Amphetamine Addiction

Amphetamine (commonly referred to as ‘speed’) is a substance that can be acquired both legally and illegally. While amphetamines can be highly beneficial in those suffering from health problems such as narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), they are also used recreationally for some of their effects on users, such as increased confidence and sharper focus.

Amphetamines have a high potential for addiction, with some individuals becoming so reliant on the drug they feel they need it just to get through the day. Therefore, it is vital for those struggling to seek support in overcoming their addiction through amphetamine rehab. If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one that is abusing amphetamines, this page will talk you through the signs, causes, and implications of amphetamine addiction.

What is amphetamine addiction?

Addiction to amphetamine happens when a person becomes dependent on the drug to function in everyday life. The more frequently a person uses amphetamines, the more tolerance they build, thus resulting in them taking larger doses to maintain the same high. Amphetamines are abused in numerous ways:

  • Orally via pills
  • Snorting the powder of crushed pills
  • Intravenously- people sometimes dissolve the powder in water and inject it into the bloodstream

The signs of amphetamine addiction

If you think you may be addicted to amphetamines have a look at the following list of amphetamine addiction symptoms. If
you can identify with any of the following, you may have developed an amphetamine addiction:

  • High blood pressure
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Anxiety
  • Decreased appetite and weight loss
  • Poor digestion
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Excessive talking- people who take “speed” will often speak rapidly
  • An inability to remain still or calm
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Aggression
  • Twitchiness
  • Shaking
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Neglecting personal responsibilities, e.g., paying
  • Neglecting loved ones
  • Ignoring work or studies Loss of interest in previous activities and
  • Neglecting personal hygiene

What causes amphetamine addiction?

Since medical experts can prescribe amphetamines, it’s easy to get into a false sense of security regarding their addictive nature. However, all pills have the potential to cause addiction whether they are legal or otherwise. Therefore, it’s imperative to read the warning signs and understand the risks before taking them. Unfortunately, people may dismiss the possibility of these drugs posing a risk because they trust the advice of medical professionals, and therefore may take more amphetamines without realising they are building both reliance and tolerance to amphetamines.

Amphetamine highs tend to last up to six hours. Therefore, if someone were to be dependent on the drug, they would start to experience withdrawal symptoms quite quickly. Such symptoms can be very uncomfortable and may result in people consuming amphetamines to avoid physical and mental discomfort, thus entrapping them in a vicious addiction cycle.

The dangers of amphetamine addiction

Physical health risks of amphetamine addiction

  • Risk of injury due to taking on dangerous activities
  • Cardiovascular issues, including stroke, heart attack, and heart
  • Weight loss and malnutrition
  • Sleep problems
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nosebleeds
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Dry mouth
  • Abdominal pain

Psychological health risks of amphetamine addiction

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Agitation
  • Psychosis
  • Paranoia
  • Changes in libido

Are there underlying reasons for amphetamine addiction?

An amphetamine addiction comes in various shapes and sizes, but all cases share one thing in common; there is always a root cause driving the amphetamine addiction. Such causes may not be easy to see or understand immediately but talking therapies and holistic treatments can pinpoint precisely how and where the amphetamine addiction started. To give you a general idea, below of some of the common underlying causes that contribute to amphetamine addiction.

Pressure to perform

UKAT believes there are underlying reasons for all kinds of addiction. For example, regarding amphetamine addiction, people tend to depend on the drug to boost their improvement in work or studies. This may derive from a pressure environment where people feel stressed to achieve specific targets, goals, or grades.

Pressure to lose weight

Many people abuse amphetamines to reduce weight loss. In our current society, there is a lot of pressure on us to meet conventional beauty standards. Furthermore, we live in a culture of “fad diets” where people want to lose weight fast, and sadly, they have been misinformed that abusing amphetamines can help them see fast weight-loss results.


Depression is known to deplete someone’s mood, making them feel sluggish and lack mental and physical energy. In addition, if someone has duties, such as: caring for children, working, or social interactions that require natural energy, people may turn to stimulant drugs like amphetamines as a way to pull them through. Therefore, addressing the underlying reasons for depression and finding healthier ways of coping will be beneficial to breaking an amphetamine addiction.

How to overcome an amphetamine addiction

Undergoing a medical detox from amphetamines is the first action to take. This needs to be done carefully to avoid any dangerous side effects. A detox will successfully cleanse your body of all traces of the drug.
The second course to take is therapy treatment. We know that an addiction to amphetamine develops due to underlying reasons. Recovery clinics will help you identify the underlying causes in detail so you can be aware of them, understand them, and look at practical ways of handling them.

Amphetamine addiction affects your mind and body simultaneously. Therefore it is essential to address both at once; amphetamine detox will give your body a fresh start, and therapy will give your mind a new perspective. Clients have a substantially higher recovery rate when these two factors have been attended to.

Let UKAT help you break free from amphetamine addiction

It’s important to remember you are not alone; addiction to amphetamines is common, and we are dedicated to helping you overcome the substance and the mental health struggles hidden beneath the surface. If you want to know more about amphetamine addiction, or perhaps you are worried someone you love is addicted to stimulants, you can reach out to us today. One of our support team can go through the signs and symptoms of amphetamine addiction with you, and they’ll be able to answer any questions or concerns you have. Furthermore, they can guide you through your treatment options.

Call us now for help

Frequently asked questions

Are amphetamines often used in the UK?
Yes, amphetamines and methamphetamines are the second most commonly used class C drug in the world and are among one of the top abused drugs in the UK.
Who is most likely to develop an addiction to amphetamines?
Anyone can develop an amphetamine addiction, but it is widespread in younger people, such as university students. This may be due to the pressure to meet deadlines for exams.
Is crystal meth an amphetamine?
Crystal meth is a name referred to as crystal methamphetamine. It comes in clear crystal chunks. Crystal meth is typically smoked, swallowed, snorted, or injected. It is illegal and is often sold on the streets and is very rarely used for medical purposes. Its signs and symptoms are similar to amphetamines, but the dangers are more potent – especially if mixed with alcohol or other drugs.