The detoxification process is arguably the most challenging part of getting clean. The withdrawal symptoms – which emerge when you stop taking the substance – combine with the various cues and triggers to use drugs to make it extremely difficult to abstain. Amphetamine (or “speed”) abuse causes an imbalance of chemicals within the brain, and as a result there are several symptoms during detoxification. Finding out about the process of amphetamine detox and the different treatment options available to you helps you get clean safely. It’s important to remember that detoxification is only the start of the recovery process, and counselling is absolutely required if you or your loved one is going to stay clean.
Why Do Amphetamines Cause Withdrawal Symptoms?
Amphetamines produce their euphoric effects through their actions on several neurotransmitters within the brain. These are essentially chemical messengers, which transmit different signals between neurons and regulate moods. Dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine are the three main neurotransmitters boosted by amphetamines. If the individual takes amphetamines regularly, the brain reacts by starting to produce less of these substances itself. When the drug is removed, there is therefore a deficit in these chemicals, which is the cause of amphetamine withdrawal symptoms.
What are the Common Amphetamine Withdrawal Symptoms?
Most drugs produce withdrawal symptoms that are roughly the opposite to their effects, and amphetamines are no different in that regard. The common withdrawal symptoms from amphetamines are increased appetite, excessive sleep, anxiety and depression. These mirror the reduced appetite, lack of sleep and euphoria produced by the drug, and are often accompanied by cravings. The desire to reduce the unpleasant symptoms makes abstaining from the drug much more difficult. In severe cases, the individual might experience psychosis and suicidal thoughts, but this is quite rare.
How Long Does Amphetamine Detox Last?
Amphetamine detox starts within 24 hours of last taking the drug, and as such, users are ordinarily familiar with the process. When the symptoms are first felt depends on numerous factors, such as the weight of the individual using the drugs. It can last anything from three days to three weeks, and this generally depends on how much the individual was using and how long for. Amphetamine detox can be done “cold turkey” (where the individual abstains entirely) or through gradual reduction. If the drug is reduced gradually, it reduces the severity of withdrawal symptoms. In severe cases, treatment from a drug rehabilitation centre might be necessary during withdrawal.
What Treatments Are Offered During Amphetamine Detox?
Generally, psychological support is the most important treatment during amphetamine withdrawal. Drug rehab centres might offer medical treatments to help individuals through the physical side of detox, but this is only usually required in severe cases. Counselling helps users identify the underlying causes of their addiction and work through any related issues. They’ll learn new coping mechanisms to help reduce their reliance on drugs and the therapist will help them break down any harmful thought patterns or negative self-perceptions.
If you or your loved one is struggling with amphetamine addiction, we can help you find the right treatment. We have a comprehensive knowledge of the different drug rehab centres across the country and the various services they provide. We’ll help you determine your requirements and suggest the most suitable treatment options to you. Amphetamine detox isn’t usually too severe, but psychological support is absolutely essential if you want to get clean. Our advice is completely free, so pick up the phone today and get in touch!