Dexedrine is a branded version of dextroamphetamine in extended-release formulation. Dextroamphetamine is one of the active ingredients in Adderall, a prescription stimulant.
This medication is chiefly prescribed for the treatment of:
ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
While Dexedrine can be effective when used as directed, the medication also has a powerful potential for abuse and addiction.
What Is Dexedrine?
Dexedrine is a powerful stimulant of the CNS (central nervous system) also sold as the branded medication Dextrostat.
Typically prescribed for the treatment of ADHD, Dexedrine pills can also be beneficial for those with narcolepsy.
The stimulant effects of Dexedrine promote calm and focus in those with ADHD. Those with narcolepsy – a chronic sleep disorder – find that Dexedrine induces wakefulness and increases energy levels.
Dexedrine abuse potential is lower than that of opioid-based medications. Research shows that 1% of those prescribed stimulants self-reported abusing the medication, compared to roughly 10% of those prescribed opioids.
A schedule II controlled substance, there are recognized medical uses for Dexedrine, but the medication has a high likelihood of triggering abuse and addiction.
Signs of Dexedrine Abuse
Dexedrine is most commonly abused by teens and young adults for a variety of reasons, including:
Using Dexedrine as a study drug: Like with other medications for ADHD, some students use Dexedrine for its perceived benefits of improving focus on studying. Regrettably, the medication does not deliver these effects for those without ADHD.
Taking stimulants for weight loss: Some people with negative body perceptions abuse stimulants like Dexedrine for the way the medication triggers appetite loss, and subsequently weight loss.
Abusing Dexedrine recreationally for the rewarding high it delivers: In addition to its focus-enhancing properties, Dexedrine also induces euphoric effects. Some people abuse Dexedrine purely to get high, while others start using the medication for a legitimate medical reason before moving on to abuse Dexedrine over time.
The physical signs of Dexedrine abuse are as follows:
Sudden weight loss
Erratic breathing and heartbeat
These are the most common emotional markers of Dexedrine abuse:
Pronounced mood swings
Feeling of exhilaration
If addiction develops in the form of stimulant use disorder, you may experience these symptoms:
Finally, as with any substance use disorder, abuse of a stimulant may result in the following behaviors and other signs:
Reduced interest in normal activities
Doctor shopping to obtain more Dexedrine
Intense cravings for Dexedrine
Withdrawal symptoms when the effects of the stimulant wear off
Problems in personal and professional life
Inability to control use of Dexedrine
Tolerance to Dexedrine
Addiction to Dexedrine is diagnosed as mild, moderate, or severe stimulant use disorder. The criteria for stimulant use disorder are outlined in APA’s DSM-5-TR, a benchmark diagnostic tool used by physicians and mental health specialists.
Dangers of Dexedrine Abuse
Dexedrine contains dextroamphetamine, the strongest component of amphetamine. Resultantly, Dexedrine delivers a more powerful effect than stimulants like Adderall. This makes the substance more of a target for those seeking to experience drug-induced euphoria.
Abuse of stimulants is widespread for all the reasons outlined above. This study from Journal of Pharmacy Practice shows that 9% of doctoral students reported abusing prescription stimulants like Dexedrine.
Whether Dexedrine is misused after being legitimately prescribed or abused for recreational purposes, addiction to this stimulant typically requires a supervised medical detox followed by residential rehab – more on this below.
Additionally, Dexedrine abuse can prompt a series of negative health outcomes.
Short-Term and Long-Term Health Effects of Dexedrine Abuse
The most reported immediate side effects of Dexedrine are:
In the event of Dexedrine abuse, these symptoms become even more intense. Appetite loss can provoke severe weight loss, and feelings of irritation and hostility can develop into episodes of paranoia.
Abusing stimulant medications like Dexedrine can cause:
Anhedonia (diminished capacity to feel pleasure)
Dexedrine Overdose Potential
SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) outlines the following risks of Dexedrine overdose:
Dangerously elevated blood pressure and heart rate
Medical intervention is always advisable in the case of Dexedrine overdose.
Dexedrine Detox and Withdrawal
If you stop taking Dexedrine after sustained use, you are liable to experience adverse withdrawal symptoms within a day. These withdrawal symptoms are a physical and emotional response to the absence of stimulants.
Dexedrine induces the following withdrawal symptoms:
Cravings for Dexedrine
Disrupted sleep patterns
The timeline for Dexedrine detox and withdrawal is shorter than that of opioid withdrawal. The detox process is also typically less life-threatening.
Most Dexedrine withdrawal symptoms will dissipate within one week.
The detox period for Dexedrine withdrawal is generally slightly more protracted than withdrawal from illicit stimulants like meth.
Although there are not currently any medications approved by the FDA for treating stimulant use disorder, a supervised medical detox gives you the safest and comfortable springboard for recovery.
With a clinical detox, you’ll benefit from around-the-clock support, close medical supervision, and medications like benzos or antidepressants to help ease withdrawal symptoms.
Treatment for Dexedrine Addiction at Gratitude Lodge
It can be challenging to treat stimulant use disorder due to the likely development of depression and anhedonia during detox. This increases the risk of relapse. Additionally, there are currently no FDA-approved medications for the treatment of substance use disorders involving stimulants.
Here at Gratitude Lodge, we can help you to address both the physical and psychological components of opioid addiction, beginning with a medically supervised detox. After a week or so, you’ll be ready to engage with inpatient or outpatient treatment. Choose from our Long Beach, Newport Beach, or San Diego treatment facilities and benefit from evidence-based treatment delivered by our credentialed and experienced medical professionals.
The core of your treatment program for Dexedrine abuse will be psychotherapy – talk therapy like CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). Working closely with a therapist, you’ll identify your personal triggers for stimulant abuse. Next, the therapist will help you to create a toolkit of healthy coping strategies to help you deal with life’s stressors without relapsing.
You will also have access to individual counseling, group counseling, daily meetings, a 12-step immersion program, and a variety of holistic therapies. When you complete your treatment program, either step down from inpatient rehab to an IOP (intensive outpatient program) or transition back into sober living.
The team at Gratitude Lodge is here to help you from detox to discharge and beyond. Take the first step on your recovery journey by calling admissions today at 888-861-1658.
Don’t Let Addiction Control You