Symptoms of Amphetamine Addiction

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The abuse of amphetamines leads to a clear set of symptoms, not all of which indicate addiction. Primarily, amphetamine users show signs of hyperactivity and nervous energy.

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They may talk fast and be unable to focus on one thing for any length of time. Their eyes will show pupil enlargement (dilation) and sensitivity to bright lights. Amphetamine users will have a rapid heartbeat, dry mouth and increased blood pressure.

With chronic use, tolerance develops and psychological problems become more prevalent. These include paranoia, irritability and aggression. Not all people react the same way to amphetamine use, but addiction is marked by:

  • Cravings for the drug when it is either unavailable or in short supply.
  • Anxiety about drug use.
  • An inability to stop using when they would like to.
  • An increase in frequency or amount of drug taken to get a similar effect.
  • Using amphetamines to fight off withdrawal symptoms.
  • Using amphetamines to combat depression or bad moods.
  • Making decisions based on taking the drug – either missing obligations or forgoing other pleasurable activities.
  • For prescription amphetamines, a willingness to break the law (perhaps by doctor shopping or forging prescriptions) to maintain a supply.

The end result, from an addict’s perspective, is that using the drug begins to take over their lives. Sacrifices, either to their health or their relationships, become obvious. While addicts may be able to deny their problem, most understand that their behavior isn’t normal. Many seek help because they realize their drug use is having unwanted consequences.

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