Stimulants

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:

Adderall

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.

Amphetamine

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

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:

Caffeine

One of the most widely used stimulants in the United States is caffeine. It can be found in common foods or drinks such as coffee, chocolate, tea, soft drinks and cocoa. Although there are some positive side effects such as increased energy and alertness, too much can lead to levels of anxiety or insomnia.

Cocaine

One of the most well known national stimulants is cocaine. Cocaine is a psychoactive drug that is made from leaves of the coca tree. Cocaine was first introduced as a prescription stimulant that was used to treat a person for a psychological disorder. The effects of Cocaine were later discovered to potentially cause abuse, overdose or addiction.

Unfortunately, the average age for initial use of cocaine is getting lower. The use of cocaine, depending on the severity, can cause paranoia, mood swings, high blood pressure, panic attacks, tachycardia, cognitive impairment, paranoia, or other intense changes in personality. Cocaine can also lead to other mental health problems such as aggression, compulsion, and criminal and/or erratic behaviors.

If you or a loved one is struggling with cocaine addiction, AToN Center’s drug treatment and rehab in San Diego offers a multitude of programs with many levels of care that can help you, including our 12 Step, Non-12 Step and SMART Recovery® rehab programs.

Crack

Even with short term use, many people experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using crack. The symptoms are more pronounced in individuals who have been using crack for a long time and in high doses.

People addicted to crack are unable to improve without medical treatment at a treatment center. The physical and psychological dependence of crack is intense and most find it difficult to get out of the addictive cycle. The withdrawal symptoms include intense cravings, irritability, hunger, anxiety and paranoia. These feelings prevent people from ceasing crack use.

Nicotine

Nicotine is considered one of the top three national most used stimulants in the world, despite not having any real medical benefits. You do not need a prescription and can get it over the counter if you are old enough. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that in 2014, approximately 17% of U.S. adults over the age of 18 (around 40 million individuals) smoke cigarettes.

The primary ingredient in an e-cigarette is nicotine. When a person vapes with e-cigarettes it can easily lead to addiction and the effects can lead to poor health, due to the high levels of the stimulant.

Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine addiction is a national significant problem making a major impact on public health in the United States. The consequences and complications of methamphetamine addiction are severe and wide ranging. The toll methamphetamine addiction has on an individual’s health can be devastating. Methamphetamine has a substantial influence on cardiovascular health, risk of pulmonary disease, oral health, and infection in both chronic and acute abuse.

Addiction to methamphetamine has profound influence on cognitive functioning and emotional stability. Long term impairment from meth dependence can persist even after people are able to be abstinent, and meth is extremely addictive. Once addicted it can be difficult to discontinue use without professional help. Treatment and rehab is critical to intervene in the cycle of relapse and addiction.

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:

  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate
  • Increased breathing
  • Decreased blood flow
  • Increased blood sugar
  • Opened-up breathing passages

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.

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