Amphetamine is an addictive drug and, especially when abused, can cause a person to form the habit of continuing to take it even when it begins to harm them. Commonly abused as a prescription stimulant that is meant to treat ADHD and other disorders, amphetamine has many signs and symptoms that point to abuse and addiction.
Behavioral Amphetamine Addiction Symptoms
Commonly, someone who is addicted to amphetamine will make taking the drug their number one priority. They will:
- Take amphetamine when alone
- Take the drug even when it causes negative effects on their life
- Avoid responsibilities in order to take more of the drug
- Become dissatisfied with life as a result of high amphetamine abuse
- Change their circle of friends and only want to spend time with other amphetamine or stimulant abusers
- Needing amphetamine to feel normal or to wake up every day
- Abusing opioids or CNS depressants in order to counteract the effects of the amphetamine
- Abuse amphetamine in a binge-crash pattern
The binge-crash pattern of abuse is very common among amphetamine addicts. The user will take the drug for several days in order to prolong its effects, usually not sleeping or eating much. Then, according to CESAR, “When binge episodes end, the abuser ‘crashes’ and is left with severe depression, anxiety, extreme fatigue, and a craving for more drugs.”
There are other psychological and behavioral symptoms of amphetamine addiction as well. Many amphetamine addicts experience these symptoms as the drug has a strong effect on the way the brain works. They are:
- Mood or mental changes
- “Altered sexual behavior”
- “Unrealistic feelings of cleverness, great competence and power”
According to the NLM, people who abuse prescription amphetamine will often “believ[e] things that are not true” or become “unusually suspicious of others.” This, coupled with the mania that can develop when a person is chronically abusing amphetamine, can lead to toxic psychosis, a condition that is similar to schizophrenia. When a person exhibits this behavior all the time, this is a symptom of chronic, highly severe amphetamine addiction.
Physical Symptoms of Amphetamine Addiction
There are also many physical symptoms that point to amphetamine addiction. For example, someone who is constantly abusing amphetamine will likely experience malnutrition. The drug suppresses appetite which can cause weight loss and, over time, will lead to malnutrition and its consequences.
Other physical symptoms of amphetamine addiction are:
- Chronic dizziness
- Problems breathing
- Tremors of the hand or small muscles
- Vitamin deficiency
- Cardiac arrhythmias
- Uncontrollable, repetitive motor activity
- Skin disorders
What Constitutes Amphetamine Addiction?
When someone becomes addicted to amphetamine, they will not be able to stop on their own. They will continue to seek out more of the drug, no matter what potentially dangerous or harmful actions they must take in order to obtain more. The most common and telltale symptoms of amphetamine addiction are:
- An inability to stop abusing the drug
- Hostility toward anyone who attempts to discuss the drug abuse with them
- The continued, chronic use of the drug despite the severe health and life consequences the abuse may have caused