Stimulant Addiction: Treatment for “Upper” Dependence
An Introduction to Stimulant Addiction Treatment
Stimulants, also known as “uppers,” are a wide variety of drugs that increase energy and alertness. An addiction to stimulants can develop for many different reasons. Students may seek them out to aid concentration and alertness, especially before an exam. Others may turn to stimulants for the exhilarating high they promise.
Regardless of the reason, an addiction to stimulants promises long-term damage to the brain, organs, and body. To free themselves from the dangers of stimulants, addicts will need to seek stimulant addiction treatment from a trusted and supportive network of addiction care professionals. At Better Addiction Care, We are that network and we’re here to help.
What Are Stimulants?
Stimulants are types of drugs that act on the brain and central nervous system to induce feelings of alertness and energy.
Ritalin and Adderall are prescription stimulants used in the treatment of attention disorders, but can also be addictive if used improperly. Students, in particular, abuse this category of stimulants as a way to increase their ability to study and perform on exams.
In addition to producing a sense of greater concentration and confidence, stimulants can also raise blood pressure, decrease the sense of appetite, alter the brain’s natural chemistry, and induce many other effects.
How Does Stimulant Addiction Happen?
Abusers develop an addiction to stimulants because of the way in which the drugs affect the brain. Stimulants increase dopamine levels, leading to feelings of happiness and greater concentration.
As the stimulant is used more frequently, the brain develops a tolerance to the drug’s effects, which forces the user to increase dosage amounts in order to achieve the same feelings. This is known as tolerance.
The brain may also become dependent on the drug to the point where an absence of it causes withdrawal symptoms, which can include negative feelings like anxiety, depression, and irritation. This is known as dependence. Users return to the drug to ease these symptoms.
Eventually, the user will begin to exhibit behaviors and experience consequences as a result of their stimulant use that have negative impacts on their lives. This is when addiction occurs.
Someone who is addicted to stimulants is likely to suffer socially, mentally, and physically from their addiction.
What Are the Effects of Stimulant Addiction?
Stimulant addiction can be a crippling disease that severely impacts all aspects of its victims’ lives. Negative impacts of stimulant addiction can include:
- Professional problems such as absence and job loss
- Family problems, including relationship trauma and divorce
- Mental health issues, including paranoia, depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and delusions
- Medical health issues, including tooth loss, heart attack, nasal and lung damage, and HIV
- Legal issues, including lengthy jail sentences
- Financial problems
Find Stimulant Addiction Treatment Today
Regardless of the type of stimulant being abused, addiction recovery is possible. Don’t wait; contact us now to get on your path to recovery. BetterAddictionCare works with each client to help find a professional and safe addiction recovery program from among our nationwide recovery network of alternative rehab programs.
An individualized pre-treatment screening will determine which centers may be the best match for you, and our team of Client Care Specialists will work with you to coordinate insurance requirements and transportation options. Our inpatient recovery network is always accepting new patients, so treatment can begin the minute you are ready.
If you or someone you care about is struggling with an addiction to stimulants, call today to speak with a counselor near you. For more information on addiction counseling and recovery assisted by our network, fill out our contact form and start healing right away.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2021). DrugFacts: Stimulant ADHD Medications – Methylphenidate and Amphetamines. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/stimulant-adhd-medications-methylphenidate-amphetamines
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2019). Treatments for Substance Use Disorders. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/treatment/substance-use-disorders
- American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
- Vrecko, S. (2013). Just how cognitive is “cognitive enhancement”? On the significance of emotions in university students’ experiences with study drugs. AJOB Neuroscience, 4(4), 4-12.
- Lisdahl, K. M., Gilbart, E. R., Wright, N. E., & Shollenbarger, S. (2013). Dare to delay? The impacts of adolescent alcohol and marijuana use onset on cognition, brain structure, and function. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 4, 53.
- Hart, H., Radua, J., Nakao, T., Mataix-Cols, D., & Rubia, K. (2013). Meta-analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging studies of inhibition and attention in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Exploring task-specific, stimulant medication, and age effects. JAMA Psychiatry, 70(2), 185-198.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2020). Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment
- Volkow, N. D., Wang, G. J., Fowler, J. S., & Tomasi, D. (2012). Addiction circuitry in the human brain. Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology, 52, 321-336.
- Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. (2005). Clinical Guidelines for the Use of Buprenorphine in the Treatment of Opioid Addiction. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64158/
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2021). Prescription Stimulants DrugFacts. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/prescription-stimulants