Regular amphetamine use causes the person to quickly develop a tolerance to the drug. Detoxification from amphetamines can lower the tolerance, but, when a person has become dependent on amphetamines, they usually have a hard time remaining abstinent. The likelihood of relapse poses dangers of unintentional overdose when an individual resumes taking the amount of amphetamines they were used to taking before they quit.
Amphetamines are central nervous system stimulants that speed up the body and when a person becomes used to these effects they may use more of the drug than prescribed, or abuse the drugs in other ways such as taking them recreationally or for other non-intended purposes.
Most amphetamines are prescribed for treatment of attention deficit disorder, narcolepsy, or obesity. Some however, are produces in secret and illegal labs for illicit street sales.
Physical Side Effects
Amphetamines increase energy, alertness, libido, and other central nervous system functions including elevated body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration. According to the National institute on Drug Abuse,” Because a neurotransmitter often stimulates or inhibits a cell that produces a different neurotransmitter, a drug that alters one can have secondary impacts on another.” This causes varying side effects from one person to the next.
Long term amphetamine abuse has a number of other side effects including addiction, damage to the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, immune system, urinary system, brain functioning impairment, and other physical impairments.
Psychological Side Effects
Psychological effects of anxiety, paranoia, hostility, depression, panic disorders, suicide or harmful tendencies and other psychosis are common among these individuals and these symptoms can be multiplied when the person experiences withdrawals.
What Causes Amphetamine Tolerance?
Basically, the more you use amphetamines, the more your brain becomes desensitized to them. When amphetamines enter the brain, they force neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine out to receptors that produce various responses throughout the central nervous system. In order for these responses to occur, the neurotransmitters must be bound by NMDA receptors and over time, those receptors react less to the drug in order to diminish the overload of responses.
How Do You Reverse the Tolerance?
Detox from amphetamines can quickly reverse the sensitization to the drugs. However, amphetamines act harshly on the system and can cause many side effects that include dangerous withdrawal symptoms along with extended cravings for amphetamines. It takes a while for the body and mind to heal and many people relapse. NMDA receptor antagonist drugs such as memantine, are being researched to block the diminished responses to amphetamines and effectively, reverse tolerance by allowing the neurotransmitters to flow more freely. This causes the person to need less of the amphetamine to produce the same desired effects.