What is Stimulant Abuse?
In the United States, one of the fastest-growing concerns is stimulant abuse.
While stimulants are effective medications for people suffering from certain health issues, they also have the potential to become highly addictive.
Stimulant addiction statistics show the most common abusers are athletes. They sometimes use stimulants to try and boost their performance in competition.
However, there are very few who realize how dangerous stimulant abuse can be to their health.
Stimulant addiction statistics show that about 13 million Americans abuse these drugs every year, leading to many addiction habits for many of these individuals.
Doctors used stimulants for decades to help people with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
When someone with ADHD takes a stimulant, it is supposed to calm them down and focus better on the tasks at hand.
It can also assist people with narcolepsy to have more energy and stay awake.
When taken under the direction of a doctor, stimulants are typically a safe and effective way to assist people with these mental health issues.
However, when taken inappropriately or without a prescription, it can lead to stimulant abuse and addiction, which negatively affects your overall health.
How are Stimulants Abused?
Stimulant addiction begins with abuse.
Abuse is when you take a stimulant more often than your doctor prescribes, take it in higher doses, or take it without a prescription.
While stimulants help treat problems associated with ADHD and narcolepsy; they have other side effects. These side effects are what lead people to stimulant abuse.
Stimulants can suppress your appetite, leading some people to use them to lose weight. They also increase your energy, keep you awake, and focus your attention.
These side effects lead to athletes abusing stimulants to enhance their performance.
While stimulants are meant to be taken by mouth, some people who abuse them dissolve them in water to inject into their veins. This gives stimulants stronger, more immediate effects. It also significantly increases your chances of becoming addicted and having negative effects on your health.
The Physical Effects of Stimulant Abuse
Stimulant abuse and addiction have a range of concerning negative effects on your body.
These effects can be short-term and long-term. In the short term, stimulant abuse causes increased blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar, and an abnormally high body temperature. It can also decrease blood flow. These effects can lead to a heart attack, heart failure, and seizures.
If someone injects stimulants, they are at risk of other health issues in the long haul.
Sharing needles increases your risk of getting HIV or hepatitis. Both of these conditions may lead to serious long-term health problems, including early death. If you use dirty or unsterile needles, you are at greater risk for skin, muscle, or bone infections.
Once you are addicted to stimulants, you will likely experience withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking them.
Mental Illness and Stimulant Abuse
Over time, stimulant abuse changes the way your brain works.
When you abuse stimulants, your brain releases a flood of dopamine, which is the chemical responsible for making you feel happy and relaxed.
However, when your brain receives too much dopamine, it creates a feeling of euphoria or a “high.” The longer you abuse stimulants, the less your brain is able to regulate dopamine on its own. When you are not using stimulants, this means you can feel depressed or anxious. Over time, this leads to various negative effects on your mental health.
Your brain craves stimulants to feel better.
This is what leads to addiction. Once you have a stimulant addiction, other negative side effects can appear. These include aggressive behavior, delusions, hallucinations, psychosis, and manic episodes.
The Risk of Overdose
When you think of stimulant abuse and addiction, the risk of overdose is not typically the first thing that comes to mind, similar to other drugs, you can overdose on stimulants. A stimulant overdose happens when you ingest too much of a particular drug in your system.
When someone overdoses on stimulants, they experience various negative side effects, including aggression, body aches, breathing issues, confusion, fever, hallucinations, and tremors.
More serious overdose effects include irregular heartbeat, heart attack, seizures, and potentially death.
Because a stimulant overdose can be fatal, it is essential to get treatment as soon as possible.
Emergency personnel and doctors administer medicines to help prevent a heart attack or seizure from a stimulant overdose.
Signs You Are Addicted to Stimulants
Once you begin taking stimulants to enhance your athletic performance, it can be difficult to stop.
If you are unsure whether you are suffering from stimulant abuse, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Is your drug use causing problems in your personal or professional life?
- Are you having issues performing at work or school?
- Have you lost interest in spending time with your family?
- Do you experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking stimulants?
- Are you finding that you have to take higher dosages to feel their effects?
- Do you spend a lot of time or money trying to get stimulants?
- Do you feel depressed or anxious when you are not using them?
- Have you given up activities or hobbies you once loved to do drugs instead?
- Do you crave stimulants when you are not taking them?
If you answered “yes” to two or more of these questions, there is a good chance you are addicted to stimulants.
Now is the time to consider getting in touch with a quality rehab facility like North Jersey Recovery Center.
Treatment Options for Stimulant Abuse
We begin with detox for clients struggling with stimulant addiction and abuse. This allows us to get the drugs out of your system in a safe and controlled environment.
We offer a medical detox program, where we use medicines to reduce the unpleasant side effects of the withdrawal process.
Once you are fully detoxed, we move on to a personalized therapy program. Two therapy programs work well for those with stimulant addiction.
The first is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This type of therapy works to identify your behavior’s thoughts and patterns that lead to your drug use.
Next, your therapist helps you learn ways to change these thoughts and behaviors and techniques to deal with stress and avoid drug cravings and triggers.
The other option is Contingency Management (CM). This type of therapy rewards you for following your treatment plan, giving you positive reinforcement for staying drug-free.
Getting Help for Your Stimulant Addiction
Stimulant abuse and addiction can be an incredibly serious condition.
While you may believe stimulants help your athletic performance, they only pose more of a risk to your physical and mental health in the long run.
At North Jersey Recovery Center, we know addiction affects your physical health and your mental and spiritual health. That is why we tailor all of our treatment programs to fit the specific needs of every client.
We offer multiple levels of care, allowing us to help even those who have professional or educational commitments.
Our facility was designed with our clients’ comfort and success in mind, providing unique amenities, privacy, and a supportive recovery environment. You can trust our team of experienced, highly-qualified addiction professionals to guide you through every step of your recovery journey.
We realize many of our clients worry about how they will pay for their treatment, which is why we accept most private & commercial insurance plans.
Simply reach out to us, and we will complete a free insurance verification of your benefits and coverage for addiction treatment. If your insurance plan does not cover our services, we will not stop until we find a solution to get you on the right road to recovery.
If this is the case, our admissions team works with you to ensure you get directed to a rehab center your insurance plan will cover. No matter how long you have been abusing stimulants, finding help is the key to getting clean.
At North Jersey Recovery Center, we are here to help design your recovery plan for maximum success.
Take the first step on your recovery journey by giving us a call today.