About Stimulant Abuse and Addiction
Stimulants are prescription medications that speed up or “stimulate” the activities in the body. These medications are meant to enhance alertness, concentration, and energy. They are often prescribed by doctors to treat conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy, and depression.
Stimulants work by enhancing the effects of the nerve cells in the brain that send messages to each other through the release of chemicals called neurotransmitters. Doctors often begin by prescribing low doses of the stimulant and gradually increasing dosage over time until the condition is fully treated. However, stimulants can be abused when high doses are taken too quickly or when they are used without a prescription, and ultimately, can lead to addiction.
Prescription medications that are considered stimulants are often abused because of their “performance-enhancing” effects. They allow individuals to feel more alert, to not feel tired, and to get a “high” feeling. Addiction to stimulants can be especially dangerous, however, because high doses can result in an irregular heartbeat, high body temperatures, and increased risk of heart failure or seizure. They should not be combined with antidepressants or over-the-counter decongestants, as this combination can lead to severely high blood pressure or irregular heart rhythms.
Common types of stimulants include:
Stimulant Addiction Treatment
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, one of the most well-known stimulants, Adderall, is the second most abused prescription medication among young adults and teens, behind only Vicodin. Because addiction to stimulants can be so dangerous, it is important to know the signs of stimulant abuse and addiction and to seek treatment as soon as possible.
Talbott Recovery provides addiction treatment programs for individuals who are addicted to stimulants, including both day treatment and intensive outpatient programs. We have campuses conveniently located in the Atlanta and Dunwoody, GA areas.