Stimulants or ‘uppers’ are psychoactive drugs that temporarily improve mental and physical functioning. Stimulants cause a flood of dopamine to enter the brain, which produces feelings of pleasure, elevates mood, increases well-being, alertness, and energy.
According to the National Institute of Health:
The term stimulants cover a broad class of drugs that increase the activity of the central nervous system. These drugs are used by a very high percentage of the general population for various reasons, which include performance enhancement, medical benefits, and recreational purposes. Illegal and/or prescription stimulants carry medical purposes but are also heavily used for recreational reasons. (NIH)
Stimulants are both prescribed and used recreationally. They are often prescribed to treat ADHD, narcolepsy, to promote weight loss, and even for clinical depression. Some of the most commonly prescribed stimulants are Adderall, Ritalin, Provigil, Concerta, and Vyvanse. And some examples of stimulants used recreationally are cocaine, methamphetamine, amphetamines, nicotine, caffeine, and ecstasy.
Dangers of Using Stimulants to Get MORE Done
Stimulants are highly addictive due to the short-term euphoric effects that they produce. Taking them, especially if they are not prescribed, puts a person at considerable risk of abuse and dependence.
Stimulants do decrease fatigue, increase productivity and sustainability of work, but as stated above, they are highly addictive and have potential psychiatric and medical toxicity associated with use. And over time, abusing stimulants disrupts the functioning of the brain’s dopamine system. Eventually, the person will be unable to feel any pleasure at all without them.
Short-Term Effects of Stimulant Abuse
Stimulants produce a rush when they are taken, but this rush is only temporary. The effects that stimulants have on the body can be dangerous. Some of the short-term effects of stimulant use are:
- Loss of appetite
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Weight loss
- Rapid breathing
- A rise in blood sugar
- Decreased blood flow
- Violent or erratic behavior
Also, taking stimulants at high doses can cause anxiety, paranoia, heart failure, seizures, and an increase in body temperature.
Long-Term Effects of Stimulant Abuse
Using stimulants for a prolonged period puts a person at risk for tolerance and dependence. This can lead to addiction before the individual realizes it. Some of the other long-term effects of stimulant use are:
- Increased blood pressure
- Irregular heart rate
- Chronic insomnia
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Heart failure
The effects that stimulants produce are only temporary and long-term use hurts an individual. In the long run, stimulants negatively affect a person’s ability to focus, memory, and sleep quality. And poor sleep quality has detrimental effects on an individual’s cognitive function.
Taking stimulants to increase productivity is not worth the risk. The risk of addiction and the effects they have on a person’s cognitive function alone makes them a dangerous drug.
Treatment for Stimulant Addiction
If you or someone you love is struggling with prescription stimulant addiction, our recovery specialists are available around the clock to assist you. Recreate Life Counseling offers evidence-based addiction treatment programs. Our cutting-edge addiction treatment will lead you on a road to long-lasting recovery. You don’t have to suffer any longer, call us today.