According to estimates reported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), as many as 30 percent of illicitly made stimulants in the United States are diverted for non-medical or recreational purposes. This fact is particularly concerning because Americans use around 80 percent of the global supply of pharmaceutical stimulants.
Desoxyn is a common brand name for methamphetamine hydrochloride, a stimulant medication only legally available by prescription and indicated for the treatment of ADD/ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) and obesity. Although it is not, by any means, prescribed as often as other medications, such as Adderall or Ritalin, it is still commonly found enough to be concerning. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), an estimated 16,000 prescriptions for Desoxyn are filled each year.
Desoxyn Abuse Signs and Symptoms
Desoxyn‘s official product warning is as follows: “Administration of methamphetamine for prolonged periods of time in obesity may lead to drug dependence and must be avoided. Particular attention should be paid to the possibility of subjects obtaining methamphetamine for non-therapeutic use or distribution to others…”
Structurally, Desoxyn is nearly identical to illicit street meth. As such, it is considered to have a high potential for abuse, dependence, and addiction. It can be stolen from medicine cabinets and used or sold for its intense, pleasant, and stimulating effects.
Common symptoms related to Desoxyn abuse can include the following:
- Unusual boosts of energy
- Grinding teeth
- Dilated pupils
- Irritability and mood swings
- Loss of appetite
- Engagement in repetitive tasks
Physical symptoms of abuse include hypertension, increased breathing rate and body temperature, headache, sweating, and nausea.
Meth abuse in any form is likely to provoke anxiety and unpredictable behavior that may turn aggressive and violent. Individuals suffering from severe Desoxyn addiction may also neglect basic hygiene, appear pale and unhealthy, and have visible sores on their skin from itching and scratching.
Ultimately long-term prescription or illicit meth abuse and addiction may result in severe, long-term health and behavioral effects.
Prescription Stimulant Abuse: The Scope of the Problem
In 2018, researchers at the Department of Health and Human Services analyzed data from 2015 and 2016 survey data conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA). Using this information, they completed the first comprehensive analysis of the prevalence of prescription stimulant use, misuse, use disorders, and motives for abuse in the United States adult population.
The study found the following approximations:
- 6.6% (16 million) of adults used prescription stimulants in the past year
- 4.5% (11 million) used prescription stimulants appropriately but did not misuse them
- 2.1% (or 5 million) misused prescription stimulants at least once
- 0.2% (or 0.4 million) experienced prescription stimulant use disorders.
Many people think of ADHD as a condition diagnosed primarily among youth, which frequently develops among adults. Indeed, statistics show that as recently as 2014, nearly 58 percent of prescriptions for stimulants were written for adults. Moreover, the abuse of prescription stimulants is more prevalent than one might think, particularly among college-aged adults. For example, in one study, 62 percent of college students reported having been offered an ADHD medication for recreational purposes.
Unfortunately, nearly one-third of college students will abuse a drug at some time during their undergraduate academic career, and 9 out of 10 individuals who use these medications admit to faking their symptoms to obtain a prescription. This is a significant problem because the chronic misuse of ADD/ADHD medications results in significantly elevated dependence and addiction rates.
It is estimated that most (nearly 90 percent) of people who take excessive doses of prescription stimulants will encounter withdrawal symptoms within 24 hours of the last use. These uncomfortable effects can persist for days or weeks. The desire to avoid withdrawal symptoms often drives users to continue using substances rather than try to quit.
How Weight Loss Efforts Can Result in Desoxyn Abuse
Regarding Desoxyn’s potential for addiction, its use as a weight-loss supplement should not be ignored. Desoxyn is sometimes prescribed for obesity. Although it appears to help some individuals shed pounds, it was only slightly more efficacious than a placebo in trials. In fact, it is believed that most of the resulting weight loss tends to occur during the first few weeks of use and then gradually slows after that.
The precise mechanism by which Desoxyn appears to promote weight loss isn’t wholly understood. Researchers have not yet determined if the medication helps by merely suppressing the appetite or there are other potential effects of this drug that may play a role. Because Desoxyn is intended to be used in combination with other health disciplines such as diet and exercise, weight loss is may be primarily due to multiple interventional lifestyle changes.
However, those who are successful at losing weight may erroneously believe that Desoxyn is either mainly or solely responsible for the weight loss, so they ask their doctor for more refills or higher doses. This behavior can rapidly lead to abuse, dependence, and addiction to Desoxyn.
Desoxyn Can Lead to Illicit Meth Use
The American Society for Addiction Medicine (ASAM) estimates that 80 percent of heroin addicts began their habit after first misusing/abusing prescription opioids. Most of those surveyed reported that they switched to heroin because prescription painkillers were more difficult and expensive to obtain. The same could be true for Desoxyn or other prescription stimulants and illegal meth.
Moreover, when a Desoxyn-dependent individual cannot obtain any more refills legally, they may turn to the black market, where the price per pill can be inexpensive and the supply variable. Conversely, in many areas, illicit street meth is readily available and remarkably affordable.
Those who switch to street meth may encounter even more dangers associated with the crude methods in which the drug is illicitly produced, including exposure to numerous other contaminants and toxins. This outcome should be avoided at all costs.
Treatment for Meth Addiction
Those who are abusing prescription stimulants, such as Desoxyn, are urged to seek specialized professional care as soon as possible to improve their outcome and ensure that the condition doesn’t continue to progress. Medical detox and long-term rehab help individuals get clean safely and comfortably, prevent relapse and develop the skills they need to navigate life free from the use of intoxicating substances.
Meth addiction is a dangerous and potentially life-threatening condition, but fortunately, it can be treated using a comprehensive approach that includes a wide variety of curative services such as psychotherapy, individual and family counseling, peer group support, and aftercare planning.
Just Believe Recovery offers inpatient and intensive outpatient programs intended to treat each individual holistically and ensure they receive the most effective therapeutic care available. We are dedicated to providing those we treat with the education, tools, and support they need to foster healthier and more fulfilling lives.