Amphetamines: Adderall, Ritalin, Dexedrine

Amphetamines: Adderall, Ritalin, Dexedrine

Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Amphetamines?

Amphetamines are synthetic drugs that speed up functions in the brain and the body. They are primarily prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In some cases, they are prescribed to treat narcolepsy.

Which Amphetamines Are More Commonly Abused?

Adderall, Ritalin, Dexedrine

What Are Common Street Names?

Bennies, Black Beauties, Crank, Ice, Speed, Uppers

What Do They Look Like?

Amphetamines are primarily sold in pill form but can also be sold as a powder.

How Are They Used?

Amphetamines are typically taken orally or snorted.

What Are the Short-Term Effects of Amphetamines?

Amphetamines are stimulants that make individuals feel more alert and energetic. They cause euphoria and reduce inhibitions, making users more talkative and self-assured. Despite these effects, amphetamine misuse can have unfortunate consequences.

Why Are Amphetamines Harmful?

Amphetamine use can lead to unfavorable outcomes such as physical exhaustion, decreased appetite, high blood pressure, and inability to sleep. Long-term amphetamine use can cause addiction as well as permanent damage to the mind and body.

Long-Term Effects of Amphetamine Abuse

The longer an individual misuses amphetamines, the more severe the side-effects they will experience. Most common side-effects occur in the brain. And in some cases, damage to the brain is irreversible. Symptoms of long-term abuse include:

  • Seizures
  • Memory loss
  • Hallucinations
  • Depression
  • Malnutrition
  • Severe dental problems
Recognizing Amphetamine Addiction

Individuals who repeatedly abuse amphetamines will become neurologically dependent on them. Those who struggle with amphetamine addiction may suffer from symptoms such as:

Behavioral Symptoms

  • Hostility
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Reduction of social inhibitions
  • Staying up for several days straight

Physical Signs

  • Dizziness
  • Weight loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Diarrhea/constipation
  • High body temperature
What Does an Amphetamine Overdose Look Like?

Because a tolerance to amphetamines can develop quickly, users constantly take more and more of the drug to achieve the desired effect. This can be very dangerous as individuals are likely to end up taking toxic amounts, leading to an overdose. Mixing amphetamines with other drugs or alcohol increases the risk of overdose.

  • Shaking
  • Rapid pulse
  • Chest pain
  • Loss of coordination
  • Paranoia
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Heart rhythm disturbance
  • Hypothermia

An amphetamine overdose can significantly lower body temperature and cause potentially deadly cardiovascular complications. Individuals who overdose on amphetamines require immediate medical attention.

How Do You Treat Amphetamine Addiction?

Amphetamine Detox

The fist step towards recovery is to discontinue use. While medical detox is not necessary for amphetamine addiction, it is important that individuals consult with a medical professional on the best course of action for their specific needs. Although physical withdrawal symptoms are not typically life-threatening, psychological symptoms are severe and can pose serious danger.

Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Low energy
  • Dehydration
  • Excessive hunger
  • Stomach pain and discomfort
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Auditory hallucination
  • Psychosis
  • Suicidal ideation
Amphetamine Addiction Treatment

Amphetamines are psychologically addictive, so it is important that individuals not only remove the drug from their bodies but also address the impact it has had on the mind through drug counseling. Inpatient (residential) and outpatient addiction treatment programs can help individuals recognize and address behavioral issues that have developed as a result of their drug abuse, as well as provide them with relapse prevention tools necessary to maintain their sobriety.


For individuals suffering from amphetamine addiction, wellness therapies designed to promote good mental health and spiritual strength can help dramatically improve treatment results, not only while in rehab but beyond.

Those recovering from amphetamine addiction can particularly benefit from therapies that promote energy and focus as well as rest. Individuals who used amphetamines to stay alert may find Sleep Education helpful, as it can teach them how to develop proper sleep habits without resorting to drugs. Those who aimed to be more physically active through their amphetamine use may enjoy the natural energy boost they can obtain through Cardio and Weightlifting. Users who previously relied on amphetamines to increase their attention spans can safely sharpen their focus through Rock Walls instead.

Drug rehab patient sleeping.

Sleep Education

Tips and practices to promote deep relaxation and enhance sound sleep, allowing you to sleep better and longer while in addiction treatment and after.

Men at Mountainside rehab’s gym exercising to battle withdrawal symptoms.

Cardio and Weight Training

Series of endurance workouts and muscle-building exercises to help strengthen your body and improve your overall physical health.

Recovering alcoholic rock climbing as part of adventure-based counseling.

Rock Walls

Indoor and outdoor rock climbing activity to hone focus and determination, enabling you to push through self-limiting beliefs.

Visit our Wellness page to find other therapeutic activities that promote balanced, healthy living.

Although the dangers of amphetamines are often downplayed, these prescription medications are extremely addictive and dangerous. If you or a loved one is struggling, do not wait to seek out help. At Mountainside, we can help you obtain the happy, substance-free life you deserve.