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Amphetamine Addiction: 5 Signs You May Have a Problem

By Stefanie Sandler Billette, MS, ACE-CHC
Medically Reviewed by Yilang Tang, MD, PhD on July 11, 2021
Are you misusing amphetamines? Here are the top signs that you may have an addiction to amphetamines.

An amphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant that increases certain types of brain activity. This results in a feeling of higher energy, focus, and confidence. While these types of medications are commonly available with a prescription, it's important to note that they carry a risk for abuse. Here are five signs you may have an amphetamine addiction.

Using the medication in a non-prescribed manner

Using an amphetamine in a way that your prescribing medical provider did not intend may be a sign of addiction

According to American Addiction Centers, swallowing amphetamine pills can cause a mild high. Crushing the pills and snorting them can give you a stronger high more quickly. Misuse of amphetamines may also involve dissolving the powder in water and injecting it. This method gets the drug into your bloodstream and to your brain almost immediately, creating an intense high. This level of abuse can lead to more severe—and illegal—use of the drug to get high.

Memory Loss

According to a 2020 study published inMolecular Psychiatry, long-term amphetamine abuse can impair short- and long-term memory. 

Metabolic Changes

Drugs containing amphetamine, such as Adderall, can suppress your appetite and cause your body to burn up calories at a higher rate than normal. 

Therefore, abuse of these medications can lead to changes in weight as well. Gail Saltz, MD, clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the Weill Cornell School of Medicine, describes what can happen to WebMD Connect to Care: “The person once ate normally, but now they don't eat, or eat very little, and may experience weight loss.”

Increased Anxiety and Insomnia

A 2020 study published in Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry found that anxiety sensitivity was more common in amphetamine users than in those who do not use amphetamines. This anxiety can lead to insomnia, which can affect your personal and professional life.

“The drug causes a jumpy, jittery appearance as it speeds you up, but when coming down off of it or between uses, [you] may appear the opposite because [you] are having drug withdrawal,” Saltz says.

Changes in Close Relationships

The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy notes that substance abuse, including amphetamine addiction, can have serious negative consequences on your relationships. If you have a substance abuse problem, you may find yourself skipping important family or social events, which could hurt those who count on your support. You may also unintentionally cause those close to you to enable your unhealthy habit.

Don’t Wait. Get Help Now.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, WebMD Connect to Care Advisors are standing by to help.

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