What is Amphetamine Withdrawal?
Amphetamine withdrawal refers to the gradual or rapid process of weaning the body off of amphetamine. This highly addictive substance, triggers the brain to produce extra dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps one feel happiness and joy. It became widely popular in medicine in the 1920s. Usually, situations that induce dopamine production are eating a favorite food, making love, or doing something that one greatly enjoys.
Amphetamine withdrawal is imperative when the user consumes dangerous amounts of this substance. As a result, it can cause irrevocable health-related issues, coma, and death.
What are the Types of Amphetamine Withdrawal?
After an amphetamine addict suddenly stops taking the drug, withdrawal symptoms start almost immediately. Depending on the cause of the withdrawal, you can divide the process into two types: planned and unplanned.
- Planned withdrawal occurs in a facility after a person signs in for rehabilitation.
- On the other hand, unplanned withdrawal is predominantly circumstantial. It occurs by happenstance when the user doesn’t have the intention to stop taking the substance. It can be due to various reasons, such as not having enough money to purchase the drug.
Depending on the nature of the withdrawal, you can divide the symptoms further into physical and psychological.
What are the Physical Symptoms of Amphetamine Withdrawal?
For example, some of the most common physical withdrawal symptoms are fatigue and excessive hunger.
Other physical symptoms include:
- Stomach pains
- Coordination problems
- High heart rate
- Cardiovascular problems such as cardiac arrest
- Psychomotor agitation
Oddly enough, some experts claim that amphetamine withdrawal symptoms are more severe than cocaine withdrawal symptoms. The reason for this lies in the duration process. Mostly, physical symptoms fade away after a few weeks. However, some psychological issues may linger on for over a year.
Psychological Withdrawal Symptoms
Psychological withdrawal symptoms tend to vary from one person to another, but some of the most common issues are:
- Mood swings
- Panic attacks
- Drug craving behavior
- Hypersensitivity to light and sound
- Suicidal thoughts and attempts
One should never overlook psychological withdrawal symptoms because they can last an entire year after detox completion.
What is the Amphetamine Withdrawal Symptoms Timeline?
The first withdrawals symptoms such as fatigue, sleepiness, and irritability kick in. This is only a few hours after one stops taking the drug.
Within the next couple of hours, a person addicted to amphetamine will experience stomach aches, muscle pains, and drug cravings. Additionally, in this stage, paranoia, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, and panic attacks may occur.
Withdrawal symptoms usually last from two to ten days. However, in some cases, certain psychological issues may continue to emerge for twelve months.
Self-detox is a situation in which an addict suddenly stops using the drug by themselves. They do this without medical supervision. Due to severe withdrawal symptoms, there is a high possibility of relapse. Therefore, doctors do not recommend self-detox. Furthermore, unsupervised self-detoxification can have a lethal outcome.
Medical Supervision During Withdrawal
Unfortunately, Amphetamine withdrawal is not a quick and easy process. Doctors advise medical supervision during an amphetamine withdrawal period. Severe withdrawal symptoms can even jeopardize one’s life. Nonetheless, if a person is going through detox in an inpatient facility, relapse is highly unlikely.
Medical professionals will make sure that they minimize all the risks of withdrawal. Supervised withdrawal provides users psychological support and medication to ease the pain and other withdrawal symptoms.
Upon the patient’s arrival to the clinic, the staff will inquire about the substances they used. They will also ask how much and for how long. Other questions that may come up during the withdrawal assessment are:
- How do you take the drug?
- Do you use any other substances?
- Have you ever experienced withdrawal symptoms?
- Do you suffer from any chronic illness?
- Do you have any mental problems?
It is important to note that once the withdrawal symptoms are gone, and the detox process is over. As a result, the real struggle is about to begin. Amphetamine addicts have to face many challenges after detox. They include how to maintain sobriety, how to find new coping mechanisms, and how to restore their relationships.
Continually, counseling, family, and group therapy can help mitigate those issues. Continuous therapy and a strong support network are essential factors on one’s sobriety journey.
Amphetamine Abuse Statistics
At first, people thought Amphetamine was a groundbreaking stimulant in the 1920s. However, various negative effects started to emerge. Consequently, its medical usage has become very narrow. Despite all the well-known negative effects, the number of amphetamine users continues to grow. Reasons for this phenomenon may be its easy accessibility and their affordable price. At the time of the writing, it starts at about $8.00 per gram.
Furthermore, findings show that amphetamine is becoming more and more popular with children under the age of 18. The number of non-medical amphetamine users between the ages of 12 and 14 continues to grow to this day. This is according to a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) report.