Stimulants are known by a variety of different names on the streets. You may hear them referred to as uppers, speed, white crosses, dexies, bennies and crystal. They work by increasing your alertness and in the process, they also elevate your blood pressure, increase your heart rate and speed up your breathing. People who take them experience an increase in their energy levels, which is one reason why they’re so popular as a drug. Stimulant abuse may occur by those who want to counteract the effects of sleeping pills or alcohol, and as you can probably imagine, this often results in a dangerous cycle of drug use that’s very difficult to break.
Because stimulants are often used to counteract the “downer” effects of other drugs, they can become even more dangerous than they are if they’re used alone. Stimulants do have their place in the world of health, and some types of stimulants are actually used to treat various illnesses and conditions. They’ve been used to treat issues like asthma, obesity, ADHD, narcolepsy and depression, and they’re quite effective when they’re prescribed and used correctly.
Some examples of legal and illegal stimulants include:
As far as how stimulants affect the body, the longer they’re taken, the more dramatic the effects can be. Sometimes users will report feeling anxious or moody. If higher doses are taken, the effects are multiplied further, and the user may become more talkative and excited.
The physical effects of stimulants on the body include:
Eventually, as doses increase, or as these drugs are used for longer periods of time, significant medical complications can arise. These may include various skin disorders, ulcers, brain damage and even death from stroke or heart failure.
There is a fine line between stimulant abuse and stimulant addiction. With these types of drugs, it’s very common for people to become tolerant to them very quickly. When tolerance increases, as it does for almost everyone who uses stimulants, it’s common for people to take more in order to get the desired effects. This is the beginning stage of stimulant abuse. If you are abusing stimulants, you may increase your dosage, take more doses than your prescription instructs you to take, or even try taking your stimulants in ways that are not recommended (such as crushing tablets and snorting them).
Once stimulant abuse has occurred, it’s generally only a matter of time before you become addicted.
You may have a friend or family member who is using stimulants, and they may or may not have been prescribed by a doctor. All stimulants can be purchased on the street. If you’re concerned that his or her stimulant use has become an addiction, there are a few different key indicators you can watch for. Those who are addicted to stimulants often demonstrate stimulant addiction behaviors like having a false sense of confidence and power. They may talk a lot and be excited during times when they otherwise would act very calm. Over time, stimulant use can result in psychosis, hallucinations or delusions, and paranoia.
If you observe any of these behaviors and stimulant addiction symptoms, it’s best to reach out and voice your concern about a need for stimulant addiction treatment.
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Most people do not intend to get addicted to stimulants, even when they start abusing them. If you’ve become addicted to them, it’s possible that you thought addiction was something that happened to “other people,” but it could never happen to you.
Once you’ve realized you’re addicted to stimulants, you might consider trying to stop them abruptly as a way to quit. Doing so can be quite dangerous, and it can result in stimulant withdrawal symptoms that are difficult to manage on your own. It’s very common to experience excessive fatigue, sleep problems and even become very depressed. There are some possible medical complications that can arise too, such as heart palpitations and seizures. Depression can cause you to become suicidal as well.
If you have a friend or family member who has become addicted to stimulants, and it’s not working for you to encourage him or her to get professional help, you may want to consider hosting an intervention. This is an event that will allow you and others to talk about your loved one’s need to get help.
If you are addicted to stimulants, please do not consider trying to quit taking them on your own. Doing so can be quite dangerous, and there are different protocols that should be followed, depending on the types of stimulants you’re taking. Illegal drugs should only be stopped under the care and supervision of staff at a drug detox facility, while some prescription stimulants need to be tapered down before they’re stopped. Talking to someone at one of the best stimulant rehab programs in the country will help you know what you should do to quit using.
At Northpoint Recovery, we are one of the top stimulant rehab centers in the Pacific Northwest, and we’ve helped so many people recover from this type of addiction. Our stimulant addiction treatment center can help you overcome your addiction to these dangerous drugs. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you, please contact us.