Understanding Stimulant Addiction and Misuse

Stimulants, sometimes called “uppers,” temporarily increase alertness and energy. There are legal amphetamines such as Adderall, caffeine, and nicotine, as well as illegal amphetamines such as cocaine and MDMA. Prescription stimulants come in tablets or capsules and should only be used as intended.

Amphetamines are a potent central nervous system stimulant used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy, and obesity. They include prescription medications like Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, and Vyvanse.  At therapeutic doses, amphetamines may cause emotional and cognitive side effects such as euphoria, change in libido, inability to sleep, and improved cognitive control. They may induce physical effects such as decreased reaction time, fatigue resistance, and increased muscle strength. Larger doses of this stimulant drug may impair cognitive function and induce rapid muscle breakdown. Recovery from amphetamine stimulant abuse is possible with a rehab program that offers medical treatment, individual therapy, group counseling, and social services support.

Cocaine is a Schedule II drug, which means that it has high potential for abuse but is sometimes administered by doctors for legitimate medical purposes, such as local anesthesia for some eye, ear, and throat surgeries.  Cocaine comes in various forms with “crack cocaine” being the most addictive.  Recovery from addiction to cocaine is possible with a treatment program that offers medical treatment, individual therapy, group counseling, and social services support and other inventions including contingency management.

Methamphetamine, also called “meth,” is a powerful, highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system. On a chemical level, it is similar to amphetamine, which is used to treat narcolepsy and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  Long-term effects of methamphetamine may result in substance abuse, extreme weight loss, severe dental degeneration (often called “meth mouth”), intense hypodermal itching, confusion and memory loss, neurological deterioration, and violent outbursts.  Although research has been underway for many years, there currently is no government-approved medication to treat drug addiction to methamphetamine. That being said, at our treatment center, we use appropriate medications for substance use disorders,  individual counseling, group therapy, peer support, and social services to help recover from methamphetamine addiction.

Ecstasy/MDMA is a synthetic hallucinogen and stimulant.  It causes distortions in perception of time and surroundings as well as memory, mood, and attention by releasing large amounts of serotonin.  Because of this rapid increase, the brain is depleted of this important neurotransmitter, causing negative neurological and psychological ramifications.  Although there currently is no government-approved medication for MDMA addiction treatment, healing has been shown to occur through treatment options such as individual counseling, group therapy, peer support, and social services.

Addiction is a disease. We treat it with medicine to help stop the symptoms, and we treat it with counseling and social support to help you move forward.

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