Specialising in connecting patients to top-tier addiction treatment centers in the UK, South Africa and Thailand, WeDoRecover supports individuals globally, including those from the United Arab Emirates and Europe. Accepting both South African medical aid and international health insurance our organisation facilitates access to high-quality treatment for substance and alcohol use disorders, offering individualised care that addresses the physical, mental and social needs of patients.

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    Our rehab care is a good option if you are at risk of experiencing strong withdrawal symptoms when you try stop a substance. This rehab option would also be recommended if you have experienced recurrent relapses or if you have tried a less-intensive treatment without success.


    If you're committed to your sobriety but cannot take a break from your daily duties for an inpatient program. Outpatient rehab treatment might suit you well if you are looking for a less restricted format for addiction treatment or simply need help with mental health.


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    Are you having persistent feelings of being swamped, sad or have sudden surges of anger or intense emotional outbursts? These are warning signs of unresolved trauma mental health. A simple assesment by a mental health expert could provide valuable insights into your recovery.

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