Treating Stimulant Addiction

Stimulants are a class of psychoactive drugs which act to improve mental and physical function. Stimulants are often used in a medical setting for the treatment of ADHD, obesity, and narcolepsy, but they are often abused for recreational purposes. When abused, some stimulants have a high potential for addiction. An addict may have a hard time quitting the drug and might consider entering rehab or a substance abuse treatment program.

When deciding how to handle a stimulant addiction it is important to take into account which stimulant you are abusing.

Caffeine – A central nervous system stimulant, caffeine is the most widely used stimulant in the world to reduce physical fatigue. It is legal to consume across the world. Heavy caffeine use can lead to dependency. Conditions associated with caffeine dependency include nervousness, irritability, restlessness, insomnia, headaches, and heart palpitations. Withdrawal symptoms are not life-threatening and only typically last from two to nine days. It is not usually necessary to seek a professional rehab program to treat a caffeine addiction.

Nicotine – The main ingredient in cigarettes and chewing tobacco, nicotine is used across the world as one of the most popular legal stimulants. Nicotine is very addictive and extremely hard to stop using once the body is dependent on the drug. The American Heart Association said that nicotine addiction is one of the hardest addictions to break. Many personal attempts to quit smoking end up failing. There are several smoking rehab products that are offered both over the counter and in prescription form.

Cocaine – Cocaine is a psychoactive stimulant which acts on the central nervous system. It is widely abused across the world and has a very high potential for addiction. It is illegal to distribute, grow, or possess cocaine for non-medicinal purposes in almost all countries. Cocaine causes a short burst of euphoria which lasts for 30 minutes to an hour. Occasional cocaine use does not typically lead to addiction, but chronic use can cause a powerful physical and psychological dependence. Cocaine rehab can be a difficult task and a serious user will likely need to enter a professional treatment program.

Methamphetamine – Meth is a synthetic stimulant of the amphetamine class of drugs. It has an extremely high potential for addiction. It acts on the neurotransmitter dopamine, causing and intense euphoric rush. Meth is relatively simple to manufacture at home, which has contributed to its widespread abuse across the world. After a person becomes physically and psychologically dependent on meth, it is very difficult to rehab successfully. The long lasting cognitive effects caused by meth make treatment especially difficult. The “amphetamine psychosis” associated with heavy meth use has similar effects on the brain as schizophrenia and can last for up to a year after the drug has been used. Most experts suggest meth addicts choose treatment programs that last from several months to a year. Treatment should also include an extensive outpatient program to ensure the patient doesn’t relapse.

Ecstasy’s Side Effects

Ecstasy is known as MDMA or 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine. The drug induces a sense of euphoria, reduced anxiety, and a strong sense of intimacy with others. Many people from all over the world use this drug in the rave, or club scene. These clubs usually promote drug use, and ecstasy use. The drug ecstasy is the most common used amongst the club goers, it’s possession and use is illegal. If a person takes too much ecstasy they may not be able to stop without ecstasy detox. 

Many people assume ecstasy is a harmless party drug, because it’s use has become so common place with the club scene. The drug is not harmless in fact the use of the drug has some serious side-effects:

  • Cardiac arrhythmia or abnormal electrical activity of the heart
  • Circulatory shock or cardiogenic shock
  • Vasculitis or destruction of blood vessels
  • Cardiotoxicity or damage to the heart
  • Cardiac dysfunction, arrest, myocardial infarction, and/or heart failure
  • fainting or loss of consciousness
  • Possible brain damage
  • Coma or death

With the danger of the drug being under rated, or misunderstood it is important to get the proper information of the dangers of ecstasy out there for everyone. Ecstasy use can be addicting , as well as the behaviors associated with the drug. After ecstasy detox, and rehab a person should cease all activity related to the drug. This especially means leaving the club scene behind. Going back to a place, or even participating in an activity associated with the drug can trigger a relapse, and a person could go back right into using the drug again. Multiple relapses, almost always lead to more harsh penalties, such as being charged with crimes like possession of illicit substances. So in addition to the threat of death from use, there is also a possibility of jail time. This could be an endless cycle, of drug abuse, and crime that can be circumvented by proper ecstasy detox, and treatment. Making sure to follow up with support groups the first time to avoid a relapse, and insure a successful future.