Amphetamine Addiction Treatment
Amphetamines, uppers, have been around for years. They are potent and highly addictive. It began with amphetamine products like Benzedrine,
which was used for nasal congestion.
This writer recalls buying “bennies” over the counter and using them to
stay alert during graveyard shifts at work.
Amphetamine is also used to counter the effects of Attention Deficit
Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), by giving the patient a stimulant to calm
The risk of amphetamines
lies in their rather practical use. If
you need to stay awake and study for a test, or if you need to drive long
hours, or if you must be alert and ready during hours you would normally be
resting, the amphetamines are handy. But
they are easily abused. Names like Dexedrine
and Methedrine were widely used for this purpose. Even athletes have used them to gain that
edge during a game.
Rise in addiction is
Today we see Adderall on college campuses as a favorite of
those trying to cram for exams. We also
see methamphetamine, which is manufactured in small batches in illegal
labs. The rise in methamphetamine
addiction has been alarming.
therapeutic of practical use goes too far, when the user is no longer in
control of his/her behavior but must seek the drug and chase the high, when
choice is no longer an option, that is addiction and treatment is
necessary. There are still reasonable,
highly effective and medically necessary uses for amphetamine. We will not go into those reasons for using
the drug. Rather, we will focus on the
abuse and addiction to amphetamines.
Must admit that you
Amphetamine addiction treatment begins with the addict
admitting he/she is an addict. That
sounds obvious, but in most cases the addict is the last person in the room to
realize there is a problem, and so it becomes necessary for family, loved ones
and concerned friends to take action and collectively help the addict come to
this important realization.
Sometimes this is accomplished by constant pressure or
encouragement, and sometimes it is best handled by a professional
interventionist, who will handle the entire sequence of events and orchestrate
everyone’s part in it. In either case,
getting the addict to treatment is the first task.
Always remember that “you
can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink,” and this is
especially true with addicts. They can
refuse treatment, fight against treatment, block out treatment, walk out on
treatment and of course they can claim that treatment does not work. It is far easier to use than it is to quit,
and the excuses come frequently.
Must detox first!
In most cases one of the first treatment procedures is to
take the patient through medical detoxification, which rids the body of the
chemical. A trained team of medical
professionals will take the patient through this process. Amphetamine
detoxification is not a dangerous procedure, unless the addict is also addicted
to alcohol, in which case the withdrawal is potentially fatal and
detoxification is an absolute must.
Usually addicts feel rather poorly during this time, but
it’s necessary and helps to prepare them for the treatment program ahead. Some folks get confused and believe detox is
treatment, but it’s just the beginning.
Start to rebuild life as part of amphetamine addiction treatment
Once the body has been purged of the amphetamine, and it
really doesn’t matter which amphetamine the addict has been clinging to, he/she
is ready to begin the process of rebuilding their life. Addiction is a brain disease and the chemical
has caused the individual to do crazy things, think thoughts they otherwise
would not think of and in general, has taken its toll on the emotions, thought
process and general state of health.
The psychological effects of amphetamine addiction, and we
see this especially with methamphetamine addicts, can be devastating and so the
counseling and therapies are designed to reconstruct the thought process. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), 12 Step are
solid options for amphetamine addiction treatment. We are all body, mind and
spirit and as such all three areas require attention.
This process is accomplished in both group and individual
sessions, as people learn to deal with their addiction, which cannot be cured
but can be managed effectively. The 12
Steps are particularly valuable in uncovering the whole person, getting to
important personal issues and overcoming the urge to use again, the cravings
that amphetamine addicts have as they continue to “chase the high” in their
Relapse is a part of the disease, so understand that relapse
is a part of treatment. People often ask
how many attempts at treatment are necessary.
The simple response is as many as it takes.
Inpatient and outpatient
can both be part of the solution for amphetamine addiction treatment.
Treatment options include both inpatient and outpatient
settings. Because we are all different
and our needs are different, it is important to ask questions and explore the
various treatment center offerings before determining which is best.
It doesn’t end
with a treatment program. People must go into a recovery programs, maybe attend
meetings, but by all means avoid the old haunts, friends who use and situations
that may cause them to slump. Patient
often get depressed once they are off the drug and that can be treated with
High overall health at
risk with amphetamine addiction
addicts are in serious trouble of ruining their health, their life and any
chance of having a full and prosperous life.
Treatment is not just an option, but the only option. Left untreated, amphetamine addiction can
send a person to an early death or miserable health complications. Every effort should be made to get the addict
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