Amphetamines are a widely used party drug. The effect is initially stimulating, uplifting and invigorating and gives a boost. Because of this, this drug is often seen as harmless, but the consequences of an amphetamine addiction can have a major impact on your physical and mental health.

What are amphetamines?

Amphetamines are also known as 'uppers', speed and 'pep'. Chemically, amphetamine is very similar to adrenaline, noradrenaline and dopamine. These substances ensure the transmission of signals between the nerves. This is where amphetamine's stimulating effect comes from: it increases the speed at which the body and brain communicate with each other. 

Some forms of amphetamines are prescribed by doctors to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. It is also used to perform better. Nowadays, the substance is increasingly used recreationally in the party scene.

Treatment of amphetamine addiction

Amphetamine causes a high peak, followed by a deep trough, so you can quickly feel the need to use again. In some cases, amphetamine abuse is also accompanied by psychological complaints such as anxiety, confusion or psychosis. Do you recognize this in yourself or in a loved one? Then contact us.

Withdrawal can intensify intense tired and depressed feelings, so it is important to seek help. The professionals at Castle Craig can provide the right care for a successful recovery. During the intake we start with the drafting of a personal treatment plan. The next step is detoxification. Depending on the severity of the addiction, a clinical of walking therapy. Look at Addiction treatment for more information about our treatment offer.

Where is it from?

The term 'amphetamine' is a generic term for a group of chemical stimuli. These substances have been produced synthetically since 1880: initially to fight colds, later for weight loss and to help people stay awake. The latter ensured that amphetamines were widely prescribed to soldiers during wars.

In 1965 it became clear that amphetamine has a strong addictive effect, after which the American government decided to make the availability of amphetamines more difficult. Amphetamines are still prescribed in health care, but the drug can also be found in large quantities on the black market.

The effect of amphetamines

Amphetamine causes the dopamine level in the brain to increase. This substance is associated with pleasure and reward, but also with initiative, activity and having a drive. In the medical world, amphetamines are prescribed in low doses that are built up gradually to avoid side effects. This is often not the case with recreational use: a sudden large dose can cause an uncontrolled and rapid peak in concentration in the brain. As a result, communication between brain cells is disrupted.

In addition to the brain, amphetamines also have an effect on your muscles and other organs such as the heart, lungs and stomach. Users feel increased alertness, restlessness and in some cases an unrealistic sense of strength and euphoria. The physical effects are rapid breathing, high heart rate, increased blood pressure, dilated pupils, cramped jaws and decreased appetite. These effects often last up to six hours and can last even longer in some cases.  

The aftermath

When the amphetamines have worn off, users often only notice that they are completely exhausted. Despite this, they usually have trouble sleeping. Other hungry and depressed. These withdrawal symptoms disappear after a few days, but in some people it takes weeks for these symptoms to disappear. 

A notorious phenomenon of overuse is strong suicidal thoughts about two weeks after stopping amphetamine, especially when injecting it. It can take 6 to 12 months for the body to recover and function normally.

Amphetamine Abuse & Overdose

Higher doses of amphetamine may result in fever, sweating, headache, blurred vision and dizziness. A very high dose, also known as an overdose, can result in an irregular heartbeat, chest pain, loss of coordination, fainting, high fever, heart failure, heart attacks and even death when blood vessels in the brain burst (brain hemorrhage).

At higher doses of amphetamines, the user may also experience aggression, mood swings, irritability and sleeping problems. With prolonged use, the risk of a addiction increasing. Long-term use of the drug can lead to psychotic symptoms, uncontrolled violent behavior and stroke. In addition, the user has less and less need for food. Decreasing appetite can lead to deficiencies in important nutrients. A Nutrient deficiency, good sleep and stress on the body increase the risk of diseases. Users who inject amphetamines also risk hepatitis, AIDS and clogged blood vessels.

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