Many people find themselves addicted to amphetamines during the course of their life. Whether prescription or non-prescription, amphetamines have a high chance of being abused or creating a dependency among those who use them. Amphetamines make users feel energetic, more confident, talkative, and excited. But they also cause a number of negative symptoms in a person, like nervousness, hostility, fever, sweating, nausea, tremors, loss of coordination, and irregular heartbeat. Detoxification is the first step in becoming sober from amphetamine use and gives the body time to rid itself of the addictive material present. The detox portion of a treatment program is very important, as it gives clients time to clear their minds and body before focusing on their recovery during a rehabilitation center stay. Detox programs will vary depending on the specific needs of the client and will be discussed before, during, or after the intake portion of treatment.
Amphetamines affect the body and mind in a multitude of ways. Many people initially consume amphetamines for the promise of feeling high energy, powerful, and confident. While these are indeed some of the symptoms of amphetamine use, there are a variety of other, less desired symptoms that come along with the consumption of this type of drug. Aggressive feelings and behavior, feeling tense or nervous, and other physical symptoms like racing heartbeat, tremors, nausea, fever, headache, poor coordination, blurred vision, and increased respiration are also caused by the use of amphetamines. Over time, amphetamine use can cause vitamin deficiencies, insomnia, and malnutrition, which affect the immune system and make users more prone to other illnesses. Amphetamine psychosis can also occur over time, causing hallucinations, paranoia, delusions, and violent behavior. Once the use of the drug is stopped, these symptoms typically disappear over time.
Throughout the detoxification process, clients will encounter a number of different symptoms of detoxification from amphetamine use. These symptoms have the potential to be highly uncomfortable. The vast majority of detoxification programs have medical professionals on-site to help clients through these detox symptoms. Detox from amphetamines can take anywhere from one to 5 weeks or longer. The amount of time spent detoxing will depend on the specifics of an individual’s addiction and their overall health when entering into treatment.
During the first part of a detoxification program, clients will go through the acute withdrawal stage. This stage can last from 24 to 48 hours and is most commonly known as the ‘crash’ stage. During this stage, the body goes through the shock of not having amphetamines actively present in the system anymore. Both physical and psychological symptoms of this ‘crash’ will begin shortly after stopping amphetamine use. Withdrawal from amphetamines is not life-threatening, though it can be extremely uncomfortable, which is one of the reasons that relapses are so common among those trying to cease amphetamine use.
After the ‘crash’ period, withdrawal symptoms such as fatigue, twitches, confusion, body aches, unpleasant dreams, and irritability will peak and gradually taper off over a number of weeks. Clients may still experience intense cravings for amphetamines even after their withdrawal symptoms have lessened. Those who have used amphetamines heavily or for prolonged periods of time may experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms or PAWS. These symptoms are best helped by medical professionals and can last for weeks or months.
After a prolonged period of sobriety, clients enter into the protracted abstinence stage of treatment. They have allowed their bodies to completely detox from amphetamines and have moved on in their treatment plan. Clients are now able to take part in a variety of different therapy programs, including group therapy, individual therapy, and a number of experiential therapies available at the recovery center. Clients are able to practice their newly learned skills, like avoiding triggers, managing cravings, and avoiding relapses.
The amount of time it takes to detox from amphetamines depends on a few different factors of the client’s substance abuse history. The length of time they spent taking amphetamines, the frequency with which they used the drug, and the amount ingested at a time all play a role in how long the detoxification process lasts. Typical amphetamine detox lasts anywhere from one to five weeks. Post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) may occur in some severe cases, and those symptoms can last for months after stopping the use of amphetamines.
A proper detoxification program is ideal for anyone who has become dependent or addicted to amphetamines. Dependency occurs when the body is so used to the presence of a certain substance that without that substance, withdrawal symptoms begin to take effect. Those who have a long history of drug use should always plan on attending a detoxification program in order to avoid any potential relapses.
There are both inpatient and outpatient detoxification programs available for clients at most treatment centers. Outpatient programs are designed for those who have less severe abuse issues, while those who have more severe cases are generally encouraged to enter into an inpatient treatment program.
Holistic detoxification programs are also an option for those looking into substance abuse treatment. These detox programs encourage healing the mind and spirit through different therapies and exercises and help clients feel a more well-rounded sense of health by the time they are done with the program.
Medically assisted detoxification programs are important for clients who will experience more severe withdrawal symptoms when ceasing the use of amphetamines. These programs emphasize safety and client comfort through the supervised use of medications to help mitigate symptoms of withdrawal.
Many detox programs provide a combination of these different methods in an effort to give clients the best shot at sobriety.
Making a choice to get help for amphetamine addiction can be difficult, and choosing the right treatment center and program for you can be even harder. However, getting treatment for amphetamine addiction can be one of the best decisions a person makes in their lifetime. When it comes to drugs like amphetamines, addiction can occur before you realize it, and once dependency forms, it’s likely help will be needed in order to achieve lasting sobriety. Deciding to get help is the first step.
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