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What Is Amphetamine Addiction?

Ecstasy, a popular club drug, may cause psychological dependence.
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  • Written By: Debra Durkee
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 16 April 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Amphetamines are drugs that deliver a burst of energy to the body and mind of the individual taking them; this often creates a high feeling that can be extremely addictive. Most types of amphetamines, including ecstasy and methamphetamine, are illegal to obtain and take, although a few types are used as prescription medications. The practice of using amphetamines in prescriptions has largely stopped because of their addictive qualities, and many individuals who begin taking these drugs find it difficult if not impossible to stop without assistance once they have formed an amphetamine addiction.

At one time, amphetamines were used to treat several types of mental illness, such as severe depression. Once it was determined that many individuals who took the drugs could not stop, amphetamines were largely removed from the list of legal drugs, except for a few exceptions. Relatively easy to manufacture and to get on the street, amphetamines have remained popular among individuals who take them for the high, for the ability to stay awake for long periods of time, or for the feelings of power and strength they can stimulate in the brain. Those with an amphetamine addiction often require professional treatment to overcome the addiction, along with counseling to keep from relapsing and medical attention for problems that may have been caused by long-term use.

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When taking these drugs, an individual can very easily form an amphetamine addiction. Before the addiction is complete, the individual may show early signs, such as suffering from hallucinations or delusions, mood swings, or difficulty sleeping. These may be punctuated by periods of extreme euphoria. Once the regular use turns into addiction, symptoms can change.

An individual with an amphetamine addiction often will go to great lengths to get his or her drug of choice without regard for others, which can easily lead to problems with the law. He or she may also suffer from bouts of depression and anxiety, alternating with the emotional highs that the drug provides. Responsibilities may be neglected, and he or she withdraws from friends and family. There may be signs of the physical effects of the drugs as well, including fatigue, muscle cramps, restlessness, and anxiety.

Amphetamines were originally used as prescription medications for individuals who had to lose a significant amount of weight. This class of drug acts to suppress appetite, and when an individual regularly uses amphetamines, he or she may begin to show signs of severe weight loss. An improper diet may also compromise the immune system, making him or her more susceptible to sickness. In addition to the help needed to get rid of the emotional dependence of an amphetamine addiction, many need help combating the physical effects of the drug as well.

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