Symptoms, Consequences and Treatment for Addiction to Stimulant Drugs
Symptoms of Stimulants Addiction
Stimulant drugs are highly addictive substances that may be prescribed by doctors to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy, or in some cases, depression. Other stimulants include cocaine and methamphetamine. These drugs increase alertness and energy, as well as blood pressure, heart rate and breathing.
Unfortunately, prescription stimulants are frequently misused. When they are taken in larger doses or a different manner than prescribed, stimulants increase dopamine levels in the brain too rapidly, resulting in a euphoric feeling or high.
If someone is addicted to stimulants, they may exhibit some of the following signs and symptoms:
- Developing a tolerance to stimulants
- Being unable to control how often or how much of the drugs are used
- Experiencing withdrawal when symptoms of the stimulants wear off
- Exhibiting severe changes in physical appearance and hygiene
- Neglecting important obligations and hobbies in order to use stimulants
- Continuing to use stimulants consistently despite the problems it causes
Consequences of Stimulants Addiction
Stimulant drugs can be very damaging to a person’s overall health and wellness, especially when they are abused long-term.
Health problems caused by stimulant drug abuse may include:
- Breathing problems
- Cardiovascular damage
- Muscle damage
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Cerebral hemorrhage
Stimulants addiction can also lead to (or contribute to) psychological problems, such as:
An addiction to stimulants may also cause a number of social problems, such as:
- Strained relationships with family, friends, and co-workers
- Financial problems
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Treatment Options for Stimulant Addiction
According to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health published by the Substances and Mental Health Services Administration, 1.6 million people reported using stimulant drugs such as cocaine or methamphetamine within the past month.
If you or a loved one is struggling with a stimulant drug addiction, long-term treatment can help. There are many different types of treatment options available and the most effective choice depends on a number of factors, including:
- Willingness to enroll in a treatment program
- Prior treatment and relapse history
- Motivation for getting addiction treatment
- Financial abilities
If you are unsure which type of treatment would be most appropriate for your needs or the needs of a loved one, a clinical counselor or substance abuse specialist can help get you going in the right direction. One or more of the following treatment options may be appropriate for your situation.
Withdrawal from stimulants can be very dangerous due to the intense feelings of depression many people experience. Medically assisted detox provides a safe and monitored environment in which clients can discontinue the use of stimulants without the fear of withdrawal. Each client’s detox program is individualized based on the findings of a comprehensive assessment for the highest quality care. On-site medical staff may also administer medication to treat uncomfortable symptoms that occur during withdrawal. Individual and group counseling during detox also provide an outlet for clients to work through their emotional responses to detox and discuss options for continued addiction treatment with their counselor.
Residential treatment for stimulant drug addiction provides at least 90 days of inpatient care in a drug and alcohol rehab facility. Each client’s treatment program is individually designed by a multidisciplinary treatment team to provide the most comprehensive care available. Evidence-based treatment modalities and 12-step facilitation therapy are blended and balanced with clinical care practices to offer clients the highest opportunity to achieve lifetime sobriety.
Outpatient treatment for stimulant drug addiction offers more flexibility for individuals who still need to attend work or school while in rehab. This type of treatment program requires that clients meet at a nearby, safe location several times a week for individual and group counseling sessions. Throughout the program, clients will work with their counselors and peers to complete the 12-step program and employ other evidence-based behavioral therapies to overcome their addiction.
Sober living programs offer a structured, sober environment in which clients can live while transitioning back into life at home after rehab. Sober living homes can be apartments or houses but are gender-separate. Each client is required to adhere to the rules and standards of the community living space. Regular drug testing, group counseling sessions, on-site staff, and an assigned program coordinator all help provide the accountability needed during early recovery.
Aftercare programs are designed for clients who have graduated from an inpatient residential treatment program. This type of treatment offers ongoing support with weekly group sessions to help clients address issues they’re having, offer their own perspective to others, and continue working on the 12 principles of recovery while living sober on their own at home. This helps ensure long-term sobriety.
Each type of addiction treatment can be beneficial on its own, but combining them all provides a fully comprehensive continuum of care to help clients successfully navigate the transitional stages between residential care and sober living.
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