Effects of Amphetamine Abuse on the Immune System

The immune system is a set of biological structures and processes that protect against bacteria, microbes, toxins, viruses, and other agents that cause sickness and disease. Modern science continues to find evidence that the immune system is interconnected with the central nervous system, which sends, receives, and interprets information signals within the body. For this reason, when extreme stress affects the central nervous system, a person’s immune system can weaken and become more susceptible to an illness. Amphetamines belong to a class of drugs known as central nervous system stimulants, and when abused, the drugs wreak havoc on the immune system.

Amphetamine Addiction and Health

Amphetamines can be illicit or prescription drugs, and they include speed, crystal meth, Adderall, Ritalin, and Dexedrine, among others. These drugs can affect the body in numerous ways, including the following:

  • Decrease the number of white blood cells
  • Suppress the production of antibodies
  • Increase blood pressure and body temperature
  • Stimulate a more rapid heartbeat and respiratory process
  • Activate an inflammatory response that increases infection risks
  • Drain energy, recourses, and emotions as the body “crashes”
  • Instigate teeth grinding and jaw tension known as gurning
  • Reduce appetite and compromise nutritional intake

Amphetamines essentially raise the threats against the immune system while simultaneously depleting the natural resources used to defend against them. These immunosuppressive effects can increase the risk of everything from simple colds to serious diseases.

Amphetamine Abuse Dangers

Amphetamines seriously impair the immune system, but the dangers do not stop there. Continued abuse can result in numerous side effects, including the following:

  • Ulcers
  • Seizures
  • Tremors
  • Insomnia
  • Heart problems
  • Mood changes

Moreover, amphetamine abuse can eventually lead to a type of psychosis that is similar to schizophrenia. The symptoms of stimulant psychosis can include the following:

  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Skin picking
  • Delirium

An overdose is not the only risk of drug abuse. While an overdose is a potentially deadly risk, amphetamine abuse also breaks down the immune system and opens the door to several other health emergencies.

Amphetamine Addiction Treatment

Rehab care begins with detox to remove the drug and its toxins from the human body. The withdrawal symptoms peak after about 10 days, but treatment centers provide medical supervision that specializes in the reducing the discomfort. Rehab also teaches recovery tools to prevent a relapse, including the following:

  • Counseling to determine amphetamine use triggers
  • Behavioral therapies to improve mental and emotional responses
  • Holistic approaches like yoga, acupuncture, and meditation
  • Group therapy to discuss coping mechanisms and personal experience
  • Natural treatments for ADHD if the disorder initiated the amphetamine use
  • Screenings and care for any amphetamine-related health damage

Addiction and mental health are both diseases of the brain, and there is significant correlation between the two. A person might abuse drugs to self-medicate a mood disorder, and, conversely, drug abuse can uncap or accelerate a previously dormant mental illness. Rehab facilities always screen for issues like depression, anxiety, mania, and bipolar disorder, and addiction treatment includes mental health care for any co-occurring conditions.

Amphetamine Abuse Helpline

Is amphetamine abuse affecting you or a loved one? Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to help. Call our toll-free helpline to discuss addiction signs, dangers, and treatments, and we can gladly check health insurance policies for rehab coverage. Amphetamines can damage far more than just the immune system, so please call now.

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