If you’re reading this, we’re guessing that you were prompted by another in a growing number of tragic news stories to ask yourself, “What is amphetamine, and how did it end up in my home?” You might be startled to learn that amphetamines can be found – in the form of Adderall, Dexedrine, and a host of others – in medicine cabinets across the country, readily available to child and adult alike, yet few truly know the effects of amphetamines on public safety. With over five million Americans under the thumb of prescribed attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medications, amphetamines are a growing part of everyday life, and they pose a risk far greater than a little pink or blue or tan tablet could ever allude to.

Effects of Amphetamines

In order to understand the effects of amphetamines, we must first understand what amphetamines are. Originally prescribed to treat asthma, narcolepsy, and hyperactivity, amphetamines are stimulants that work to increase the amount of dopamine in the brain, which results in increased focus, energy, sociability, and alertness with a simultaneous decrease in appetite. Amphetamines are thus readily prescribed in the treatment of ADHD: a behavioral disorder marked by restlessness (hyperactivity) and an inability to focus.

The side effects of amphetamine use – even in manageable doses – may characterized by:

  • Tachycardia
  • Hypertension
  • Blurred Vision
  • Obsessive behavior
  • Arrhythmia
  • Insomnia
  • Paranoia

Because amphetamine tolerance is developed rapidly – requiring increased dosage – amphetamines have a high likelihood of addiction, with amphetamine addiction symptoms including violent and aggressive behavior, hallucinations, and psychosis. Amphetamine overdose is also a concern, the results of which may include the increased intensity of the side effects mentioned and even death.

Amphetamine Addiction Treatment

Amphetamine addiction treatment will, in more extreme cases, likely result in a stay at a trusted detox center because of amphetamine’s withdrawal symptoms. Amphetamine withdrawal symptoms may include anxiety, fatigue, depression, and even suicidal thoughts. Because of this, it is important to ensure the safety of the addict through intensive behavioral and psychological counseling and sufficient detoxification. Beyond detox, a drug rehab center dedicated to individualized care and the treatment of dual diagnoses should be sought. Amphetamine’s hold on psychological processes is strong when addiction persists, so it is important to approach amphetamine addiction treatment with the attention, patience, and solemnity it deserves.