Dexedrine Addiction, Effects, and Treatment

Prescription stimulants, including Dexedrine, can be beneficial for those who utilize it for the treatment of specific conditions. However, prescription stimulant misuse can lead to several negative consequences that can impact all areas of one’s life.1

In this article, we will explain what Dexedrine is and what it is commonly used to treat. We also provide information about the misuse of this prescription medication and how to seek help for those who may be struggling with an addiction to it.

What is Dexedrine and What Is It Used For?

Dexedrine is a prescription stimulant, also known by the generic name dextroamphetamine.1 It is FDA-approved for use in the treatment of both attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.2 When taken as prescribed and under the discretion of a professional, Dexedrine can offer relief from symptoms associated with these conditions, as it works by increasing alertness, attention, and energy.1 The misuse of prescription stimulants like Dexedrine, however, can unfortunately trigger the onset of numerous physical and psychological health risks, including the development of addiction.2

Dexedrine Misuse

Prescription drug misuse, including Dexedrine misuse, has remained high in the United States. According to the 2021 National Survey of Drug Use and Health, 29.1% of people ages 12 and older had misused prescription amphetamines like Dexedrine in the past year.3

The misuse of a substance, such as a prescription stimulant, is defined as:1

  • Taking more of the medication than is prescribed.
  • Taking someone else’s prescription.
  • Taking a medication only to get high.

Prescription stimulants like Dexedrine are commonly misused by younger individuals to improve their attention and focus in school.1 In fact, approximately 30.4% of adults ages 18 and older misused amphetamine-based prescription stimulants in 2021, followed by 25.9% of individuals 26 years of age and older and 18.7% of adolescents ages 12 to 17.3 Older adults may misuse prescription stimulants like Dexedrine to help with memory problems.1

Dexedrine Effects

Dexedrine can cause side effects. Some of these effects can include:2

  • Dry mouth.
  • Dizziness.
  • Stomach upset.
  • Decreased appetite.
  • Problems sleeping.
  • Headache.
  • Tremors.
  • Increased heart rate.

Some more serious side effects associated with Dexedrine use have been reported, including sudden death in patients with heart problems or defects and stroke or heart attack in adults.2 Additionally, slowing of growth in children, eyesight or vision changes, and seizures in patients with a past history of seizures are possible.2

Health Effects of Dexedrine Misuse

The regular misuse of Dexedrine can lead undesirable and potentially life-threatening health effects. Some of these effects include:

  • Dependence. Misuse of Dexedrine, particularly at high doses, increases the risk of dependence.2 Dependence refers to adaptations that the body makes as a result of the constant presence of a drug in the body, which in turn causes the onset of withdrawal symptoms when use of the drug is discontinued.4 These withdrawal symptoms can make it difficult for a person to stop taking Dexedrine.
  • Cardiovascular problems. Misusing Dexedrine in high doses can increase the risk of experiencing adverse cardiovascular events, including heart failure, irregular heartbeat, and high blood pressure.5 Additional cardiovascular issues, including cardiomyopathy, have been reported in individuals who engage in chronic amphetamine use.2
  • Psychiatric effects. Prescription stimulants like Dexedrine can lead to unpleasant mental health effects, including paranoia and/or psychosis, with the risk increased when taken in high doses.2,5
  • Overdose. Taking too much of a substance for one’s body to handle is known as overdosing. If a person overdoses on Dexedrine, they can experience a variety of effects including hallucinations, rapid respiration, confusion, arrhythmias, and vomiting.2 Dexedrine overdose can be fatal and is usually preceded by convulsions and coma.2

Additionally, non-oral misuse of prescription stimulants like Dexedrine (such as snorting, injecting, or smoking) can increase one’s risk of experiencing more severe health outcomes.6

Is Dexedrine Addictive?

Yes, Dexedrine can lead to the onset of addiction, with the risk increasing with misuse at high doses. Known clinically as substance use disorder, addiction is defined as the uncontrollable use of a substance despite the negative effects it causes.4

Only a licensed medical professional can diagnose a substance use disorder. However, some of the criteria used to diagnose substance use disorders can help individuals determine if what they are experiencing is problematic.

Some of the clinical criteria used to diagnose stimulant use disorder include, but are not limited to, the following:7

  • Taking a stimulant in larger amounts or for a longer period of time than originally intended.
  • Repeatedly making attempts to cut back or stop stimulant misuse but being unsuccessful at doing so.
  • Spending a lot of time seeking out stimulants, using them, or recovering from the effects of taking them.
  • Experiencing cravings or urges to use the stimulant.
  • Using the stimulant in situations that are physically dangerous.

Someone struggling with a stimulant use disorder may also begin neglecting their responsibilities at home, work, or school and lose interest in previously enjoyed activities as a result of their stimulant use.7

Dexedrine Addiction Treatment

If you or someone you care about is struggling with Dexedrine addiction, help is available today. At our inpatient drug and alcohol rehab in Mississippi, we offer different levels of rehab care and support for those who are ready to end their active addiction.

For more information, contact our rehab admissions navigators at . Our team can help you determine how to pay for addiction treatment, find out if your health insurance covers rehab, and identify the treatment option that is right for you.

Do not wait any longer. Get started on your recovery right now by having your insurance verified with us. Simply fill out this secure online to have results within minutes.

Was this page helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.

American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand.

Read our full editorial policy

While we are unable to respond to your feedback directly, we'll use this information to improve our online help.

You aren't alone. You deserve to get help.
Oxford is located in Etta, Mississippi, which is easily accessible from Memphis. Nestled in the countryside, Oxford provides the support you need in a calm and beautiful setting. Take the next step toward recovery: learn more about our addiction treatment programs near New Albany or learn about how rehab is affordable for everyone.