Dexedrine is a stimulant drug that has been used in the United States for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, as well as some other conditions according to Medline Plus, a publication of the National Institutes of Health. Dexedrine, or dextroamphetamine, is a drug of abuse for those individuals who take it without a prescription or in a way that is contrary to their doctor’s instructions. It is a drug that can lead to tolerance and addiction when it is not taken correctly.
What Are the Short-Term Effects of Dexedrine Abuse?
The effects of Dexedrine on an individual depends on how they are taking it and for what purpose. For someone who suffers from ADHD, for instance, the drug can be of great benefit in controlling some of the symptoms of that disorder, including an inability to control impulses or focus on particular tasks. On the other hand, when someone without the established disorder takes Dexedrine, they can have much different results.
Someone who abuses Dexedrine or other stimulants generally does so for the excited and energetic feeling it can produce. Not all of the effects are good, however. In addition to feeling energized and awake, one may experience:
- An unhealthy increase in heart rate
- Dangerously high blood pressure
- Panic or unexplained fear (paranoia)
- Impulsive or aggressive behavior
What Are the Long-Term Effects?
According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research at the University of Maryland, continued, long-term use of amphetamines, such as Dexedrine, can lead to a variety of psychological and physical ailments. Because Dexedrine can suppress the appetite, for instance, continued abuse can lead to malnutrition. Malnutrition can then lead to atrophy of the muscles and body tissues, problems breathing, decreased immunity to disease which can also affect one’s ability to recovery from injuries, as well something as simple as the ability to stay warm.
From a psychological standpoint, the long-term abuse of Dexedrine can also cause psychosis, mood and other mental disturbances, and mental illness. According to documentation provided by the Australian government, for instance, individuals who abuse amphetamines over a long period of time may have an increased likelihood of experiencing violent, aggressive periods of intense anger.
Finally, an individual who abuses Dexedrine frequently exposes himself to the risks of tolerance and addiction. The National Institutes on Drug Abuse explain tolerance as the body’s ability to adjust to the presence of drugs in the system. When this happens, the same energizing effects that one experiences from abusing Dexedrine will lessen over time. They will then need to take more of the drug in order to experience the high they are seeking.
As this process continues, their body will crave the drug to the point that they may experience withdrawal symptoms when they are unable to obtain it. They may find that they are doing anything they can, up to and including breaking the law and betraying the trust of their closest friends and family members, in order to obtain more of the drug. Over time, they may begin to choose to abuse Dexedrine over their responsibilities, such as work or school. When this occurs, they may have crossed the line from Dexedrine abuse into addiction.
If you are the parent or loved one of someone who is abusing Dexedrine, it’s good to know that, according to an article published in Psychology Today, there is very little risk of fatal overdose from the abuse of prescription amphetamines. The fact that an individual may have a difficult time taking a fatal dose of this drug notwithstanding, it is important to remember that individuals who abuse drugs for recreational purposes are often addicted to other substances as well.
A research study conducted in Tennessee in 2007 revealed that almost half of the 68,000 admissions to treatment programs in that state reported the abuse of more than one type of drug. When an individual abuses more than one drug, it will be necessary to address each drug for the types of risks it proposes. While you may be concerned that someone you care about is abusing Dexedrine, they may also be abusing other stimulants, such as cocaine or benzodiazepines (central nervous system depressants), to counter the effects of the stimulants when needed.
Effects of Mixing Dexedrine With Alcohol
Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, which is – in effect – the exact opposite of a stimulant like Dexedrine. When an individual takes Dexedrine, or other stimulants used to treat ADHD such as Adderall, before they drink or while they are drinking, they may be attempting to delay the downside of “getting drunk.” They may find that they can drink more alcohol and stay attentive to their surroundings a bit longer than without the countering effects of the stimulant. Rather than passing out by midnight, they may stay awake and continue drinking all night.
There is an inherent danger in this process, according to Columbia University. Alcohol poisoning occurs when the body ingests too much alcohol, resulting in dangerously high blood alcohol content that can result in coma and death in some cases. By mitigating the effects of the alcohol and consuming more alcohol than they might have otherwise, an individual who abuses Dexedrine with alcohol exposes themselves to this very real risk.
How to Find the Right Treatment Center for You and Your Family
Seeking help for someone who suffers from Dexedrine abuse and addiction may seem like an overwhelming challenge. How will you know which facility is best suited to your needs and the needs of your loved one? What are the kinds of treatments available? What will happen to your family member, or to you, once treatment has begun? These are just some of the questions you may be facing.
The first aspect of understanding how to find an effective treatment center is to know what questions to ask. A few of the important questions may include the following:
- Does the facility use evidence-based treatment methods that have been backed up by scientific research and proven effective?
- Is the treatment program offered of an adequate duration that will meet your needs or the needs of your loved one?
- Does the treatment program utilize the 12-step model of recovering or something similar for support purposes?
- Are the staff members and the treatment program flexible enough to deal with any changes that may occur during the treatment period?
- Will the facility create a program specifically tailored to my needs or the needs of my family member, rather than forcing me to adhere to an established program that may not treat me as an individual?
- Will treatment be available when my family member is ready to receive it?
Each of these aspects of treatment is a part of the established principles that have been designed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse for the most effective treatment practices.
How to Help a Family Member Overcome Dexedrine Abuse
Studies have shown that treatment for drug addiction and abuse does not have to be voluntary in order to be effective. Prison populations that suffer from addiction and are required to undergo treatment as a part of their sentence have experienced greater reductions in criminal activity than their counterparts who do not actively participate in their own recovery. If a member of your family suffers from Dexedrine abuse or addiction issues and they have, thus far, refused to recognize they have a problem and the impact that the drug abuse has had on your family, you might consider an intervention as a means to convince them to enroll in a treatment program.
An intervention is a process through which members of the drug-using individual’s family or circle of friends confronts them about their drug abuse. This, in effect, raises the proverbial “rock bottom” for the addicted individual. Rather than discovering for themselves
that their long-term drug abuse has cost them their family relationships and ability to sustain a productive future for themselves, the people who are closest to them draw a line in the sand to insist that they choose recovery.
In order to be fully effective, it is best to have an established destination in the form of an effective treatment facility, such as our program here at Michael’s House, arranged in advance. If your family member agrees to get help, they will be more likely to follow through if they can move directly from the intervention to the treatment facility.
If you would like more information on how to confront someone in your life who is abusing Dexedrine or other types of drugs, please do not hesitate to contact us here at Michael’s House to find out how we can help. It is never too early to begin the process of recovery.