Dexedrine Addiction

Dexedrine

Dexedrine Addiction

DexedrineDextroamphetamine was originally discovered in Germany in the 1880s, and later heavily used by both Nazi and Allied soldiers and factory workers during World War II to improve their alertness and enable them to do without sleep.

By the 1950s, dextroamphetamine was available as “Benzedrine,” an over-the-counter inhaler for asthma and other respiratory problems.  Dextroamphetamine pills were sold as weight loss aids and “energizers” in drug stores and by prescription throughout the 1960s, until the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency classified dextroamphetamine as an addictive substance.

Partly because they were once over-the-counter products, dextroamphetamine drugs have a benign reputation as a go-to drug that you can use occasionally to enhance your performance or lose weight. The truth is they are highly addictive and close chemical cousins of methamphetamine and cocaine. There is even some evidence that they are “gateway drugs” to those two stronger, hard-core street stimulants. Those who casually pop a Dexedrine often don’t realize that it is classified legally like cocaine and methamphetamine, and that if caught, they will face the U.S. government’s stiffest penalties for possession and selling, even if they just give a pill or two to a friend.

Dexedrine typically ranks among the top twenty of the most abused drugs in the United States.

What Is Dextroamphetamine?

Dextroamphetamine is chemically similar to amphetamine except that it has a sugar molecule attached to it. Its chemical name is d-alpha-methyl-phenethylamine.

Dextroamphetamine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, and lisdexamfetamine are all similar synthetic drugs that work in the brain to stimulate the central nervous system. They increase the levels of a chemical associated with pleasure called dopamine, which is partly way they are addictive. Dextroamphetamine and its cousins cause the heart to beat faster, the body temperature to rise, and the rate of breathing to increase. The other effects of these drugs are increased alertness, increased ability to focus, decreased need for food and sleep, and sometimes euphoria and feelings of self-confidence .

Dextroamphetamine is a U.S. Schedule II Controlled Substance, which means it has the highest potential for addiction and carries the most severe penalties under the law for possessing or dealing in it.

Dexedrine, Dextrostat, Dexedrine Spansules, Liquadd, Oxydess, Spancaps and ProCentra contain only dextroamphetamine; Adderall is amphetamine and dextroamphetamine; and Vyvanse is lisdexamfetamine, which is dextroamphetamine with the essential amino acid L-lysine.

Dextroamphetamine products come as pills, tablets or in liquid form.

What Are The Medical Uses Of Dextroamphetamine?

Dexedrine is used to treat Attention Deficit Disorder in adults and children.  Doctors usually start with a low dosage and then build it up as needed to control symptoms.  Three to five-year-olds can start with 2.5mg once a day, six to 12 year olds with 5mg once a day, and 12 years to adult with 10mg once a day. Dexedrine is taken after meals and never at night, because they can interfere with sleeping. Dexedrine is usually only prescribed after the person does not respond to Vyvanse, Ritalin or Adderall.

Dexedrine is also used to treat narcolepsy, a condition in which people fall asleep at inappropriate times, and on a short-term basis for obesity, in order to “jump-start” a weight loss regime. Dexedrine used to be widely prescribed for other conditions, such as asthma, but it has been replaced by other more effective drugs in the last 30 years or so.

Dexedrine starts to act within ten to 20 minutes, and its effects last for four to six hours.

What Are The Side Effects Of Dexedrine And Other Dextroamphetamine Products?

Common side effects can be restlessness, difficulty falling asleep, headaches, shaking, dry mouth, diarrhea or constipation, tics, moodiness, weight loss, nervousness, fast heartbeat, and changes in sexual drive. These sometimes go away as the patient becomes more tolerant of the medication.  Serious side effects that require a doctor’s attention can be reduced alertness, blurred vision, unusual sweating, severe weight loss, and impotence.  Having dry mouth for months or years can cause severe dental problems.

Some people have rare allergic reactions to Dexedrine and other dextroamphetamines that could include rashes, blisters, hives, chest pain, mania, seizures and shortness of breath. In these cases, the person should stop taking the medication and seek medical assistance.

Drugs That Interact With Dexedrine

Serious, life-threatening reactions can occur if you take dextroamphetamine within 14 days of taking MAO Inhibitors such as Marplan, Parnate, Nardil, Azilect, Eldepryl, and Emsam. Anti-depressant drugs enhance the effect of stimulants, and should not be used with Dexedrine.  Decongestant drugs can affect the heart or are used to control high blood pressure should not be taken with Dexedrine.

Drugs that should not be taken with Dexedrine are also Clorgyline, Furazolidone, Iproniazid, Isocarboxazid, Moblobemide, Nialamide, Pargyline, Phenelzine, Procarbazine, Rasagiline, Selegiline, Sibutramine, Toloxatone, and Tranylcypromine.

Dexedrine should not be taken with alcohol or tobacco. Stimulants depress the effects of narcotics, opiate painkillers, anesthetics, and sleeping pills, and therefore should not be used together.

People with glaucoma, histories of drug abuse or alcoholism, overactive thyroids, heart disease, arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, tics, depression, bipolar disorder, seizures, mental illness, mania, and Tourette’s syndrome should not take these stimulants.

Risks Of Dexedrine And Other Dextroamphetamine Drugs

Dexedrine’s label contains a warning about sudden cardiac arrest because some people and children have died the first time they took them. The most common scenario is that the patient has an undiagnosed heart condition or high blood pressure, and dies suddenly from a stroke or heart attack due to the effects of the stimulant.

The manufacturer of Dexedrine warns that “Symptoms similar to those seen in obsessive disorder, panic disorder and phobic disorder” can be induced after taking the drug.What this means is that the drug can cause psychosis, particularly in large doses.The manufacturer also advises doctors that the drug “should be prescribed sparingly” because of its high potential for abuse, and the possibility that some patients want dextroamphetamines for “non-therapeutic” reasons, i.e, to abuse or sell them.

Dexedrine is extremely addictive.  You can become addicted relatively quickly, even in a matter of a week.  You can develop a tolerance for the drug and keep needing more to have the same effects. When you try to stop using these stimulants, you will develop withdrawal symptoms, usually depression.

Long-term use of any stimulant, including Dexedrine, can actually cause more damage to the body than narcotic abuse because stimulants speed up blood pressure, heart rate and respiration rather than slow them down like narcotics. People who abuse stimulants often become nervous, paranoid, underweight and malnourished, and they can deplete their energy reserves, and damage their immune systems, heart, liver and kidneys. If they share needles with other users, they put themselves at risk for Hepatitis C and other infections. Stimulant abusers have higher rates of risky sexual behaviors, which leads to a higher rate of HIV/AIDS, even if they do not share needles.

What Is A Dextroamphetamine Overdose?

Overdoses tend to occur if people abuse dextroamphetamine and take it at levels that are not medically recommended, if they combine it with other stimulants, if they crush extended-release versions to achieve a massive dose all at once, or if they snort or inject the drug.

Symptoms of a Dexedrine overdose are uncontrollable shaking, dark red urine, muscle weakness or aches, fatigue, fast breathing, confusion, aggression, irregular heartbeat, dizziness, upset stomach, blurred vision, diarrhea, stomach cramps, depression, fever, and panic. An overdose can occur quickly, and the person can hallucinate, faint, go into convulsions or circulatory collapse, and then become comatose and die.  Bloody urine can be a symptom of a life-threatening condition called rhabdomyolsis, in which blood from muscle tissue is excreted in urine.

Get emergency help as quickly as possible.  There are things doctors can do to save the person’s life, such as administrating charcoal or pumping the stomach.

Withdrawal Syndrome For Dexedrine

The physical withdrawal syndrome for Dexedrine is not as dramatic or unpleasant as the ones for barbiturates, benzodiazepines, alcohol or narcotics, although psychological withdrawal can be more difficult. Stimulant abusers have lower rates of successful long-term abstinence than abusers of other drugs because of their more severe psychological dependencies.

Within 12 to 24 hours of stopping Dexedrine, you will probably feel depressed, tired, irritable, and want to take your drug again.  You may have problems feeling pleasure and falling asleep, although some people have the opposite reaction and sleep for a few days. In worst cases of withdrawal, people have experienced paranoia, hallucinations, and felt suicidal. For that reason, the usual recommendation is to withdraw from any dextroamphetamine drug under medically supervised conditions.  How long the syndrome lasts and how severe your symptoms are will depend on individual factors such as how long you took the drug, in what amounts, your general health, age, weight, and so forth.

Signs You Are Addicted To Dexedrine Or Other Dextroamphetamines

If you can answer yes to one or more of the questions below, it may be time to consult your doctor or a local mental health clinic about dependency on your prescription dextroamphetamines.

  • Are you using Dexedrine or other dextroamphetamines without a doctor’s prescription?
  • Have you been using such prescription drugs off-label for more than a few months?
  • Do you need to increase your dosage in order to achieve the effect you want?
  • Have you tried to stop using Dexedrine or other dextroamphetamines on your own but failed?
  • Do you experience uncomfortable symptoms such as frequent urination or nervousness because of your drug use, but yet you continue to take the drugs?
  • Do you believe that Dexedrine or other dextroamphetamines are necessary in order for you to function at your best?
  • Do you believe that you need such drugs to maintain or lose weight?
  • Are you using Dexedrine as an appetite suppressant or as a study aid?
  • Do you experience withdrawal symptoms, such as depression and headaches, when you try to stop using dextroamphetamines?
  • Do your loved ones, friends or family members criticize you for your drug use?
  • Since you started using dextroamphetamines, have your friends, loved ones or family members accused you of being moody and irritable?
  • Have you been using Dexedrine or similar drugs without a doctor’s prescription for more than a few months?
  • Do you obtain your drugs illegally or by faking symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder?
  • Are you afraid that you will face legal challenges because you are you are abusing Schedule II substances?
  • Do you want to quit using dextroamphetamines but feel too guilty, ashamed, or embarrassed to ask for help?

Treatment For Dexedrine Addiction

Dexedrine is widely abused and available as a street drug, and popular with pilots, truckers, motorcycle gangs, soldiers, students, and people with undiagnosed psychiatric problems such as eating disorders and depression.  It is often abused by people who use other drugs.  For example, they may modulate the drowsy effects of narcotics and alcohol with stimulants like Dexedrine or Vyvanse. Vyvanse is less reported as abused because it is a new drug, but that will probably change because it is so widely prescribed and available.

Addiction treatment begins with a physical withdrawal from the drug. Typically, a person entering treatment for a dextroamphetamine addiction usually is a polydrug user and has underlying psychiatric problems that need to be addressed in separate protocols and separate psychotherapy. Eating disorders, depression, a lack of self-confidence, unrealistic goals, a “driven” personality, undiagnosed Attention Deficit Disorder or bipolar disorder can all “travel” with an addiction to stimulants.

If you enter a full-time residential treatment center, your program will be holistic in that it will approach you as a “whole person” who needs support mentally, emotionally, and spiritually as well as physically. You will learn how addiction works and why you were unable to quit using drugs on your own, as well as what it will take to remain drug-free. Abusing Dexedrine or Vyvanse is just one symptom of problems in your lifestyle. The best residential treatment programs offer classes in drug addiction, individual cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, family therapy, art, music, drama, journaling, sports, excellent nutrition, and stress-relief classes in yoga and meditation. Once you return home, you usually remain in an aftercare program that might include continuing counseling and support meetings in your own community. Drug rehabilitation at its best should be interesting, fun, and life enhancing, and produce permanent, healthy changes that ensure your best future.

References:

“Dextroamphetamines,” The Encyclopedia Britannica, Online edition, see http://www.britannica.com/

Schwartz, Alan. “Risky Rise of the Good-Grade Pills,” The New York Times, June 10, 2012.

Colvin, Rod. Prescription Drug Abuse. Omaha, NB: Addicus Books, 2002.

“Dexedrine Medication Guide,” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm088583.pdf

“How do Stimulants Affect the Body?” The National Institute on Drug Abuse, see http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/prescription-drugs/stimulants/how-do-stimulants-affect-brain-body

“Dexetrine,” The Rx List, the Internet, see http://www.rxlist.com/dexedrine-drug.htm

“Controlled Substances Schedules,” The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, The Department of Justice, see http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/schedules/index.html

“Lisdexamfetamine,” PubMed Health, the National Institute of Health, see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0000397/

“Dexedrine,” PubMed, The National Institutes of Health, see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0000310/ and “Dextroamphetamine (Oral Route),” Mayo Clinic, http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/drug-information/DR602659

Ibid, and “Dextroamphetamine (Oral Route),” Mayo Clinic, http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/drug-information/DR602659

“Dexedrine,” Pubmed, The National Institutes of Health, see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0000310/

“Dextroamphetamines,” The Encyclopedia Britannica, Online edition, see http://www.britannica.com/

Colvin, Rod. Prescription Drug Abuse. Omaha, NB: Addicus Books, 2002, pg 15.

“Dexedrine,” PubMed, The National Institutes of Health, see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0000310/

Griffith, Winter (MD), editor. Complete Guide to Prescription and Nonprescription Drugs, 2009 Edition, New York: The Penguin Group, 2009.

“Dextroamphetamine (Oral Route),” Mayo Clinic, http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/drug-information/DR602659

Griffith, Winter (MD), editor. Complete Guide to Prescription and Nonprescription Drugs, 2009 Edition, New York: The Penguin Group, 2009.

“Dexetrine,” The Rx List, the Internet, see http://www.rxlist.com/dexedrine-drug.htm

“Stimulants, Drugs of Abuse,” Facts for Teens, National Institute on Drug Abuse, see http://teens.drugabuse.gov/peerx/pdf/PEERx_Toolkit_FactSheets_Stimulants.pdf

“Dextroamphetamine (Oral Route),” Mayo Clinic, http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/drug-information/DR602659

“Dextroamphetamines,” The Encyclopedia Britannica, Online edition, see http://www.britannica.com/

“Dexedrine,” PubMed, The National Institutes of Health, see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0000310/

“Dexedrine,” PubMed, The National Institutes of Health, see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0000310/

“Dexedrine Medication Guide,” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm088583.pdf

“How do Stimulants Affect the Body?” The National Institute on Drug Abuse, see http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/prescription-drugs/stimulants/how-do-stimulants-affect-brain-body

“Dextroamphetamines,” The Encyclopedia Britannica, Online edition, see http://www.britannica.com/

“How do Stimulants Affect the Body?” The National Institute on Drug Abuse, see http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/prescription-drugs/stimulants/how-do-stimulants-affect-brain-body

“Dextroamphetamine (Oral Route),” Mayo Clinic, http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/drug-information/DR602659

See various articles in Physicians’ Desk Reference, 65th Edition 2011.

“How do Stimulants Affect the Body?” The National Institute on Drug Abuse, see http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/prescription-drugs/stimulants/how-do-stimulants-affect-brain-body

Colvin, Rod. Prescription Drug Abuse. Omaha, NB: Addicus Books, 2002, pg. 16.

Drug Enforcement Administration, US Department of Justice. “Drug Fact Sheet: Amphetamines,” undated, retrieved April 27, 2011: www.justice.gov/dea/pubs/abuse/drug_data_sheets/amphetamines_DrugDataSheet.pdf.

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