Dexedrine Abuse, Addiction, And Treatment Options
Dexedrine is a brand of dextroamphetamine, a stimulant amphetamine medication typically used to treat ADHD. The U.S. National Library of Medicine explains, Dexedrine “works by changing the amounts of certain natural substances in the brain.”
Dexedrine produces feelings of calm and relaxation by slowing certain body functions and thus can be effective in treating conditions like ADHD. However, the same chemical reactions that make the drug an effective treatment are also what makes it a target of abuse, and subsequent addiction.
Many people don’t realize that when they abuse prescriptions they may be at risk of developing an addiction or physical dependence. Yet Dexedrine abuse can develop into a substance use disorder (addiction) and physical dependence, especially if you abuse the drug on a regular basis. With the proper treatment, you can overcome your addiction or dependence issues, and learn to live life without reliance on stimulants like Dexedrine.
Dexedrine Abuse And Addiction
People with ADHD often have troubles concentrating or narrowing their focus, so Dexedrine produces feelings of calm and relaxation to help them hone their energy and attention. This helps people be more productive, or increases their sense of awareness and often improves performance in certain tasks, such as at school or work.
This is perhaps why Dexedrine, like many amphetamines, are highly abused. Many people may abuse it because they believe it will increase their success rate in things like tests and competitions.
People perceive that their brain functions better while on the drug, and begin taking it more frequently or in higher doses than prescribed—abusing the drug. With time, abuse turns to addiction when your mind believes it needs the drug in order to function.
Abuse can also lead to dependence, a physical process. If you become dependent on Dexedrine, your body becomes reliant on the drug to function.
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Does Dexedrine Cause Withdrawal?
Dexedrine can cause physical dependence, so it may lead to withdrawal symptoms.
Some Dexedrine withdrawal symptoms include the following:
- Disruption to sleep patterns
- Extreme fatigue
- Increased hunger
If you have abused Dexedrine for an extended period of time and your body is reliant on it, trying to abruptly stop taking the drug may lead to these and other symptoms. Once your body has become dependent on a drug, the best way to overcome dependence is detoxification.
Detoxification, or detox, is the process that allows your body to flush the drug out of your system so you can restore physical health and move on with treatment. Detox is often the first step in treatment for many addicted to Dexedrine. If withdrawal symptoms become uncomfortable, medication may be available to help with cravings or reduce discomfort.
What Are The Side Effects Of Dexedrine?
Dexedrine, like most stimulants, may cause immediate side effects, such as euphoria, increased blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature, and a decrease in sleep and in appetite.
Prolonged abuse of the drug may lead to other, more adverse effects to your health, such as:
- (In high doses) heart troubles
- Risk of stroke
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) explains, “addiction to stimulants is also a very real consideration for anyone taking them without medical supervision.” In other words, anyone taking Dexedrine not as prescribed is at risk of developing addiction or dependence to it.
Stimulant Abuse In The U.S.
Stimulants like Dexedrine are frequently abused in the U.S. because they are believed to help increase performance and promote weight loss and focus. Yet abuse of these drugs can lead to health risks, including heart problems, and increased body functions, like heart rate and body temperature, which greatly increases the risk of fatal overdose.
Abuse of Dexedrine may begin when a person takes a dose before he or she should, and may continue with increasing dosage frequency, or increasing the dosage until addiction develops. Some people may never intend to become addicted to the drug, yet it happens all too frequently.
Dexedrine is not available without a prescription, yet some people may divert their medications, or receive them through illegal means. People seek stimulants for the euphoric effects, and for the increase in alertness and energy they produce. However, risk of overdose, and risk of forming addiction—a chronic illness which requires adequate treatment for proper management—make the drug a dangerous substance of abuse.
If you suspect someone you know is abusing Dexedrine, it is best to seek help right away. High doses of the drug can lead to overdose or other health complications. Treatment can help you restore all aspects of your health, and learn skills and techniques to avoid relapse and manage addiction long-term.
Dexedrine Addiction Treatment Options
People who are addicted to or dependent on Dexedrine will benefit most from inpatient drug rehab or residential treatment. At an inpatient rehab facility, you’ll reside in the rehab center for the duration of your treatment, which can be 30, 60, 90, or 120 days or more. Your length of stay depends on the duration and severity of abuse, as well as any co-occurring disorders and other treatment needs.
If you need to detox, the best rehab centers will provide a medically-supervised detox program. Detox can become an uncomfortable process, with certain body functions (such as heart rate and body temperature) elevating or decreasing as the drug leaves your body. In a medically-supervised program, you will be monitored round-the-clock to ensure vital functions are at safe levels and administering medication as needed.
Once you have completed detox, you can move on to formal types of treatment. The most effective inpatient rehab centers will offer an array of treatment modalities, and design a program tailored to your individual treatment needs.
Some of these options may include group or individual counseling; behavioral therapy, like cognitive behavioral therapy, or dialectical behavioral therapy; mental health therapy; medication-assisted therapy; holistic treatment; adventure or wilderness therapy; and more.
Whichever inpatient rehab center you choose should first determine your treatment needs through a full clinical assessment, and build a program that adequately addresses all of those needs.
Get Help For A Dexedrine Addiction Today
If someone you know is abusing Dexedrine, or other stimulants, it is important to help them find the right treatment program today. At Addiction Campuses, we understand the nature of addiction and can help direct you to the best rehab centers who will work with you to design a treatment plan that’s right for you.
Contact a treatment specialist at Addiction Campuses today to learn more about Dexedrine addiction and treatment options.Article Sources
National Institute on Drug Abuse - https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/stimulant-adhd-medications-methylphenidate-amphetamines
U.S. Food and Drug Administration - https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2007/017078s042lbl.pdf
U.S. National Library of Medicine - https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a605027.html#brand-name-1