Speed Withdrawal Statistics and Information
Speed is the street name for prescription amphetamines and also illegally produced and sold methamphetamine. Both are powerful and addictive substances. Legal prescription speed is a schedule two drug and is used to treat ADD and ADHD. Ilegal speed, or methamphetamine, is comprised of harsh chemicals and is smoked or snorted.
People who become addicted to speed can experience severe and long-term, physical and psychological health problems. Recovering speed addicts are at-risk of developing cardiovascular complications, skin infections, tooth decay and loss, and problems with perception. Withdrawing from speed can trigger psychosis, paranoia, and delusions in the user. Long-term speed abuse can lead to permanent memory problems and issues with emotional regulation.
Current studies estimate that over half a million U.S. adults use speed every week. People abuse speed because it increases dopamine, energy levels, and focus. People who have demanding jobs are suffering from an underlying condition that slows them down, or who are pressured at school, are at risk of developing a speed addiction.
People who are addicted to prescription speed may doctor shop or steal their friends and family member’s prescriptions. Methamphetamine addicts will display a lot of outward signs of addiction, such as itching, dental issues, and scabs and scratches. Meth also leaves a distinct smell, and people who are addicted to it will use pipes and other tools to smoke, snort, or inject the substance.
Quitting speed is one of the best decisions an addicted person can make for their health. But, stopping without help can be as dangerous as the addiction itself. Speed withdrawals and timelines can last a long time and vary in intensity.
What is the timeline for speed withdrawal?
Speed withdrawal symptoms can occur in as a little as six hours after last use. Depending on how long someone has been addicted and how much speed they’ve abused will affect the intensity and duration of withdrawals. Over the next two to ten days after cessation, physical withdrawal symptoms will peak then taper off. Emotional symptoms, however, can linger for weeks, months, or even years in some cases. Sudden cessation can intensify speed withdrawal symptoms and also puts people at risk of developing long-term emotional withdrawal issues.
What physical issues occur during the speed withdrawal process?
- Aches and pains
- Stomach upset
- Problems sleeping
- Slowed movements or speech
Are there any psychological or emotional symptoms that happen during speed withdrawal?
The psychological or emotional symptoms of amphetamine withdrawal are incredibly intense and unpleasant for the person in recovery. Symptoms include the following:
- Vivid and unpleasant dreams
- Problems functioning socially
Studies indicate that the most common psychological withdrawal symptoms are irritability at 78%, depressed mood at 50%, and problems with social functioning at 48%.
What is the difference between a cold turkey detox or a medically supervised detox?
A cold-turkey detox means the individual suddenly quits taking a drug or substance. When someone becomes addicted, a physical and emotional dependence has taken hold. Without the drug, a person will experience sudden and intense withdrawal symptoms because the body and brain are going without a substance they’ve come to rely on to function. Abrupt, cold-turkey cessation, therefore, can and will trigger intense and possibly dangerous withdrawal symptoms.
During medically supervised detox, patients aren’t encouraged to quit cold turkey because of the risks involved. Instead, patients are given decreasing doses of the drug, so the brain and body don’t go into shock while the patient tries to beat the addiction. A medically supervised detox center will give the patient decreasing doses of the drug and also keep them safe and away from harmful outside influences that can hamper their attempts at recovery.
Also, most people who become addicted to drugs are suffering from an underlying, comorbid mental health condition. Almost half of all people who enter rehab are also diagnosed with a mental health problem that is making their drug addiction worse. In many cases, people will self-medicate with drugs or alcohol when they are suffering from untreated mental disorders. A medically supervised detox center can adequately diagnose a patient with a comorbid condition and treat the issue safely. By addressing the comorbid condition, patients are at lower risk of going through a relapse once they leave the detox and rehab center.
What is safe for speed detox?
It is safe for patients to be given a doctor-approved amphetamine tapering off schedule. They may be given ever-decreasing doses of a drug or given a replacement drug if they are addicted to illegal methamphetamine. It’s also safe for patients to take medication for underlying, comorbid mental health problems while they undergo detox.
What isn’t safe for speed detox?
It’s not safe for someone to detox cold turkey. It also isn’t safe for a patient to take legal substances that may increase the incidence of anxiety or insomnia, such as caffeine. Also, it’s not safe for patients to be around harmful outside influences while undergoing detox. Doctors and therapists in a rehab center can keep patients in safe, serene, drug-free environments while they work through their addiction and recovery.
How is the speed withdrawal process and timeline different than other amphetamine drugs?
When referring to illegal speed, methamphetamine, the risks of long-term withdrawal symptoms causes permanent health issues is more considerable. Methamphetamine can cause the user to experience long-term problems with memory and depression after they quit taking the drug. Legal speed, such as medications used to treat ADD, narcolepsy, and obesity, do not come with such risks.
What individual factors affect the speed withdrawal timeline and process?
Many factors can influence how long a person will experience withdrawals. What substance they’ve abused and for how long can affect the duration and intensity of symptoms. Also, a person’s weight, age, and metabolism will affect how long the drug interferes with their system. Polydrug abuse and underlying comorbid conditions all play a role, as well. But, the trained doctors and therapists in a medical detox center can help patients with even a complicated history recover from speed abuse and addiction. If you or someone you love is struggling with speed addiction, don’t hesitate to contact a rehabilitation specialist today and get the help you need.
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