Dexedrine is a dextroamphetamine that is indicated for use in the treatment of ADHD. Despite its usefulness in treating this condition, Dexedrine is rarely prescribed in favor of Ritalin and Adderall, both of which share the same active ingredient. It is, however, commonly prescribed for the treatment of narcolepsy, and can effectively combat the symptoms in sufficiently high doses.
Due to the amphetamine-like stimulant effects of Dexedrine it is often associated with recreational use and drug dependence in therapeutic users. Since Dexedrine use can quickly become habit forming it is often necessary for users to go through addiction treatment in order to wean themselves off the drug, and while in most cases a doctor will gradually reduce the dosage of Dexedrine during therapeutic use it is not uncommon for patients to develop problems with dependence.
Due to the fact that many users of Dexedrine acquire the medication without prescription it isn't possible to measure exactly how widespread Dexedrine addiction may be. With Dexedrine addiction statistics unavailable it's necessary to look at anecdotal data to estimate the true scale of the problem.
According to a Harvard study of the use of narcotics without prescription on college campuses, in the year of the study 4% of students admitted using Dexedrine or a similar stimulant. On some campuses the rate of stimulant abuse is thought to be as high as 25%. Stimulants including amphetamines such as Dexedrine were involved in over 92,000 emergency room visits in 2009 alone.
While it may be difficult to recognize addiction in a loved one (especially when the drug use is covert) signs of long term Dexedrine use include paranoia, high temperature, irregular heartbeat and feelings of hostility. Long term use can cause health effects as serious as cardiovascular failure and seizures.
Dexedrine dependence and physical and psychological addiction is a risk for any users of Dexedrine, but the most at risk groups are those who have a history of substance abuse (either narcotic or alcohol) and recreational users who lack the guidance and dosage instructions to prevent the development of drug dependence or deal with a safe reduction and stoppage of dosage to prevent symptoms of Dexedrine withdrawal.
In general the risk of drug dependence will depend on the dosage taken, the period of use and the physiology of the individual. Given enough time and a high enough regular dose, Dexedrine dependence is virtually guaranteed. As such, physicians do not usually prescribe Dexedrine for periods longer than two to four weeks to minimize the risk of drug dependence.
As users of Dexedrine are likely to develop some measure of drug dependence over long term use it is common for users to increase their dosage against or even without medical advice. As dosage increases so does the risk of overdose, and this is especially true in the case of recreational users (who may not be aware of drug and alcohol interactions that could produce unwanted effects).
If you suspect that you or someone else are suffering from a Dexedrine overdose you should seek emergency medical attention immediately. Do not wait for the onset of symptoms.
Dexedrine overdose produces symptoms including tremors, hallucinations, confusion, aggression, rapid breathing, muscle spasms and panic. High doses often also cause the pupils to dilate.
In extreme cases of Dexedrine overdose the user may suffer a bout of amphetamine psychosis, a condition whose symptoms include vivid auditory, visual and tactile hallucinations, aggression and, in some cases, catatonia.
The clearest sign of Dexedrine withdrawal is the 'crash', a sudden and overwhelming feeling of fatigue and weakness that makes it difficult to function. Users going through withdrawal may also suffer anxiety and extreme cravings for Dexedrine, along with irritability, headaches, agitation, excessive sleeping, vivid dreams, restlessness and suicidal thoughts.
Dexedrine withdrawal symptoms will usually last for a minimum of several days, depending on the period of use and the dosage, but in many cases clinically significant symptoms can persist for weeks or even months. As such, users suffering from Dexedrine addiction should enter a drug rehabilitation program to help work through the challenges of detoxification. Without help and ongoing therapy it will be more difficult to remain clean in the future.