Amphetamines have proven to have significant medical and psychological purposes over the years. When prescribed by a healthcare provider and used as prescribed, amphetamines can help treat symptoms in those who grapple with conditions such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy, and even obesity. But, in addition to these legal amphetamines are a handful of illegal amphetamines that serve no beneficial purpose, such as methamphetamine. Either way, when either legal or illegal amphetamines are abused to the point where dependence develops, a person can quickly begin exhibiting signs of amphetamine withdrawal if they attempt to minimize their use or stop it entirely.
Amphetamine Abuse Can Cause Dependence
As with any type of mind-altering, addictive substance, abusing amphetamines can cause dependence to occur. So, what exactly is dependence?
Dependence is the term used to describe a person who has become physically dependent on drugs or alcohol. Someone who is dependent on amphetamines will develop signs of amphetamine withdrawal if and when they cut back on their use or suddenly stop using meth. This occurs because the body slowly becomes accustomed to amphetamines in ways that trick it into thinking that it needs it in order to function properly. So, when amphetamines are withheld from someone who is used to having a certain amount of this type of drug in their system, the body lashes out by producing a slew of signs of amphetamine withdrawal. These signs can range from being inconvenient to completely incapacitating.
What are the Signs of Amphetamine Withdrawal?
Not everyone who abuses amphetamines is going to experience signs of amphetamine withdrawal. That is because not all amphetamine users experience dependence. As with any other addictive substance, there are countless individuals who abuse amphetamines but who won’t develop withdrawal symptoms if they end their abuse. Instead, those who are dependent on amphetamines will be those who see the signs of amphetamine withdrawal develop when they end their use.
Signs of amphetamine withdrawal can range in severity. The level of withdrawal that a user experiences is most frequently related to how severe their amphetamine dependence is. For example, someone who is heavily dependent on methamphetamines and who suddenly stops using is likely to develop heavy signs of amphetamine withdrawal within hours after their last use. Someone who abuses meth from time to time is less likely to have such a significant development of symptoms when they stop using this particular amphetamine.
Even though there are several commonalities between those who are dependent on amphetamines, not every amphetamine user is going to have the same withdrawal experience. In general, however, there are a variety of signs of amphetamine withdrawal that are common among nearly all those who go from being dependent on amphetamines to stopping their use. These withdrawal symptoms tend to include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Increased appetite
- Extreme fatigue
- A feeling of “crashing” energy-wise
- Agitation and/or irritability
- Uncontrollable muscle movements, twitches
- Vivid, upsetting dreams
- Bodily aches and pains
- Depression (sometimes severe)
Amphetamine withdrawal is usually uncomfortable and not something most people enjoy going through. It is extremely common for individuals withdrawing from amphetamines to battle with self-control when cravings begin to kick in and withdrawal symptoms start gearing up. Going back to abusing amphetamines can take these nagging issues away immediately, which is why it is recommended for those dependent on amphetamines to withdraw in the care of professionals who can support and guide them during this vulnerable time.
Post-Acute Withdrawal Signs of Amphetamines
Many addictive substances have the ability to produce post-acute withdrawal symptoms, or PAWS. PAWS is most common in those who have detoxed from alcohol and benzodiazepines, however it can occur in those who have gotten clean from amphetamines. These kinds of symptoms develop during the initial phases of withdrawal but instead of clearing within days or weeks, they continue to persist for months or even years. Of the several post-acute withdrawal symptoms that can develop when detoxing from amphetamines, one of the most common to occur is depression.
Amphetamines activate areas of the brain that produce pleasurable, euphoric, and excitable effects. The more that someone abuses amphetamines, the more their brain begins to rely on the presence of this type of drug in order to trigger those effects rather than being able to do so organically. So, when amphetamines are abused and the abuse ends, the brain can struggle to figure out how to produce these kinds of effects on its own like it is supposed to. This often results in the development of symptoms of depression, which can include no interest in previously enjoyed activities, social withdrawal, suicidal tendencies, and trouble functioning on a day-to-day basis. And while depression is an extremely serious symptom of PAWS, it is not the only one. Other post-acute withdrawal signs of amphetamines can include the following:
- Problems with short-term memory
- Sleep problems
- Problems focusing and concentrating
The good news is that if you or someone you love is addicted to amphetamines and wants to stop, there is professional help available that can see you through these early challenges in recovery.
Drug Rehab in Tennessee
Attempting to stop abusing a drug as powerful as an amphetamine without the support of professionals can be nearly impossible to do. If you are ready to put a stop to your amphetamine abuse for good, reach out to us right now. We can help you safely detox from amphetamines so that you can get started on your complete recovery.