Treating an Addiction to Stimulants

addiction to stimulants

Whether it’s an illicit substance or a prescription medication—stimulants can boost alertness and cognitive function in the user’s central nervous system. These drugs can be taken orally, crushed and snorted, or even injected. Popular stimulants include cocaine, crack cocaine, and crystal meth, and popular prescription stimulants generally include those intended to treat ADHD, narcolepsy, and other conditions.

Addiction to Stimulants

Stimulants and prescription stimulants generate very similar effects when taken, however some of the prescribed medication is made to work as a time-release drug, meaning its effects are spread out over a longer period of time rather than fast-acting.

Two of the most common prescription stimulants include amphetamines and methylphenidates. Examples of prescription stimulants include Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, Dexedrine, steroids, and antidepressants.

Stimulants are known to increase the amount of dopamine in the brain, which can lead to effects like increased energy, euphoria, decreased appetite, and wakefulness. Continued use and abuse of stimulants can lead to severe damage of the brain and overall health. After heavy or prolonged use, the user’s brain becomes reliant on the drugs to regulate cognitive function and focus. So, over time, even those who are using a stimulant properly can develop a physical dependence on it, meaning they will experience withdrawal symptoms when attempting to discontinue use.

Treating Stimulant Addiction

Physical dependence and addiction to stimulants is treatable, however going through withdrawal and the detox period can be especially unpleasant. It is recommended to seek professional help during this time because of the dangerous withdrawal symptoms that could occur. Typically, one going through withdrawal will experience dysphoria, or general unhappiness, along with at least two, and often more, of the following symptoms:

  • anxiety
  • body aches
  • chills
  • dehydration
  • depression
  • drug cravings
  • dulled senses
  • fatigue
  • hallucinations
  • impaired memory
  • increased appetite
  • irritability
  • jittery reactions
  • loss of interest
  • unpleasant dreams
  • weight loss

 

It is important to note that those who have a history of clinical depression may experience severe withdrawal-related depression, another reason it may be a good idea to seek professional treatment during the process. The same applies for those who have co-occurring mental disorders or addictions.

Symptoms of stimulant withdrawal begin to show anywhere from several hours to several days after the last drug use. The most intense symptoms should peak around a week in, with other psychological symptoms having the possibility to last even longer.

 

If you or a loved one is addicted to stimulants and ready for treatment, contact Hired Power for additional help.

Call today at 800-910-9299 for professional advice.