These drugs can be extremely difficult to stop, and recovering typically requires a period of detoxification and rehab. This may come as quite a surprise to those who are using prescription drugs like Adderall and Ritalin. Yes, even these can be addictive in their prescribed doses, and it is not uncommon for people to get addicted to them accidentally.
Stimulants are some of the most commonly abused drugs in the United States. Both the illegal and legal varieties can be very dangerous, and they have long lists of side effects. It may not take long to get addicted to them once a person starts using them regularly. That is why it is important to be aware of the facts surrounding this classification of drugs.
More people need to know the risks involved with using both legal and illegal stimulants. Those that are prescribed are not as safe as they seem, and experimenting with illegal drugs like cocaine and meth is extremely dangerous. The good news is that treatment is available in Washington State for addicts and abusers.
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.
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.
In 2017, there were more than 70,000 drug overdose deaths in the United States. The final number worked out to about 192 people each day. While opioid overdoses did make up the majority of these deaths, it was found that there were more stimulant-related overdoses than in previous years.
The increase was so profound that many experts believe we could be heading into a stimulant epidemic.
The CDC released a report that outlined this increase. Their goal is to expand their surveillance efforts to include stimulant overdoses. This is a clear indicator that more people than ever are abusing these drugs.
In Washington State, stimulants are more widely available today than ever before. The United Nations reported that Colombia is producing record amounts of cocaine. The DEA states that methamphetamine is much more common on the streets today, and not only that, but its price is plummeting.
Adderall and Vyvanse are just two of the prescription stimulants that college students are using illicitly. It happens every single day in Washington State, and even though some schools are starting to crack down on it, there is still a demand for what they call, “Smart Drugs.”
Prescription stimulants are typically recommended for people with ADD/ADHD, but they do treat other conditions as well. Students can obtain them in many different ways. Some have a legal prescription from a doctor. Others may lie during their appointments about their symptoms and get prescriptions that way. One study indicated that approximately 900,000 students could have been improperly diagnosed within one year’s time. But the most common method of obtaining these drugs appears to be simply purchasing them from a student with an excess supply.
These drugs are in high demand because they help college students improve their focus and concentration. But what many do not realize is the fact that they are highly addictive. In fact, prescription stimulants are some of the most addictive medications on the market today.
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.
Going to drug rehab is the next step following a quality detoxification program. At this point in the recovery process, the focus shifts to determine the underlying cause behind the addiction. For many people, this means getting diagnosed with a co-occurring disorder, which is a very common reason for abusing stimulants.
For many people, abusing stimulants is nothing more than a way to self-medicate. They may struggle with symptoms of depression, bipolar disorder or ADD/ADHD. Once these conditions are uncovered, they can be properly treated, which eliminates the need to abuse drugs.
Drug rehab is a place where people learn a lot about themselves. They also learn valuable coping skills that will help them not only get off stimulants, but stay off as well.
Northpoint Seattle offers a high-quality outpatient drug rehab program in Washington State. We have two facilities; one in Seattle and one in Bellevue. Our program is small, which means that our clients benefit from having more time with our staff. We participate in many of the top health insurance plans in Washington State, which makes getting treatment more affordable.
Our intensive outpatient program offers people the flexibility that they often need when it comes to addiction treatment. Our IOP typically runs several evenings during the week, leaving the daytime hours free for work, school, or other commitments.
When we work with our clients, they can sense our dedication to their sobriety. We take the time to get to know them personally so that we can provide them with exactly what they need to be successful.
At Northpoint Seattle, we truly care about our clients. We know that the struggle of addiction is different for everyone, which is why a personalized approach is necessary. Our staff members are some of the most highly-qualified experts in Washington State. They are well-trained in treating stimulant addiction.
It can be so difficult to make the decision to get treatment for stimulant addiction. But we want you to know that we understand, and we are here to support you. This is not something you will have to do alone.