Amphetamine Detox & Withdrawal

Our team are here to support you through the withdrawal process when you begin your detox journey.

Amphetamine Detox & Withdrawal

Amphetamine detox and withdrawal is a challenging experience to go through but having the assistance of our medical team can make the difference between relapse and recovery. A detox is the first step on your road to getting help and making positive changes in your life. It will break your physical dependence so that you can focus on healing your addiction in rehab.

Even though medical detox is not necessary for amphetamine withdrawal, you do need professional support to manage your symptoms. At the Providence Projects, we will support you through detox, provide relief from your physical symptoms and give you emotional support on this journey. Understanding what to expect from detox can prepare you and help you to understand that you are not alone.

Detoxing from Amphetamines

An amphetamine detox is a process of breaking your physical dependence on the substance. It is necessary to restore your brain chemistry and reduce the physiological and psychological effects of amphetamine abuse on your body. Here at the Providence Projects, our detox programme is safe, evidence-based, and compliant with NICE guidelines.

When you arrive at our detox center you will be assessed to determine the most effective programme for your withdrawal symptoms. While you will generally not need a substitute medication, you will be observed by our caring medical staff, and any uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms will be managed. The objective of completing your detox programme is to safely eliminate all traces of amphetamines and toxins from your body and manage your withdrawal symptoms until your body can function without the substance.

Why do Amphetamines Cause Withdrawal Symptoms?

Using amphetamines increases the synaptic activity of dopamine and norepinephrine neurotransmitters in your brain. This means that more dopamine is released, dopamine reuptake is inhibited, storage is inhibited and destruction of dopamine is blocked. In short, your brain has an excess of dopamine when you are using and not enough when you stop. Dopamine carries signals between neurons. It is also used to create epinephrine and norepinephrine. It is integral to the functioning of your reward system and plays a role in desire, your ability to feel pleasure, motivation, and cravings. Norepinephrine is involved in your body’s stress response. It regulates alertness, blood pressure, and sleep. Quitting amphetamines results in a temporary dysregulation of these functions, which is why you experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

Amphetamine Withdrawal Symptoms

Some examples of the legal amphetamines used to treat medical conditions like ADHD, narcolepsy, and obesity are Dextroamphetamine and Methylphenidate. Legal amphetamines are typically sold and consumed in pill form and you can feel their effects in 15 to 20 minutes. Illegal amphetamines like methamphetamine or crystal meth are usually in crystal or powder form. They are smoked, injected, or snorted. They are faster-acting and effective for shorter periods. Illegal amphetamines are more addictive and can produce more severe withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal symptoms and their timelines are highly subjective and depend on your use patterns. In general, you can expect to experience

  • Pain and body aches
  • An increased appetite
  • Nightmares
  • agitation
  • Slow movement and reactions
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Twitches
  • Insomnia
  • Seizures

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How Long does an Amphetamine Detox Last?

0-24-hours later

Also known as a ‘crash’, withdrawal symptoms can present within a few hours of missing your anticipated dose.

Days 1-3

This period is usually the most difficult and when your symptoms reach their peak.

Days 4-7

Your withdrawal symptoms should improve; however, cravings are still likely and may be present for up to three weeks. Some people will experience psychosis and tremors from around day five. Psychosis is more likely during withdrawal if you experience it while using amphetamines, and one of the reasons that a supervised detox is a safer option.

The Admissions Process for Detoxificaiton

When you arrive at our treatment centre you will have a thorough medical assessment done by our medical team. We will ask you some questions to establish how much amphetamine you have been taking and how long you have been taking it for. We also want to hear about your physical and mental health so we can tailor your detox plan to your recovery goals. Our tea needs to understand if you have been using other substances and whether you have attempted detox or rehab before.

The information from this assessment allows our GP to create a tailored detox programme and treatment timeline to manage your symptoms. Some patients will have a detox that lasts for a few days, while others might stay in detox for a week. Your assessment results and timeline will be discussed with you on admission, so you know exactly what to expect. Your answers and feedback will not be judged and will be held in strict confidence.

What Happens After the Detox Phase?

Once our General Practitioner is satisfied with your detox progress and your withdrawal symptoms have calmed down, you will be given the go-ahead to start the therapeutic rehab phase. Amphetamine addiction is a complex disorder that is triggered by a multitude of factors. Following our rehab timetable is necessary to address underlying issues like trauma, abuse, mental health disorders, and co-occurring medical conditions so that they do not trigger relapse in the future. We offer a range of evidence-based, holistic therapies that are designed to help you heal. You will participate in our rehab timetable for a period of 28 days, after which you have the option of secondary treatment to make reintegration smoother.

Through individual and group therapy, you will learn coping strategies and techniques to avoid relapse and find new enjoyment in your life. Our staff will help you to set goals for your future and you will participate in fun activities that you enjoy. We provide support to your loved ones and help you repair damaged relationships so you can start the next chapter in your life feeling strong.

Benefits of a Residential Amphetamine Detox

Even though it is generally unnecessary to have a medical detox from amphetamines, participating in a residential detox offers you the physical and emotional support you need to avoid relapse. If you have a history of seizures, mental health disorders, or attempted to detox unsuccessfully in the past, supervised detox is the safest approach.

Cravings for amphetamines can be intense during withdrawal, but cravings are not the only reason that clients relapse. Many clients report using it to avoid boredom, self-medicate against depression, wanting to get high, and because of peer or social pressure. When you are enrolled in a residential detox, these risks are managed. Our caring and experienced professional team will provide you with symptomatic relief and psycho-emotional support so you do not have to go through the experience alone.

Detox-Only Treatment for Amphetamines

An amphetamine detox addresses your physical dependency and regulates your brain chemistry after a period of use. However, it only works at the physical level and the root causes of addiction are deep-seated and complex. Addiction is a chronic disease that relapses if it is not addressed comprehensively and the caring team at Providence Projects will help you to step out of this cycle as you move from detox to rehab.

You will reflect on the factors that influenced your drug use through individual and group therapy interventions once your body has healed in detox. It’s essential that issues like trauma, abuse, mental health, shame, and co-occurring disorders are addressed so that you can leave the cycle of addiction behind you and move forward with new coping strategies that complement your new life choices. We will help you repair relationships and set new goals for a life that you enjoy through a series of therapeutic interventions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Will I experience cravings during detox?

It is quite common to experience cravings during detox, however, they are less intense during the initial ‘crash’ stage. Cravings are most likely from the fourth day onwards and could last for up to three weeks after you stop taking amphetamines. This is why following through with a rehab programme is so beneficial.

Is an amphetamine detox necessary?

Yes, a detox is the first stage of addressing your dependency on amphetamines. It is necessary in order to interrupt your physical dependence on the substance. Once your detox is complete you will be able to move forward with a rehab programme so you can address the root causes of your addiction.

Is amphetamine withdrawal dangerous?

Amphetamine withdrawal is rarely life-threatening but it does carry risks for some clients. Because of depression, suicidal thoughts can occur and some clients experience disturbing symptoms like hallucinations and paranoia. Overdose as a result of relapse is a real threat if you withdraw without supervision and needs to be managed.

Does an amphetamine detox require medication?

There are currently no approved medications to support amphetamine detox, however symptomatic medication may be required to ease your withdrawal symptoms. Each patient is assessed individually to determine the most helpful medication for your symptoms. Underlying physical and mental disorders must be treated but all medications will be discussed with you.


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