Stimulants are a class of substances that include drugs such as amphetamines, methamphetamine, Ritalin, Adderall, Ecstasy (also classified as a hallucinogen), Concerta, Vyvanse, Strattera, cocaine, and crack cocaine. Caffeine is a legal substance that can also be abused and can be detrimental to the health and well-being of caffeine abusers.
All stimulants act to heighten the body’s natural physiologic state, by increasing blood pressure, heart rate, alertness, decreasing bowl activity, and producing a euphoric state (a sense of elation and well-being). Because of the action of stimulants on the body’s natural opiate system (endorphins) and on dopamine, stimulants are highly addictive.
It is widely believed that stimulant withdrawal does not occur due to the lack of a physical withdrawal syndrome. However, this is not the case. Stimulant withdrawal produces the opposite state that stimulant use creates. For example, cocaine and amphetamine withdrawal will typically cause the addicted person to suffer from depression, lethargy, fatigue, an increased need for sleep, decreased cognition, and poor concentration. These effects from stimulant withdrawal can last for weeks or even months, and can be debilitating.
It is also important to mention a drug called Khat, derived from a plant product typically grown and used in East Africa and Arabia. The United States has recently seen an increase in the illegal importation of this substance. Khat works as a stimulant and is not legal in the U.S., either for recreations purposes or prescription purposes. Khat causes emotional changes, alertness, aggressiveness, hyperactive behaviors, insomnia, and can lead to frank psychosis. Khat can be chewed, smoked, used as a smokeless tobacco product, or also eaten with food.
The negative effects of using stimulants such as those who suffer from cocaine or methamphetamine (Ice) addiction include stroke, heart attack, long-term mental health issues, and multiple social consequences. Additionally, muscle wasting, weight loss, poor appetite, dental problems, and infections such as Hepatitis C and HIV can occur.
Because of the illegal nature of cocaine and methamphetamine use in the United States, these drugs are heavily controlled by the DEA. With this comes serious legal consequences for the production, importation, use, or possession of these substances, and the paraphernalia required for their use.
Typically, stimulant users are either “high,” or seeking their next “fix.” This leads to a rampant, often unstoppable cycle of addiction that creates chaos and turmoil in the drug addicted patient and his/her family members. Stimulants can also lead to a feeling of grandiosity and invincibility, which can lead to gruesome violence. The need to get “high” often leads to serious crimes that are committed to gain access to the substance, or funds to buy the substance.
Inpatient drug rehab is critical to help stop the cycle of addiction. Spinning out of control, family members and drug abusers often don’t know how to get help or are so involved in the addictive process that they are unwilling to seek treatment in a drug rehab. The staff at Behavioral Wellness and Recovery is highly experienced in providing addiction treatment services to those who abuse stimulants, and their family members.
If you or a loved one is ready to take the first step in achieving a balanced and healthy live, call our Admission specialists at 800-683-4457.
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