Substance Use

Dexedrine Use Disorder Treatment

TABLE OF CONTENTSTable of Contents

blue glove hand holding orange and black capsule pill

Dexedrine Abuse and Addiction Treatment Options

Dexedrine is a brand name for the generic drug known as dextroamphetamine. You might recognize dextroamphetamine as one of the active components in Adderall, a highly addictive stimulant.

Learn about the signs of Dexedrine abuse along with its side effects, withdrawal symptoms, and options for addiction treatment in this guide. If you decide to seek help, please call our team at (855) 430-9439 or get in touch through our website.

What is Dexedrine?

Dexedrine is the brand name for dextroamphetamine. Dextroamphetamine is a stimulant that interacts with the body’s central nervous system (CNS) in a way that makes it highly effective for treating conditions like narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, because Dexedrine is a stimulant, drug abuse is common.

There has been a growing trend of Dexedrine misuse as some believe it can improve academic and athletic performance, help with weight loss, reduce fatigue, or simply lead to a “high” feeling. These all represent off-label uses of Dexedrine, which means the FDA has not approved Dexedrine for these purposes.

Because of the prevalence of substance use disorders among teens and college students, it’s important to emphasize that there is no evidence that Dexedrine can enhance cognitive performance in neurotypical individuals. In other words, unless you have ADHD, Dexedrine is unlikely to have a positive effect on your mental health or ability to focus. Despite this, Dexedrine is still called a “study drug” due to the misconception that it helps students perform better.

Why Do People Take Dexedrine?

There are both legitimate medical reasons for taking Dexedrine along with countless recreational uses for the drug. Here are the most common reasons people take Dexedrine:

  • They have ADHD and they have been prescribed Dexedrine to help them process information and focus.
  • They have narcolepsy and have been prescribed Dexedrine to increase alertness and help them fight fatigue.
  • They are under the misconception that Dexedrine can improve their athletic or academic performance.
  • They want the “high” feeling that Dexedrine can produce.

Not all people who take Dexedrine misuse it. For those taking Dexedrine for a medical condition like ADHD or narcolepsy under the guidance of a healthcare professional, Dexedrine can be safe and effective.

However, even people with a diagnosed medical condition and a prescription for Dexedrine may misuse it. Because misusing Dexedrine can lead to uplifted, even euphoric feelings, this medication can be addictive. That’s why keeping a close eye on anyone prescribed Dexedrine is essential to protecting their well-being.

Does Dexedrine Have Any Health Benefits?

When used as prescribed, Dexedrine is a proven tool for helping individuals with ADHD and narcolepsy overcome some of the symptoms associated with their conditions.

In the case of a narcoleptic individual, Dexedrine activates the “fight or flight” response in the body by interacting with the sympathetic nervous system. As a result, they will feel more alert and stay awake longer. Because narcolepsy is characterized by constant sleepiness and fatigue, Dexedrine improves the quality of life for those patients.

People diagnosed with ADHD are given Dexedrine to increase their attention and reduce the restlessness associated with their condition.

Not all individuals diagnosed with ADHD benefit from Dexedrine. Typically, physicians only prescribe Dexedrine to people who have difficulty concentrating and suffer from severe overactivity and impulsiveness.

Beyond these approved uses for Dexedrine, there are no health benefits. Students who misuse Dexedrine and believe it will promote better academic or athletic performance are at risk of multiple side effects. In addition, they are unlikely to realize any benefits, since Dexedrine is not linked to enhanced cognitive performance for non-ADHD individuals.

What Causes Dexedrine Abuse?

There are a few key circumstances that can lead to Dexedrine abuse.

The first and most common is among students and young professionals who are introduced to Dexedrine by a friend that promises it can help enhance their performance. Since Dexedrine is commonly called a “study drug,” recreational users promote it as a means of boosting their focus or fighting fatigue.

The second most common way people are led to Dexedrine abuse is because they spend time in an environment where Dexedrine is used recreationally. Because Dexedrine can lead to feeling “high” with a sense of exhilaration or rush of energy, it has addictive qualities that appeal to the illicit drug market.

Lastly, someone with prescribed Dexedrine may begin to misuse it, even accidentally. Taking more than prescribed is often a gateway to addiction to stimulants like Dexedrine, and it may begin innocently by someone not feeling like they’re getting the same effects they used to. However, that’s why it’s so important for patients to talk to their doctors about adjusting medication doses and schedules to meet their needs.

In any of these cases, the five stages of drug abuse still apply:

  1. Experimentation: An example of the experimentation phase is a student trying Dexedrine for the first time before a big test. It could also be someone taking Dexedrine at a party when their friends give it to them. This is marked as the first use.
  2. Continued use: In most cases, experimentation leads to routine use in which a student who took Dexedrine before a test now uses it for every study session. Routine use will grow more chronic as the cycle of addiction begins to take hold.
  3. Tolerance: When a person takes Dexedrine often, it’s only a matter of time before their body starts adapting to that dose. When prescribed Dexedrine, this is commonly how people become addicted without realizing it. As they grow tolerant, they need to take more to see the same effects.
  4. Dependence: It doesn’t take long for physical dependence on Dexedrine to develop. That’s why it’s classified as a Schedule II drug along with fentanyl, OxyContin, and methamphetamine. Once dependence develops, suddenly stopping Dexedrine could be dangerous.
  5. Addiction: Physical dependence can rapidly lead to mental or emotional dependence, which is when addiction truly forms. Drug cravings from Dexedrine addiction can become so strong that using Dexedrine becomes more important than work, school, or other activities.

If you or a loved one has entered the stages of physical dependence or addiction, you must get help from a treatment provider who can guide you through a safe recovery process.

For those who have just started experimenting with or misusing Dexedrine, getting help from a professional can ensure you recognize the cause of this behavior and overcome it.

If you or a loved one are facing Dexedrine abuse, don’t hesitate to reach out to Zinnia Healing. Our caring and professional staff are standing by to assist you with your questions, concerns, and plans for treatment. Call our team at (855) 430-9439 or contact us through our website.

Effects of Dexedrine Abuse

Taking Dexedrine as prescribed can lead to some side effects, including trouble sleeping and tremors. However, those who take Dexedrine without an underlying condition and those who misuse Dexedrine (by taking too much or too often) might experience more severe side effects.

Over time, Dexedrine can cause increasingly serious effects on your physical and mental health and quality of life. The primary side effects of Dexedrine use include:

  • Chest pain, which may be accompanied by a rapid and/or irregular heartbeat.
  • Trouble breathing, which may contribute to feelings of weakness, dizziness, and fatigue.
  • Fainting, which can lead to injury.
  • Life-threatening side effects such as seizures.
  • Changes to the mood, such as mood swings, aggression, and hostility.
  • Loss of appetite, which can contribute to sudden weight loss.
  • Symptoms of psychosis, including hallucinations and paranoia.

There is a common misconception that taking a prescription drug, even without a prescription, is safe. However, these side effects demonstrate that Dexedrine can be harmful even when prescribed for a medical condition. If you’re experiencing any of these side effects, you should consult your health care provider right away.

The Risks of Dexedrine Overdose

Abusing Dexedrine can lead to serious long-term side effects, but it can also put you at a high risk for overdose. Because stimulant medications like Dexedrine stay in the body for some time, taking a “routine dose” could accumulate and lead to an overdose.

What’s most scary about prescription stimulants is that an overdose can happen fast and lead to sudden death. The amount of Dexedrine that’s considered toxic varies depending on factors like age, weight, health, and lifestyle.

A toxic dose of Dexedrine could be as little as 20-25 mg per kilogram of body weight. Taking too much can lead to severe consequences, such as:

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Stroke
  • Heart failure
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death

Because of the risks associated with Dexedrine overdose, it’s essential that anyone misusing Dexedrine seek help from a treatment center. Addiction centers can help you taper off the drug and overcome the uncomfortable side effects associated with Dexedrine use while protecting your long-term health.

Treatment for Dexedrine Abuse

There are multiple treatment options for children, young adults, and adults who are misusing ADHD drugs like Dexedrine. The treatment program you choose should be based on your unique needs, and it will require you to evaluate your own dedication, support network, and home environment.

The various levels of treatment you can consider for Dexedrine recovery include:

  • Inpatient treatment: Intensive inpatient treatment is delivered in a hospital setting and provides 24/7 supervision by medical professionals. This is often a short-term program that lasts for a few weeks before you transition to a lower level of care for the rest of your recovery.
  • Residential treatment: Residential treatment facilities provide inpatient treatment, but you’ll be in a home-like setting rather than a hospital. In many cases, residential treatment centers offer care plans that last for months.
  • Intensive outpatient: Intensive outpatient programs are structured and require you to participate in therapies and visits multiple times a week, but you can live at home. These programs offer the most support for people who need to continue attending work or school.
  • Outpatient treatment: Outpatient treatment is the least intensive option, but it might be the right fit for an individual with a strong support network and a healthy home environment. There, they can recover without addiction triggers.

Most often, an inpatient treatment program or residential treatment center will be recommended to help you through the initial detox process. From there, you may choose a residential facility or outpatient program to help you through the remainder of the recovery process.

Seeking Treatment

Recognizing that you’re entering any stage of drug addiction, whether it’s experimentation, continued use, tolerance, dependence, or addiction, is a big step in getting the help you need. For many people, getting help through the detox process is the first, most important step to starting their recovery journey.

From there, you need to work with a caring team of professionals who can guide you through the recovery process and provide the resources you need to get healthy. At Zinnia Healing, we do just that.

If you’re interested in learning more about our treatment programs, get in touch with our team and we’ll guide you on the path to a healthy, happy life. Call us today at (855) 430-9439 or get in touch through our website.