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Dexedrine Addiction: Signs, Withdrawal, & Treatment

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Medically Reviewed By: Diana Vo, LMFT

January 11, 2024

Table of Contents

Dexedrine is an amphetamine known for its significant potential for misuse and dependency. This medication has a long-standing history of abuse dating back to the 1950s. Read on to learn more about the dangers of this prescription medication.

What Is Dexedrine?

Dexedrine is the trade name for the prescription medication known as dextroamphetamine. It is prescribed for the management of symptoms associated with narcolepsy and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Dextroamphetamine is also available in combination with amphetamine under the brand name Adderall, which is a more commonly prescribed medication for ADHD treatment.

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Much like other prescription stimulants, including methylphenidate (Ritalin and Concerta), methamphetamine (Desoxyn), and dextroamphetamine/amphetamine (Adderall), dextroamphetamine is categorized as a Schedule II controlled substance in the United States. This classification signifies that the drug is sanctioned for medical purposes but also has a significant potential for misuse and addiction.

Dexedrine Addiction Signs

Recognizing the signs of Dexedrine addiction is beneficial for both individuals taking the medication and their loved ones. Addiction to Dexedrine side effects can have serious consequences for physical and mental health, relationships, and overall well-being. Here are some common signs and symptoms of Dexedrine medication addiction:

  • Increased tolerance: One of the earliest signs of Dexedrine addiction is the development of tolerance. Over time, people may find that they need higher doses of the medication to achieve the desired effects or to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
  • Withdrawal symptoms: When a person is addicted to Dexedrine and attempts to stop or reduce their use, they may experience withdrawal symptoms like fatigue, depression, anxiety, irritability, and intense cravings for the drug.
  • Compulsive use: Addicted individuals often use Dexedrine compulsively, even when its use triggers negative consequences in their personal or professional lives. They may have a persistent desire to use the drug and find it challenging to control or cut down their usage.
  • Neglecting responsibilities: Dexedrine addiction can lead to neglect of important responsibilities, including work, school, and family obligations. This neglect is often a result of the drug’s effects on focus and motivation.
  • Social isolation: Addicted individuals may withdraw from social activities and isolate themselves from friends and family members. Their social relationships may suffer as they prioritize drug use over personal connections.
  • Financial issues: Maintaining a Dexedrine addiction can be financially burdensome. Individuals may spend a significant amount of money to obtain the drug, leading to financial problems and even resorting to illegal activities to fund their addiction.
  • Physical and psychological health complications: Prolonged Dexedrine abuse is associated with a range of physical and psychological health issues, including cardiovascular problems, sleep disturbances, paranoia, hallucinations, and mood swings.
  • Failed attempts to quit: Repeated unsuccessful attempts to quit or cut down on Dexedrine use are indicative of addiction. 
  • Loss of interest in other activities: Dexedrine long-term effects may include a loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities and hobbies. People may become fixated on obtaining and using the drug to the detriment of other interests.
  • Deceptive behaviors: Addicted individuals may engage in deceptive behaviors to obtain Dexedrine, such as doctor shopping, feigning symptoms, or obtaining multiple prescriptions from different healthcare providers.

Seek professional help if you or someone you know exhibits these signs of Dexedrine addiction. Treatment options are available to address addiction and help people recalibrate their lives. Remember that addiction is a treatable condition, and seeking help is the first step toward recovery.

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Dexedrine Withdrawal Symptoms

When individuals who have been using Dexedrine consistently and develop a dependence on the drug attempt to stop or reduce their usage, they may experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can be uncomfortable and challenging to cope with, which often makes quitting Dexedrine a difficult process. Here are some common Dexedrine withdrawal symptoms.

Fatigue

One of the most prevalent withdrawal symptoms is extreme fatigue. People often feel physically and mentally exhausted as their bodies adjust to the absence of Dexedrine’s stimulating effects.

Depression

Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of interest in previously enjoyable activities can accompany Dexedrine withdrawal. This emotional state is often referred to as a crash.

Anxiety

Anxiety symptoms can be prominent during Dexedrine withdrawal. Individuals may experience increased restlessness, nervousness, and even panic attacks.

Irritability

Dexedrine withdrawal can provoke irritability and mood swings. Individuals may become easily agitated and have difficulty managing their emotions.

Insomnia

Sleep disturbances are commonplace during withdrawal from stimulants like Dexedrine. Many people have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, leading to sleep deprivation and further exacerbating other withdrawal symptoms.

Increased appetite

Dexedrine is known to suppress appetite, so during withdrawal, people may experience an increase in hunger and may gain weight.

Vivid dreams or nightmares

Some people report experiencing vivid and unsettling dreams or nightmares during Dexedrine withdrawal.

Cravings

Intense cravings for Dexedrine are a hallmark of withdrawal. These cravings can be overwhelming and make it difficult to resist using the drug again.

Difficulty concentrating

As the drug’s stimulating effects wear off, individuals may struggle with concentration and focus, which can impact their ability to perform tasks or make decisions.

Physical symptoms

Some people may experience physical symptoms like headaches, muscle aches, and tremors during Dexedrine withdrawal.

The severity and duration of these withdrawal symptoms can vary from person to person and depend on factors such as the dosage, duration of use, and individual physiology. Seeking professional help and support during this challenging period can help with the management of withdrawal symptoms and increase the chances of a successful recovery from Dexedrine addiction.

Dexedrine Addiction Treatment

Addiction to Dexedrine, like any substance use disorder, requires a comprehensive approach to treatment that addresses both the physical and psychological aspects of stimulant use disorder.

  • Medical detoxification: The first step in treating Dexedrine addiction is often medical detoxification, supervised by healthcare professionals. During this phase, the drug is gradually tapered to minimize withdrawal symptoms and safely remove it from the body. Medical detox helps ensure the safety and comfort of the person going through withdrawal.
  • Inpatient or outpatient rehab: Inpatient or residential rehabilitation programs provide a structured and supportive environment for those seeking recovery from Dexedrine addiction. These programs offer 24/7 medical and therapeutic support and typically last 30 days or longer, depending on individual needs. Outpatient treatment programs offer flexibility for those who cannot commit to full-time residential care. These programs involve scheduled therapy sessions and support group meetings while allowing people to fulfill their daily responsibilities.
  • Individual counseling: Face-to-face counseling with a therapist or counselor helps people explore the underlying causes of their addiction, develop coping strategies, and set goals for recovery.
  • Group therapy: Group therapy sessions provide a supportive and empathetic environment where people can share their experiences, learn from others, and build a sense of community with those facing similar challenges.
  • Behavioral therapies: CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy) and contingency management are commonly used behavioral therapies for Dexedrine addiction. These therapies help people identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors associated with drug use.
  • Family therapy: Involving the family in therapy can be beneficial, as addiction often affects not only the person but also their loved ones. Family therapy helps improve communication, address family dynamics, and strengthen the support system.
  • Holistic approaches: Some people benefit from holistic approaches like yoga, meditation, art therapy, and mindfulness practices. These treatments can complement traditional addiction treatment methods.
  • MAT (medication-assisted treatment): In some cases, healthcare providers may prescribe medications to assist in the treatment of Dexedrine addiction. These medications can help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms, increasing the chances of successful recovery.
  • Aftercare and relapse prevention: After completing a formal treatment program, aftercare may include relapse prevention strategies, ongoing therapy, or support group participation.
  • Continued support: Recovery is an ongoing process, and long-term support is essential. Support groups like NA (Narcotics Anonymous) or SMART Recovery provide people with ongoing encouragement and a sense of community.

Successful Dexedrine addiction treatment normally involves a combination of these approaches tailored to individual needs and circumstances. The journey to recovery may be challenging, but with the right support and determination, people can achieve lasting sobriety and lead healthier, fulfilling lives. We can help you achieve this at Renaissance.

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Get Treatment for Drug & Alcohol Addiction at Renaissance Recovery

If you require help detoxing from drugs, reach out to Renaissance and we can connect you with reputable medical detox centers throughout California. After addressing the issue of physical dependence on drugs, you can tackle the psychological side of addiction at our luxury beachside rehab in Huntington Beach, California.

Our intensive outpatient programs deliver the same services as you would find in residential rehab. Treatment is more flexible and affordable, though, and you can still fulfill your everyday obligations.

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Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.

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