Amphetamine is not a single drug in itself. It is a category of drugs that range from prescription medications to illegally sold substances. They are primarily used in treating ADHD.
Amphetamines stimulate the central nervous system. This essentially speeds up the human body by enhancing functions such as alertness, motivation, activity, and even one’s thought process. It is used to treat ADHD for this very reason, as those who suffer from ADHD have trouble staying focused or thinking.
College students rank high in terms of which group of people are most likely to abuse amphetamines due to the fact that they increase energy and focus, helping students breeze through long term papers or homework assignments.
As one continues to use amphetamines on a consistent basis, the brain begins to depend on the substance and no longer needs to produce the same chemicals provided by amphetamines. This is what causes amphetamine withdrawal and what drives an amphetamine user to continue taking it. If taking amphetamines is stopped immediately, you may feel symptoms of depression, anxiety, confusion, and even dizziness.
As a stimulant, the act of taking an amphetamine can trigger a rewiring of the brain’s reward system. If a user is feeling down and unmotivated because they have not taken an amphetamine in a while, they will have the urge to continue taking it in order to feel “normal” again, as their brain and body adjusted to life with the assistance of an outside substance.
There a lot of methods to combat the withdrawal effects. Outpatient treatment programs with medical supervision is the most common, while inpatient treatment is a just as effective option. Medications are often prescribed to combat the negative withdrawal effects as well. For example, antidepressants can greatly help combat feelings of depression from the lack of amphetamines.