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What are Stimulants
The term “stimulant” (also known as “psychostimulants” or “uppers”) refers to a broad category of medicines, including those that stimulate the central nervous system and the body, are enjoyable and energizing, or have sympathomimetic effects.
Drugs classified as stimulants cause the body to function more actively. Stimulants are widely used as both prescription and illegal (or legally) over-the-counter performance-enhancing or recreational stimulants.
Several stimulants are:
- Methamphetamine (including crystal meth).
- Cocaine (including crack cocaine).
- Prescription ADHD drugs like Ritalin and Adderall include amphetamine and dextroamphetamine (methylphenidate).
The most common examples of stimulants are:
- Cocaine: Usually seen in powder form, cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant derived from the coca plant leaves in South America. Cocaine is known on the streets by the names blow, bump, coke, and snow. Although it can also be smoked or absorbed through the skin, cocaine is most frequently snorted or injected.
- Crack Cocaine: This drug typically comes in the form of solid blocks or crystals. Crack cocaine is a purer and more potent version of this drug. It is often smoked for crack cocaine to enter the brain more rapidly and produce a brief but high solid. Additionally, injections are becoming more frequent.
- Meth: Meth is a stimulant that can quickly lead to addiction in users and is exceedingly harmful. Meth’s immediate side effects include alertness and exhilaration. Meth usage over an extended period of time, however, can result in issues including violent conduct, severe dental issues, psychosis, and extreme paranoia.
- Amphetamine: Stimulants akin to amphetamines are frequently employed for their medicinal effects. Doctors occasionally recommend amphetamine to treat severe depression. Dependence and dose escalation have resulted from tolerance to amphetamine’s mood-enhancing effects.
Misuse of Stimulants:
Misuse of a prescribed stimulant means:
- Using a particular method or dose when taking medication other than as directed.
- Using another person’s medication.
- Using drugs solely for their effects, to feel euphoria.
People can ingest the medication in its standard form when misusing a prescribed stimulant. In contrast, they can crush tablets, break apart capsules, dissolve the powder in water, and administer the mixture into a vein. Some people may also smoke or snort the powder. In other words, stimulants can be consumed orally, snorted, smoked, or injected, depending on the substance.
The chance of developing infectious diseases like HIV and hepatitis increases if the drug is injected, and it’s vital to remember that sharing drug injection equipment and having poor judgment from drug abuse can contribute to this risk.
Misuse of prescribed stimulants can result in a substance use disorder (SUD), which might be an addiction under challenging situations. In addition, even when directed by a doctor, long-term use of stimulants can lead to tolerance, which means that more significant or more frequent doses of the drug are required to produce the desired benefits.
Symptoms of Misuse/Effects:
In general, stimulants are misused for their euphoric, energizing effects. Stimulants in therapeutic doses, such as those given to ADHD patients, boost vitality, liveliness, libido, and mood-elevating potential. However, stimulants may actually make it harder to concentrate when used in higher dosages.
The short-term effects of stimulants can be gratifying and include:
- Intensely happy emotions.
- Heightened vigor, sociability, and self-worth.
- Increased focus.
- Improved sexual performance and desire.
- Breathing is more accessible due to widened airways.
- Diminished appetite.
Although these effects may appear appealing, they are always accompanied by a number of health hazards for the user.
Though each stimulant has slightly different effects, they all have a common set of adverse effects that, if used excessively, can wreak havoc on a user’s system:
- Elevated heartbeat.
- An increase in blood pressure.
- Highly elevated body temperature.
- Tremors or muscle tremors.
Abuse of stimulants frequently results in all of these symptoms. Any way you look at it, abusing stimulants can severely affect the user, including overheating, cardiovascular irregularities, and unexpected death.
In addition, however, a person increases their chances of developing a number of other grave physical and mental health problems when abusing stimulants over an extended period of time.
Even in relatively small amounts, many illegal stimulants are dangerous to one’s health. One use of some substances is all it takes to develop an addiction. A person addicted to stimulants usually experiences changes in the body and brain, such as drug tolerance and drug withdrawal:
- Drug tolerance means that the subject’s body has adapted to the drug’s presence and effects, so it consumes more of the drug to produce the same upshots.
- Drug withdrawal occurs when people experience specific physical and psychological symptoms/changes if the use of the substance is instantaneously reduced or suddenly halted.
These effects can be increased to potentially fatal levels in a dose-dependent manner, resulting in a stimulant overdose. In addition, excitation from stimulants at toxic amounts can cause heart attacks, strokes, seizures, and even lethal overheating.
When a person consumes enough substance to cause a fatal reaction, this is referred to as an overdose. Restlessness, tremors, overactive reflexes, quick breathing, disorientation, aggression, hallucinations, panic states, abnormally elevated fever, muscle pains, and weakness are among the symptoms that people most frequently encounter when they overdose on prescription stimulants.
They might also experience circulatory failure, unusually high or low blood pressure, an irregular heartbeat that might cause a heart attack, and nerve issues that can cause a seizure.
An upset stomach can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and cramping. In addition, an overdose may cause unconsciousness, poisoning, and convulsions.
Treatment For Stimulant Addiction
Cognitive-behavioral therapy and contingency management are two behavioral therapies that can be useful in assisting people in stopping the usage of prescription stimulants.
Rehab facilities are extremely beneficial in the treatment of substance addiction and are of great help needed during withdrawal symptoms. In addition, psychologists can offer assistance in helping patients overcome addictions, cope with stressful situations, and manage their chronic conditions.
Talk to a mental health care professional if the behavior is causing distress and disrupting your life. Contact with a treatment professional today so they can explain your therapy options to you.