Stimulants are substances that temporarily raise levels of physiological or nervous activity in the body increasing alertness, causing increased attention, heightened energy and elevated blood pressure.
Prescription ADHD medications such as Adderall (amphetamine & dextroamphetamine) and Ritalin (methylphenidate).
Methamphetamine (including crystal meth).
Cocaine (including crack cocaine).
Stimulants can develop physical dependence when used often or in high doses. Furthermore, dependent individuals may experience a stimulant withdrawal syndrome when use of the drug stops or slows.
One of the biggest risks with stimulant withdrawal is depression with suicidal thoughts, and the severity can vary by substance. For example, users of drugs like cocaine, which is metabolized by the body relatively quickly, may find their depression improving within a couple hours, whereas methamphetamine users may experience depression lasting much longer.
All types of stimulants have the potential to be addictive and substance abuse is common with this type of drug.
There are certain symptoms of stimulant misuse that may be noticed. First, with prescription drugs, anytime someone is using a substance without a prescription or outside of prescribing instructions, it’s defined as misuse. Symptoms of prescription stimulant misuse can include taking it without a prescription or using someone else’s prescription. Other symptoms of prescription stimulant misuse can include taking higher doses or taking it more often than instructed by a physician. The most common symptoms of stimulant misuse also include:
Stimulant misuse can be dangerous or deadly. First, two big side effects of stimulant misuse are addiction and dependence. Both prescription stimulants and street drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine can cause addiction. These drugs affect neurotransmitters like dopamine, which can create a reward response. That reward response is what can give rise to the development of an addiction. Dependence can occur as well, so if someone tries to stop using stimulants, they will experience withdrawal. Other short-term side effects of stimulant misuse can include:
Information provided above is courtesy of: https://www.samhsa.gov
If you or someone you know is struggling with Stimulant Addiction (stimulant use disorder), know that effective treatment programs are available. Connect with someone who can help you by calling Florida Center for Recovery at toll free: 800-643-4005.