Amphetamines are central nervous system (CNS) stimulants which have huge potential for abuse. They are Class A or B substances in the United Kingdom for a reason, which means they are illegal to possess, sell or give away unless prescribed by a medical professional. They are commonly prescribed to adults and children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the form of Ritalin or Lisdexamfetamine to help manage impulse, improve concentration and reduce fatigue for those with narcolepsy. ‘Speed’ is the illicit form of amphetamine which many individuals get hooked on.
Amphetamines, both illicit and prescription-based, produce side effects and withdrawal symptoms. Misusing them by taking higher doses or using them for non-medical reasons can be dangerous and lead to various physical and mental health problems like other stimulant drugs.
Commonly abused prescription amphetamines in the UK:
- Dexamphetamine (Dexedrine)
- Lisdexamfetamine (Elvanse)
- Methylphenidate (Ritalin)
- Adderall (not legally available in the UK)
According to the latest statistics from the UK government, in 2019/20, there were 7,209 hospital admissions with a primary diagnosis of drug-related mental and behavioural disorders where amphetamines were mentioned. Additionally, in 2020, the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System reported that 2,247 people received treatment for amphetamine addiction in England, an increase from the previous year.
Treatment options for amphetamine addiction in the UK typically involve a combination of behavioural therapy, medication-assisted treatment, and support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous. It is important for individuals struggling with addiction to seek professional help first, our trained addiction counsellors can help you decide on the best course of action.
The Dangers and Risks from Prolonged Abuse
According to the latest statistics, amphetamine use in the UK has increased recently, particularly among young people. In 2020, there were over 10,000 hospital admissions related to amphetamine use, a 27% increase from the previous year. It’s important to be aware of the risks associated with chronic abuse.
- Cardiovascular problems: Amphetamines can increase heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature, which can strain the cardiovascular system. Long-term use can lead to heart disease, stroke, and other complications.
- Psychiatric problems: Amphetamines can cause or worsen psychiatric conditions like anxiety, depression, and psychosis.
- Cognitive problems: Amphetamines can impair cognitive function, especially with long-term use. This can affect memory, attention, and decision-making abilities.
- Amphetamine abuse can also cause other physical symptoms such as seizures, and respiratory, gastrointestinal, and skin problems.
Signs and Symptoms of Amphetamine Abuse
The first step towards getting help with amphetamine abuse is accepting that a problem exists. Many individuals we treat spend months, even years living in denial about their substance abuse issues. Sadly, denial often stops individuals from seeking treatment, so it’s important to make a bold decision to take back control.
If you or someone you love is:
- Taking amphetamines in larger quantities due to increased tolerance
- Having difficulty cutting back or quitting amphetamine use
- Spending significant time obtaining, using, or recovering from amphetamine use
- Experiencing cravings or intense urges to use amphetamines
- Neglecting essential responsibilities, such as work or family events, due to amphetamine use
- Continue using amphetamines despite negative consequences, such as relationship problems or health issues.
- Experiencing pro-longed withdrawal symptoms when not using amphetamines, such as fatigue, depression, or irritability
- Using amphetamines in dangerous situations or taking risks under the influence of amphetamines
- Socially withdrawing or changing social activities due to amphetamine use
- Being dishonest about amphetamine misuse
Then it may be a good time to think about getting help, please reach out to our team today for a free assessment so we can identify the best course of action for you or a loved one.
Getting Help for Amphetamine Addiction
At Providence Project, we care about your safety and well-being and we want you to know that recovery is always possible, no matter how dire the situation may feel right now.
We offer a fully tailored addiction treatment plan to help you come off amphetamines for good. We do this using a combination of medical and therapeutic interventions to help you withdraw from amphetamines, followed by evidence-based therapies that have been shown to reduce rates of relapse, improve mental-wellbeing and empower individuals to live free, successful lives.
Amphetamine addiction rehabilitation at The Providence Projects is a safe and effective way to recover from abuse, and end the cycle of dependence with the help of our trained addiction specialists.
Treatment will take place at the Providence Project where you will remain with us for the duration of your drug rehab programme.
You will engage with our treatment programme from day 1, which consists of:
- Behavioural therapies: Like other addiction treatments, behavioural therapies like cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and motivational interviewing may help you overcome your addiction to amphetamines. These therapies can help identify triggers that lead to drug use, develop coping skills to manage those triggers, and build a relapse prevention plan.
- Holistic therapies: Including mindfulness which has been shown to reduce stress and improve mental health.
- Family Support: Family involvement can play a crucial role in addiction treatment. Family members can provide emotional support, and help you stay accountable for relapse prevention purposes. Furthermore, family members may need support due to the toll substance abuse has had on them.
Our rehab programme lasts from 28 days to 6 months, and treatment duration will depend on a variety of factors, such as the severity of the addiction, how long it has been a problem, or if you have other needs or pre-existing conditions that need to be considered. It can take time to build the necessary tools and mindset adjustments to stay sober, so the longer you can attend rehab for amphetamine misuse, the better the outcome.
The Benefits of Residential Treatment
Here at the Providence Project, we know how hard it can be to stop using amphetamines once dependence has formed. The prospect of entering a private rehab centre can feel daunting, but it is often the best way to get your life back on track, and give yourself the best possible chance of long-term recovery success. Our drug rehabilitation programme provides many benefits including:
- Immediate access to treatment
- A safe place to withdraw from amphetamines with the support of trained professionals
- A safe, comfortable and inclusive atmosphere where you are met with understanding and empathy
- Group counselling to inspire, empower and motivate you to take responsibility for your drug abuse issues
- Evidence-based therapies with highly experienced addiction counsellor who understand the underlying reasons behind your addiction
- Psychoeducational workshops to tackle different aspects of amphetamine addiction
- Relapse prevention strategies and alternative coping mechanisms
- Family support to help repair damaged relationships with loved ones
- On-going support and continual care
The sooner professional help is sought, the better – our team are here to support you through the rehabilitation process step by step. Call us today on 0800 955 0945 to speak to our admissions team and discuss your rehab options.
The Stages of Amphetamine Rehab
There are four key stages to rehab for amphetamine addiction:
- Admission: The first stage thoroughly evaluates your physical and psychological health, addiction history, and social support network. This helps determine the best course of treatment. You will be assessed by our in-house GP before your treatment programme can begin.
- Detoxification: The second stage is often the hardest for many struggling with dependence due to withdrawal symptoms that can develop. Amphetamine withdrawal symptoms are unpleasant, but not usually dangerous. Most individuals who attend amphetamine rehab can begin the therapeutic phase of treatment on day 1.
- Therapy: The third stage involves a combination of behavioural therapies and counselling to help you learn coping strategies and develop healthy habits to maintain sobriety.
- Aftercare: The fourth stage involves ongoing support and resources to help you avoid relapse. This may include ongoing counselling, support groups, and other resources to help you maintain sobriety post-treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions about Amphetamine Addiction Treatment
How Do Amphetamines Affect the Brain?
Amphetamines stimulate the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, resulting in increased focus, alertness, and energy.
How Long Do Amphetamines Stay in Your System?
Amphetamines can stay in your system for up to three days, depending on dosage and metabolism.
How Does Therapy Help To Treat Amphetamine Addiction?
Therapy treats amphetamine addiction by helping you discover the hidden psychological reasons that pushed you toward the substance in the first place, which can continue to create cravings for the substance. Working with an addiction counsellor can help you manage loneliness, symptoms of depression, life dissatisfaction, high stress levels and other causes that could lead to and perpetuate addiction.
Can Amphetamine Addiction Treatment Be Stopped?
Yes, no matter who you are and for how long you have been addicted to amphetamines, it’s never too late to make a change for the better. If you are willing to put in the work, allow others to help you, and find the right rehab centre that treats both physical and psychological dependence, you have a very high chance of recovering.
How Long Does Residential Amphetamine Rehabilitation Usually Take?
Residential treatment usually lasts between 4 to 6 weeks, but it can last up to 6 months depending on the client’s budget, personal preferences, the progress they are making and the severity of the addiction.
Where To Go For Amphetamine Addiction Treatment?
The Providence Project is one of the leading addiction clinics in the UK regarding accessibility and quality of services. We offer a science-based and holistic approach to treating addiction through a safe and comprehensive detox programme, an effective rehabilitation process, and an option for aftercare once you step out of the clinic.