What are Stimulants?
Stimulants are a type of psychoactive drug that affects the central nervous system (CNS) in the body by increasing your cognitive functioning and alertness. A stimulant works by increasing the amount of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, which results in improved concentration and decreased fatigue. It is often used in patients who suffer from ADHD, narcolepsy and other health disorders.
Many people will feel “high” after using stimulants due to the short-term effects in the body, but long-term abuse to these types of drugs can lead to severe health consequences.
It is important to be aware of these potential risks before using stimulants and understand the risk for addiction, overdose and abuse of these drugs. Although there are prescription stimulants that are given by a doctor that may be medically necessary and are legal, there are others that are not and can lead to overdose or addiction.
What are Prescription Stimulants?
Not all stimulants are illicit or illegal, and some people take prescription stimulants given to them from their primary care physician. A prescription stimulant is a medication that is prescribed by a physician that is used to treat a specific health disorder.
Treatment with prescription stimulants for health disorders such as ADHD are common in younger individuals. Research estimates that the number of children ever diagnosed with ADHD, according to a national 2016 parent survey, is 6.1 million (9.4 percent) and other research shows boys are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than girls (12.9 percent compared to 5.6 percent).
When taken appropriately, prescription stimulants can be effective in treating specific health disorders.
How Does a Person Get a Prescription for a Stimulant?
There are legitimate reasons to get a prescription stimulant such as for certain health disorders like ADHD or ADD. If you are a parent and notice that your child is having difficulty concentrating or sitting still, then prescription stimulants may be a good option for you.
Prescription stimulants are also used to treat narcolepsy and obesity. The medication causes people to have increased attention, energy, alertness and concentration. Patients are reviewed and prescribed either amphetamines or methylphenidates depending on the levels of potency, type of health disorder and duration of the drug needed.
Types of Prescription Stimulants
Prescription stimulants are used to treat a specific health disorder and are prescribed by a doctor. Common names of prescription stimulants include:
Amphetamines are psychostimulant drugs of the phenethylamine class that are known to produce increased wakefulness and focus in association with decreased fatigue and appetite.
Amphetamine is chemically related to methamphetamine and lisdexamfetamine, a class of potent prescription drugs that cause euphoria by increasing the levels of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain. Part of this class are prescription CNS drugs that are typically used to treat certain disorders such as ADHD.
It can also be used in treating symptoms from some traumatic brain injuries (TBI), the effects of narcolepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), postural orthostatic and tachycardia syndrome (POTS). Initially, amphetamines were more popularly used to diminish appetite and to control weight.
The most common brand names for the medication amphetamine include: “Adderall”, “Dexedrine”, “Dextrostat”, “Desoxyn”, “ProCentra,” “Vyvanse”, and “Benzedrine”.
This drug can also be used as a performance enhancer and is used recreationally. People who use amphetamines recreationally have distinguished “street” names for the drug such as “speed”.
If you or a loved one is in the grips of amphetamine addiction, AToN Center’s private rehab can help you recover through our comprehensive prescription drug treatment in San Diego.
Ritalin, Metadate, Methylin or Concerta (MPH) are a group of methylphenidate psychostimulant drugs that have been approved to treat certain disorders such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) narcolepsy, or postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome.
Types of Stimulants
There are many types of drugs that are considered stimulants, including over the counter substances or drugs, prescription medications and illegal stimulants. Some are more damaging to your health than others, and it depends on how much you are using them. Below are the most commonly used stimulants:
How do Prescription Stimulants Lead to Health-Related Effects in the Body?
Prescription stimulants can lead to health-related effects due to how they change certain chemicals in the body such as dopamine and norepinephrine. Dopamine works by increasing rewarding behaviors, while norepinephrine affects blood vessels, blood pressure and heart rate, blood sugar, and breathing. A person using prescription stimulants will usually say that the drug makes them feel the following:
Overdose and Misuse of Stimulants
Because of the high potential for abuse, overdose and addiction, prescription stimulants are classified as a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act. The most common ways that people will abuse prescription stimulants are:
- Taking medicine only for the effect it causes—to get high
- Taking someone else’s medicine
- Taking medicine in a way or dose other than prescribed
Stimulants, including prescription stimulants produce an overabundance of dopamine when a person takes it. If a person continually uses a stimulant, their system begins to no longer produce the chemical dopamine, because it is used to receiving it from the drug.
Once this happens, a dependence begins to develop, meaning you need the drug in order to feel “normal.” If a person does not take the drug, they will start to have withdrawal symptoms. This is typically when abuse, or overdose of the drug is possible.
If you are struggling with any drugs or alcohol and are looking for treatment centers that can treat your addiction, please contact AToN Center for more information on our treatment programs and rehab for your care.
Can You Overdose on a Prescription Stimulant?
The quick answer to this is–yes. You can definitely overdose on a prescription stimulant, just like you can overdose on other drugs. Just because it is prescribed by a doctor does not mean that prescription stimulants cannot cause abuse, misuse, overdose or other health-related effects.
If you feel that you have a problem with prescription stimulants, please contact one of the staff at AToN Center for more information on our programs.
Prescription Stimulant Addiction and Substance Use Disorder in People
As like any drug or alcohol, prescription stimulants and non-prescription stimulants can be addictive and result in a person developing a substance use disorder. Long-term use of stimulants leads to dependence, ultimately resulting in abuse. A substance abuse disorder occurs when you use drugs to the point that it begins to negatively impact your life or health.
Addiction is a national problem that affects many people all over the world, and some never get the drug treatment that they really need to get over it. Despite it being such a large, national problem, it is possible to overcome an addiction and achieve recovery.
Inpatient Versus Outpatient Programs for Prescription Stimulants
All drug treatment centers will vary in what type of addiction drug treatment they offer. Some programs are an outpatient program, while others are an inpatient/residential program. Both levels of care are helpful in treating addiction, but the most successful drug treatment comes in the form of a residential treatment care program.
Outpatient drug treatment
consists of therapy and levels of care that allow you to stay living at your current residence. You attend sessions multiple times a week, by counselors or other addiction specialists but you do not live at a center for your recovery and care.
Inpatient drug recovery
such as AToN Center allows you to live at the center, receive round the clock care, and attend sessions all throughout the day, while you are reviewed by medical staff. Research has shown that the best outcomes for recovery come from a residential program, where you can receive constant high-quality levels of care and monitoring, ensuring the safest and most comfortable treatment.
Stimulant Addiction Treatment at AToN Center
AToN Center in California, is a leading drug and alcohol addiction treatment center that focuses on individuals who are struggling with all types of addiction. Our staff are doctoral level, medically trained staff and clinicians who specialize in the treatment of addictions such as prescription stimulants and other stimulants.
Our luxury treatment center includes an on-site chef that prepares nutritious meals, along with holistic treatment options such as acupuncture, yoga and massages–all while you are able to overlook the gorgeous views of the rolling hills! At AToN Center it feels like home, not like you are at a treatment center. We truly care about all of our clients and their well-being. We treat all drugs and alcohol, including prescription stimulants.
For more information on AToN Center, our prescription stimulant or other drug rehab programs, please contact our center. We can help you verify your insurance, discuss our specific program modalities, and assist you with finding the right program for your needs.