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About this book
Making the decision to stop using
Getting through withdrawal
Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre Inc.
Original edition by Dr Nik Lintzeris, Dr Adrian Dunlop and
Updated (2004) by Dr Adrian Dunlop, Sandra Hocking, Dr
Getting back on track if you ‘slip up’
Notes for supporters
Useful contact numbers
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MAKING THE DECISION TO STOP USING AMPHEATMINES
ABOUT THIS BOOK
This book is written for people who are thinking about
You may find it helpful to make a list of the positives and the
or trying to stop using amphetamines, even if just for a
negatives about using amphetamines. Put simply, the posi-
short period of time.
tives are the things you like about using amphetamines; the
Information in this book will help you understand what’s
negatives are the reasons why you want to stop. You may
going on during withdrawal. There are also suggestions for
also find it helpful to talk to someone to help you decide.
how you can make it easier for yourself and those around
This might be a non-using friend, your health worker or a
you. It is only a guide. For more help, we suggest that you
professional counsellor. Confidential 24-hour drug and alco-
talk to your doctor, counsellor or other health worker.
hol telephone counselling and information services are avail-
able in all Australian states, and they are a good way of get-
This book doesn’t cover everything about coming off
ting further help. Contact numbers are listed on page 36.
amphetamines – you may have had experiences that are dif-
ferent to those included here. We hope that there are things
Many people find that stopping amphetamines can be diffi-
that you find helpful, even if you have gone through with-
cult because, even after making the decision to stop, they
still miss some things about using. This is normal and it
often takes time to find things other than amphetamines
You can use this book as one of a range of strategies to help
you make the decision to stop using and support you
through withdrawal. Other options that may be useful
Another reason many people find it difficult is that they for-
include counselling, medication, natural therapies and
get the ‘negatives’ – the reasons why they wanted to stop
in the first place. So the list of negatives you make is impor-
tant because it helps focus you on all the reasons for stop-
MAKING THE DECISION
People decide to come off amphetamines for different rea-
TO STOP USING AMPHETAMINES
sons and they often have different long-term goals. Some
Like a lot of things, using amphetamines has some good
people want to stop using forever; others just need a break
sides to it but it can also have its problems. These are going
from it. Whatever your reasons are for starting withdrawal
to be different for different people. It is worthwhile thinking
or what your long-term goals are, the main job ahead of you
about what’s involved in going without amphetamines.
What things will you miss about using? How is using affect-
ing you and how could your life be better if you were not
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Positives about using amphetamines
What is withdrawal?
If you use certain kinds of drugs - such as tobacco, alcohol,
amphetamines, tranquillisers (‘downers’, eg Valium,
Serepax), caffeine or heroin - regularly and for long periods
of time, your body goes through a number of changes. It
adapts to having the drug in your system on a regular basis
and your body only functions ‘normally’ when you have
taken that drug. When you stop using, your body has to
readjust. Withdrawal is this period of readjustment. Your
body has to get back to a state of working ‘normally’ with-
out the drug. The type of symptoms that people go through
during withdrawal varies according to the kind of drug they
are withdrawing from, but the principle is the same.
Negatives about using amphetamines
Body adapted to amphetamines
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How long will the symptoms last?
Common symptoms in amphetamine
People vary in the severity
of withdrawal symptoms they
will experience and how long the symptoms will last, even
people who have been using the same amount. Some peo-
ple do it easier than others. The more you know about
Time since last
what’s happening, what to expect and what to do, the bet-
ter you will cope with withdrawal. If you really fear going
through withdrawal, don’t know what’s going on and expect
to ‘do it hard’ – then you probably will.
Other important factors include your general state of health
and nutrition, the length of time you’ve been using the drug,
how much you’re using on a regular basis, and what’s going
on in the environment around you during withdrawal.
People who regularly use prescription drugs such as
amphetamine-based weight reduction drugs (eg Tenuate,
Duromine) or other drugs like Ritalin or Dexamphetamine
will also experience withdrawal symptoms similar to
amphetamine withdrawal when these drugs are stopped.
What kinds of symptoms will I have?
Withdrawal from amphetamines is described in detail on
page 7. The list is a helpful guide to what you might expect
Not all amphetamine users get all these symptoms and
• return of normal sleep and levels of
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Factors influencing the severity
A numbere of factors will influence your experience of
• Knowing what to expect• General state of health and nutrition• Length of time you’ve been using• Amount you’ve been using• What’s going on around you
The next section ‘Getting started’, provides some tips on
how to prepare for withdrawal in way that promotes a safe
and supported withdrawal experience.
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At the beginning of your withdrawal, it is important to
on. People from Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and other sup-
get a few things in order.
Organise a safe environment
It is important to have the right people around you
while you go through withdrawal. This means people
Going through withdrawal can be extremely difficult if there
who will be supportive, spend time with you and help
are people around you who are using. Although it is possi-
you get through the difficult moments.
Before you start,
ble to do it, you’re just making it hard for yourself. Organise
make a list of these people (see page 12). Avoid anyone
a safe environment before or at the beginning of your
who is going to make it hard for you, such as dealers or sup-
. A safe place is one where there won’t be any
pliers of drugs, people who may want you to score for
drugs around you and where you are not going to be has-
them, or anyone who you feel that you just couldn’t stand
having around. A good doctor, community nurse or other
counsellor can be a great support. Self-help groups such as
• Go to a friend or relative’s house where you are not
Narcotics Anonymous (NA) can provide a lot of support, and
going to have ready access to amphetamines and where
also provide you with a ’sponsor’ or support person.
you can’t be found by people who you don’t want
Once you’ve made this list (it may only have one name on
it), explain to these people what’s going on, how you’re
going to be feeling, and what they can do to support you. If
• Stay at your usual address, then put the word out that
they aren’t aware of what’s happening, it’s difficult for them
you are not going to be using for a while and for people
to help. They may find it useful to read this book so they
to stay away. You might even want to change your
have a better idea about what is going on.
phone number. This doesn’t mean that you have to cut
yourself off from them forever, just while you are trying
Make sure that there are no drugs left around the house.
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Structure the day
List of support people
Getting through withdrawal can be easier if you take it one
day at a time and focus on activities that help you cope with
the effects of withdrawal. For the first few days you may
feel like doing nothing but, as you go through withdrawal,
you will begin to feel more active. It may help to think about
how you will structure your days before you start. Having a
routine can help you sleep and eat better and may help you
to manage mood swings and cravings. Make a list of sug-
gestions for structuring your day and fill it with activities that
help you relax and avoid using. These may include doing
exercise or visiting non-using friends (see Getting through
The role of medication
Medication can help reduce the severity of some withdraw-
al symptoms, but the medication may not stop the symp-
toms completely. If a tablet existed that could take away all
Suggestions for structuring my day
the symptoms then your doctor would give it to you, but no
There is no single medication that is particularly effective for
amphetamine withdrawal. Some medications can help with
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sional for advice. Don’t self-medicate as natural therapies
can have side-effects like any other medication.
Some people turn to using large amounts of alcohol or tran-
quillisers (‘downers’) to help them get through withdrawal.
A real danger with this is the risk of just swapping your
habit. So, think about it; you may get to stop using amphet-
amines, but end up with a pill or grog problem. Back to
square one. Remember, withdrawal symptoms are your
body’s way of getting back to normal without having to have
a drug in your system. Flooding it with large doses of other
drugs won’t help your body get back to normal.
A number of medications that many people find useful are
listed in the following sections, together with other ways of
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‘Cravings’ are urges to use drugs. These urges are a normal
part of any addiction and everyone gets them during with-
drawal. Some important points about cravings:
• Cravings are a common symptom of amphetamine with-
• Cravings are not caused by a lack of willpower or moti-
vation, and they don’t mean that the withdrawal isn’t
• Urges to use are not constant. They come and go, and
vary in intensity with time. Cravings are only very severe
for short periods of time, usually less than one hour, and
then settle down to a more controllable level.
How to cope with cravings
• Cravings are often triggered by physical or psychological
discomfort. You will have cravings as you go through
It is important that you are prepared for cravings – you will
uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. The cravings
get them. Different people have different ways of coping.
become fewer and easier to cope with as you get over
Remember, cravings are usually only very severe for short
periods of time, then the severity of the craving reduces to
a level which is easier to deal with. The goal is to get
• You will get more cravings if something or someone
through this severe period. The following methods have
upsets you or, obviously, if you’re presented with the
opportunity to use or score. So, if you want to get
through this withdrawal, you have to make sure that you
Delay the decision about using for one hour
avoid these high-risk situations (see page 27).
When a craving is severe, the big question is: ‘Am I going to
• You will probably still get cravings, even after you’ve
use?’ It’s normal when you get cravings to go through the
gone through withdrawal, but they usually become easi-
struggle between the desire to use and the desire to remain
er to cope with after withdrawal because they are not
drug free. The more you try to battle this out, the more anx-
accompanied by physical symptoms. The longer you go
ious you become and the more severe your craving
without using, the less severe the cravings become. It’s
becomes. So delay this decision; put it off for an hour. Don’t
like a hungry cat – if you feed it, it will come back again
and again. If you don’t, it will (eventually) go away.
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You may use, you may not – that’s something that you can
Unfortunately, disturbed sleep is part of what you can
Distract yourself with some activity during this hour
expect when withdrawing from amphetamines. You may be
Cravings can occupy your thoughts a lot. The more you
familiar with being awake for long periods, even several
think about them, the bigger they become. One way to
days, and then the ‘comedown’ – sleeping heavily for days.
avoid this is by putting your energy into other things such as
This occurs because of the changes that are happening to
listening to music or a relaxation tape, watching TV or a
your nervous system and brain as your body gets used to
video, cleaning out the fridge, talking to someone (but not
working normally without amphetamines. After the initial
about drugs) or going for a walk with someone ‘safe’.
comedown, you may experience difficulty falling asleep, dis-
Remember, concentration can be difficult during withdraw-
turbing dreams, nightmares or night sweats, waking up in
al, so don’t plan to do anything too complicated (such as
the middle of the night, or waking up early in the mornings.
It can take a number of weeks before your sleep pattern
returns to normal
(more if you have been using for many
years or if you have been using tranquillisers recently). It is
After the hour, ask yourself ‘Why
important to remember that disturbed sleep is a normal
don’t I want to use?’ and ‘What
part of withdrawal, and that it is not permanent.
have I got to lose?’
Hints for better sleep
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Hints for better sleep
7. Do some exercise during the day. This will make your
1. Lie down to go to sleep only when you are actually
body more physically tired. Exercise may include walk-
sleepy. For some people, this means going to bed a lot
ing, having a swim, yoga, gym or any other activity you
enjoy. Avoid stimulating activity before going to bed.
2. Do not use your bed for anything except sleeping. Do not
8. Most of the thinking and worrying that we do in bed
read, watch TV, eat or worry in bed. Sex is the only
needs to be done, it just does not need to be done in
exception to this rule (remember to do it safely). If you
bed. Take the time earlier in the day for thinking and wor-
have found that reading helps you fall asleep, feel free to
rying. Write your thoughts down on a piece of paper to
break this rule and read in bed but do it for no longer than
pick up tomorrow. Then, if the thoughts come when you
are in bed, say to yourself ‘I have thought about this
today. I will think about it tomorrow. Now is the time to
3. If you do not fall asleep within about 30 minutes of turn-
sleep.’ This will not work every time, but if it works only
ing out the light, get up, go to another room, and do
half the time, that’s better than not at all.
something that is not too arousing (for example, read a
magazine or watch TV). Stay up as long as you wish, and
9. Cut down on stimulants such as caffeine or cigarettes,
then return to your bedroom when you feel sleepy. The
especially late at night. Alcohol can make you sleepy;
goal is to associate your bed with falling asleep quickly.
however, it also has a waking effect after several hours
If you return to bed and still cannot sleep, then get up
sleep, so that it often results in a poor night’s sleep over-
again. Do this as often as necessary until you fall asleep
all. Hot drinks such as camomile, valerian tea or warm
milk at night can help put you to sleep.
4. Get up at the same time every morning, 7 days a week,
Medication for sleep
regardless of how long you have slept. This will help your
Certain medications are used by some people to treat
insomnia and agitation. However, medication is of limited
5. Do not nap during the day. Even a 5 minute nap in front
value in trying to help you return to a normal pattern of
of the television can take the edge off your sleepiness,
sleep. All sedative drugs work by producing abnormal sleep.
and make it harder for you to sleep at night.
They may ‘bomb you out’ for a while but they don’t encour-
6. Do some form of relaxation. While doing relaxation dur-
age your body to get back into a normal sleep pattern.
ing the day, make sure that you do not fall asleep.
Sedative drugs reduce what is called ‘delta wave’ sleep and
However, at bedtime, feel free to fall asleep in bed dur-
this is the part of sleep that is most important in ‘charging
ing the relaxation. Relaxation methods can be particular-
your batteries’. So these drugs lengthen the time it takes for
ly useful for people who wake during the night and then
the return of your normal sleep pattern.
have trouble falling asleep again, or for people who are
If these pills are taken for more than a week or so, then your
light sleepers. Relaxation methods are described on the
body gets used to them and you will experience more prob-
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lems with sleep when you try to stop them. If you are going
There are a number of simple relaxation methods that
to use such medication, don’t take them for more than a
you can use. One very effective method is the use of relax-
week, and only take them as directed by your doctor.
ation tapes; these are pre-recorded cassettes that you can
The sedatives that are routinely used are of two types:
listen to whenever you feel tense or worried. Use head-
phones if possible. These tapes are available at pharmacies,
There are a large variety of these drugs (eg Serepax,
community health centres, general practitioners or commu-
Mogadon, Valium, Normison, Rivotril, Ducene, Murelax,
Another very effective way to relax is to practice the fol-
lowing steps. Read the instructions and familiarise yourself
Antidepressants (eg Deptran, Endep) may be prescribed
with them before having a go. Be patient and give yourself
in low doses. These drugs can be useful as sedatives
several tries before expecting to experience the full bene-
to promote sleep, and have an effect in lowering anxi-
fits. It can take time to learn how to relax. The more you
ety and feelings of agitation. Some people get side
practice, the better you get at it. Although these instructions
effects such as blurred vision, dry mouth and dizziness.
may be adequate, many people find it helpful at first to get
If you experience any problems, see your doctor.
further training, either individually or in classes. Talk to your
Antidepressants can be dangerous in high doses, so
only take them as directed by your doctor.
It is very common to get agitated and irritable during
Sit in a comfortable chair or lie down somewhere comfort-
, so it is important to do things that will help you
able in a quiet, warm room where you will not be interrupt-
relax. There are lots of ways to do this, and different people
ed. Wear comfortable clothing and take your shoes off.
find different things more effective. Everyone has simple
Close your eyes. Notice how you are breathing and where
ways to relax such as watching television or videos, listen-
ing to music, warm baths, doing simple exercise (such as
going for a walk with a friend), light reading.
Start to breathe slowly and deeply. Fill your lungs right to
Do whatever works for you
the top. Hold your breath for a couple of seconds and then
breathe out slowly, and empty your lungs completely.
There are other more sophisticated relax-
Focus your concentration on your breathing and keep a
slow, deep, rhythmic pattern going throughout your relax-
ple get a lot out of things such as medita-
tion, yoga and tai chi. If you are familiar with
After 5–10 minutes, when you have your breathing pattern
familiar with them, it will be difficult to learn
established, start the following sequence, tensing each part
of the body on an in-breath, holding your breath for 10 sec-
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onds while you keep your muscles tense, then relaxing and
The six-second breath
The six-second breath can be used anywhere and any time
when you feel anxious. Controlling your rate of breathing is
After you have completed the whole sequence and you are
one of the most important things you can do to stop your
still breathing slowly and deeply, imagine yourself in a calm
anxiety from getting out of control. If you keep your breath-
and peaceful place (eg at the beach, by a lake or in some
ing to one breath every 6 seconds, this will help. You can
other favourite place). Try to ‘see’ yourself there as clearly
breathe in over 3 seconds and out over the next 3 seconds.
as possible (the sound of birds, the colour of the water, the
This can be done in stages eg in–in–in, out–out–out and so
sun on your skin etc), concentrating your attention on it.
Continue to breath deeply and rhythmically. After this, go on
to visualise yourself in another peaceful place of your choice
Medication for relaxation
in a similar way. Finally, give yourself the instruction that,
Some kinds of medication can take the edge off agitation
when you open your eyes, you will be perfectly relaxed but
during withdrawal. Your doctor will advise you on what’s
best for you. However, as with everything else, don’t
expect the medication to work on its own. These medica-
tions should only be taken as directed by your doctor, and
don’t stay on them for more than a week or your body will
1. Curl your toes hard and press your feet down –
get used to them and you may have problems when you try
2. Press your heels down and bend your feet up –
3. Tense your calf muscles – then relax.
It is very common during amphetamine withdrawal to expe-
4. Tense your thigh muscles, straighten your knees
and make your legs stiff – then relax.
5. Make your buttocks tight – then relax.
At times you will feel exhausted, have low levels of energy,
be unmotivated to do anything or just constantly tired. At
6. Tense your stomach as if to receive a punch –
other times you will feel restless, irritable, anxious, agitated
and angry. All of these symptoms are a normal part of going
7. Bend your elbows and tense the muscles of your
8. Hunch your shoulders and press your head back
One of the most important things in coping with these
into the cushion or pillow – then relax.
symptoms is to remember that they are part of ampheta-
9. Clench your jaws, frown and screw up your eyes
mine withdrawal and they will go away eventually. Other
things you can do to cope with these mood changes include
10. Tense all your muscles together – then relax.
use of relaxation techniques, exercise, try to get regular
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sleep and eat well. All of these things play a part in your
Aches and pains
mood. If you think your feelings are getting out of control,
It is common to get headaches or general aches and pains
see your health worker or counsellor.
in your body. These are caused by increased muscle ten-
sion. The worst of the pains generally settle down within
the first week or two. The following things may help:
Some people experience mild paranoia or a feeling that peo-
ple are ‘out to get them’. Others may misinterpret things
• Warm baths, spas and saunas
they see and hear around them (for example, briefly seeing
Use bath salts or bath oils at home, and check out your
things that aren’t there out of the corner of their eye or
thinking that the sound of a car going by is someone calling
their name). These experiences are common during periods
Great if you can organise a professional job, but even
of amphetamine use and may continue (or even get worse)
getting a friend to do it or doing it yourself can work won-
Having these symptoms does not mean that you are going
• Light exercise
mad, and they generally settle down as long as you don’t
Going for a walk, a swim, a jog, a bike ride or even just
use amphetamines. If the symptoms continue after with-
doing stretching exercises can help – anything that you
drawal or get worse, or if you feel concerned, you should
feel up to. Don’t overdo it and try to avoid high impact
discuss them with your doctor, counsellor or health worker.
Medications such as aspirin or paracetamol can also
Most people who use amphetamines regularly have a poor
help, but only take them as directed as excessive use
appetite and often have lost a lot of weight. It is important
that you start to eat well again. Usually people’s appetites
improve within days of their last use. Try to eat healthy
foods, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, and stay away
There are some situations which make you feel like using
again. These high-risk situations vary from person to per-
son, and are often related to the circumstances in which
It is also a good idea to drink lots of fluids – at least 2 litres
you were using amphetamines in the first place – the peo-
a day. Avoid alcoholic drinks (these will dehydrate you) and
ple you used with or scored from, the places you link with
drinks containing caffeine (eg tea, coffee, cola). Try to drink
using (such as a certain nightclub, friend’s house or part of
only water and fruit juices. Cordial mixed with water and
town) or the time of day (or night) when you used amphet-
non-fizzy mineral waters are also very good. Try to keep the
fluids going in throughout the day, taking small sips all the
time. Drinking a lot of fluids will help your kidneys flush out
the toxins that have accumulated in your body.
Amphetamine_wdl_220404.qxd 28/04/2004 12:19 PM Page 28
Not being able to deal with these high-risk situations is a
It is not advisable to begin heavy counselling during with-
common reason why people ‘slip up’ and start using again.
So think about what the high-risk situations for you might be
• Working through such issues can often be emotionally
over the next few days. Make a list.
painful and cause a lot of anxiety. Opening a ‘can of
worms’ during withdrawal may make you want to go and
There are a number of ways to try to deal with them.
use, and may put your withdrawal in jeopardy.
• The first is to try to avoid the situation wherever possi-
• People often aren’t thinking too clearly during withdraw-
ble. Which of your risk situations can you avoid, and how
al. There isn’t much point in trying to work on stuff that’s
are you going to do this? This may mean staying away
bothering you while you are feeling irritable, agitated,
from certain people, places or events.
tired and run down, are having mood swings, poor sleep
and difficulty concentrating as part of withdrawal.
• Another way to cope is to have a plan ready in case you
do find yourself in a high-risk situation. Think about your
Our advice is to deal with one thing at a time
. First, get
risk situations. What will you say if you find yourself in
through the withdrawal. When you are feeling better physi-
cally and mentally and you aren’t hanging out as much, then
• Remember the coping strategies you used before – how
you can choose to deal with all the other heavy stuff.
to cope with cravings, how to relax.
It’s all too much
It’s very common for people going through withdrawal
There are many different types of counselling. Counselling
to feel as though they’re not going to get to the end of
during withdrawal is aimed at helping you get through
– which may be 3 days, 10 days or 3
this period and then looking at what you want to do
weeks away. Goals that are too far away in time often
. Sometimes this is called ‘supportive counselling’.
Towards the end of withdrawal, you may want to look at
The best way to cope with this common difficulty is to stop
counselling to help you avoid using again. This is sometimes
thinking in terms of days or weeks, and to concentrate on
called ‘drug counselling’, and might include relapse preven-
the immediate future
. Can you make it to tomorrow morn-
tion or coping skills therapy to help you stay off the drugs.
ing without using? If tomorrow seems too far away, can you
get through the next hour without using? After all, you may
In general, while you are going through withdrawal, it is rec-
feel better then (and the next day you may regret having
ommended that you don’t try to get into heavy counselling
about stuff that happened to you years ago, nor try to ‘work
out’ your personal, relationship or family problems. This
type of counselling is sometimes called ‘psychotherapy’.
Amphetamine_wdl_220404.qxd 28/04/2004 12:19 PM Page 30
In other words, break up the withdrawal into short peri-
Sex and withdrawal
ods and deal with each one on its own:
A lot of people notice that their sex drive increases when
‘One day at a time’.
coming off amphetamines. Others find that it decreases.
This isn’t going to make your withdrawal easier or harder
(but maybe more interesting, it just depends where you’re
at and your partner). It’s always a good idea to practice safe
sex. So remember to have plenty of condoms and water-
based lubricant (such as K-Y® Brand jelly) handy.
The day will come when you start to feel much better and
you are through the worst of withdrawal. It’s worthwhile to
have something prepared that you will enjoy as a reward for
all you have been through (other than amphetamines or
It’s at this point that you should start to think about what to
do next. It’s worthwhile talking to someone about your
options. These may include counselling, going to a long-
term rehab program or changing your scene to get away
from all the things that are likely to get you using again.
If you get halfway through withdrawal and you are feeling as
Remember, things are going to be different when you’re no
though you can’t finish, it is important to remind yourself
longer using and you’ll need to plan for these changes.
that you have been coping with the symptoms for the last
few days. Look at what you did then that helped you cope,
Getting back on track if you ‘slip up’
and continue with it. After all, it has been working. Your doc-
tor, counsellor or health worker can help you through any
Giving up amphetamines is not easy. Many people slip up
difficult periods. Or you can contact your local 24-hour alco-
(‘lapse’) at some point along the way. Don't be too hard on
hol and drug information, counselling and support service.
yourself if you do slip up (use when you didn't want to or
People from Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and other support
use more than you planned). It does not mean you have
failed or that you have lost control, but it is a sign you may
Amphetamine_wdl_220404.qxd 28/04/2004 12:19 PM Page 32
need to take action to avoid using again. Try to get back on
• Don't use alone
– if something goes wrong or you have
track straight away – a slip doesn’t mean you have to go
a severe reaction, being on your own can make you feel
back to using the same as you did before withdrawal.
much worse. Having someone with you means you have
Learn from your lapse. Think about what happened that led
you to use this time? How could you have avoided it? What
will you do next time in a similar situation?
Remember safe using hints
It's true that some people who start withdrawal do get back
into using again ('relapse'). Learning to read the warning
signs and to recognise difficult (high-risk) situations can help
• Don’t share fits, spoons, water, swabs, tourniquets
you avoid going back to your old patterns of use. Some peo-
ple go through more than one withdrawal before they give
• Don’t mix drugs• Stay with the person if they are having a bad reaction
If you do use again, you need to be aware of a few things
• Always ring an ambulance if you think someone has
that will reduce the risk of harm to your safety and your
• Don't use as much as before
– your tolerance drops
while going through withdrawal and your risk of over-
dose increases because you get a greater effect from
using less. If you do start using again, don't use as much
as you did before – your body may not be able to
• Don't mix your drugs
– mixing drugs increases your risk
of having problems, including overdose.
• Test a new supply before using
– the scene may have
changed while you have not been using. There may be
different gear around or you may be scoring somewhere
new. Your risk of problems increases if you aren't sure
about the strength of what you're getting. Test what
you're using by having a small amount first.
Amphetamine_wdl_220404.qxd 28/04/2004 12:19 PM Page 34
NOTES FOR SUPPORTERS
drawal passes – the symptoms may be hard to cope with at
the moment, but they will not go on forever.
Many people can provide support to a person withdrawing
from amphetamines. Partners, friends, family members,
There are times when, as a support person, you may feel
general practitioners and counsellors can all play an impor-
frustrated and impatient with the person you are helping.
tant role during the withdrawal period. Providing support
This is normal. It is important that you have someone to talk
and reassurance during this time can help someone through
to and get support from. A friend, counsellor or doctor can
be helpful. If there are times when you are unsure of how
Supporting someone withdrawing from amphetamines is
not always an easy job. There may be occasions when sup-
There are confidential drug and alcohol telephone coun-
porters feel unsure of how to help, what to do or what not
selling and information services in all Australian states, and
to do, and where to turn when things aren’t going smooth-
they are a good way of getting further help.
ly. There are, however, several important steps to follow.
Contact numbers for these services are listed on
To start, become familiar with what happens during with-
drawal. Read the contents of this booklet so you are aware
of what the person is going through and things they should
Someone who is withdrawing may already be aware of
what they should be doing, but may find these difficult to
remember or to do. Encourage the person withdrawing,
especially when they are going through difficult periods, and
help them recognise successes throughout their with-
During difficult periods, it is useful to go over the reasons
why the person initially decided to stop using ampheta-
mines. At times, they may not feel as though they are cop-
ing and may waver in their willingness to continue the with-
drawal. Look again at the pros (positives) and cons (nega-
tives) of returning to drug use. This may help them be clear
on the benefits of returning to their original goal of getting
through the withdrawal period. It is also important to look at
how far they have already come and to remember that with-
Amphetamine_wdl_220404.qxd 28/04/2004 12:19 PM Page 36
Following is a list of telephone information or counselling
services. These can provide advice or referral to other treat-
We would like to thank the clients and staff of Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre,VIVAIDS: the Victorian drug user group, K Morgan, D Brogan and R Stephens. The devel-opment of the first edition of this book was supported by funding from the VictorianDepartment of Human Services.
Ammentu, n. 2, gennaio-dicembre 2012, ISSN 2240-7596 Presentación Un año después publicamos el segundo número de «Ammentu», con una novedad. Entre los idiomas que alberga esta revista en adelante se admitirá también la lengua sarda en sus tres variedades principales: el campidanés, el galurés y el logudorés. Hace tiempo que esta dirección barajaba la idea de potenciar el pres
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