Amphetamine addiction can be deadly if treatment isn’t sought early on. Unfortunately, people often overlook the signs that someone they care about may be suffering from this disease and this leaves the premise of seeking help out on the horizon. Early recognition of the following signs can help you to determine if it’s time to seek help for someone you love.
Severe Weight Loss
People who become addicted to amphetamine often lose weight due to the fact that the drug suppresses the appetite. Severe weight loss, malnutrition, and other issues can arise from this side effect of the drug, and someone who is addicted to it will likely experience these effects. They can be very dangerous, and someone who abuses amphetamine and is exhibiting this kind of weight loss needs treatment for amphetamine addiction.
According to the NIDA, “If stimulants are abused chronically, withdrawal symptoms––including fatigue, depression, and disturbed sleep patterns––can result when a person stops taking them.” Amphetamine is no exception to this. If someone is chronically abusing amphetamine, they will likely experience the withdrawal symptoms described above if they stop taking the drug. If severe cravings are part of their withdrawal, this is a strong sign for the need for treatment.
Behavioral Side Effects
Some of the behavioral issues involved in amphetamine addiction include:
If a person exhibiting these behaviors is allowed to continue abusing amphetamine, there is a chance for toxic psychosis to develop. Similar to schizophrenia, amphetamine-induced toxic psychosis includes auditory and visual hallucinations and the act of picking at the skin because of them. This can be very dangerous and difficult to reverse, so getting someone into treatment when they begin to exhibit these symptoms is important. It is better to start sooner rather than later.
If your loved one has overdosed on amphetamine as part of abuse, it is likely that they have become tolerant to it and are taking higher and higher doses every time. According to the NIDA Teen, amphetamine overdose “can lead to seizures, heart failure, and death.” An amphetamine overdose is a sign that an individual needs help because their abuse is likely beginning to spiral out of control, as it often does where addiction is concerned. In many cases, the hospital staff will help you find treatment for your loved one after they are stable.
Dependence on Amphetamine
While physical and psychological withdrawal is one of the results of amphetamine dependence, someone who is dependent on the drug will not feel normal without taking it. They will likely begin to feel that they need the drug just to get out of bed in the morning or that they cannot have fun without it. This often occurs with addiction in the case of amphetamine abuse, and when it does so, it cements the person’s abuse of the drug even more.
The Inability to Stop
When someone tries to stop abusing amphetamines and is unable to do so alone, this is the strongest sign of addiction and a need for treatment. The NIDA states, “Over time, a person’s ability to choose not to [abuse drugs] becomes compromised, and seeking and consuming the drug becomes compulsive.” If your loved one is experiencing this, they will need professional treatment and help in order to stop abusing amphetamine, as addiction is stronger than a mere desire for the drug.