How to Get Help for Dexedrine Abuse
How to Approach an Addict
If someone close to you is struggling with an addiction to Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine), you may be feeling very worried about their health and well-being. It is common to feel unsure of how to express your concern when addiction has taken hold of someone you love.
It can be even more difficult to get a loved one to accept that they have a problem with substance abuse when that substance is a prescription drug. Dexedrine, for example, is a prescription stimulant used in the treatment of ADHD and narcolepsy. Because this drug isn’t illegal and has accepted medical uses, oftentimes users will fail to believe that they are addicted, especially if they were given a prescription for it. This can make expressing concern over a loved one’s usage and ultimately urging them to get treatment a difficult task. However, there are some general communication skills you can keep in mind, as well as some specific techniques that may help you address the problem with your loved one.
Once you feel you can communicate effectively and are ready for more decisive action, there are several options you can consider. These include:
- Holding a formal intervention. This is when the closest family members and friends of the addicted person gather together with the individual to try to convince them to get help. Interventions may take place with or without the help of a professional, but they may be more successful with one. A professional with experience in the area of addiction can help you gain knowledge about your loved one’s addiction; help you explore any of your own behaviors that may not be helping the situation; and make sure everyone is on the same page and communicating positively and effectively during the meeting. Oftentimes, even if it does not end up being successful at the time of the intervention, you may have at least planted a seed that may get them to seek treatment later.
- Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT).This is a program that can help you figure out some changes you can make that can influence the addicted individual in a more indirect way. For example, a therapist trained in this method can instruct you in how to provide rewards in order to reinforce and promote sober behaviors and to withhold those rewards and create clear boundaries to decrease problem behaviors.1 It can also help you work on yourself at the same time, because a healthier you also means you are better able to help others.
- Engaging with support groups. Your worry and attempts at helping your loved one can take their toll on your mental and emotional well-being. Joining a group for family and friends of addicts (such as Nar-Anon or similar groups) can be a good way for you to get support from people who understand and can help you care for yourself as you provide support to your loved one.
It is also essential to understand the variety of potential solutions so that you can point your loved one toward viable options for care if and when they decide they are ready for help.
Dexedrine Addiction Treatment
There are several different forms of treatment for Dexedrine addiction that you or a loved one can pursue.
As of right now, there are no approved medications for the treatment of Dexedrine addiction.2,3,4 However, for those withdrawing from Dexedrine, doctor-supervised sedative detox can allow individuals to rid their bodies of the substance under the care of trained professionals. Oftentimes, detox takes place as part of or transitions to a longer, more comprehensive inpatient program. Treatment in an inpatient environment provides a sober living environment where the recovering individual can work through the underlying reasons for their substance use while learning healthier ways to cope.
Outpatient treatment is another viable option for those seeking recovery from dextroamphetamine addiction. While many people prefer the focused and sober environment of a residential setting, this option may work for those who cannot afford the time or expense of attending residential programs. Common components of outpatient therapy are individual therapy and group counseling, social support, and education on the drug of abuse.
The main forms of treatment for stimulant addiction are behavioral therapies, and there are several different models that have been shown to be effective.2,3 These therapies may be utilized in an inpatient or outpatient setting:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) helps the individual to identify situations, thoughts, feelings, or perhaps even relationships that might be triggers to their substance use. CBT teaches techniques to cope with triggers and ways to avoid substance abuse, as well as ways to reframe negative thoughts and make healthier choices.
- The matrix treatment model is an approach to treatment—specifically the treatment of stimulant abuse and addiction—that combines a number of strategies, such as motivational interviewing, 12-step programs, relapse prevention training, psychotherapy, and family therapy. A combination of group and individual sessions is provided in an intensive outpatient program that typically spans 24 weeks.2
- Contingency management or voucher-based programs are based on principles of learning. Thus, they involve rewarding behaviors consistent with sobriety and deploying or allowing negative consequences when the individual engages in substance use.2,3
- The community reinforcement approach (CRA) involves promoting lifestyle and environmental changes that are consistent with recovery, such as vocational assistance, forming new social networks, and marital therapy.2,3
Recovery and help groups are also a great option for people currently in treatment or looking to maintain support after treatment ends. For example, 12-step groups like Narcotics Anonymous can often be an enormous source of support for individuals struggling with addiction. They offer a supportive environment, a sober activity to engage in, and a means of accountability, while encouraging members to come to terms with the fact that their use has indeed become a problem in their lives.
Is Dexedrine Addictive?
A common misconception is that drugs that are prescribed and legal can’t be addictive. In fact, prescription drug abuse has become an epidemic in the U.S., and stimulants like Dexedrine (“dexies”) and the more popular Adderall (another commonly abused prescription stimulant that contains dextroamphetamine) may be abused like any illicit drug. Even those who are taking Dexedrine for ADHD or narcolepsy aren’t immune to the development of addiction, especially if they begin to misuse the drug (for example, by taking more than prescribed).
Dexedrine can absolutely be addictive whether you have obtained it legally or illegally, and it has been abused for numerous reasons, including studying, test-taking, weight loss, and athletic performance. Young adults in high school or college may be particularly at risk of abusing the drug for these reasons.
In fact, according to a Partnership for Drug-Free Kids survey, 20% of college students reported abusing prescription stimulants at least one time, while 50% reported abusing prescription stimulants for the purposes of improving their performance in school.5
What Are the Signs of Dexedrine Addiction?
Dexedrine can be both physically and psychologically addictive. While you can be physically dependent on the drug without being addicted, the presence of physical dependence is one indicator of addiction, especially if you are taking Dexedrine without a prescription. Physical dependence means that the body has become used to the presence of a drug and functions abnormally without it. Those who are dependent on a substance will experience withdrawal when use is cut down or stopped.
Another indicator of a problem is the development of tolerance, which means that over time, you need more and more of a drug to feel the same effects. If you’re taking a drug to get “high” but find that you don’t experience the same level of intoxication without increasing your dose, your tolerance is building.
From a psychological standpoint, you may be struggling with an addiction if you find yourself continuing to take a drug even when it’s causing distress in your life. If you continue wanting to take Dexedrine to experience the “high” or for extra energy and concentration even when it is not needed, you may want to consider seeking help.
Find Dexedrine Addiction Treatment Programs
Addiction treatment can start anyone battling substance misuse on the path to a happier and healthier life. Regardless of whatever treatment option you choose, just know that there is help available and you don’t have to figure out how to deal with the problem on your own. Treatment programs are located throughout the U.S., and many offer specialized treatment that can cater to individual needs. You can use SAMHSA’s Behavioral Services Locator to search for rehab centers. Many state government websites will also provide local drug and alcohol resources to those in need. To find your state government’s website, do a web search for your state name and ‘.gov.’ Once your state website is located, substance use resources shouldn’t be hard to find, and they should provide further phone contacts for your assistance.
American Addiction Centers is a leading provider of addiction treatment programs and has trusted rehab facilities across the country. For help finding a program, please call us free at .
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