How to Help a Dextroamphetamine Addict
How to Approach an Addict
If someone in your life is struggling with an addiction to dextroamphetamine, you may be experiencing a lot of emotions, such as fear, concern, anger, and frustration. You may be willing to try anything to get them into treatment. Staging an intervention is often considered, but behaving in a confrontational, angry or threatening manner can backfire by escalating the situation into an argument or even a violent confrontation. If you decide to have an intervention, it can help to hire a trained professional to help arrange the meeting and treatment details, guide you through the process, and ensure positive and respectful communication.
Expressing your concerns and offering sincere support, assistance, and unconditional love may help your loved one reach the decision to quit using dextroamphetamine.
Expressing your concerns and offering sincere support, assistance, and unconditional love may help your loved one reach the decision to quit using dextroamphetamine, especially if you acknowledge the brave and difficult challenge of seeking help for addiction. Rather than threatening your loved one, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) suggests developing incentives to encourage him to see a professional, such as a doctor or therapist who can motivate him further to enter treatment
Community reinforcement and family training (CRAFT) is another technique that teaches family members skills to motivate an addict to willingly seek treatment (Dutcher et. al, 2009). Concerned significant others (CSOs) meet with a CRAFT therapist to learn ways to replace substance abuse-reinforcing behaviors (such as enabling) with abstinence-reinforcing behaviors.
CRAFT incorporates cognitive behavioral therapy techniques and methods that educate family members on how to:
- Support a clean and sober lifestyle.
- Influence their loved one to consider entering treatment.
- Enhance their own lives whether their loved one enters treatment or refuses.
This specific technique is designed to assist family members or loved ones of those who are resistant to entering treatment, and it has been shown to be very effective. The effectiveness of this technique is significantly improved when financial rewards (vouchers) are provided as a positive reinforcement for clean drug tests (Miller et. al, 1999).
Addiction doesn’t just affect the addicted; it also impacts their families and loved ones who often feel helpless to stop the problem and yet obliged to deal with its ongoing consequences. If you love someone who is addicted, there are resources you can utilize for support, including:
- Individual therapy.
- Family therapy.
- Support groups or self-help groups such as Nar-Anon.
These resources can help you learn how to care for yourself, establish and maintain boundaries, and help your loved one stay sober.
Dextroamphetamine addiction involves a withdrawal syndrome that can include depression, psychosis, and unpredictable or dangerous behaviors. Individuals who’ve developed an addiction to this stimulant often return to using to avoid these withdrawal symptoms. Due to the associated withdrawal, the process of expelling a stimulant from the body can be unpleasant enough to trigger relapse. Many prefer to get clean in a supervised detoxification program before beginning a full course of addiction treatment.
Additional treatment can fall into various categories. Inpatient-based treatment lengths vary, but many programs encourage at least a 28-day (1 month) stay. Inpatient or residential recovery programs incorporate the therapeutic elements of individual counseling, group counseling, education and skill development. Self-help meetings, vocational support, family therapy, and stress management may also be included in treatment.
Outpatient treatment provides therapy sessions in both individual and group settings, along with the development of relapse prevention techniques. Outpatient programs afford participants the flexibility to remain living at home while undergoing substance abuse therapy. However, this flexibility may be less desirable to those with relatively severe addictions because they do not remove the addicted individual from his normal, potentially triggering environment. Outpatient programs may be recommended for those with strong home support networks and less severe substance abuse histories or, in some cases, utilized as part of a step-down level of care after inpatient treatment.
Self-help groups can also be an important part recovery, providing a strong network of sober support and a program to follow based on three main concepts: acceptance, surrender, and active involvement.
Is Dextroamphetamine Addictive?
Dextroamphetamine can indeed be addictive. Medications that include the drug, like Adderall and Dexedrine, produce pleasurable stimulant or "upper" effects that may reinforce continued abuse, such as:
- Increased energy.
- Heightened alertness.
- Increased self-confidence and sociability.
Chronic misuse of dextroamphetamine increases the likelihood that tolerance will develop because the brain and body become less sensitive to the effects of the substance over time, and may require larger doses to experience the same effects or “high”. Individuals who begin taking increasingly more of the drug to overcome tolerance place themselves at high risk of addiction development.
What are the Signs of Addiction?
Abuse of and addiction to dextroamphetamine result in a number of mental and physical symptoms. These include:
- Dry mouth.
- Rapid heartbeat.
- Loss of appetite/weight loss.
- Difficulty sleeping.
- Mood swings.
- Feelings of paranoia.
- Erratic behavior.
Apart from the side effects, other indicators of a problem may include:
- Changes in social groups.
- Increased secretiveness.
- Decreased performance at school or work.
- Stealing to obtain money for the drug.
- Chronically runny nose (if pills are crushed and snorted).
- Track marks (in the case of injection use).
Am I Addicted?
You may be addicted to dextroamphetamine if you have 2 or more of the following symptoms of a stimulant use disorder, as outlined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V):
- Having cravings for the drug.
- Taking dextroamphetamine more often or in higher doses than intended.
- Finding yourself unable to control your use in spite of mounting negative consequences.
- Developing tolerance.
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms in the drug’s absence.
- Investing a lot of time in getting and using the drug.
- Using dextroamphetamine in situations where doing so could be physically hazardous.
- Abandoning hobbies or important social/professional activities in favor of dextroamphetamine.
- Attempting multiple times (unsuccessfully) to reduce or stop use.
Call Our Hotline Today
If you or a loved one is dealing with dextroamphetamine abuse or addiction and would like to learn more about getting help or entering treatment, please call our helpline at 1-888-744-0069Who Answers?.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). What to Do if Your Adult Friend or Loved One Has a Problem with Drugs.
- Dutcher, L. W., Anderson, R., Moore, M., Luna-Anderson, C., Meyers, R. J., Delaney, H. D., & Smith, J. E. (2009). Community Reinforcement and Family training (CRAFT): an effectiveness study.
- Miller, W.R., Meyers, R.J., & Hiller-Sturmhöfel, S. (1999). The Community Reinforcement Approach.. Alcohol Research & Health, 23(2), 116-121.
- U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2014). Substance Abuse - Amphetamines.
- Vocci, F. J., & Montoya, I. D. (2009). Psychological Treatments for Stimulant Misuse, Comparing and Contrasting Those for Amphetamine Dependence and Those for Cocaine Dependence. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 22(3), 263–268.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (2012). Types of Treatment Programs..
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015). Behavioral Health Treatments and Services..
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2012). 12-Step Facilitation Therapy (Alcohol, Stimulants, Opiates)..
- Drug Enforcement Administration. (n.d.). Drug Fact Sheet..
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2012). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (3rd edition).
- Food and Drug Administration. (2013). Medication guide: Dexedrine.
- U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2010). Dexedrine.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2014). Prescription Drug Abuse: Stimulants.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2014). DrugFacts: Stimulant ADHD Medications: Methylphenidate and Amphetamines.
- Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2015). Behavioral Health Trends in the United States: Results from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. (HHS Publication No. SMA 15-4927, NSDUH Series H-50).
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. (2014). A day in the Life of Young Adults: Substance Use Facts.