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Article Summary

About Stimulants

Stimulants can be illicit drugs, such as crystal meth and cocaine, or they can be medications that are prescribed form legitimate ailments, such as Adderall, Concerta, and Ritalin. Many of the most common types of stimulants are legal and easy to access, and include nicotine, over-the-counter weight loss pills, and coffee, tea, and energy drinks, which contain caffeine. These particular drugs are attractive because they can cause a person to have loads of energy and can also increase their mental alertness, too; this is accomplished by these types of drugs, through increasing the amount of dopamine (feel good chemicals) in the brain. Stimulants are often called "uppers," and have a variety of different street names which can include, but are not limited to: Crank, Black Beauties, Speed, Pep pills, Footballs, Blow, Big C, White, Snowbirds, Nose Candy, Hearts, Bumblebees, and Snow.

Stimulants can be injected, smoked, sniffed or taken by mouth; although, the most popular methods of ingestion for recreationally users is reported to be via smoking, snorting, or injecting these type of drugs, in order to produce an euphoric "rush." Heavy stimulant users may inject themselves every couple of hours, until they are out of the drug, or they have reached a point of psychosis, delirium, or extreme exhaustion; during this period of chronic stimulant use, nothing else will matter to the user, except trying to recreate that initial euphoric rush.

Many types of prescription stimulants have come to be strictly regulated, because they have been found to have a significant potential for abuse and addiction; drugs that have been liberally prescribed for conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), have quickly found their way to the illicit drug market. Stimulants are generally abused in order to increase physical or mental performance, to reduce appetite, for prolonged wakefulness, and to produce a sense of extreme exhilaration.

Stimulants Side Effects

The short-term side effects of stimulants, can include but may not be limited to: a significant increase in heart rate and blood pressure, constricted blood vessels, and an increased rate of breathing; although many of these side-effects do not appear to be serious, some of them could cause the user to have a heart attack or to experience seizures which could potentially result in death.

The long term effects of chronic stimulant use can include, but may not be limited to: mood swings, extreme irritability, cardiovascular problems, including developing an irregular heartbeat or heart failure, which could result in death. By far, the most serious side effects of chronic stimulant use is in relation to a person building a tolerance to these types of drugs; thus, having to take more and more of these stimulants to generate the effects that they experienced upon first using these "uppers." When an individual begins to take higher doses of these drugs, they are increasing the risk of a potentially fatal stimulant overdose. It is for this reason alone, that loved ones should locate and secure professional drug treatment at the first hint of a stimulant abuse problem.

Stimulant Addiction

Stimulants have been reported to be highly addictive, both physically and psychologically. Stimulants have an extremely high potential for abuse, because of some of the attractive effects that these types of drugs produce; an example of this is when a person who needs to stay up all night in order to study for college finals reaches for stimulants to help them to accomplish this goal. It is for this reason, that individuals who are prescribed stimulants for legitimate medical conditions will often sell their medication to those individuals who wish to use the drugs for casual or recreational use.

Some illicit stimulants, such as cocaine and crystal meth, are reported to be some of the most powerfully addictive drugs of abuse that exist; thus drug rehab centers across areas of the United States have reported seeing a significant increase in the number of individuals who are seeking drug treatment for a stimulant addiction problem. This spike in the number of people that are seeking professional treatment for an addiction to these types of illicit stimulants, is related to the powerful high that they are reported to produce; many users report that the euphoric rush and the feelings of supremacy that they derive from these types of drugs, keeps them steadily reaching for more.

Stimulant Withdrawal

Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms that are associated with stimulants include, but are not limited to: fatigue, extreme depression, agitation, an increased appetite, and having weird or unpleasant dreams. Because these types of drugs are known to cause a state of intense euphoria, when stimulants are discontinued, it is not unusual for a person to experience emotional "crash," when they quit using these drugs.

Withdrawal from stimulants is generally reported to consist of both physical and psychological symptoms; individuals who have taken these types of drugs over a long period of time may begin to experience especially painful and sometimes debilitating stimulant withdrawal symptoms. It is for this reason that a person who is withdrawing from stimulants should only do so under professional supervision; additionally, a person who has struggled with abusing these "uppers" should be sure to follow up the detox and withdrawal process with a complete and comprehensive drug rehab program.

Stimulant Overdose

A stimulant overdose occurs when a person takes more of these types of drugs than the body can process; although this type of a condition has the potential to deadly, with emergency medical assistance, the chances of survival will increase significantly. The most common signs of a stimulant overdose may include, but are not limited to: convulsions, profuse sweating, and sudden increase in blood pressure or pulse rate, labored breathing, tremors, chest pain, and cardiovascular collapse.

Stimulant Drug Treatment

The only possible way to be rid of the burden of a stimulant addiction is to find a quality drug rehab program that has a history of a high success rate in treating individuals with this type of a substance abuse problem.

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