Desoxyn is the brand name for the prescription version of methamphetamine or meth. Meth is most often found as an illicit substance manufactured illegally and sold on the street. Desoxyn, however, is prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obesity.
It isn’t a first-line treatment for either condition and compared to other stimulants, such as Adderall or Ritalin, it is prescribed far less often. Nonetheless, around 16000 prescriptions for Desoxyn are filled every year.
How Does Desoxyn Work?
Methamphetamine works by enhancing the effects of certain neurotransmitters, namely dopamine, which is associated with pleasure and reward. When consumed in low or moderate doses, meth works similarly to Adderall and other prescription stimulants. It increases alertness, elevates mood, makes it easier to concentrate, reduces fatigue, and suppresses appetite.
Many individuals recreationally abuse meth for the increase in energy it provides and its ability to greatly increase libido, which can lead to risky sexual behavior and sex addiction. When consumed in high or very high doses, meth can cause seizures, bleeding in the brain, psychosis, paranoia, delirium, and breakdown of skeletal muscle.
A major difference between Desoxyn and Adderall is that meth is able to cross the blood-brain barrier much more easily. This essentially means that meth can become neurotoxic and precipitate harmful or even permanently damaging effects much more readily than Adderall—this is the main reason why it is so rarely prescribed.
The official warning label for Desoxyn reads:
“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…”
Substance abuse is when an individual begins taking more medication than prescribed, taking it together with other substances, or taking it via an improper route of administration, such as crushing and snorting or injecting. Likewise, taking any prescription medication without a prescription or taking any illicitly manufactured substance also constitutes abuse.
Methamphetamine is a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act. This schedule means it (1) has a high potential for abuse, (2) has some accepted medical use in the U.S., and (3) may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
Though Desoxyn is often much purer, the chemical structure of Desoxyn is the same as illicit meth found on the street. Because of this, it comes with the same extremely high potential for abuse, dependence, and addiction.
Symptoms of Desoxyn or illicit meth abuse may include:
- Appetite suppression
- Bruxism (teeth grinding)
- Dilated pupils
- Excessive sweating
- High blood pressure
- High body temperature
- Increased breathing rate
- Irritability/violent mood swings
- Performing repetitive tasks
- Unusual boosts of energy
Whether in an illicit or prescription form, meth abuse of any kind can cause the user to experience extreme anxiety, aggression, and violent outbursts. Meth addicts often have poor hygiene and appear gaunt, unhealthy, and pale.
It is also common for meth abusers to have “meth sores,” which are skin sores caused by constant itching. Furthermore, long-term use of either Desoxyn or illicit meth can result in severe health and behavioral consequences.
More severe symptoms of meth abuse may include:
- Pain in chest or left arm
- Loss of muscle coordination
- Shortness of breath
- Slurred speech
- Unexplained fever
Desoxyn Dependence and Withdrawal
Physical or chemical dependence occurs when an individual’s brain becomes accustomed to the constant presence of the dopamine produced when they consume meth. After a while, the brain no longer produces its own dopamine and is therefore dependent on that substance.
Once dependence sets in, the individual with experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if they try to cut back their dose or quit using meth. Unfortunately, these symptoms often encourage users to relapse, which is one reason why meth is so addictive.
Meth withdrawal symptoms can be frighteningly intense. They usually onset within a few hours of the last use, are most intense within the first 24 hours, then gradually get better over 1 or 2 weeks. However, some meth users may experience post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). PAWS can cause the individual to experience lingering anxiety and depression for several months or even a year or more.
Symptoms of meth or Desoxyn withdrawal may include the following:
- Excessive sweating
- Extreme drug cravings
- Increased appetite
- Loss of motivation
- Severe depression
- Stomach aches
- Suicidal thoughts
Treatment for Meth Addiction
Addiction to Desoxyn or illicit meth can be a dangerous condition that lasts a lifetime. Fortunately, treatment is available.
Just Believe Detox and Just Believe Recovery offer treatment programs that treat each individual holistically and not just one aspect of their addiction. Services we offer include psychotherapy, individual and family counseling, peer group support, mindfulness therapy, aftercare planning, and much more.
We aim to provide those we treat with all the education, tools, and compassion they need to live the healthy and fulfilling lives they deserve.