Dexedrine Misuse, Side Effects, and Treatment

Dexedrine is a commonly prescribed stimulant medication.1 However, it is sometimes misused by individuals who want a seemingly quick fix to stay alert, enhance academic performance, or to get high.1

Prescription stimulant misuse is a growing problem in the United States. In 2021, 1.5 million people over age 12 had a prescription stimulant use disorder.2 This page will explain the risks of Dexedrine misuse, warning signs of addiction, and how to get help if you or a loved one are struggling with dependence on or addiction to Dexedrine.

What Is Dexedrine and What Is it Used For?

Dexedrine is the brand name for a prescription stimulant called dextroamphetamine sulfate.3 It is a central nervous system stimulant that belongs to a class of substances known as amphetamines.3

Dexedrine is used for the treatment of ADHD and narcolepsy.3 For people with ADHD, stimulant medications like Dexedrine help them to regulate behavior, improve attention, and reduce impulsivity.

Dexedrine Side Effects

There are some side effects associated with Dexedrine use. These can range from mild to severe depending on a number of factors, and may include:3

  • Fast heartbeat.
  • Decreased appetite and weight loss.
  • Headache.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Stomach upset.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Dizziness.
  • Tremors.

Is Dexedrine Addictive?

Dexedrine is a Schedule II controlled substance, which means that it has a known risk for misuse, dependence, and addiction.1 Taking prescription stimulants regularly can result in developing a tolerance to the drug, meaning that you need more frequent doses or larger amounts of Dexedrine to achieve the same effect.1 This is different than dependence, which develops as your body adapts to chronic exposure to a drug resulting in the development of withdrawal symptoms when use is abruptly slowed or stopped.5

While dependence can contribute to addiction, they are not the same thing. Addiction is a chronic but treatable disease that is marked by the continued compulsive use of a substance despite negative consequences to a person’s physical and mental health, relationships, and other key life areas.5

Dexedrine Misuse Signs and Symptoms

A person may misuse Dexedrine in several ways, including taking the medication in a way other than it was prescribed, taking a larger dose than was prescribed, taking someone else’s medication, or taking Dexedrine only for the high it produces.1

Dexedrine misuse may be associated with certain signs and symptoms. Healthcare providers use 11 criteria to help diagnose a stimulant use disorder, some of which include:6

  • Taking larger amounts of a stimulant or for a longer period of time than intended.
  • Trying and failing multiple times to quit using the stimulant.
  • Spending a lot of time seeking out the stimulant, using it, or recovering from its effects.
  • Experiencing cravings or urges for the stimulant.
  • Failing to fulfill your obligations at school, work, or home because of your stimulant use.
  • Giving up activities you once enjoyed because of your stimulant use.
  • Using the stimulant in situations that are dangerous to your physical safety.
  • Using the stimulant despite knowing that it has caused or worsened your physical or mental health.

Health Effects of Dexedrine Misuse

Misusing Dexedrine, particularly in high doses, can result in dependence and addiction, as well as lead to several adverse health outcomes, including: 7

  • Dangerous increase in body temperature
  • Irregular heartbeat.
  • Seizures.

Long-term effects of high-dose prescription stimulant misuse, including Dexedrine, can include:3,7

  • Heart failure, stroke, and other adverse cardiovascular events.
  • Psychosis.
  • Substance use disorders.

Dexedrine Withdrawal

Withdrawal symptoms may occur if you abruptly cut back or stop using Dexedrine. Some of these withdrawal symptoms may include:1,8

  • Fatigue and mental or physical weariness.
  • Sleep problems, including vivid or unpleasant dreams.
  • Increased appetite.
  • Agitation and irritability.
  • Muscle aches.
  • Depression.

Dexedrine Misuse Treatment

If you or a loved one is struggling with Dexedrine misuse, help is available. There are many different types of treatment that may fit your needs, including:

  • Medical detox —A level of care that helps you to withdraw from Dexedrine and other drugs of dependence safely and comfortably under medical supervision.9
  • Inpatient rehab near Miami — Inpatient care is substance use disorder treatment in a residential setting that typically occurs after detox.9
  • Partial hospitalization programs—Also called PHP, this level of care is often considered a step-down from inpatient rehab and usually involves multi-hour treatment, several days per week, and the person returns home at the end of the day.10
  • Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs)—IOPs are more structured and involve more treatment hours than a standard outpatient program but are less rigorous that PHPs or inpatient treatment.10
  • Outpatient drug treatment —Outpatient care may include individual or group therapy, aftercare, peer support groups, or regular medication management or medical appointments, to help reduce relapse risk once you leave treatment.9

For more information, or to discuss treatment options that are right for you, contact our admissions navigators at . They can discuss your payment options for rehab to help you start treatment quickly, including using insurance to pay for addiction treatment. Don’t wait—help is available today.

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