Stimulants are a class of drugs that enhance brain activity, causing an increase in alertness, attention, and energy. Due to their energizing qualities, they are often referred to as “uppers”. Stimulants are used as pharmaceuticals to treat a wide variety of ailments including depression, ADD/ADHD, narcolepsy, and obesity. A wide variety of street drugs classified as stimulants have been abused by people for thousands of years. Rehab centers have been challenged to deal with an increasing number of stimulant addicts with the recent popularity of cocaine and methamphetamine.
Examples of stimulants:
- Cocaine: A white, crystalline powder which acts as a power central nervous system stimulant.
- Caffeine: Both legal and unregulated in almost all countries of the world, caffeine is the most widely used psychoactive drug on the planet.
- Methamphetamine: A powerful central nervous system stimulant with a high potential for abuse. Success in meth rehab attempts are typically lower than most other drugs.
- Nicotine: The main psychoactive drug in tobacco, nicotine is highly addictive and can be one of the most difficult addictions to break.
- MDMA (“Ecstasy”): A psychoactive drug of the amphetamine class, MDMA has been tested for its therapeutic effects, but is also widely abused (despite being criminalized in most countries).
- Amphetamine (Adderall, Ritalin…etc.): A central nervous system stimulant often used as a prescription medication to treat ADD/ADHD.
Stimulants can carry a high potential for abuse, especially those which affect the central nervous system and rehab may be necessary if a user become addicted to the drug. There are a wide variety of drugs which fall under the stimulant class and some have drastically different effects on the body. When considering stimulant rehab it is important to consider what specific stimulant you are a loved one is abusing. Many people across the world are dependent on legal stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine. If abuse becomes a problem it is typically not necessary for the user to enter a formal treatment program. However, if a person is dependent on methamphetamine, it is likely that the only hope for beating the addiction will be to consult a professional rehab center.
Some prescription stimulants can cause dependence. When prescribing stimulants as medication, doctors must be sure to issue an appropriate dose and be sure the patient will not start abusing the drug. Prescription ADD medications like Ritalin and Adderall are commonly abused, especially by young people trying to get an advantage studying for college. A doctor must be very careful to only prescribe ADD medications those who need it. Many see the high demand for Ritalin and Adderall as an opportunity to make money by selling their medication to their peers.
When a person becomes addicted to a powerful central nervous system stimulant like methamphetamine or cocaine, it is important for them to seek a rehab facility immediately. These drugs have very dangerous side effects and can be extremely difficult to overcome and addiction. In the case of meth addiction, it is extremely important for a patient to follow a strict rehab program for several months to ensure they do not relapse.