Stimulants are psychoactive drugs that are often prescribed as treatment for attention-deficit disorder and narcolepsy. There are also many ways to obtain them illegally for recreational use. Like many other drugs, stimulants can be abused to the point where the user develops an addiction.
The following are some drugs classified as stimulants:
- Cocaine and crack cocaine
- Crystal meth
- Anabolic steroids
A stimulant increases heart rate and brain function, which in turn increase energy and focus. This makes them highly addictive. When taken appropriately as prescription medications, they can serve as a moderate boost throughout the day. When abused, they can do significant damage to the mind and body that could lead to a life-threatening situation.
Silver Ridge is a rehabilitation center in Asheville, North Carolina, providing stimulant addiction treatment for adults. Many rehabilitation centers have adolescent and young adult patients that make it difficult for older adults to receive care catered to their needs. Our facility is here to fill that role for them.
Temporary & Long-Term Effects of Stimulants
Most stimulants kick in quickly and wear off relatively quickly. However, just because the immediate “high” effects are short-lived does not mean their overall effects on the body are, too. Extended use of stimulants interferes with the body’s ability to produce its own stimulating chemicals, thereby making the user dependent on the drug to get through the day.
Some of the short-term effects of stimulant use include:
- Increased focus
- Rapid heart rate
- High energy
- Increased alertness
Extended use of stimulants can result in:
- Chronic tremors
- Abnormal heart rate (tachycardia)
- Tooth decay
- Brain and organ damage
- Heart attack
These are serious side-effects. Unfortunately, the withdrawal symptoms when someone stops taking stimulants occur almost immediately. This, coupled with the short run-time of stimulants, makes them some of the most addictive drugs.
Don’t Get Discouraged—Recovery Is Always Possible
Knowing the effects of stimulants and how dangerous they can be may make recovery seem even more intimidating. The important thing to remember is that this is not something you need to, or should, do alone. Many people have maintained their sobriety after seeking treatment for stimulant addiction. It is possible for anyone, no matter how bad the situation may seem, to kick the habit once and for all.
Treatment for stimulant addiction usually consists of a combination of programs and therapies, such as:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Motivational interviewing
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
- Psychoeducational groups
- Individual therapy
- Acceptance and commitment therapy
These programs can help a person address the underlying factors driving their addiction. In learning more about what causes the urge to use, a recovering person can resist temptation when they feel compelled to use after completing their treatment.
Therapy is not the only treatment for stimulant addiction. Finding peaceful ways to stay occupied is also beneficial. At Silver Ridge, we help our clients develop a more well-rounded lifestyle with horticulture therapy, meditation, yoga, nutritional support, and equine therapy.
Finding the Treatment that Works for You
While the 12-step program is valuable for many, it is not the right program
for everyone. The 12-step program places