Stimulants are a class of drugs that work on the central nervous system by increasing the amounts of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. Cocaine, crack cocaine, methamphetamine, amphetamine, or prescription drugs like Adderall and Ritalin are all stimulants. These drugs are powerful and highly addictive. They increase energy, alertness, attention, can improve concentration, decrease fatigue, but will also increase a person’s blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing.
How Does Stimulant Work?
The National Institute of Health Stimulants StatPearl says:
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, including performance enhancement, medical benefits, and recreational purposes. Depending on the stimulant and jurisdiction, the drug may be legal or illegal. Caffeine is the most commonly used stimulant globally, used for a combination of dietary and recreational purposes and performance enhancement. Other legal stimulants are generally used for performance enhancement but may also find utility for specific symptoms depending on the drug. Illegal and/or prescription stimulants carry medical purposes but are also heavily used for recreational reasons. (NIH)
Why are Stimulants Addictive?
The reason that stimulants are so addictive is that when they are abused, they produce an overabundance of dopamine in the brain, which creates an intense euphoric rush. Once a person has experienced this euphoria, they will continue using the drug to prevent the “crash-like” effect that people experience from abruptly stopping a stimulant. One of the most difficult withdrawal symptoms from stimulant withdrawal is extreme depression and fatigue from the rapid decline in dopamine levels. Stimulant addiction is one of the toughest addictions to beat, but it can be done.
How Can I Fight Stimulant Addiction?
The United States has been in the middle of an opioid epidemic for years. Unfortunately, much focus has been put on the opioid crisis when a methamphetamine and stimulant epidemic has been brewing in the background.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse:
According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), approximately 1.6 million people (0.6 percent of the population) reported using methamphetamine in the past year, and 774,000 (0.3 percent) reported using it in the past month. The average age of new methamphetamine users in 2016 was 23.3 years old. An estimated 964,000 people aged 12 or older (about 0.4 percent of the population) had a methamphetamine use disorder in 2017—that is, they reported clinically significant impairment, including health problems, disability, and failure to meet responsibilities at work, school, or home as a result of their drug use. This number is significantly higher than the 684,000 people who reported having methamphetamine use disorder in 2016. (NIDA)
More About How Can I Fight Stimulant Addiction?
We as a country have got to start putting some focus on the methamphetamine and stimulant abuse and addiction that has quickly arisen. Fighting stimulant addiction is exactly as it says. It is a fight! The intense cravings that those who have become addicted experience, desiring that sudden flood of dopamine that hits the brain and produces the intense pleasure.
The quicker a person enters treatment and starts getting help for their stimulant addiction, the better off they will be. Fighting any addiction can be difficult, but fighting a stimulant addiction is one of the hardest things a person could ever go through in their life.
Overcome Stimulant Addiction at Recreate Life Counseling
Recreate Life Counseling offers solution-focused treatment and evidence-based addiction treatment programs. In beautiful Boynton Beach, Florida, we pride ourselves on treating each patient individually. Our programs are tailored to meet the needs of anyone affected by addiction.
The first step is being ready for treatment and ready to fight to get your life back. With willingness and determination, anyone can achieve long-lasting sobriety and recovery.