Why Are Amphetamines So Dangerous?
Amphetamines are dangerous because they are highly addictive. Typically, doctors prescribe amphetamines to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy in others. It is crucial to receive a complete education concerning the signs and symptoms of amphetamine misuse and abuse to avoid unintentional addiction. According to The National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, in 2020, 614, 000 teens have admitted to using Adderall, an amphetamine, for non-medical reasons.
How Amphetamines Work
Amphetamines are stimulant drugs legally used to treat certain conditions. Stimulants speed up messages between the brain and the body. Stimulants affect the central nervous system, increasing the production of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in the brain, which sends messages to the body to perform more efficiently. The effect is increased focus, energy, attentiveness, and happiness for the user.
Despite stimulants’ effectiveness in treating specific symptoms, they are highly addictive, and amphetamines are dangerous if misuse occurs. The misconception that if the medication works so well, more may cause additional benefits leads to unintentional abuse. As the body and brain receive more of the medication, a tolerance for the drug occurs. Tolerance builds, and a higher dosage is needed to receive the drug’s benefits, leading to abuse and dependence.
Why Are Amphetamines So Dangerous?
When abuse occurs, amphetamines are dangerous because they can adversely affect the body and require immediate medical attention. Abuse often begins with misuse, which can quickly arise if one is not paying close attention to prescription advice. Additional dosage can lead to building tolerance to the drug, which, in turn, requires more medication to reach the desired effect. Amphetamine overdose can lead to high or low blood pressure, heart attack, convulsions, poisoning, and coma.
Once tolerance occurs, drug dependence can quickly escalate the situation into an addiction. Amphetamines are dangerous because misuse can become abuse and escalate to addiction quickly. Teens and young adults may not realize the seriousness of being vigilant about their dosage intake. It is wise for parents to monitor all drug use with their teens.
Symptoms of amphetamine addiction can include:
- Trouble with vision, dizziness
- Chest pain, irregular heartbeat
- Slurred speech, difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Abnormally dry skin, itchy rash
- High fever
- Swollen facial features
- Severe exhaustion
Signs of Amphetamine Dependence or Abuse
Amphetamines are dangerous, and knowing the signs of dependence or abuse is critical in recognizing a problem. Prescription stimulants like Adderall and Dexedrine and illegal drugs such as meth and ecstasy taken recreationally can result in overdose or severe symptoms. Understanding how these drugs work can help to recognize signs of addiction, which can lead to treatment for addiction. Amphetamines can cause depression and suicidal thoughts for those who abuse them, then suddenly stop.
The signs and symptoms of amphetamine dependence or abuse are any of the following:
- Extreme blood pressure fluctuations
- Decrease of appetite and continued weight loss
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Mood swings, including aggression
- Paranoia and anxiety
- Visual, auditory, or tactile hallucinations
- Disruptions in lifestyle and responsibilities
- Drug-seeking behaviors
- Changes in groups of friends
- Loss of interest in favorite activities
Amphetamine Effects on the Body
Over time, amphetamine usage can adversely affect the body and become problematic.
Most prescriptions are not for long-term use, but those who are addicted or continue to use amphetamines can establish physical deterioration in many areas. The danger of overdose is always present, affecting breathing, blood pressure, and heart functions. It is essential always to stay current with side effects and report them to a healthcare provider.
Side effects amphetamines can have on the body include the following:
- Increased heart rate and palpitations
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Rapid breathing
- Blood pressure fluctuations
- Higher than average body temperature
- Erectile dysfunction
- Irregular heartbeat
Amphetamine Effect on the Brain
Two essential neurotransmitters, dopamine, and glutamate, directly correlate with the effects of amphetamines. Dopamine levels increase, and glutamate is regulated, but doctors are still unclear about what happens to initiate this action. However, amphetamines are dangerous because they have evidence that structural brain abnormalities occur with abuse of these drugs. As a result of continued efforts, researchers do remain evident that amphetamines can adversely affect neurotransmitters in brain chemistry.
Amphetamines Impact on the Heart
Research is at the forefront concerning amphetamines and their effect on the heart. Some concerning symptoms of amphetamine abuse are an increase in heart rates, irregular heartbeat, and chest pain. Amphetamines are dangerous, directly affecting the heart by sending messages to the central nervous system’s control room that accelerate heart rate, raise blood pressure, and constrict blood vessels. Furthermore, the actions also produce the fight or flight response, sending surging adrenaline levels.
Long-term stimulant use causes premature skin aging, so researchers are taking it further and trying to determine if amphetamines can prematurely age the heart. With the rise of stimulant prescriptions for older adults, researchers are concerned with a short-term spike in the number of heart attacks, strokes, and heart rhythm disorders among this population. Older people with a vulnerability to heart problems may need to be cautious. Amphetamines are dangerous when misuse or abuse is present for any age.
Stimulants require a medically monitored detox process for safety reasons. Withdrawal from amphetamines can cause a wide range of symptoms. After an initial crash period, uncomfortable symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, and agitation, can occur. The most alarming sign is the intense drug cravings, which could result in relapse without management from professionals.
Amphetamines are dangerous and can affect the body with distressful symptoms during detox that may be manageable with medication-assisted treatment. A professional, safe environment is the best option for a successful detox, with a treatment plan immediately following. A professional environment also allows on-site testing, medical assistance, compassion, understanding, and encouragement to remain sober if necessary. Retreat of Atlanta offers more information on what happens during detox.
Find More Information About the Dangers of Amphetamines in Atlanta
Unintentional misuse and abuse of amphetamines is a common problem in the United States with the extreme number of stimulant prescriptions for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The Retreat of Atlanta, in Georgia, recognizes the need for understanding and compassion in the treatment of amphetamine abuse. Professional detox in a safe and comfortable environment makes Retreat of Atlanta the ideal center for treatment. Contact us to review your list of questions and allow us the opportunity to explain our treatment plans.