Ephedrine use, abuse, and addiction

Ephedrine is a stimulant and a thermogenic and comes from the herb known as Ephedra. It is commonly used as a stimulant, appetite suppressant, concentration aid, decongestant, and to treat hypotension associated with anesthesia.

Ephedrine stimulates the brain, increases the heart rate, increases blood pressure, expands bronchial tubes, increases metabolism, and increases body heat. Because of the effects of ephedrine, it is a commonly abused drug. Oftentimes, people do not realise the harmful effects of ephedrine and continue to use and abuse it; eventually they will develop an addiction. Ephedrine is one of the most popular stimulants that is abused and leads to an addiction very quickly.

How a Person Abuses Ephedrine

Although prohibited, Ephedrine is often abused by sports players and weightlifters. College students and truck drivers are known to abuse it because of the drugs performance enhancing effects. People who are wanting to lose weight, often use and abuse Ephedrine because of its association with weight loss.

This drug is found in nasal spray, tablet, and liquid form. It can be swallowed, snorted, or injected. Most people who use Ephedrine do not realise that it is dangerous and addicting; therefore, they begin to abuse the drug, unaware of the harmful effects. Many countries have made this drug illegal, but it can still be prescribed for certain reasons and be bought on the streets illegally.

What Does Ephedrine Abuse Mean?

Abuse means to begin to use Ephedrine in excessive amounts and for pleasure only. Abuse does not necessarily mean that the user will have an addiction; however, if they continue to use, they will develop one. When a person has abused Ephedrine for an extended period of time, they will have developed a tolerance, dependence, and addiction. Abuse and addiction will not only cause them physical and mental harm, but also everyone who is involved in their life will be affected by the use and abuse of this drug.

Effects of an Addiction

Although Ephedrine is obtained from a herb, prolonged or unregulated use of it can cause not only an addiction, but has serious side effects. Ephedrine abuse and addiction may be present in users who have needed to increase their dosage because they have developed a tolerance to the drug, while their brain and body has became dependent on it. Without it, the user will do anything to obtain more before they begin to experience withdrawal symptoms that are associated with it.

Physical Symptoms of an Addiction

There are several physical symptoms of Ephedrine addiction. These will depend on the length of time the user has abused and the amount of the drug that they were taking.

Physical Symptoms

  • Hypertension
  • Irritability
  • Nervousness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Hallucinations

Serious Symptoms

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Liver damage
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Seizures
  • CNS shut down
  • Coma
  • Death


Because Ephedrine is from a herb, users often think that it is a safer alternative to other stimulants. People will often use it in such an excess that they end up overdosing on it. Overdosing can cause serious health problems and even death.


Anytime a person abuses or has an addiction to Ephedrine, they will have some sort of withdrawal symptoms. These will vary from person to person. Some withdrawal symptoms may be less severe than others, but all will be unpleasant to the user; such as, headache, nausea, vomiting, irritability, uncontrollable shaking, irregular heartbeat, paranoia, and depression. Withdrawal from Ephedrine is not as bad as other drugs, but it is still very hard to deal with if the person has an addiction.

Treatment for Ephedrine Abuse and Addiction

Ephedrine abuse and addiction have caused numerous deaths. Therefore, it is crucial for anyone involved in the abuse of this drug to get treatment immediately.Treatment normally will begin with a supervised detox at a medical facility. Detox will help the physical addiction and make the withdrawal process physically and emotionally easier.

Residential Treatment Centre

After detox is finished, the user should move onto a rehab where they can begin treatment for the psychological part of their addiction. They will learn the knowledge and tools that they will need in order to handle their addiction when returning back home.
If you or someone you know abuses or has an addiction to Ephedrine, contact The Cabin Chiang Mai today. We are here to help cure your addiction and rebuild your life.

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