What Is Amphetamine Addiction?

Amphetamine sulphate and dextroamphetamine are more commonly known as amphetamine medications. They are stimulant medications prescribed for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Occasionally, it may also be prescribed to help with weight loss if you are overweight and significantly over your healthy body mass index (BMI) and sleep disorders. Brand names include Adderall, Concerta, Dexedrine, Ritalin and Evekeo.  Usually called speed when sold for recreational use, tablets are typically crushed and cut with other substances. It is highly addictive when used off prescription and can be abused to the point where it may cause physical and psychological dependence. 

Amphetamine Addiction Treatment

Amphetamine is a beneficial chemical, but potentially, short-term use could result in dependence, and it’s easy to find yourself quickly addicted. So you need to be aware of indicators of addiction, such as difficulty going without or feeling nervous if the amount you have gets depleted. 

Dependency can appear far off when you believe you have remained “in control,” however, be cautious. Denying that you have an amphetamine problem is typical rather than admitting you have one. Feeling embarrassed or ashamed of yourself is a sign you have an issue. It is crucial to understand that becoming addicted usually occurs over time and without knowing about it. 

Addiction to amphetamines might be challenging, but there is hope. Amphetamine addiction residential rehab and outpatient addiction treatment typically begin with a medical detox, followed by intense counselling. This can help you discover the reasons you started to abuse amphetamine and teach you alternative better ways of dealing with the factors that trigger you. 

Outpatient therapy is available, or you can enter a residential rehab centre for an enhanced comprehensive treatment plan that mixes scheduled therapy sessions with leisurely pursuits that will assist you in establishing new patterns of behaviour. There is expert support available through the NHS outpatient addiction treatment. Nevertheless, you must meet important eligibility requirements, and admission for NHS funded residential rehabilitation will likely take a long time. 

Whether you are concerned about prescription or recreational amphetamine usage, this issue is dangerous. At Step by Step Recovery’s residential rehab in Essex, we treat amphetamine addiction, and our team may be able to arrange same-day admission if we have a bed available. Please complete our online assessment form or call us at 0800 170 1222 for free, private guidance.

The Reality of Amphetamine Addiction

Amphetamine has an elevated risk of abuse and addiction. You may initially believe you are in charge of your use, but the danger of dependency and addiction is extremely serious. Once tolerance grows, more frequent and higher amounts are commonly required to achieve the same result.

Amphetamine may additionally be taken to avoid withdrawal symptoms after continued use. The tragic fact of amphetamine addiction is that this dependency is common, and it’s extremely hard to notice before it takes hold. Whether or not you are motivated by psychological urges or physical withdrawal symptoms, being unable to regulate your consumption is a recognised classification for addiction.

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Signs and Symptoms of Amphetamine Addiction

Signs and symptoms of amphetamine addiction may be difficult to spot, especially when it is used sporadically. The following are some of the most prominent physical and psychological indications of amphetamine use:

  • Extremely talkative
  • Memory loss
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Paranoia
  • Nausea 
  • Inflammation of blood vessels, which may display as a skin rash or broken blood vessels, which can look like red or purple lines and dots on the skin
  • Fever or a high temperature 
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Joint pain
  • Heart palpitations and shortness of breath
  • Sleep disturbance and insomnia
  • Weight loss.

Other signs to look for include the following:

  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Money problems
  • Missing work or college
  • Going missing for long periods
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Loss of interest in activities previously done regularly.

What Is Amphetamine?

Amphetamine sulphate and dextroamphetamine are central nervous system (CNS) stimulants. They work by raising the number of neurotransmitters, primarily dopamine and serotonin levels, and norepinephrine, also known as noradrenaline or noradrenalin, that operates in the brain and body as a hormone and a neurotransmitter. 

Various forms of amphetamine are available on prescription in tablets, extended-release capsules and liquid form. Different doses are determined by patient response and the condition it is being used to treat, ranging from 5mg up to 60mg. Even if taken as directed, amphetamine medications can become addictive, and it is important to be aware of this.

Amphetamine tablets are normally crushed and snorted when used recreationally. Often it’s sold illegally in a powder form mixed with caffeine pills, baby milk and drugs such as aspirin or paracetamol. It may also be sold as a putty-like substance or illegally manufactured pills. You can also dissolve it in water and drink it or use it intravenously. 

Amphetamine Effects

The key effects of amphetamine medication are:

  • Increased alertness
  • Improved attention span and concentration levels
  • Feelings of energy
  • Reduced hyperactive symptoms
  • Euphoria
  • Increased self-confidence
  • Reduced appetite
  • Decreasing impulsive behaviour.

Risks of Amphetamine Use

When used on prescription, patients will be monitored for any adverse effects. This is because amphetamine can increase the risk of:

  • Stroke
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cellulitis (severe skin infection which may be life-threatening if not treated quickly)
  • Seizures and brain haemorrhage
  • Brain damage
  • Liver and kidney damage
  • Amphetamine toxicity.

If you or someone you know has used amphetamine and experiences seizures, chest pain, shortness of breath or any signs of stroke, call 999. Without immediate treatment, these symptoms can result in death.

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At Step-by-Step Recovery, we are dedicated to providing the very best quality of care for each and every one of our clients and our ultimate goal is to provide you with the tools you need to maintain a clean and sober life free from alcohol addiction.

Amphetamine Withdrawal Symptoms

After you use amphetamines in any form, your brain functions adjust and adapt. When it is no longer in your system, and the effects abruptly cease, amphetamine withdrawal symptoms might appear extremely fast. If you decide to quit taking amphetamine, you might experience the following withdrawal symptoms:

  • Intense cravings
  • Headaches
  • Increased appetite
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation and fidgeting.

The extent of these effects is determined by how long you’ve been using this drug, the dose and quantities, and other variables such as your age or physical or psychological conditions. 

At Step-by-Step Recovery, we provide private residential rehab treatment in Essex for Amphetamine addiction. We provide non-judgmental support to help individuals beat addiction permanently. If you need advice about addiction, please complete our online assessment form or call our understanding team on 0800 170 1222 for free and they will advise you about our addiction treatment options.


Amphetamine and methamphetamine (often called crystal meth, meth, and ice) are both stimulant drugs with distinct effects, depending on the ingredients in each.

You should not consume alcohol when taking amphetamines since it may increase the risk of addiction. Delay drinking alcohol for at least four to six hours after taking an immediate-release amphetamine and at least eight hours after an extended-release amphetamine.

Death from amphetamine toxicity is uncommon; nonetheless, the risk of death increases with pre-existing cardiac problems.

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Page revised in March 2023, by Danielle Byatt, a Level 4 addictions counselling, Level 5 in Leadership & Management, BA applied social work. and Treatment Director at Step by Step Recovery.

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