A stimulant addiction is quite easy to form with prolonged use of these drugs. If you have an addiction to stimulants, you need to learn as much about them as you can. The more you know, the more you will see a need to get help and recover.
Stimulants may seem to offer help; especially those that are prescribed. The fact is that even prescribed stimulants can be dangerous when they are misused.
It's not always easy to determine if you have a stimulant addiction. Let's go over some key information about stimulants so that you can be well informed.
The term stimulants covers many different drugs that increase activity within the body. These are drugs that are pleasurable or invigorating. They are frequently referred to as "uppers" because of how they affect the mind and body.
Stimulants are widely used all over the world. Prescription stimulants are frequently used to treat conditions like ADHD and ADD. In these situations, they are quite useful. However, they can still be abused, just like any other prescription drug.
Illegal stimulant use has been around for a very long time. These are recreational drugs that can quickly lead to addiction.
There are many commonly abused stimulants. Again, some of these are prescription drugs, and some are illegal in the United States.
The list of commonly abused stimulants includes:
It's possible that you recognize many of the drugs on this list. You may recognize one or more of the prescription drugs from your own medicine cabinet. Unfortunately, many people take these drugs without realizing their addictive potential.
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Stimulant abuse and addiction is prevalent in the U.S. Recent stimulant abuse and addiction statistics tell us that:
These statistics expose the truth about both types of stimulants in our country. Quite often, this is a problem that isn't talked about. Stimulant abuse is still a very serious problem. For those who abuse them, or who struggle with stimulant addiction, it's an issue that needs to be addressed.
The definition of stimulant abuse may differ depending on the type of stimulants. For prescription stimulants, it refers to the use of them outside of the prescribed information. For illegal stimulants, abuse refers to any use of the drug whatsoever, even one time.
Stimulant abuse is not the same as stimulant addiction. The abuse of these drugs means that they are being misused. There is no compulsion to use them, and no problems when the drugs are stopped.
However, that does not mean that stimulant abuse is not a problem. It is, and a very serious one, at that. Stimulant abuse can and will lead to addiction the longer it is continued.
For someone who is participating in stimulant abuse, professional treatment like an IOP program or drug rehab isn't necessary. However, that does not mean that the situation should be ignored.
There is a reason why someone might be abusing stimulants, whether they are prescribed or illegal. For someone with a prescription to a stimulant, his or her dosage may need to be adjusted by the doctor. Also, stress, depression or another problem may be leading to the abuse of stimulants.
For someone who is abusing illegal stimulants, a mental health condition or physical pain could be the reason. Sometimes people with depression will choose to abuse illegal stimulants to feel better.
Regardless of the reason, stimulant abuse should be treated. However, usually counseling is a great option, rather than drug rehab. A counselor can help the individual determine what is encouraging that person to abuse stimulants. Seeking immediate help can effectively keep a stimulant addiction from happening.
When someone has a stimulant addiction, that person does feel compelled to use these drugs. At that point, stimulant use feels as though it is a necessary part of life. In fact, stimulant addicts often feel like they can't function without stimulant drugs at all. They may panic if and when they run out of their stimulants.
Some drugs can take a long time to form an addiction after abuse begins. This isn't necessarily so with stimulants. In fact, illegal stimulants can lead to addiction very quickly. Some experts even say that it's possible to become addicted to cocaine or crack after one use. The same is often said for crystal meth use.
It's important to be able to recognize a stimulant addiction if you have one. To do this, you need to know the signs and symptoms of this type of addiction.
Do you recognize any of your own symptoms on this list? If you do, you may have a stimulant addiction. If you're still not sure, you may want to consider taking a quiz that will help point out addictive behaviors.
There are certain risk factors that make some people more likely to abuse stimulants than others. These risk factors are also more likely to lead to stimulant addiction.
You may be at risk for stimulant abuse and addiction if you:
Statistics tell us that younger people – and specifically high school and college students – are most at risk for stimulant abuse. In fact, the CLAAD states that:
Whether you are using illegal or prescription stimulants, these drugs have a profound effect on people. They can seem to be helpful at first. However, as time goes on, their negative effects cannot be ignored.
Both types of stimulants produce short-term and long-term effects. The longer they are used, the more pronounced their effects will become.
Stimulants can seem to be very useful when you begin using them. They produce many desired effects, which is why people continue to abuse them.
The short-term effects of stimulants can include:
The longer an individual uses stimulants, the more dangerous they become. It doesn't take long to form an addiction to these drugs.
The long-term effects of stimulants include:
With prolonged use, stimulants become even more dangerous. There is an increased risk of cerebral hemorrhage and stroke. Also, seizures may begin to develop if you have been using stimulants for a long time.
Because stimulants are addictive, stimulant withdrawal is common when these drugs are stopped. Stimulant withdrawal symptoms are very difficult to get through on your own. In fact, most people aren't able to get through them without professional help.
One of the biggest problems with stopping the use of stimulants is depression. Depression is a common stimulant withdrawal symptom. At times, it can become so bad that it leads to suicidal thoughts or gestures.
Stimulant withdrawal occurs because of the changes that take place in the brain when you take these drugs. Stimulants are very powerful drugs, whether they are illegal or prescribed. When they are abused, they cause a flood of dopamine and serotonin in the brain.
Serotonin and dopamine are two of the chemicals that cause you to feel happiness, satisfaction and security. They are essential for a happy life. Your brain normally makes both of these chemicals on its own.
Stimulant abuse will cause your brain to stop making serotonin and dopamine. Therefore, when the stimulant drug is stopped, you don't have these chemicals. As a result, your brain and body respond with withdrawal symptoms.
There are different ways to treat a stimulant addiction professionally. As you might imagine, this largely depends on the type of stimulants you are currently using.
If you are addicted to illegal stimulants, you may need to go through a period of drug detox. Drug detoxification will help to purge your body of impurities and toxins. This is such an important step that should not be skipped. Drug detox will help your body heal and recover from the physical part of your addiction.
Once you have gone through detox, the next step is to go through drug rehab. It isn't enough to heal from the physical part of your addiction only. You also need to recover from the psychological part of it as well. This might mean recovering from a co-occurring disorder, or mental health condition.
If you are addicted to prescription stimulants, you also need drug detox. However, it will look a little different. You may be placed on your stimulant medication for a short time while the dosage is tapered down. This will help to reduce your stimulant withdrawal symptoms. It will also protect you from experiencing any dangerous symptoms of withdrawal. You should then go on to complete drug rehab.
When you go to drug rehab for your stimulant addiction, you'll get all the support you need. It is so important that you not try to stop using stimulants on your own. Doing so can result in a relapse, which could possibly lead to an overdose. This, of course, is something you want to avoid because it could be fatal.
Intensive outpatient treatment offers you a flexible program that will easily fit into your daily life.
No matter what, please know that you're not alone. A stimulant addiction is very serious, and it requires immediate treatment. Now that you know how they can affect you, please get help today.