When amphetamine withdrawal sets in, the brain and body go through a series of unpleasurable reactions. Because amphetamines share a similar structure to the brain’s pleasurable and positive natural hormones—known as neurotransmitters—amphetamine abuse causes the body to initially spike and then eventually lower its production of these important chemicals. As a result, when amphetamine use abruptly stops during the drug detox process, the body and brain of the amphetamine dependent individual experiences a deficit of vital neurotransmitters—leading to a host of physical and mental withdrawal symptoms.
Amphetamines Withdrawal Symptoms
Physically, amphetamines withdrawal symptoms can include excessive hunger as the appetite recovers from long-term suppression, and extreme fatigue as sleep cycles become disrupted by bouts of insomnia and oversleeping. Physical signs of amphetamines withdrawal can also include lack of coordination, shaking, seizures and overheating due to dehydration from continued use. Amphetamine withdrawal symptoms in the body can even affect the heart, causing tachycardia (rapid heartbeat), arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) or even cardiac arrest in severe cases.
Amphetamines withdrawal symptoms can even affect dependent individuals psychologically. The brain begins to notice chemical imbalances, but the process of neurological readjustment takes time. Amphetamine dependent individuals can experience panic attacks, irritability, hair-trigger tempers, and hypersensitivity to loud noises. Other psychological symptoms of amphetamine withdrawal include drug cravings, mood swings, depression, and even suicidal ideation in severe instances. Some amphetamine dependent individuals undergoing withdrawal even suffer from realistic nightmares while sleeping, and vivid hallucinations during the waking hours. In fact, some hallucinations induced by amphetamine withdrawal transcend mere visuals—with auditory hallucinations and sensory misperceptions accompanying withdrawal as well.
The Importance of Medically Supervised Amphetamines Withdrawal
Due to the potentially serious psychological and physical symptoms of withdrawal, amphetamine detox should always be conducted in a supervised medical facility housed in a hospital or an inpatient drug addiction recovery center. With a professional staff of qualified medical practitioners and certified therapists, inpatient drug and alcohol recovery facilities are best suited to tend to amphetamines withdrawal. Additionally, vitals can be monitored and treatment adjusted if any complications occur, ensuring that the patient remains comfortable and safe during amphetamines detox.
Another advantage to treatment of amphetamines withdrawal symptoms at a professional drug rehabilitation center is the holistic nature of the care given to patients. Inpatient drug treatment centers can also provide diagnostic testing for individuals poised to undergo amphetamines detoxification, allowing any damage of drug use to be assessed and treated alongside withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, any preexisting mental health or physical issues that may be contributing factors to the amphetamine addiction itself can also come to light during this assessment process.