Dexedrine abuse can occur in individuals who take it for prolonged periods of time or who take it at higher than recommended doses. Because this medication can be habit forming, patients must be cautioned to only take it as prescribed and be educated about the warning signs of abuse.
Dexedrine is a stimulant based prescription medication
that is used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, commonly
known as ADHD or ADD.
Generally speaking, it is safe when taken as prescribed by a doctor. However, all stimulants cause a "high" when taken at higher doses which makes them prone to abuse.
Signs of Dexedrine intoxication can include an irregular heartbeat, rapid pulse, fever, sweating, skin rash, difficulty breathing, seizure, and heart failure.
Also, taking large doses of any stimulant can lead to aggression, irritability, hostility, hallucinations, paranoia, and possible drug-induced psychosis.
According to a 1996 Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) study, roughly 30-50% of adolescents in drug treatment centers reported "non-medical" use of stimulants such as Dexedrine and Ritalin.
A 1998 Indiana University study of 44,232 students found that 6.8 percent of ninth-graders surveyed reported using Dexedrine or Ritalin, either snorted or injected, at least once. Of those students, 2.5 percent reported Dexedrine/Ritalin abuse monthly or more often.
In addition, some adolescents abuse Dexedrine for it's contribution toward weight loss.
Addiction is rarely intentional, rather it occurs when an individual begins to depend on the immediate and predictable high Dexedrine provides.
Addiction is characterized by increasing dosages and frequent episodes of use, followed by an enormous “low” in the form of depression. Severe Dexedrine side effects, including death, have been reported with Dexedrine abuse and addiction.
Over time, drugs can derail motivation to perform everyday life demands. Activities or relationships that were previously enjoyable go largely ignored in favor of drug use and recovery time.
Dexedrine tablets are either abused orally, or crushed and snorted. It can also be dissolved in water and injected, but this is more rare. A popular means of dispersal is adolescents giving or selling their Dexedrine medication to their peers.
Crushing the tablets and snorting the powder like cocaine is popular. Another form of abusing Dexedrine is through dissolving Dexedrine in water and injecting the fluid.
Dexedrine should not be mixed with other medications without the approval of a doctor, especially antidepressants or over-the-counter cold medicines. Antidepressants may enhance the effects of Dexedrine, and Dexedrine in combination with decongestants may cause blood pressure to become dangerously high or lead to irregular heart rhythms.
Make sure Dexedrine is only taken as directed, and inform children to never share pills with friends. Avoid problems by dispensing all medication to your child yourself in order to make sure it is not abused. Keep all medications out of reach. If medication is needed during the school day, it should be administered by the school nurse.
Treatment for Dexedrine addiction or abuse, depending on the severity, often combines an initial detoxification and a course of behavioral therapy.