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This page was clinically reviewed by Claire Rimmer (BA (Hons), FDAP), Lead Addictions Therapist at Priory Hospital Altrincham, in November 2021.

What are the signs and symptoms of amphetamine addiction?

The symptoms of amphetamine addiction can vary from person to person, and also depend upon the amount of the amphetamine that you are consuming, the frequency of your amphetamine use, as well as the type of amphetamine that you have been taking.

At Priory, our highly qualified addiction treatment teams are able to deliver specialist amphetamine addiction treatment, therapy and support, enabling you to overcome your symptoms and cravings, and take steps towards a full and sustainable recovery.

As well as consuming amphetamine on a regular basis, the following are also signs that you, or someone that you know, may have a problem with amphetamine misuse.

Psychological symptoms of amphetamine addiction:

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia and psychosis
  • Hostility and aggressiveness
  • Auditory or visual hallucinations (hearing or seeing things that aren’t real)
  • Loss of inhibitions, leading to risky behaviour
  • Impaired judgement which can lead to accidents
  • Increased self-confidence
  • Euphoria
  • Difficulties in problem solving
  • Inability to focus or concentrate at work, home, or in any other areas of your life, as taking amphetamines has become your main priority
  • Consuming amphetamines in order to relieve stress; this can often be the trigger for many people who go on to become addicted
  • Exacerbation of any existing mental health problems such as depression, anxiety or stress
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Behavioural and social symptoms of amphetamine addiction:

  • Frequent use of amphetamines in everyday life
  • Feeling as though you want to stop taking amphetamine, but finding that you are unable to
  • Taking amphetamines becomes more important than engaging in activities that you once enjoyed
  • Inability to stop thinking about when, where and how you will get your next amphetamine fix, and feeling as though this is taking over your life
  • Devoting an excessive amount of time to obtaining and using amphetamines
  • Continuing to take amphetamines even after suffering negative consequences as a result of this
  • Being secretive and defensive about your use of amphetamines
  • Neglecting responsibilities due to being high on amphetamines, or experiencing a ‘comedown’
  • Friends and family have noticed dramatic changes in your appearance and behaviour
  • Avoiding contact with loved ones, leading to social isolation
  • Relationship problems
  • Finding that you only tend to socialise with people who take amphetamines or other drugs
  • Poor performance and/or attendance at work

Physical symptoms of amphetamine addiction:

  • Finding that you have built a tolerance to the drug, meaning that you need to take higher doses on a more frequent basis, in order to experience the desired effects
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Increased body temperature
  • Muscle cramps and tension
  • Feeling faint and dizzy
  • Dilated pupils
  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Palpitations and heart arrhythmia
  • Faster breathing
  • Disrupted sleep patterns, including insomnia
  • Increased energy
  • Decreased appetite leading to weight loss
  • Dehydration which can lead to hospitalisation
  • Intense thirst leading to over-hydration (drinking too much water), which can cause brain swelling, brain damage and even death
  • Seizures

Over time, it’s possible that amphetamine abuse can result in a series of long-term health problems, including:

  • Permanent brain impairment, affecting your behaviours, thoughts, emotions and memory
  • Long-term depression and anxiety
  • Drug-induced psychosis
  • Hallucinations and delusions
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Anger management problems
  • Heart damage and cardiovascular failure
  • Frequent headaches
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Convulsions, seizures and stroke
  • Malnutrition
  • Skin disorders

Amphetamine withdrawal symptoms 

When an individual stops taking amphetamines, the sudden absence of this drug in their system may cause them to experience a range of withdrawal symptoms. These can include:

  • Intense cravings for the drug
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Exhaustion
  • Vivid nightmares
  • Sleep disturbances including insomnia
  • Irritability, frustration and impatience
  • Lack of concentration
  • Increased appetite
  • Memory loss
  • Aggressive behaviour
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Restlessness
  • Psychomotor retardation (slowing of movements)

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For details of how Priory can provide you with assistance regarding drug addiction treatment and rehabilitation, please call 0330 056 6023 or click here to book a FREE ADDICTION ASSESSMENT. For professionals looking to make a referral, please click here.

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