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Stimulant Symptoms and Signs of Abuse

Don't let stimulant abuse steal your sparkle
Stimulants are everywhere - from coffee to energy drinks, to prescription medications. But what happens when you abuse these drugs, and how can you get help? At Miracles Asia, we specalize in treating all forms of addiction. As Thailand's leading rehab center our Clinical Team offers guests a path to reclaim their life.
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Stimulants are a type of drug that stimulates certain areas of the central nervous system and are often used to increase alertness, concentration, and energy levels.

Almost every person has tried stimulants at least once in their life. 

We are talking about coffee, cigarettes, energy drinks, and over-the-counter medications, such as Adderall and Ritalin, for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD.) 

There are also other stimulants that refer to illicit drugs, like cocaine and methamphetamine. 

While some stimulants have beneficial effects when used in moderation, most stimulant drugs, especially when taken in excess, can lead to an overdose, which can cause serious health problems, including heart attack, stroke, coma, and even death. 

Moreover, stimulants are exceptionally habit-forming, resulting in addiction. This may lead to dangerous consequences, including drug abuse, which can further damage a person's physical and mental health.

So let's find out what stimulants are, what they do, and how dangerous stimulant abuse is.
Key Takeaways
Stimulants are drugs that stimulate certain areas of the central nervous system to increase alertness, concentration, and energy levels.
Common signs of stimulant abuse may include behavioral, physical, cognitive, and psychosocial symptoms.
Stimulant addiction treatment is a complex process that requires professional medical and psychological care.

What Are Stimulants?

Stimulants are drugs that affect the central nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord. Stimulants act by increasing the release of neurotransmitters, such as norepinephrine and dopamine, in the brain. 

When taken in small doses, stimulants can boost alertness, concentration, and energy levels. 

In large doses, they cause euphoria and provide a feeling of pleasure. However, large doses of stimulants can be dangerous and may even cause death. 

Therefore, people should take stimulants only in certain doses prescribed by their doctor.

How Are Stimulants Used?

Stimulants can be used in several ways, each playing a role in the intensity and length of the effects. 

Oral use is the most common for prescription stimulant drugs, which are mostly available in the form of pills. However, some people opt for crushing and snorting the pills or dissolving their contents in water to be injected.

Illicit stimulants such as methamphetamine and cocaine are usually smoked, snorted, or injected.

These three ways are the fastest and the most intense in producing effects, the duration of which is much shorter than oral intake.

Also, when stimulants are used in ways leading to faster and more intense effects, there is a higher risk of addiction and other health hazards like developing infections and abscesses, breathing issues, and overdose.

Stimulant Abuse Statistics

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 1.5 million people (0.5%) aged 12 or older experienced a prescription stimulant use disorder during the year 2021.

Stimulant overdose deaths, including cocaine and methamphetamine, increased from 23,837 in 2020 to 32,537 in 2021. All the data refers to the United States population.

Symptoms and Signs of Stimulant Abuse

All signs and symptoms of stimulant abuse may be divided into four categories: 

All signs and symptoms of stimulant abuse can be divided into four categories: 

  1. Behavioral.
  2. Physical.
  3. Cognitive.
  4. Psychosocial. 

They vary from person to person, depending on multiple factors, such as the length and severity of abuse, as well as the individual’s personality, etc. 

Behavioral Symptoms of Stimulant Abuse

Engaging in risky, reckless behaviors 
Lying and stealing
Increased aggression or irritability
Changes in sleeping or eating habits
Trying to get more prescriptions
Constant mood swings and the need to speak
Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
Financial or legal problems
Neglecting personal hygiene 

Physical Symptoms of Stimulant Abuse

Dilated pupils
Changes in appetite (usually loss of appetite)
Weight and hair loss
Dental and skin problems
Headache and muscle aches
Increased heartbeat and blood pressure
Decreased coordination

Cognitive Symptoms of Stimulant Abuse

Flight of thoughts and ideas
Memory problems
Poor judgment

Psychosocial Symptoms of Stimulant Abuse

Impulsive behavior 
Difficulties in relationships
Emotional instability
Problems at school or work

Negative Effects of Stimulant Abuse

Stimulant abuse or stimulant use disorder has become an increasingly widespread concern in recent years. Millions of people turn to drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine, and prescription medications to enhance their performance, stay awake longer, and cope with stress or other disorders. 

While these drugs may offer temporary "relief," they come with numerous severe and life-threatening consequences when abused. Here are some of the long-term negative effects of stimulant abuse.
Mental Health Issues: 
Stimulant abuse can cause a wide range of mental health issues, including anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and psychosis. Stimulant drugs can also increase the risk of developing other co-occurring disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia.
Heart Problems:
Stimulants increase heart rate, leading to a higher risk of heart attack or stroke when abused. Additionally, stimulants can cause irregular heart rhythms, which can lead to serious medical complications, such as cardiac arrest.
Stimulant Addiction:
Substance abuse can lead to physical and psychological addiction, resulting in a need to increase doses to achieve the same effects. This can lead to self-medication with the help of dangerously high doses of drugs to maintain the desired effects.
Health Complications: 
Stimulant abuse can cause a range of other health complications, such as insomnia, weight loss, increased risk of stroke, and seizures.
If you or someone you know is struggling with stimulant abuse, it is vital to seek professional help immediately.

Stimulant Withdrawal Effects

Stimulant withdrawal refers to the physical and psychological symptoms experienced when someone gives up drugs after a long time of abuse. During this process, which can be extremely uncomfortable and sometimes life-threatening, the body attempts to readjust to functioning without stimulants. 

Stimulant withdrawal effects may happen within hours or may take a few days to set in. Common symptoms include:
Fatigue and drowsiness
Impaired concentration
Changes in appetite (usually extreme hunger)
Musculoskeletal pain
Cravings for the drug
Sweating or chills
Increased sensitivity to pain
Depending on the specific drug used, individuals may experience more severe symptoms, such as:
Suicidal thoughts
Psychotic episodes
Violent behavior
The severity of stimulant withdrawal effects is determined by a bunch of factors, including the amount and duration of drug use, a person's age, gender, and body chemistry, as well as the individual's sensitivity to the drug's effects. 

Stimulant withdrawal can be a complicated and lengthy process. Moreover, the wrong approach can turn into frequent unsuccessful attempts to cut back or quit. That's why it's essential to seek professional help and support when dealing with drug abuse.

Stimulant Addiction Treatment

Stimulant abuse can lead to serious health issues and even death. If you or someone you know is abusing stimulants, it's crucial to seek professional help right away.

Be warned that stimulant addiction treatment is a complex process that requires professional medical and psychological care to help individuals overcome their substance use disorder. 

Treatment plans often involve a combination of medication, therapy, education, and support to help individuals manage their addiction and make lasting changes in their lifestyles.

Medication is an essential component of stimulant addiction treatment, and is often used to reduce cravings, the withdrawal severity and ease the transition to recovery. 

Therapy is another integral part of stimulant addiction treatment. 

It allows individuals to identify the causes of their addiction, address underlying mental health issues, and learn how to cope with cravings, triggers, and stress in healthier ways. 

Education is vital in treating stimulant addiction, as it helps individuals understand the risks associated with substance use, learn how to identify and avoid triggers, and develop skills to help them stay sober. 

Support groups, a beautiful and healthy environment, nutritious meals, and wellness activities are also essential parts of a complicated puzzle.

Change Your Life with Miracles Asia

Choose the best rehab in Thailand, Miracles Asia, and forget about your addiction with all the negative consequences it's brought to your life!

Why choose Miracles Asia for treating stimulant addiction? First, our residential treatment program boasts a 85% success rate, which is direct evidence of our professionals' impeccable work.

Secondly, we offer the best possible conditions: a 5-star hotel with excellent rooms showing beautiful views of Phuket's scenery. 

Also, we guarantee 24-hour care and amazing hospitality from our loving, highly qualified addiction specialists and mental health professionals. 

During the three-month residential treatment program, you'll have everything to achieve successful recovery: a personalized approach to stimulant addiction treatment, up to three confidential 1-on-1 sessions each week with a clinical psychologist, healthy, nutritious foods from world-class chefs, wellness activities, including yoga, meditations, and numerous sports activities.

The Bottom Line

Stimulants ranging from coffee and cigarettes to cocaine and methamphetamine are often used for their effects, from alertness to a euphoric high. While some stimulants can be even beneficial if used in moderation, the majority may cause serious health issues, especially if used in excess. 

Stimulants can also be dangerous because of their high potential for abuse and addiction.

 Stimulant addiction is an extremely serious issue, and it is important to understand the above-mentioned dangers associated with it. 

Professional rehabilitation in Miracles Asia has already helped plenty of people recover from addiction to stimulants. 

Isn't it time you took 5 minutes and made a call that could change your life?

The Miracles Asia Admissions Team are standing by and ready to help you take the first step to a happy, addiction-free life! 

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