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What Is Amphetamine Detox?
Amphetamine detox is the process of clearing the body of substances, as well as reducing or eliminating the physical and mental effects of substance abuse (such as tremors or anxiety). Detoxing from Amphetamines and alleviating withdrawal symptoms may be longer than detox from other stimulants because Amphetamines have a longer duration of effect and stay in the central nervous system longer.
Amphetamines are a category of stimulant-type drugs known for increasing energy along with blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature. Amphetamines typically refer to prescription drugs like Adderall® (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine), Ritalin® (methylphenidate), Dexedrine® (dextroamphetamine), Concerta®, and Methylin®. These medications are commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and, when prescribed by a doctor and taken at the intended dosage, are unlikely to cause addiction.
However, people who abuse these substances can develop a tolerance to their effects – requiring higher and higher doses to achieve the same effects – and a drug dependence. Because Amphetamine dependence involves withdrawals once you stop taking the drug, Amphetamine detox is recommended for those individuals.
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Amphetamine Withdrawal: How Long Does Detox Take?
Amphetamines typically have a longer half-life in the body than other stimulants. This means they stay in the body for a longer period of time, prolonging detox and symptoms of withdrawal. After a person stops taking Amphetamines, they may not exhibit any withdrawal symptoms until one to two days later. Most people are able to complete detox within five days (this does not mean they are free from addiction, but are able to move on to more extensive addiction treatment programs).
Because people often abuse Amphetamines for a surge of energy that they use to be more productive, they continually experience “binge and crash” episodes (taking increasing doses to sustain a high before crashing). This pattern of drug abuse can lead to psychoses and other bodily harm not easily undone that make detox both important and necessary.
Amphetamine Detox Timeline
An Amphetamine detox timeline largely depends on the individual’s body type and personal habits. Intravenous Amphetamine users (similar to people who smoked Amphetamines) have reported withdrawal symptoms within 36 hours that last between three and five days. People who snorted or ingested Amphetamines more regularly may experience longer times. The typical withdrawal timeline for Amphetamine detox is as follows.
First 24 – 48 hours
- Body aches
- Depressed mood
- Fatigue and hypersomnia
- Increased appetite
Next 3 – 5 days
- Agitation or anxiety
- Impaired social functioning
- Loss of interest in normal activities
- Drug cravings
After 5 days (up to 3 weeks)
- Mood swings
- Drug cravings
In one study of Amphetamine addiction, zero participants reported drug cravings as a reason for their relapse. Researchers believe this is due to an acquired behavior brought on by addiction, such as using Amphetamines to alleviate boredom, self-treat depression, peer pressure, or the enjoyment they received from the drugs’ high. As such, following detox, individuals need the support of one-on-one therapy and counseling to learn new coping strategies to manage their inclinations. Inpatient and outpatient rehabs offer a variety of therapies, depending on the needs of the individual’s treatment plan.
Currently, there are no addiction treatment medications for Amphetamine Use Disorders. For some withdrawal symptoms, a medical professional may be able to prescribe antidepressants or short-term Benzodiazepines.
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