Stimulant Addiction & Abuse
Drug abuse and stimulant addiction are genuine problems these days, affecting individuals of different ages and families from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Addictive drugs are no respecter of persons and are the cause of great physical, mental, social, financial, and relational turmoil. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2017, nearly 20 million Americans struggled with drug abuse that year. In addition, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug abuse, and addiction cost over $700 billion to American society per year in lost work hours, crime, increased health care costs and more. Stimulants are one type of prescription or illicit drugs that are frequently abused in the United States.
What Are Stimulants?
Stimulants are drugs that are designed to rouse the mind and the body to action. They typically boost feelings of wakefulness and increase focus. They also boost energy in all of the body’s systems, increasing blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing. However, most are habit-forming drugs and must be used responsibly under the guidance of a physician to avoid harmful repercussions.
What Are the Types of Addictive Stimulants?
Many of the most frequently abused stimulants are prescription drugs that have been used for years by children and adults. However, when they are taken more often than prescribed or are otherwise abused, they can quickly become addictive. The most common types of prescription stimulants include the following:
- Amphetamines, including Adderall
- Methylphenidates, including Ritalin
Several illicit drugs can also be categorized as stimulants. Some of the most familiar ones include cocaine and heroin. Stimulants are commonly referred to by such unique names as Speed, Uppers, Bennies, Roses and Black Mollies among many others.
What Are the Risks for Developing Addictions?
While some teenagers start down the path to addiction because of drugs, they were handed by friends in school, and because of peer pressure, addiction to prescription stimulants usually happens much more innocuously. Many times, individuals who develop these addictions have been legally given a prescription for a specific medication by a trusted physician. However, they may not take it as prescribed, believing that if the prescribed amount can help them, more will make them feel even better. Other individuals begin abusing medications prescribed to a family member or a roommate.
What Are the Symptoms of Stimulant Abuse?
When one uses stimulants in a manner for which they were not intended, they can swiftly cause unwelcome, short-term symptoms, some of which may be easily noticeable by those around the individual.
- Rapid breathing
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increased body temperature
- Heart palpitations
- Dry mouth
- Euphoria and the feeling of a high
- Increased aggression
- Anxiety and feelings of panic
As the drug begins to leave the body and the euphoric effects wear off, the individual may begin feeling depressed and irritable and may even begin trembling.
What Are the Side Effects of Stimulants?
If this abusive pattern is not caught and addressed quickly, stimulants can create significant long-term side effects, some of which may be life-threatening. Very high doses of stimulants can also be highly dangerous, causing the following:
- Suicidal thoughts
- Cardiovascular failure
Long-term abuse of these drugs can cause growing addiction as the individual needs ever-increasing quantities of the drug to create the same effects. When the individual does not have access to the drug, this can also lead to significant withdrawal symptoms, such as extreme fatigue and depression.
How Can Stimulant Addiction Be Treated?
Because withdrawal symptoms can be so uncomfortable as well as physically and mentally dangerous, individuals with stimulant addiction must seek professional treatments to ease symptoms and promote safety during this volatile time. This type of addiction can be particularly challenging to get past and will require an array of proven treatment types to address all areas of concern. During the detox period, individuals will be watched closely and may receive special medical support to get through uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. After this, a variety of treatments may be used, including the following:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Family therapy
- Group therapy
- Contingency management
The best treatment for stimulant addiction is one that provides swift and proven help to struggling individuals in a safe environment. That is exactly what Springboard Recovery can do for each of their clients. We offer a safe atmosphere, individualized treatments, and whole-body therapies that can get our clients started down the road to long-term success in the fight against addiction. Whether you or your loved one is struggling with addiction to stimulants, you can turn to us for compassionate care that addresses the entire person. Contact us today to learn more about what we offer.
- Yale Medicine: https://www.yalemedicine.org/conditions/stimulant-abuse
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: https://www.samhsa.gov/data/report/2017-nsduh-annual-national-report
- National Institute on Drug Abuse: https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/trends-statistics
- Verywell mind: https://www.verywellmind.com/what-are-stimulants-2795573
- Healthline: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-is-caffeine#:~:text=Caffeine%20is%20a%20natural%20stimulant,as%202737%20B.C.%20(1).
- National Institute on Drug Abuse: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/methamphetamine
- Healthline: https://www.healthline.com/health/adhd/adderall-effects-on-body
- Medical News Today: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323465
- NCBI: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64323/
- National Library of Medicine: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11322742/