Desoxyn is the brand name drug that contains methamphetamine, a type of stimulant that is also highly abused in its illicit, crystal form. Though the drug is not widely prescribed, some doctors do still prescribe Desoxyn to aid patients in weight loss, to treat ADHD, and to treat narcolepsy. This medication is highly regulated in many ways, and yet, users still get ahold of it for illicit purposes, eventually becoming dependent on and addicted to its effects. Those who do become addicted should begin their recovery with Desoxyn detox treatment.
Desoxyn dependence should be treated similarly to crystal meth dependence, and patients absolutely must receive the appropriate, professional treatment for this issue. Individuals who are not treated safely for Desoxyn dependence and addiction have a high risk of relapse and deadly overdose.
Understanding Desoxyn Abuse
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Desoxyn is usually only prescribed to treat patients in whom no other treatment option has worked, whether in the case of narcolepsy, ADHD, or an inability to lose weight. When the drug is prescribed, a patient usually has no access to refills, and regular meetings with one’s doctor are necessary. However, many individuals still abuse Desoxyn.
- Desoxyn contains methamphetamine, which is similar to the illicitly-created and extremely dangerous recreational drug crystal meth.
- People get around the safeguards put into place to keep them from getting Desoxyn when it isn’t necessary by doctor shopping, stealing prescription pads, etc.
- Anyone who uses this drug without a prescription, in a different way, more often, or in higher doses than prescribed is in danger of becoming addicted.
Most doctors try not to keep their patients on Desoxyn longer than necessary. However, anyone who takes the drug for more than a few weeks has the potential for becoming dependent (Open Chemistry Database).
Desoxyn Abuse and Dependence
People who abuse Desoxyn can become tolerant to the drug as well as dependent on it. This can also occur in people who are treated with the drug for more than a few weeks. The drug is not recommended for treatment beyond this duration, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, but long-term use and dependence still occurs.
Dependence can be defined as a need to use the drug in order to feel normal. If the individual needs Desoxyn to feel good, to get out of bed in the morning, or to simply function, dependence has already set in.
Another strong sign of dependence is withdrawal. Those who take the drug for prolonged periods of time and suddenly stop will experience intense withdrawal symptoms, some of which can even be life-threatening. These symptoms will last until the individual’s body is no longer dependent on the drug, although they can linger for months (even years) after and occur without warning. This is the nature of stimulant drug withdrawal.
Desoxyn withdrawal requires professional treatment, often in an inpatient detox center. Individuals without proper care will struggle to put an end to their use of the drug, and their withdrawal symptoms might also become extremely dangerous without warning.
Signs and Symptoms of Desoxyn Withdrawal
The signs of Desoxyn withdrawal are similar to those associated with crystal meth because the drug causes the same effects. According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, many meth users will try to prolong their high as much as they can in order to avoid experiencing withdrawal symptoms, but eventually, these will occur if the individual does not have access to the drug.
Withdrawal symptoms associated with Desoxyn include
- Strange sleep patterns
- Memory problems
- Severe cravings
- Violent behavior
- Homicidal and suicidal thoughts
The psychotic symptoms one is likely to experience (such as those listed at the end) are often similar to schizophrenia and can be very dangerous. A person experiencing these symptoms can be difficult to reason with and can harm themselves or others in their unhinged psychological state. In addition, depression can be severe, as can insomnia.
Recognizing these symptoms is usually easy, as many of them are behavioral in nature. However, some are fully psychological, which can be difficult to pinpoint when you are not the one going through withdrawal. Anyone who seems to be struggling with any of these withdrawal symptoms needs professional help immediately.
Timeline of Desoxyn Withdrawal
Desoxyn withdrawal has a unique timeline, which usually occurs over about 4 weeks. Unfortunately, though, the post-acute withdrawal syndrome (or PAWS) an individual may experience as a result of Desoxyn dependence can last for months.
- First 24 hours: This is when you are most likely to see the start of one’s withdrawal symptoms. Because of the common pattern of meth abuse, the crash period often occurs at this point, during which the individual becomes angry, fatigued, and anxious at being without the drug (National Institute on Drug Abuse). People often experience psychotic symptoms at this time as well.
- Week 1 & Week 2: People experience either insomnia or hypersomnia and their appetite will return. The psychotic symptoms can last for as long as the first 7 days after withdrawal starts in some cases. These weeks will likely be the most difficult for the individual.
- Week 3 & Week 4: At this point, people usually begin to experience fewer physical withdrawal symptoms, although some psychological symptoms, such as depression, will linger.
- PAWS: People can experience prolonged withdrawal symptoms associated with Desoxyn for months after their detox actually ends. Depression is one of the strongest symptoms that can linger for a long time. Psychotic symptoms can also suddenly resurface years after the individual stopped using methamphetamine, often without warning (NIDA).
It is important to be aware that you will likely still be grappling with withdrawal symptoms from Desoxyn months—and maybe even years—after you stop using the drug. As a result, make sure you receive the proper treatment and that you seek further help whenever necessary.
Dangers of Desoxyn Withdrawal
Desoxyn withdrawal is dangerous because it causes most of the same effects that crystal meth withdrawal does. This drug is prescription-based, but even those who take it as prescribed for too long can become dependent, which can be dangerous.
- Depression can be highly dangerous for stimulant-dependent individuals. Some experience suicidal thoughts as a result.
- Anxiety can also cause serious effects and some individuals may experience full-blown mental disorders.
- The psychotic symptoms associated with Desoxyn withdrawal are known as drug-induced psychosis. They can be treated early on but may resurface in the future as triggered by stress. They can also cause an individual to act dangerously, putting themselves or others in harm’s way.
- Of course, relapse is always a potential danger of withdrawal, and especially with this drug, life-threatening symptoms could occur as a result.
Am I Dependent on Desoxyn?
If you have been taking Desoxyn for more than three weeks, you are probably already dependent. The drug is very potent and is one of the most vulnerable substances when it comes to abuse, simply because it is the same general substance as crystal meth. Those who take it (either as prescribed or as a form of abuse) for a few weeks or more are likely to become dependent.
Doctors who prescribe this drug go out of their way to avoid addiction and dependence, but it is difficult to do so with such a volatile drug.
Should I Go through Desoxyn Withdrawal at Home?
Going through Desoxyn withdrawal at home is highly dangerous. Relapse is one of the most serious dangers of Desoxyn withdrawal, and those who do not receive the proper care are at increased risk of this outcome. Overdose also occurs in many cases when a person relapses because they often don’t realize their tolerances have diminished. According to the National Library of Medicine, many different organs can be affected by methamphetamine overdose, and death can occur even with just one, very large dose.
As a result, it is necessary for you to have the proper care when you withdraw from Desoxyn. You likely won’t be able to control your actions during the syndrome, and you could wind up hurting yourself, someone else, or relapsing back to drug abuse, which could lead to overdose.
Desoxyn Detox Treatment
Detox involves stabilizing the individual so they can safely navigate withdrawal from Desoxyn. This can include the use of medications and behavioral therapies. Early on in treatment, antipsychotics may be necessary to treat psychosis, according to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. Afterward, anti-craving agents may also be necessary, as may antidepressants, especially in the last few weeks of detox. Some patients may leave detox still on antidepressants if they are experiencing severe PAWS symptoms.
Behavioral therapies are often used to help prepare patients for addiction treatment. Many individuals are often introduced to different, holistic approaches for treatment during detox, including art therapy, meditation, and yoga. These programs can help individuals experiencing intense psychological symptoms to learn to control them better or to find an outlet for their feelings. Detox for Desoxyn usually lasts about 90 days, and in most cases, due to the drug’s mostly psychological withdrawal symptoms, inpatient care is necessary.
What Happens After Detox?
Patients need to begin addiction treatment once detox has ended. Most people who become dependent on Desoxyn were abusers of the drug and will, therefore, require rehab treatment after their detox has ended. This is because detox itself only treats dependence, not addiction.
Many people need long-term care, especially for a drug as potent as Desoxyn. The program you choose should depend on your needs as an individual as well as certain variables such as whether or not inpatient or outpatient care is a better fit for you, what treatment options you are looking for, and whether or not any specific options (like spiritual detox or rehab) sound appealing to you.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2013). Desoxyn® (methamphetamine hydrochloride tablets, USP).
- National Center for Biotechnology Information- Open Chemistry Database. (2015). Methamphetamine: 7.8 Drug Warning.
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (2013). Stimulant and Related Medications: U.S. Food and Drug Administration-Approved Indications and Dosages for Use in Adults.
- Center for Substance Abuse Research. (2002). Methamphetamine.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Methamphetamine.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2013). Methamphetamine- What Are The Long-Term Effects of Methamphetamine Abuse?
- U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2017). Methamphetamine Overdose.
- U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. (n.d.). Treatment of Acute Intoxication and Withdrawal from Drugs of Abuse- Stimulants (Cocaine and Amphetamines).