Stimulants are a class of drug that include some of the most addictive drugs available. These drugs often make the user feel that they can do anything and are essentially bulletproof. In reality of course, they aren’t.
Here’s what you need to know about drug addiction and stimulant drugs.
What Exactly Are Stimulant Drugs?
The Collins Dictionary includes the following stimulants definition that says, “A stimulant is a drug that makes your body work faster, often increasing your heart rate and making you less likely to sleep.” While this is accurate, it doesn’t explain the damage that addiction to stimulants can cause.
A stimulant is a psychoactive drug that increases brain activity. Caffeine is the most widely used stimulant and can be found in coffee, teas, chocolate, and soft drinks. Although it’s considered to be relatively harmless, it is addictive. Withdrawal symptoms can include headaches, irritability, and fatigue.
What Are Stimulants Prescribed For?
Stimulant drugs affect the autonomic nervous system and the central nervous system. They were originally prescribed for weight loss, but that practice has been largely discontinued.
Negative side effects from prescription stimulants can include restlessness, tremors, agitation insomnia, and loss of appetite. In severe cases, tachycardia and vasoconstriction can occur.
Stimulants are still prescribed for some psychological and physical conditions – including ADHD and narcolepsy. They work by increasing the effects of the neurotransmitters, dopamine and norepinephrine. They can also increase your blood pressure and respiratory function and they may induce a feeling of euphoria
Examples of Addictive Stimulant Drugs
In this section, well discuss some of the more popular stimulant drugs and their effects.
This is a drug that is commonly prescribed for children suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as it helps them focus on activities at school. There is some evidence to suggest that it can improve listening skills and help with organizational tasks.
Withdrawal symptoms from Adderall can include severe fatigue, sleep problems, and depression.
Amphetamines stimulate the central nervous system and are used to treat conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. They have also been used for weight loss in the past.
Amphetamines are highly addictive and one of the most commonly abused drugs available.
Bath Salts is an umbrella term for the many so-called designer drugs that are becoming more popular. Ivory Wave, Vanilla Sky, Purple Wave, and Bliss are a few of the drugs that have been reported at local poison centers recently.
Because these drugs are so new, there is no information about the exact chemical make up yet, and only time will tell how addictive and damaging these drugs are.
The side effects of taking bath salts can be severe and may include paranoia, hallucinations, chest pain, high blood pressure, and suicidal thinking or behavior. The suicidal behavior can continue in some people long after the initial high has worn off.
Crack is created by mixing water and cocaine with ammonia or baking soda. This mixture is boiled and when it hardens it creates a salt rock type substance.
It is highly addictive and is usually smoked through a pipe.
Crack is absorbed into the body through the soft lining of the lungs and a euphoric effect is experienced almost immediately. This is caused by the crack hitting the dopamine receptors in the brain. Although the high is intense, it fades fast and users develop a tolerance for it very quickly.
Ecstasy & MDMA
4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a drug that is currently being tested for its suitability to be used to tread Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). When used recreationally it is sometimes known as Molly, and Ecstasy when it is in pill or tablet form.
MDMA and ecstasy are known to produce feelings of euphoria and empathy. Many people believe it can help in spiritual endeavors or religious experiences.
One of the biggest problems with taking MDMA and ecstasy is that they are very rarely pure.
Usually the substance is mixed with bath salts to disguise them, which means the user cannot be sure of what chemicals they are actually taking.
Spice is just one of the many brands of synthetic marijuana that can sometimes be legally sold now. K2, Wicked X, Moon Rocks, Green Giant, and Skunk are a few others.
Although these products do contain herbs and spices – they also contain various other, often dangerous, chemicals.
Synthetic marijuana is created to simulate the effects of smoking marijuana, but it much more harmful because Spice, and other products like it, don’t contain cannabidiol. This is the product in marijuana that lessens the psychotic or extreme symptoms that cannabis produces.
Orudis KT (ketoprofen) is an anti-inflammatory drug that reduces hormones in the body that cause pain and inflammation.
Ketoprofen is used to treat conditions such as arthritis, mild to moderate pain, and menstrual pain.
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What Is the Best Way to Treat Stimulant Addiction?
Addiction to mild stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine can be treated at home, although addiction to nicotine is one of the hardest to break.
At Revive Detox, we have many programs available, both residential and out-patient based, that have produced successful results for many people. We take a holistic view of treatment and we are happy to include family members, if you so choose.
Some of the components we use for treatment include massage therapy, medication-assisted therapy when appropriate, acupuncture, group, and individual counselling. We also provide ongoing support and future planning to ensure you are well-prepared for sobriety.
Call us today if you have concerns about your own, or a loved one’s use of stimulants. Our staff are available to answer your questions 24/7.