Symptoms of Amphetamine withdrawal will often be the opposite of the drug's effects. They can begin within hours of the addict's last dose or up to a full day later. Depending on the amphetamine and the length of abuse, amphetamine withdrawal can last a few days or as many as three weeks.
Generally, when denied the drug, addicts experience the following withdrawal symptoms:
- Excessive sleeping
- Although sleep may not be refreshing and include nightmares or dreams about using.
- Increased appetite
- Sometimes leading to weight gain, especially if the drugs were taken to lose weight.
- Partly from withdrawal and partly from a realization of the depth of dependence on the drug. Some patients may experience suicidal thoughts.
- This can manifest as irritability and mood swings as well.
- The hallmark of addiction is the psychological need that users build up for the drug.
Some users will attempt to lessen the effects of withdrawal by lowering their normal dose over a few days to a week. They may supplement with benzodiazepines (tranquilizers) to help with depression and as a sleep aid. Alcohol and marijuana have been tried as well. The physical withdrawal can take up to a week, but the psychological cravings may last, to some degree, for many years.
Those undergoing amphetamine withdrawal should be monitored, both for health reasons (suicide risk) as well as to prevent access to more drugs. For many addicts, multiple cycles of withdrawal and relapse are needed before real progress is made. Unfortunately, those who have experienced a hard withdrawal might fear repeating it and hold off until the addiction has caused great damage.
photo by Aleksandra P.