Benefits of Medical Detox. Amphetamine Detox Process. Amphetamine Detox Protocol. Amphetamine Detox Timeline. How Long Does Amphetamine Withdrawal Last? What Causes Amphetamine Withdrawal? Amphetamine Withdrawal Psychosis.
What Is Amphetamine Detox?
Amphetamines are a class of stimulant drugs that include amphetamine, dextroamphetamine, and methamphetamine. Many people take amphetamines as a focus drug to help them with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Because amphetamines are addictive and cause side effects like wakefulness and weight loss, they are often abused. People often misuse amphetamines in an effort to improve their memory. A person can easily become addicted to amphetamine and may need to seek inpatient rehab treatment for this issue. Amphetamine detox is where the recovery begins.
Amphetamine detox is the process of removing the body of substances, as well as reducing or eliminating the mental and physical effects of substance abuse (such as anxiety and tremors). Detoxing from amphetamines and alleviating uncomfortable amphetamine withdrawal symptoms may be longer than detoxing from other stimulants because Amphetamines have a longer duration of effect and stay in the central nervous system longer. This begs the question – how long do amphetamines stay in your system?
Quitting Cold Turkey
Physical and mental health complications often arise during the amphetamine detox process. Detoxing from amphetamines can cause severe psychotic symptoms and seizures among other side effects. Severe amphetamine withdrawal symptoms can lead to complications that require care from medical professionals. In addition, co-occurring mental health conditions can become worse or cause complications during the amphetamine detox process. Overall, it’s important to have medical care during detox so any health conditions can be addressed and treated appropriately.
Quitting “cold turkey” or quitting by yourself in your home may seem attractive, but it carries a number of serious drawbacks. Home amphetamine detox is not recommended because of the various withdrawal symptoms you are likely to experience.
- Chemical and physical amphetamine detox requires appropriate medical supervision, not possible at home
- Home amphetamine detox options do not include therapeutic support, leaving the person at risk of relapse following the amphetamine detox
- Success may require a longer duration at the inpatient rehab, and it often relies upon addressing the underlying behavioral patterns, associations, triggers, conditions, anchors, and elements of life in a place that are enabling the addictive pattern. It’s not possible to address these in the home environment setting without specialist help.
Benefits of Medical Detox
It is extremely difficult and sometimes dangerous for you to quit on your own. Amphetamine withdrawal symptoms are often severe and, in extreme cases, fatal. Going to a drug rehab eases your recovery process and helps to reverse the harm caused by amphetamine addiction. Some of the benefits of medical detox in an inpatient treatment setting include:
- Medically-assisted amphetamine detox: Treatment is monitored and designed by a team of medical professionals who are on-site 24/7 to ensure you receive the proper support.
- Therapeutic environment: Inpatient rehab center provides a safe, peaceful, and nurturing environment that helps recovery.
- Improved treatment outcome: Inpatient drug rehabs have a higher success rate than home amphetamine detox, community treatment, or outpatient treatment.
- Access to experienced addiction specialists: Inpatient drug rehab staff has some of the best addiction specialists to deliver an evidence-based program.
- A wider range of therapies to overcome the root cause of addiction: Inpatient drug rehabs include as many therapies as possible to ensure the comprehensive and holistic treatment to make sure they address the underlying co-occurring mental health condition that often causes or a result from your addiction.
Types of Amphetamines
There are quite a few different types of amphetamines. Most are closely monitored prescription drugs, but some are illicit and have no medical use.
Prescription amphetamines are often used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or narcolepsy (sudden sleep attacks or difficulty staying awake) . They include:
Adderall is an addictive prescription stimulant with effects similar to meth. Although not everyone who uses Adderall will develop an addiction, people regularly taking Adderall at higher than prescribed doses are at an increased risk of becoming addicted. This is because Adderall works by increasing dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the central nervous system. In addition, taking psychoactive drugs like Adderall and mixing them with alcohol poses a great risk. Not only is mixing Adderall and alcohol bad, but it’s also deadly. Whether an Adderall and alcohol overdose happens accidentally or on purpose, it can lead to death.
Methylphenidate (Concerta, Ritalin, Quillivant)
Ritalin. or Methylphenidate hydrochloride—the generic for Ritalin, is a stimulant prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) treatment and to manage symptoms of narcolepsy (sleep disorder), but this prescription drug is also prone to abuse — begging the question, “can you inject Ritalin?” and “can you snort Ritalin?” It is also often abused as a party drug just like Adderall and considered a rave energy pill because it increases users’ focus and energy, producing bursts of activity and talkativeness — begging the questions, “can you mix Ritalin and alcohol?” and “how long does for Ritalin to leave your system?”
Vyvanse is a prescription drug, primarily used to treat symptoms of ADHD. The generic name of Vyvanse is lisdexamfetamine. It is a central nervous system stimulant. Is Vyvanse Addictive? There are certain outward signs of Vyvanse addiction that people may notice in their loved ones. People often use other drugs with stimulants to enhance their high such as mixing Vyvanse and Molly, and any polysubstance abuse increases the risk of experiencing adverse side effects., while others are related to behavior and lifestyle.
Though these are prescriptions, you can buy them on the street, too. Some people fake ADHD to get a prescription or visit multiple doctors to obtain extra pills to sell.
Though methamphetamine (meth) is sometimes prescribed, it’s also an illicit amphetamine. It’s sold on the street as a crystalline substance (crystal meth), powder, or liquid. Crystal meth addiction has devastating effects. It can cause lung disorders, kidney damage, hyperthermia, psychosis, stroke, and cardiac arrest.
Illicit methamphetamine is highly addictive. Many dealers or manufacturers cut it with other substances to stretch the supply. Cutting agents lower the quality of the drug and make it even more dangerous since you don’t know what’s in it. Common meth slang names include Speed, Ice, Crank, Cristina, Trash, and Chalk, to name a few. Methamphetamine can kill you. High doses can cause the body to overheat to dangerous levels.
Methamphetamine overdose nearly tripled from 2015 to 2019 among people ages 18-64 in the United States. What does meth feel like? Meth gives the user a rush of energy and intense feelings of pleasure. Meth releases a surge of chemicals known as serotonin and dopamine into the body. This is why most people who are “high” can’t sleep after meth use.
Ecstasy (3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine, or MDMA) is an amphetamine that has no medical use. It alters your sensory perception, which means it may make you see colors differently or hear distorted sounds. It also gives you energy so you can stay up all night. MDMA (or “molly”—its powdered form) is commonly abused at raves and music festivals.
Amphetamine Diet Pills
Amphetamine diet pills are a supplement that is commonly used to help lose weight by reducing the levels of hunger throughout the day. These pills also give the user high amounts of energy, which also aids in the weight loss process because of the increase in activity levels.
Unlike some pills available on the market throughout the world, amphetamines do not work directly on the fat within the body. Rather, they work with the brain’s specific parts that control the natural hunger response. These chemicals in the brain are eliminated by the amphetamine diet pills, making it possible to go an entire day, or even several days, without feeling any hunger pains.
These pills have been banned in many areas because many people abuse these products due to the side effects. However, on many street corners, these pills are bought and sold under the street name speed because they drastically increase the energy levels. In the 1990s, millions of Americans have prescribed the weight loss therapy popularly known as Fen-phen. Fen-phen was a combination of the two (2) diet drugs, fenfluramine, and phentermine. Phentermine is related chemically to amphetamine. Both phentermine and amphetamine stimulate the central nervous system and induce the same adrenergic receptors in the brain. The Fen-Phen diet pill was pulled off the market in 1997 after being linked to heart valve problems.
Amphetamine diet pills can be extremely dangerous to the user because of various different medical conditions that can result from taking them. People with high blood pressure and heart problems need to avoid them because they will cause serious complications. It can also cause various levels of insomnia, confusion, and sickness when coming down from them, and they can cause heart palpitations.
Amphetamine Detox Process
To start your amphetamine detox, you must first go through an evaluation. This step is critical in starting your journey toward recovery. During this step, a medical practitioner will evaluate your usage of amphetamine and your symptoms of amphetamine withdrawal to determine the proper amphetamine detox treatment plan.
After the evaluation is detoxification. This stage starts as soon as you stop abusing amphetamines. Your body starts to work hard in order to cleanse itself off the drug. There are several amphetamine detox programs available and it’s crucial to find one that’s right for you. The staff at the Detox Facility should be available to help you through the ups and downs of the amphetamine detox process and to make it as comfortable as possible.
The process does not end once the amphetamine detox process is complete. Continuing with aftercare is crucial to your success. While your body may be physically rid of the drug, your mind is still recovering. During this time it is crucial to learn and embrace strong sober living tools that will help you resist the temptations of amphetamine usage.
Amphetamine Detox Protocol
The amphetamine detox protocol can vary based on individual needs and the substance of abuse, but involves the following three steps:
- Evaluation: A full assessment of a person’s past and current medical and psychological conditions and social history. This step also involves testing a person for the presence of addictive substances. This information is used to determine the appropriate level of care that the individual will need.
- Stabilization: This involves managing acute intoxication and withdrawal in a safe and supervised setting. Medications are often administered during this phase to help alleviate any physical withdrawal symptoms. Treatment professionals will also help you understand what to expect during the amphetamine detox process and other treatments during this stage.
- Preparation for further treatment: Treatment professionals will encourage continued treatment to support successful recovery outcomes.
Amphetamine Detox Timeline
Early signs of amphetamine withdrawal can begin within the first six to twelve hours after your last use of an amphetamine drug.
Days 1-3: Physical symptoms of a drug “crash” such as foggy thinking, fatigue, and depressed mood often start within the first 24 hours and may worsen over the next couple of days.
Days 3-7: Amphetamine withdrawal symptoms may come in waves and intensify over the course of the first week, reaching their peak around the three to the five-day mark.
After this, most withdrawal symptoms will begin to start fading. Some side effects, such as anxiety, insomnia, or other psychological or cognitive effects of withdrawal, may linger.
What is Amphetamine Withdrawal?
Drug dependence can build even if someone is taking an amphetamine drug under medical direction for a prescribed and necessary purpose. When a person has been using amphetamines for a long period of time or at high doses, they are likely to experience physiological and psychological signs and symptoms if they drastically reduce their dose or abruptly quit taking the drug. This is called amphetamine withdrawal syndrome, and it can be challenging to get through without support.
Amphetamines interact with brain chemistry to heighten and speed up the functions of the central nervous system (CNS), including body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. Amphetamines also increase levels of naturally occurring chemical messengers, such as serotonin, which, in turn, elevate attention, focus, and pleasure. With regular use, the brain can struggle to keep itself regulated, and its chemical levels can be unstable without the drugs. This can lead to drug dependence. Withdrawal symptoms then start to appear when the drugs wear off.
- Extreme fatigue
- Disturbed dreams and insomnia
- Increased appetite
- Trouble concentrating
- Muscle tension and aches
- Significant drug cravings
- Slowed motor skills and impaired coordination
Withdrawal from amphetamine drugs is typically mostly psychological, with mood, thinking, and sleep disturbances, along with difficult cravings, being the most intense symptoms.
How Long Does Amphetamine Withdrawal Last?
Amphetamine withdrawal symptoms can begin in a few hours or a couple of days and can last for anywhere from five days to several weeks. This might start with an initial “crash” period. How hard and how fast amphetamine withdrawal symptoms start — as well as how long they last — depend on a number of factors. These include how much of the drug they use and how often, how long someone has been using these drugs, other physical and mental health factors, and whether the person is abusing other types of substances too (polysubstance abuse). The person’s weight, age, gender, and genetics can also impact their amphetamine withdrawal timeline.
What Causes Amphetamine Withdrawal?
When the body becomes physically dependent on an amphetamine drug, abrupt cessation will lead to withdrawal symptoms. Likewise, when amphetamines are repeatedly abused, it gives rise to the development of psychological and physical dependence that ultimately results in withdrawal when the drugs are no longer being used. When this happens, tolerance builds up, meaning it takes larger and more frequent doses of amphetamine to get to the same effects as before.
Prolonged amphetamine use causes a spike in the creation of the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine, which is followed by lowered production of these hormones over time. This results in the body building up a physical dependence on amphetamine to produce these otherwise naturally occurring hormones in order to elicit pleasure for the user. Generally, amphetamine withdrawal is a result of the body recalibrating itself to function without the drug and, in most cases, it has hazardous effects.
Amphetamine Withdrawal Timeline
Those who choose the first step toward recovery and healing find themselves in the early stages of amphetamine withdrawal rather quickly. Within the first 1-3 days following the last dose of any amphetamine, side effects such as headaches and dizziness are likely to occur. During this time, relapse is most likely to happen . However, support can help you get through this challenging period of early recovery.
To help you better understand the withdrawal process, we’ve compiled the following timeline of amphetamine withdrawal symptoms that most amphetamine abusers find themselves struggling with when they enter detox:
The first 36 hours
During this time, cravings are strong, and the desire to “feel better” is often enough to make you change your course of action. Don’t be fooled, though. This period is short, and the cravings will start to dissipate in a few more days if you remain strong. Depression and irritability are expected during the first few days. These symptoms will also lighten up as you progress through the withdrawal process.
Towards the end of your first whole week without amphetamines, you will begin to feel much better. Cravings are lessening with each day you remain clean, and the worst symptoms of amphetamine withdrawal are passed. Although you may still feel tired, headaches and general irritability are likely gone by now.
Many recovering amphetamine abusers begin to experience worsened insomnia during this stage of recovery. If you’re working with an amphetamine detox center, you may be given medication to help you sleep at night. In addition, certain foods, herbal supplements, and staying active during the daytime hours can help you get better sleep at night.
At this point, you’ve nearly made it a month without amphetamines and you’re likely feeling almost “normal” again. The drugs are no longer in your system, which means your detox is complete. However, your journey to recovery is just beginning. Be sure to seek long-term counseling and care to ensure your continued success in recovery.
Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms
When withdrawal effects last longer than two weeks, they are considered protracted or post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) . Chronic users may experience PAWS effects that can last up to a year.
Amphetamines have a profound effect on various parts of the brain. Some of the signs and symptoms of PAWS include:
- Problems with short-term memory
- Impaired ability to focus, concentrate, or maintain attention
- Lack of self-control
- Depression with or without suicidal ideation/behaviors
- Inability to experience pleasure (anhedonia)
- Sleep problems
- Physical complaints with no medical origin
Amphetamine Withdrawal Psychosis
Psychosis is when a person loses contact with reality. Different things can cause it — one of them being amphetamines. Both use of and withdrawal from amphetamines can cause psychosis. Symptoms are similar to schizophrenia and can occur even in healthy people.
Amphetamine psychosis doesn’t subside until the substance leaves the body. This can take anywhere from a few hours to several days. Psychotic symptoms can include hallucinations and delusions. Psychotic symptoms have been reported to be present in 13 to 45% of amphetamine users.
Symptoms of withdrawal psychosis are comparable to those of active amphetamine use psychosis. Early signs may include agitation and paranoia. Insomnia and other sleep disturbances are common during the initial “crash” phase of amphetamine withdrawal, which can increase the risk of psychosis. For most people, all symptoms of withdrawal from amphetamines, including those related to psychosis, subside within three weeks.
Not all amphetamine users will experience amphetamine psychosis. It depends on factors such as metabolism and mental health conditions.
Amphetamine withdrawal psychosis typically produces the following symptoms:
- Grandiose delusions
- Visual/auditory hallucinations
- Disorganized thinking
- Difficulty concentrating
- Rapid illogical speech
- Increased/erratic motor activity
Amphetamine Detox Treatment
The more significant the level of drug dependence, the more intense amphetamine withdrawal symptoms will be. According to a study on individuals dealing with amphetamine dependence, nearly 90 percent experienced amphetamine withdrawal symptoms when stopping use. The effects of these drugs can be so intense that when they wear off, the “comedown” makes users want to keep taking them.
Relapse, or a return to drug use, is a common risk factor during amphetamine withdrawal. Suicidal thoughts and actions, as well as amphetamine overdose, are additional hazards of amphetamine withdrawal. No specific medications are designed to treat amphetamine withdrawal. Certain symptoms of withdrawal, such as mood disturbances and insomnia, may be managed through pharmacological means, however.
Significant amphetamine withdrawal is best managed through an inpatient treatment program. Clients can get around-the-clock assistance, monitoring, and supportive care in these programs. During amphetamine withdrawal, nutrition, a set sleep schedule, and encouragement are important. It can take some time for the brain to reset and regulate, and being in a supportive environment is helpful.
Therapy and counseling sessions can offer tools to minimize and prevent relapse and provide coping mechanisms for triggers and mood regulation. Support groups can be beneficial too. On average, a medical detox program lasts about a week or two. After that, you should continue with a complete addiction treatment program to form healthy habits and allow your brain to continue to heal. Amphetamine detox is only the beginning of your recovery journey.
Amphetamine Detox Medication
As mentioned earlier, no medications are approved to specifically manage amphetamine withdrawal. In clinical studies, a few medications were able to reduce symptoms.
- Aripiprazole is an antipsychotic medication that may relieve some of the symptoms of amphetamine withdrawal.
- Provigil is a brand name for the medication modafinil. It has shown promise in alleviating some symptoms associated with withdrawal from methamphetamine, as well as cocaine.
Doctors may prescribe medications to relieve specific withdrawal symptoms, such as insomnia. Frequently used medications that provide help for amphetamine withdrawal include:
- Trazodone is a sedating antidepressant medication sometimes prescribed as a sleep aid. This medication can help with cases of severe insomnia.
- Benadryl can help with sleep and agitation during the amphetamine detox process.
- Antidepressants are another treatment option if a person in amphetamine withdrawal develops significant clinical depression during the amphetamine detox and treatment process.
- Analgesics are an option for the relief of headaches and other minor aches/pains.
Individuals who need help with amphetamine withdrawal will often try to detox cold turkey at home. Even though it is possible to stop using amphetamines without withdrawal treatment, it is not advisable.
One major concern with cold turkey is that it is not possible to know how someone will react to amphetamine detox. At times, people who are withdrawing from amphetamines experience such symptoms as:
- Severe depression
- Suicidal ideation
Although some of these withdrawal side effects are not immediately life-threatening, they can cause serious discomfort and lead a person to relapse to stop the symptoms.
It may benefit those attempting to quit the drug to undergo medically-assisted amphetamine detox in a supervised program with medical oversight. These programs can address any mental and physical health symptoms that arise during amphetamine withdrawal.
As mentioned above, a person should strongly consider inpatient treatment after amphetamine detox. This program can teach users how to control cravings and avoid triggers to use, as well as how to identify and change thinking patterns that lead to abuse.
The Danger of Quitting Amphetamines Cold Turkey
Quitting cold turkey simply means stopping using drugs like amphetamines abruptly and without help. Most cold turkey methods are done at home without outside medical intervention or assistance. Quitting cold turkey should not be confused with the addiction treatment known as detoxification. Amphetamine detox allows you to slowly purge drugs from your system, usually in a safe, controlled environment.
The cold turkey approach is so difficult for two main reasons — withdrawal symptoms and cravings. If you’re addicted to amphetamines, your body has developed an unhealthy mental and physical dependence on the drug. In fact, your brain and body begin to need those chemicals to maintain their equilibrium. If you abruptly stop or quit, your body starts purging itself of those substances, attempting to return to its non-addicted state. This process produces intense withdrawal symptoms and cravings that can impact you mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Is Quitting Drugs Cold Turkey Lethal?
The nervous system’s adaptation to high dependency drugs such as amphetamines is particularly dangerous to navigate on one’s own. Side effects that are life-threatening and serious in nature could occur, including:
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased or irregular heart rate
While quitting drugs cold turkey may seem like the right thing to do, the risks involved make it highly dangerous. In some cases, the more dangerous symptoms can lead to life-long chronic conditions or, in the worst case, death.
Amphetamine Addiction Treatment
First and foremost, if you think that a loved one is abusing amphetamine, you should first research amphetamine addiction and the risks associated with it, so that you can better understand what your loved one needs. Next, you must plan an intervention to provide your loved ones with options to battle their addiction in a safe and supportive environment. During this intervention, make sure that you offer compassion and support instead of judgment.
Lastly, offer your support throughout the entire treatment process. In addition, prolonged meth use can have severe physical and psychological effects, so it is essential to seek treatment as soon as possible. Inpatient drug rehab offers intensive care that can help you get through the early stages of withdrawal promptly. The We Level Up treatment rehab & detox center can provide you, or someone you love, the tools to recover from amphetamine addiction with professional and safe treatment.
Medical detox treatment is often considered the first stage of substance abuse rehabilitation. It will help you navigate the complicated process of withdrawal, but it doesn’t address patterns of thought and behavior that contribute to drug use. Various treatment approaches and settings can help provide the ongoing support necessary to maintain long-term sobriety after you complete detox.
Cravings are very common during detox and can be challenging to overcome. This often leads to relapse. Constant medical care provided during inpatient rehab treatment helps prevent relapse. Clinicians can provide necessary medication and medical expertise to lessen cravings and the effects of withdrawals.
Several different modalities of psychotherapy have been used in the treatment of mental health disorders along with addiction, including:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – is an effective treatment that involves making changes in both the patterns of negative thoughts and the behavioral routines which are affecting the daily life of the depressed person for various forms of depression.
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy – is a comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment program whose ultimate goal is to aid patients in their efforts to build a life worth living. The main goal of DBT is to help a person develop what is referred to as a “clear mind.”
- Person-Centered Therapy – is a strategy that allows and encourages clients to understand and resolve their concerns in a safe, supportive environment.
- Solution Focused Therapy – is an approach interested in solutions that can be quickly implemented with a simple first step leading to further positive consequences.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Drug abuse and mental health disorders often co-occur. In many cases, traumatic experiences can result in a mental health disorder and substance abuse. Dual diagnosis rehabilitation treats both of these issues together. The best approach for the treatment of dual diagnosis is an integrated system. In this strategy, both the substance abuse problem and the mental disorder are treated simultaneously. Regardless of which diagnosis (mental health or substance abuse problem) came first, long-term recovery will depend largely on the treatment for both disorders done by the same team or provider.
Medication-Assisted Treatments (MAT) for substance use disorders and mental health disorders are commonly used in conjunction with one another. This includes the use of medications and other medical procedures. During your rehab, the staff from your treatment facility will help you identify what caused your addiction and teach you skills that will help you change your behavior patterns and challenge the negative thoughts that led to your addiction. Sometimes, the pressures and problems in your life lead you to rely on substances to help you forget about them momentarily.
The answer to “How long do amphetamines stay in your system?” lies in the stimulant’s detection period. Knowing the answer can help you better understand how it can impact your health. Please, do not try to detox on your own. The detox process can be painful and difficult without medically-assisted amphetamine detox. However, getting through the detox process is crucial for continued treatment. We Level Up provide proper care with round-the-clock medical staff to medically assist your recovery. Get help to reclaim your life. Call to speak with one of our treatment amphetamine detox & addiction program specialists. Our counselors know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.
 NCBI – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK545066/
 NIH – https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000792.htm
 NIH – https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a616004.html
 DEA – https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2020-06/Amphetamines-2020_0.pdf
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