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Understanding Dexedrine Addiction: Effects, Dangers and Treatment

Dexedrine (the commercial name for Dextroamphetamine) is an useful medication that is usually prescribed as part of the treatment for narcolepsy and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. However, being a psycho-stimulant drug, it effects are comparable to those of amphetamines. For instance, it enhances brain activity and also eliminates fatigue. These properties make Dexedrine prone to abuse; users are drawn to the feeling of wakefulness and euphoria. Due to the health consequences associated with it, the drug received a lot of attention from the medical community.

Common users

Dexedrine is abused by people of all ages, but is particularly problematic among college students who use it while cramming for their exams. A significant number of students use it or other stimulants without a prescription. It is also used by people who are desperate for weight loss. In addition to legitimate prescription, Dexedrine is commonly sold illegally. It goes by several street names including uppers, black beauties and speed.

Effects

As with other drugs of abuse, Dexedrine gives users a high. Although each individual's experience is different, it usually results in intense exhilarated feelings, increased mental awareness or a significant increase in energy. Depending on the dose, these feelings could last for several hours. However, every high has its comedown, and the experience also varies and ranges from feelings of irritability and heart palpitations to headaches and dry throat.

Dexedrine dependence occurs once the body becomes tolerant of it. Typically, an individual will start to take more than the prescribed dose in an effort to achieve effects similar to those felt when they initially began using the drug. A vicious cycle begins that involves the person taking increasingly greater amounts to alleviate the symptoms of dependence.

Addiction

When taken repeatedly over an extended period, Dexedrine often leads to addiction. Addicts take the drug compulsively and experience harmful long-term effects including paranoia, increased body temperature, irregular heartbeat rate or feelings of hostility. When taken excessively, its effects could be fatal. It is also worth noting that using Dexedrine without medical supervision increases the risk of suffering negative effects in the long term. These include liver irritation, disturbances in behavior and difficulty in sexual performance. Serious cases may include the development of certain medical conditions such as skin cancer.

Dangers

One of the problems associated with Dexedrine addiction is that majority of those dependent on it do not realize it has developed into a serious problem. Other users avoid seeking professional help for fear of being considered a drug addict, despite their need for such help. Dexedrine addiction makes it difficult for addicts to stop using it abruptly due to the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. A dependent person might also experience such symptoms between doses. These include intense hunger, confusion, depression or irritability. The severity depends on the length of time the medication has been taken as well as the dose taken. Withdrawal symptoms could also be more serious, such as violence, seizures and psychotic reactions.

Most of the individuals that experience Dexedrine addiction begin using it as a prescription drug for legitimate medical reasons. However, they increasingly become incapable of carrying out their daily responsibilities when they are not under its influence. Addicts are also prone to lying to their loved ones, keeping secrets, hiding the pills or obsessively counting them. Paranoid tendencies also include making unnecessary visits to the emergency room or constantly seeking out new doctors. Engaging in illegal activities like stealing prescription pads or forgery is also a possibility.

Treatment

Due to the great discomfort caused by Dexedrine withdrawal, addicts are advised not to attempt drug cessation without assistance. Instead, a medical professional specializing in drug addiction should be consulted to discuss the different treatment options. An assessment would also be helpful for identifying a detoxification program that would best meet the individual's needs.

One of the best options for recovering from Dexedrine addiction is to go into a rehabilitation program. Detoxification is a process that involves cleansing the body, which is important as it minimizes the withdrawal symptoms. Cognitive and behavioral therapy is also provided in such facilities. Those who join a rehabilitation program receive treatment under the care of trained psychiatrists and physicians. Such programs are provided in specialist centers as well as local hospitals. It is also possible for individuals to receive outpatient assistance for Dexedrine rehabilitation from the comfort of their homes.

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