Amphetamine Withdrawal & Detox

Amphetamines are highly addictive, mind altering substances that stimulate your central nervous system. They cause physiological and neurological changes, speeding up communication between your brain and the rest of your body.

Amphetamines like Adderall, Ritalin and Concerta are prescribed for the treatment of ADHD as they improve concentration and focus, and must be taken as directed. Amphetamines can be abused for recreational purposes.

Amphetamine Withdrawal Symptoms

If you use legal amphetamines as prescribed, quitting is not difficult and less likely to induce withdrawal symptoms. However, if you have been using amphetamines too much or too often, or without a prescription, you are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop or reduce your intake.

Amphetamines can cause you to feel hungover when you stop, which is an indication of stimulant withdrawal. Amphetamine withdrawal symptoms can affect your physical, behavioral and emotional wellbeing.

Dopamine and serotonin are neurotransmitters that regulate your sleep, mood and digestive system. Amphetamines cause the brain to release its stores of these neurotransmitters, which is what causes the pleasurable effect that triggers the dependency. Withdrawal symptoms appear when the brain does not receive the amphetamines at its expected dose or frequency. These withdrawal symptoms improve as the neurotransmitter stores are replenished.

Some of the common symptoms that are associated with amphetamine withdrawal include

  • Paranoia
  • Hallucination
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach cramps

Timeline of Amphetamine Withdrawal Symptoms

Your timeline of withdrawal symptoms is relative to the intensity and length of your dependency. Even though studies have been done and data extrapolated, the results are inconsistent and the timeline withdrawal is not as predictable as you might expect.

Researchers have identified two distinct phases of amphetamine withdrawal: an acute phase which lasts for seven to 10 days, and a subacute phase that begins two weeks after your last use.

You are likely to experience a crash or comedown one to two days after your last use of amphetamine. During the acute phase, common withdrawal symptoms include

  • Fatigue or longer periods of sleep
  • Hunger
  • Headache
  • Twitches and uncontrolled body movements
  • Aches and body pains
  • Confusion
  • Agitation and irritation
  • Strange or vivid dreams
  • Emotional fragility
  • Depression

Some people may experience a longer withdrawal, called Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS), which could last for up to a year. PAWS is likely to result in

  • Problems with your short-term memory
  • A lack of self-control
  • Focus and concentration problems
  • Cravings for amphetamine
  • Loss of pleasure (anhedonia)
  • Fatigue and sleep disturbances

How to Detox from Amphetamine Safely

Long term use of can cause a prolonged decrease in neurotransmitter levels, leading to depression which, when combined with loss of pleasure, can make you more susceptible to relapse. Because the withdrawal symptoms are so unpleasant, the safest way to quit is to enter medical detox.

Prescription amphetamines can be substituted with shorter-acting medication for a safer detox, or the tapering off approach can be adopted.

Home Detox

Due to its highly addictive properties and the intense withdrawal that accompanies detox, attempts to detox at home are generally not successful. In order to detox from amphetamines, you would need to pay careful attention to elements of your life that you probably have been neglecting during your dependency:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Eating nutrient-rich food
  • Staying hydrated

While it is not impossible to go through a home detox, these elements are easier to control in a supervised environment where professionals can take care of you, so you can focus on coping with your detox.

Can I Quit Amphetamines ‘Cold Turkey’

Quitting amphetamines ‘cold turkey’ is not recommended as it can cause more intense withdrawal symptoms, especially if you have been using it for a long time. A tapering off approach is a gentler way to initiate detox and break your physical dependence on the substance, as you gradually reduce the amount of these substances in your system, giving your brain more time to adjust.

Substituting medication or switching to a shorter-acting form may be a better strategy for some patients.

Intense withdrawal symptoms make you more likely to relapse.

Detoxing from prescription amphetamines can be done at home under the guidance of your physician. If you have been using amphetamine as prescribed, your withdrawal symptoms should not be as severe.

a photo of a man enjoying freedom from addicion

In a Residential Setting

Enrolling in a medically supervised detox is the most comfortable and safest way to eliminate amphetamines from your system. It is especially helpful if your home environment is unstable or not substance-free, as you will not need to drive yourself to our facilities on a daily basis.

Professionals can help you by administering medication to reduce the severity of your withdrawal symptoms. While there are no approved medications available for amphetamine dependence, treatment is symptomatic and aimed at making your detox more comfortable. You will receive nutritional support and supplementation if required and a medical team will monitor your hydration levels and vital signs for the duration of your inpatient treatment program.

With the assistance of our support team, you will learn new coping skills to help you through the challenges of amphetamine detox.

About our detox center

Our focus is helping you achieve long term sobriety so we have created a safe and luxurious rehab center that specializes in amphetamine detox. We provide holistic therapies and evidence-based interventions that give you the tools required to facilitate long term recovery and sobriety.

Our experienced medical team will assess you upon admission, to create the most effective treatment plan, including some elements of the follow-up amphetamine rehab program to achieve your life goals. In detox, you will be monitored carefully to ensure your nutrition and hydration supports the detox program and comfort medications may be administered to ease severe withdrawal symptoms.

Our staff will provide emotional and psychological support to help you work through the difficult periods of your withdrawal.

About United Recovery Project

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Contact us now to ask about our Amphetamine Detoxes now!

Is a Amphetamine Detox Enough to Tackle Addiction?

Amphetamine is a highly addictive substance that causes a complex dependency that is physical and psycho-emotional. Detox will eliminate the substances from your system so you can break free of your physical dependency but it does not address the psycho-emotional root cause of an addiction. These factors must be uncovered and worked on through therapeutic interventions.

Because Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome can last for months, and cause residual symptoms to linger, you are at risk of relapse for a long time after your detox. Extended care, group therapy and support programs have been put in place to protect you during this vulnerable time.

By participating in group therapy and support groups, you will learn new tools and strategies to make this dynamic and potentially unpredictable phase easier to cope with.

Attending support groups gives you new perspectives on life and its challenges. It helps to break the stigma surrounding addiction when you have peer support, and the ability to belong to a community of like-minded people who have similar experiences to yours.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is Amphetamine detox dangerous?

Amphetamine detox is potentially dangerous, particularly where long term use is concerned. For some withdrawal symptoms can persist for up to a year after cessation. During this time, strong cravings, loss of pleasure and depression can make it very difficult to avoid a relapse. Relapsing during or after detox is potentially lethal as your tolerance has lowered and you are at risk of overdose.

Do I need monitored detox?

If you have a history of mental illness, your withdrawal from amphetamines should be monitored. Some patients do develop psychotic symptoms and could pose a danger to themselves or other people.

Does my insurance cover Amphetamine detox?

Most health insurance providers will cover your amphetamine detox to some extent. The amount of cover that you will be granted depends on your policy and your provider. In order to establish how much of your amphetamine detox will be covered, we recommend that you contact your insurance provider before enrolling, as you may need to make a copayment.

How long does Amphetamine detox take?

Some symptoms, like sleep quality, can worsen after the first week. Factors that influence the length of time that amphetamine stays in your system include your age, genetics, body composition and metabolic rate, liver and kidney function and the frequency with which you were using it.

Will detox worsen my ADHD?

Detoxing from amphetamines may cause ADHD symptoms to worsen, however if you detox in a residential setting, the consequences can be managed medically. In a medically supervised environment, you will provide your full medical history so that your risk factors can be managed appropriately.

Do You Need Help?

You can get better with the right support. Don’t hesitate to contact us now so that we can discuss the next steps.

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