Dexedrine Addiction, Symptoms and Treatment Information
What is Dexedrine?
Dexedrine is a stimulant medication used to treat Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Narcolepsy. It is also used short-term to treat obesity. Dexedrine comes in short-acting and long-acting formula and is also known as ProCentra, Dexedrine Spansule, DextroStat, and Zenzedi.
Dexedrine is a Schedule 2 Controlled Substance. Schedule 2 medicines have medicinal value but are also considered to have a higher rate of abuse and addiction potential. As a Schedule 2, Dexedrine requires a new paper prescription each month from the doctor in order to fill it at the pharmacy. No refills are allowed only new prescriptions. Dexedrine works by increasing the neurotransmitters Norepinephrine and Dopamine in the brain. For people with ADD or ADHD this stimulant activity actually helps to calm their brains down and help them focus and complete tasks.
Dexedrine Side Effects
All stimulant medications, including Dexedrine, can have side effects even at the prescribed amount. Some of these side effects include appetite loss, dry mouth, insomnia, increased heart rate and blood pressure, increased focus, irritability, hallucinations, stroke, and heart complications. Some people who are taking stimulant medications with other medications that affect Serotonin (like antidepressants) can have a rare side effect called Serotonin Syndrome. This occurs when the brain releases too much Serotonin into the body. To avoid this side effect make sure to tell the doctor about every medication, supplement, vitamin, or herbal concoction so they can prevent as many side effects as possible.
Dexedrine Abuse and Addiction Symptoms
People tend to run into bigger problems when they start to take more Dexedrine than prescribed. Taking more medications than prescribed is the first step on a scary path. This can lead to chronically overtaking Dexedrine and use turning into abuse and addiction. There are times when an ADD or ADHD person needs to take an extra dose of their medication such as longer work hours or studying during finals, but when taking too much is the norm instead of the exception other problems can creep up. For one thing, whenever someone takes more prescription medication than prescribed they are looking at running out of the prescription early. If this becomes a regular occurrence then the pharmacy will likely flag the person or prescription and notify the doctor, especially when people regularly try to fill things early. Again, there is a huge difference in someone needing the occasional early fill on their prescription. Some people run out early, but wait for their normal fill date so they do not alert the doctor or pharmacy that they are overtaking their medication. If this sounds familiar then it should be a red flag that prescription medication is not being taken as prescribed. If there is a good reason like a change in schedule that requires an extra dose then talk to the doctor about increasing the medication. Otherwise, this is a huge warning sign that Dexedrine is becoming more important and it is possible it is being abused.
Signs and Symptoms of Dexedrine Abuse
Increasing the amount without talking to the doctor first
Taking Dexedrine in a way other than prescribed
Crushing, snorting, or injecting Dexedrine
Tolerance (needing more Dexedrine to get the desired effect)
Taking Dexedrine to overcome withdrawal symptoms, such as depression, low energy,
Lying about prescription drug use
Feeling defensive when someone asks/questions Dexedrine use
Deceiving the doctor/pharmacy to obtain more
Running out early
Buying Dexedrine or other stimulants
Taking someone else’s prescribed medication
What to Do About Dexedrine Addiction – Getting Help
Dexedrine addiction is serious. Stimulants are dangerous medications and can have long term consequences. Just because this drug comes from a pharmacy does not mean it is safe. Plenty of people end up in the hospital or in legal trouble over prescription drugs. Dexedrine is no different. The first step is usually admitting that something is wrong. People do not necessarily have to break down and enter an inpatient rehab facility to get help for overtaking their Dexedrine. Hopefully, it is possible to have an open and honest conversation with the doctor. A lot of times people abuse medication that they need to take, which is often the case for people with ADD/ADHD. Sometimes people take more because they are not taking an adequate dose so that is why it is important to talk to the doctor about the reasons the dose escalated and figure out together how to approach the problem. If Dexedrine abuse continues even after talking to the doctor then it is probably time to seek other help for possible Dexedrine addiction.
The longer someone abuses Dexedrine or other stimulants the harder it is to stop because normal becomes the way it feels to have that drug on board. The brain adapts to an outside source to tell it what to do, so it stops making as much Norepinephrine and Dopamine as normal. This becomes a problem when the drug is stopped because the brain does not just know that it is supposed to make its own chemicals again. A person goes through a lot of side effects or withdrawal symptoms during the time the brain and body readjust to not having the drug to stimulate the release of chemicals. Getting through withdrawal is very difficult because it is extremely uncomfortable. Some people get physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms, for example, sweating, insomnia, sleeping too much, anxiety, depression, fatigue, lethargy, no interest in things that used to bring pleasure, suicidal thinking, and other symptoms. The easiest way to avoid withdrawal symptoms is to taper off of Dexedrine instead of abruptly stopping. This is true of the majority of drugs. Some people think that the more someone suffers during a detoxification phase the better because it will act as a deterrent in the future. This is not true. If anything, a horrible detox can make the person determined that they will never run out of the drug again instead of keeping them away from it.