August 23, 2017

Stimulant Abuse

[frame align=”left”]Stimulant Abuse[/frame]Stimulants may be prescribed from doctors to treat various conditions, including obesity, attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), asthma, sleep disorders such as narcolepsy, and respiratory problems. This class of psychoactive drugs, however, is often abused by individuals in order to counteract sluggish feelings or for the euphoric effects in may produce. Teens may use stimulants in order to increase their concentration, increase their alertness, to boost their energy, to stay awake, and to get high, while abuse of stimulants is also common among adults. Oftentimes, teenagers and young adults abuse prescription drugs for conditions such as ADD or ADHD. Prescribed stimulants may be abused by mixing them with alcohol, crushing, and snorting them.

Types of Stimulants

Some types of stimulants are amphetamines, dextroamphetamine, methamphetamine, and methylphenidate. Both amphetamines and dextroamphetamine have effects that are similar to those of cocaine. Methamphetamine is a very addictive stimulant, which is also part of the family of amphetamines. Meanwhile, methylphenidate is a drug that stimulates the central nervous system and is not as potent as amphetamines but is more potent than caffeine.

Signs and Symptoms of Stimulant Abuse

If you suspect a friend/family member is abusing stimulants, there are a number of signs to look for:

1. Psychological side effects of stimulant abuse include the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Feelings of restlessness
  • Aggression
  • Hostility
  • Delusions
  • Panic
  • Homicidal or suicidal tendencies
  • Paranoia, accompanied with visual and auditory hallucinations

2. Physical side effects of stimulant abuse include the following:

  • Decrease in appetite
  • Collapsing
  • Dilated pupils
  • Loss of coordination
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Increased respiratory rate
  • Increased heart rate
  • Tremors
  • Flushed skin
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Palpitations
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Excessive sweating

It is also important to watch out for any withdrawal symptoms if the person discontinues their stimulant use for any reason. These may include disturbances in his or her sleep patterns, depression, apathy, and fatigue. In addition, overdose signs and symptoms should also be watched out for, which could include convulsions, high fever, and heart failure. Since stimulants strain the heart, it is also important to remember that physical exercise increases the risks associated with stimulant use.

Interactions with Stimulants

There are a number of added issues with stimulant abuse when they are combined with other substances. Here are some interactions:

  • Over-the-counter drugs: Mixing over-the-counter drugs with stimulants is especially dangerous if they contain decongestants. These interactions can cause irregular heart beat rhythms and dangerously high blood pressure.
  • Prescription drugs: Combining stimulants with prescription drugs should only be done under the careful supervision of a physician.
  • Alcohol: The effects of stimulants may cause people to feel as though they can drink more alcohol. Then, the alcohol will kick in while the effects of the stimulant are wearing off, which can be quite harmful.

When it comes to stimulant abuse, there are preventive measures to protect one from being another stimulant addict. At the same time, there are people who love and care about you who can help seek out treatment if stimulant addiction has taken over your life. If you do not feel comfortable talking to a friend or family member, there are a number of professional doctors and therapist who can help as well. It took one to step to start a stimulant addiction and all it takes to seek help is the same-take one-step.