My Best Option for Treating Opiate Addiction?

When celebrities in the media go into rehab, they enter gated centers that are somewhere between a resort and a treatment program. They remain living there until their treatment comes to a close. When people on TV shows and in movies go to opiate addiction treatment, they enter residential care and stay for 28-days or longer. This can create the belief that the best form of rehab is residential, or inpatient.

You may well wonder if inpatient opiate addiction treatment will give you the best shot at achieving successful outcomes of treating opiate addiction. Who wouldn’t? But, you may actually do just as well or even better in outpatient treatment.

What Are inpatient and Outpatient Opiate Addiction Treatment?

Inpatient opiate addiction treatment requires all patients to live at the facility for the entirety of their rehab program. In certain programs, there may be weekend passes of field trips that allow patients to leave the grounds, but most require complete residence. The treatment center provide complete room and board.

Outpatient opiate addiction treatment only requires patients to come to the facility for scheduled sessions. In general, these are the same activities that patients in an inpatient center would participate in.

What Are the Benefits of Inpatient Opiate Addiction Treatment?

For most people, treating opiate addiction takes a lot of hard work and a lot of concentration. It can be hard for people to focus. In an inpatient program, everything you do for the duration of your stay will be about treating addiction. You don’t have to worry about carpooling or deadlines. You just worry about getting better.

Also, people face no temptations in an inpatient program and this is ideal for people who would not otherwise be capable of remaining sober.

What Are the Benefits of Outpatient Treatment?

Many people can’t take weeks of vacation from their life. Things like work and school and family responsibilities prevent people from entering inpatient care. But, they can get the help that they need in outpatient treatment and there is no evidence that either method of treating opiate addiction has better outcomes than the either. Plus, outpatient treatment is considerably less expensive.

Opiate Addiction Treatment Centers May Use Ayahuasca in Treating Opiate Addiction

There are very traditional approaches to opiate addiction treatment and most people are familiar with the medication and therapies used. But, more and more, new methods are being borrowed from alternative medicine. As these methods are supported anecdotally and not with researched evidence, they are less common, but they are worth knowing about in case you want to use them in treating opiate addiction.

One of the more unusual methods for treating opiate abuse is ayahuasca, a psychoactive tea or infusion made using plants that contain dimethyltryptamine, a psychedelic chemical. Traditionally, this brew has been used by shaman practices in South America to explore the inner mind with the help of spiritual guidance. People who undergo the ayahuasca experience claim that they have their direction in life clarified. They know how to surmount obstacles in their lives and how to develop personally.

What Happen When You Use Ayahuasca?

Between 30 minutes and six hours after taking the tea or infusion, people begin feeling the effects. Generally, people experience visual and auditory hallucinations and these can be quite emotional and powerful. This is where shamans typically step in and guide people through these strong feelings. People who advocate the use of the drug emphasize the importance of working through the upsetting visions and sensations they experience. They cannot heal physically and psychologically if they don’t.

Why Is It Used in Treating Opiate Addiction?

This is a form of psychedelic therapy, meaning it helps the participant and a clinician explore the psyche and identify and understand the roots of negative and addictive behaviors. A lot of people think that these types of treatment give people access to unpleasant feelings and/or memories that they can work through in a non-confrontational way. This reduces anxieties and fears.

Is It Effective?

There are people who certainly believe that it is, but it’s also a potentially dangerous drug that needs further study. If you are really interested in what it can do for you, do some research and speak to people who are experienced with its use.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “most people who get into and remain in treatment stop using drugs, decrease their criminal activity, and improve their occupational, social, and psychological functioning.” So, a patient in an opiate addiction treatment program would already being seeing effects. Ayahuasca would simply complement the great job that rehab is already doing.

What Is Luxury Opiate Addiction Treatment and What Role Does It Play in Treating Opiate Addiction?

When a person decides that inpatient opiate addiction treatment is the best option for their individual needs, they have to research the various types of residential treatment. During this process, luxury rehab will come up. These are the types of opiate addiction treatment centers that the rich and famous attend, the sort you see plastered in tabloids. Because they cater to a more affluent client, you may assume that they provide a better level of care, but that isn’t the case. The real appeal is simply the luxury of the facility.

What Is Luxury Rehab?

These programs are residential, like any other inpatient program, but they resemble a resort, rather than a college dorm. Patients enjoy private rooms with opulent furnishings chosen and arranged by a top interior designer while treating opiate addiction. The facilities are generally located near a beautiful natural landscape that provides for recreation, like hiking or scuba diving. And the services are topnotch, including:

  • Maid and laundry service
  • Meals prepared by a gourmet chef
  • Lavish beddings and toiletries
  • In-room spa treatments
  • Fitness centers

Because of these luxuries, the programs tend to be quite expensive and may not be covered by insurance.

Is Treatment in Luxury Rehab Similar to Treatment in a More Traditional Center?

Yes. The majority of these facilities offer the same core elements you would participate in at any treatment program, like medication-assisted treatment, behavioral therapy, and support group meetings. However, they are also able to offer a lot of unique offerings as well. Some examples include:

  • Equine (horse) therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Drama therapy
  • Water therapy
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Tai chi

These differ from program to program, but you can expect some special treatment options at every luxury center treating opiate addiction.

Does Anyone Need to Go to a Luxury Program?

The only people who require this level of treatment are people who would not otherwise seek treatment. Apart from that, the same positive outcomes can be achieved at any treatment program that matches your needs and issues. As the National Institute on Drug Abuse reminds readers, “No single treatment is appropriate for everyone.”

Teenagers are one of the most common age groups that are involved with drugs, even though addiction can occur at any age. Due to the changes caused by puberty and oncoming adulthood, teens may turn to or experiment with drugs as a means to cope or feel more grown-up.

Stimulants like amphetamines, cocaine, and methamphetamine are often the easiest drugs that teens can access, and they may believe that these are the “cool” drugs to take. Talking to your teens about stimulant abuse may seem difficult, but there are a few things that you can do to help.

Educate Yourself

Before you start a conversation about stimulant abuse, it is best that you learn about stimulants so you can give your teen the best information possible. Stimulants, according to the DEA, are a classification of drugs that speed up or increase the body’s functions.

Many stimulants have legal usage, with many prescription drugs being stimulants. There are many different kinds, with many different names, functions, side effects, and means of usage. By learning about stimulants, you can better prepare yourself for the conversation and know what to do if your teen does begin abusing drugs.

Be Open

One of the reasons why so many parents are hesitant about talking to their teens about drugs is that they are afraid their child will ask about their previous drug experiences. Even if a parent did not do drugs in their life and answers truthfully, they may feel like their child will not believe them.

Teens

Your teen may shut you out if they think you’re accusing them of using drugs.

Likewise, if they did use at some point in time, they may feel like they are letting their child down, or feel like their teen will see them as a hypocrite. Questions are inevitable, and you shouldn’t see those questions as an excuse to procrastinate. Regardless of your own personal experience with drugs, make sure that you are open to any questions that your teen may have, and be sure to answer truthfully.

Don’t Be Accusatory

While adults may be willing to have a conversation about stimulant abuse with their child as soon as they hit their teen years, some teenagers may seek to avoid it altogether. Sometimes, conversations about substance abuse can come across as feeling too hostile for teens.

For some, they may feel like their parent is only bringing up the topic because they believe the teen is already using stimulants. When talking to your teen, make sure that you don’t sound like you are accusing them of taking or considering taking drugs.

If you need help with your approach, call 800-605-6597.

Look For and Use Resources

As you prepare for the conversation, look at what resources are available for you and your teen about stimulant abuse. Many schools have prevention programs that are designed to educate students about substance abuse. Talk with a school counselor about what prevention programming is present at the school and what resources are available for parents.

Look at federal organizations like the NIDA, which have resources aimed directly at teenagers with the purpose of educating and providing help for stimulant and other substance abuse.

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, please know that help is out there. Call 800-605-6597 for the opportunity to speak with one of our caring specialists and to learn about what treatment options are available for you.

Cracking the Addiction Culture: Why are More Students Turning to Drugs to get Through College?

In recovery from any type of addiction, it is necessary to learn mindfulness in several different areas of life. Taking the proper steps to learn mindfulness can help you with long-term recovery, healing relationships, and overall greater well-being.

1. Be Mindful of the Severity of the Issue

According to NIDA, acknowledging that addiction has become an issue is one of the first steps towards recovery. Without this awareness of the severity of the situation, the addict will not realize how far they have come and how much they really need treatment.

The first step of mindfulness that one must learn is to be mindful of how substance abuse has affected your life. Addiction has negative impacts in relationships, financial situations, workplaces, and countless other areas of life, but many addicts are blind to the fact that it is their very own addiction causing these conflicts.

2. Be Mindful of How Others Were Affected

Learning Mindfulness

Focus on the positive aspects of your recovery.

Another important acknowledgement is that the addict becomes aware of how their addiction affected other individuals besides themselves. Addiction creates a great amount of tension relationally, among marriages, families, friends, and coworkers.

In order to heal the damage that the addiction has caused, this also means healing these relationships which were hurt in the process. There is also the danger that a close loved on developed codependency during the time, in which case they will also need treatment and care in order to heal.

If this is the case, and you or a loved one are seeking recovery from this, call 800-605-6597 to speak with a specialist about your next steps.

3. Be Mindful of Potential Triggers

As you go through your recovery process, you will learn how to identify triggers that could potentially cause you to use again. According to NCBI, these can be both external triggers and internal triggers. External triggers may be specific situations, places, or people that cause you to feel that draw towards the substance again. In managing your recovery, it may be necessary to cut out certain hangouts or social circles from your lifestyle in order to avoid those triggers.

Internal triggers may be stress, certain moods or feelings, and any other internal pressure to use. Dealing with these triggers may involve learning new coping methods for stress, finding support groups, and undergoing behavioral therapy. The first step to dealing with any type of trigger, however, is first becoming mindful of your own specific triggers, then taking the next steps towards handling them.

15 Ways to Supplement your Stimulant Addiction Treatment

4. Be Mindful of How Far You’ve Come

While undergoing the recovery process, it can be easy to get caught up in the negativity of how addiction has hurt those around you, or how potential triggers could contribute to relapse. It is equally important, however, for you to focus on the positive side of the situation and acknowledge the progress you have made through it all.

You should keep in the forefront of your mind that the path you are on is taking you to a new lifestyle of health and well-being, and that your relationships can be healed through this. Being mindful of the positive aspects of recovery is necessary to making the most out of all the treatments and therapy.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction and are seeking a path of recovery, call 800-605-6597 to speak with a caring specialist who can guide you in the right direction.

When you have a hard time staying awake, you probably turn to a cup of coffee or a pill. Most people do. Unfortunately, most of the stimulants are extremely harmful and many of the side effects can kill you.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, stimulant addiction makes up a large portion of the overall addiction demographic. This includes prescription, over the counter, herbal, illegal, and common stimulants.

What is Stimulant Addiction?

A stimulant addiction is an addiction to any one of many different drugs. Stimulants are drugs that speed up the bodies processes. This means if you are tired you feel less tired which is the reason why many people start using stimulants. It artificially causes you to feel more alert; this is no substitute for a decent night’s sleep. After a while your body becomes dependent on these drugs to be awake. Most people who have issues with stimulants cannot stay awake or sleep normally once they are addicted.

Why Should you Avoid Stimulants?

Staying Awake

Many people use stimulants in order to stay awake, not realizing the potential harm they cause.

Aside from the fact that stimulants are highly addictive; there are many reasons why you should avoid stimulants whenever possible. Some of the reasons are:

  • they are extremely addictive
  • they cause heart disease
  • they can cause respiratory failure
  • they can cause heart failure
  • once your metabolism is sped up, it is hard to slow it back down
  • they can make you gain weight when you stop taking them
  • you can overdose on most of them

These are not the only problems with stimulants. There are other long term consequences such as high blood pressure and stroke.

How can you Avoid Stimulants?

If you are feeling sleepy you can avoid stimulants in a variety of ways. Some of these ways are:

  • many of the commercial stimulants are harmful, stick to only the most mild
  • use cold water, splash it on your face and the inside of your wrists
  • although coffee might seem to be a good idea limit your coffee intake to one or two cups
  • the same goes for tea drinking, tea also contains caffeine that is only helpful in the short-term
  • take a walk or do another task when you are feeling tired, this can help to wake the brain up

It goes without saying that the best way to stay awake and alert is to get plenty of rest the night before. If you have difficulty sleeping or staying awake, with your doctor about it. There could be a medical reason that you are having trouble. It is important to have anything out of the ordinary checked out as soon as possible.

How to Defeat Cravings for Stimulants using Distraction

How to Find Help if you are Already Addicted to a Harmful Stimulant

If you find that you are addicted to stimulants or your stimulant use is interfering with your life it may be time to get help. If you need help, call us at 800-605-6597.

For any parent, it can be awkward or strange to talk to a teenager about drugs.  Many parents believe their kids would never give in to peer pressure, but if they are unprepared for the situation of drugs, they may not know how to handle the situation. There are four good tips for talking to a teenager about drugs to keep them informed.

1. Try to Remain Neutral

Being a teenager is an interesting place to be in an individual’s life. It is important to remember that the parent is educating their adolescent, not judging them for what they may think or feel about drugs. When a teenager feels judged or ordered around, it is very likely that he or she will rebel against the advice, which will not yield the favored results.

According to the NIDA, good communication is the strength behind every family relationship, and can catch drug-related problems early while supporting positive behavior and giving a parent the inside scoop on their teenager’s lives. A conversation that is open and comfortable is more likely to teach the teen how to handle drug-related situations than an authoritative and demeaning one.

2. Keep it Open

Talking to Your Teenager

Try to keep the conversation open and neutral so that your teen feels comfortable asking questions.

It would be a good idea to get the teenager involved in the conversation so the parent can address their specific questions, comments, and concerns. It can also open up the child to revealing any thoughts or experiences they may have.

With this open discussion between parent and child, the parent can listen and give the teen a clear answer on how to approach the situations they are imagining or have experienced to help them avoid future problems they may have with drugs.

3. Teach About Peer Pressure

Teenagers face many issues when they are amongst their peers and the desire to fit in can cause them to try things that their friends are doing. Explain that peer pressure and drug use are used together often to push someone into trying something they would otherwise not do.

According to the Better Health Channel, teenagers use drugs for many of the same reasons adults do, which can include a desire to feel different or better, to experiment or take risks, boredom, escape psychological pain by feeling more relaxed, or because they want to feel like a part of a certain group.

While talking about this to the teenager, put emphasis on the fact that he or she does not need to do drugs to fit in and let them know that if their friends want them to do something they are not comfortable with, they can always say no.

Does Your Child Need Stimulant Addiction Treatment?

4. Discuss Consequences & Potential Addiction of Drugs

There are many consequences to doing drugs. Do not be afraid to tell the teenager every gruesome detail to make sure they understand what will happen if they experience drug use. It is a good idea to explain thoroughly the physical and mental changes that happen when anyone becomes addicted to drugs to ensure that they know what lies on the other side of drug use.

The probability of addiction is a very important thing a teenager needs to know because the use of drugs is very dangerous for anyone. Explain that just trying a drug is not as simple as that and can result in an addiction, which is out of their control.

Tell them something like the high that the child can get from the drug may feel good in the moment but with continued use can cause consequences such as addiction and health issues.

It is very important that every parent talk to their teens about drugs to ensure they are aware of the consequences when the need arises. By discussing this issue with the teenager in a nonjudgmental, open, and educational way, they can learn how to deal with peer pressure, express their own questions and concerns to make sure they are well informed.

If you or a loved one is suffering from drug abuse or addiction and needs help, call 800-605-6597 to speak with a caring specialist that can assist you.

Stimulant abuse and addiction are just as problematic now as they always were; in fact, with the constant prescribing of medications such as Adderall and Ritalin to those diagnosed with ADHD and other disorders, stimulants are being abused in disturbingly high numbers today. Although stimulants may cause many desirable effects, they can also cause extreme and dangerous side effects when abused.

Types of Stimulants

stimulant abuse

Most stimulant drugs are crushed up and sniffed when abused.

Stimulants can include illicit drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine as well as licit prescription medications like Adderall, Dexedrine, Ritalin, and Concerta. These prescription medications can also be abused and are just as dangerous as illicit drugs when they are used in a way that they are not meant to be used, either:

  • At a higher dose than prescribed
  • More frequently than prescribed or
  • By someone they were not prescribed to

No matter what the type of drug, if it’s a stimulant, it can be dangerous when used incorrectly and such abuse can lead to a number of consequences.

Effects

Some of the common effects of stimulants, according to NIDA Teen include:

  • Euphoric high
  • Increased focus and attention
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased heartbeat
  • High body temperatures
  • Decreased sleep and insomnia
  • Anger
  • Paranoia
  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss and malnourishment
  • Seizures
  • Stroke

Methamphetamine, cocaine, and even prescription stimulants can cause homicidal and suicidal behavior in those who abuse them long enough and in high enough doses, a result of stimulant-induced psychosis that also includes hallucinations and extreme paranoia.

Stimulants may start out making a person feel good, euphoric, and even centered. However, over time, these drugs can cause extreme effects in those who abuse them that range from problematic to deadly. Even with behavioral treatments, these issues may stay with a person for years. As stated by the NIDA, “Psychotic symptoms can sometimes last for months or years after a person has quit abusing methamphetamine” or another type of stimulant drug.

Stimulant Addiction

Over time, an individual who continues to abuse any stimulant will likely become addicted to the substance. These drugs are extremely addictive in nature, and using them any way other than they are meant to be used can eventually cause this type of problem. When someone is addicted to a stimulant, they will not be able to stop and might experience intense cravings even years after they stop abusing the drug. They will need to undergo formal treatment and therapy in order to have a chance at recovery.

Fighting Stimulant Abuse

It is important for all individuals to fight the issue of stimulant abuse, whether it is in you or someone you love. Stimulants can cause a person to lose their job, their money, their friends and family, all because these individuals become unable to stop taking them, and the drugs start to cause problems in their day-to-day lives.

You can fight stimulant abuse by helping someone seek treatment or by admitting it is time you do so yourself. Treatment is usually necessary to help someone stop abusing stimulants, as the drugs themselves cause changes to the way the brain works. These effects take a long time, effort, and help in order to be reversed.

Stimulants were initially prescribed to treat many illnesses, including asthma, upper respiratory problems, obesity, and neurological disorders, but now they are mainly used in the treatment of ADHD, narcolepsy, and occasionally depression. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the main reason for this shift is that the potential for prescription stimulant abuse and addiction became very apparent, and doctors wanted to prevent that. Even in their current uses, however, prescription stimulants are abused very often, most notably by college students.

Prescription Stimulant Abuse Statistics

Abuse of prescription stimulants can refer to taking the medications in higher quantities or a different manner than prescribed, or taking them although a person is not prescribed.

prescription drug abuse

Ritalin and Adderall are two of the most commonly abused prescription stimulants.

A fair amount of attention has been focused in recent years on the subject of prescription stimulant abuse, primarily in the college student and young workforce populations. These groups, as well as others, have been known to take prescription stimulants, especially the ADHD medications Ritalin and Adderall, to improve their performance in work or school. They increase wakefulness, focus, and attention and so are thought by some to be able to help them study or work harder in school, or to perform better at work. They also can produce euphoria, especially when crushed up and snorted. For this reason some people take them to get high, especially while at parties.

Here are some statistics on prescription stimulant misuse and abuse:

  • One in eight teens (13 percent) reports having taken Ritalin or Adderall at least once in their lifetime though it was not prescribed. (The Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS))
  • 9 percent of teens reported having misused or abused Ritalin or Adderall in 2012, which is up from 6 percent in 2008. (The Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS))
  • 29 percent of parents, almost one third, believe ADHD medications can improve a child’s academic or testing performance, even if they do not have ADHD. (The Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS)) – Research described in the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that this is not true, however, and that students who abuse prescription stimulants actually have lower GPAs in high school and college than those who don’t, and that they do not enhance learning or thinking ability.
  • 23.3% of middle and high school students taking prescribed stimulants were solicited to sell or give their prescriptions to others at a rate that increased from middle school to high school. (Michigan State University College of Medicine)
  • Methylphenidate (Ritalin) prescriptions rose from 1.3 million in 1996 to nearly 6 million in 1999. (IMS Health)

Dangers of Abusing Prescription Stimulants

These numbers are alarming, especially given the fact that abuse of prescription stimulants is dangerous. Some of the main issues with it are that they are addictive, can lead to malnutrition, and can increase blood pressure and heart rate.

Prescription stimulant addiction, like all other addictions, is a chronic, relapsing disease. It is characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior, taking too much of the drug than intended, developing a tolerance to and dependence on the drug, and usually involves withdrawal symptoms when the drug is not available. Stimulants are associated with a mainly psychological withdrawal with symptoms of severe depression, insomnia or fatigue, and anxiety.

Stimulant addiction treatment is available to help. If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to stimulants, there are things you can do to get your life back on track. Treatment programs provide the guidance and skill-building necessary to stop using stimulants and to stay off of them.

Stimulants are drugs that elevate a person’s blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration rate and in so doing increase their capacity for attention, alertness, and their energy level. Legal, prescription stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin are commonly prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. Other stimulants, like cocaine and methamphetamine, are taken primarily to get high. Still others, such as nicotine and caffeine, are legal and much less stigmatized, but are still associated with stimulating effects.

Each of the above named substances and other stimulants carries a potential for abuse. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness over 900,000 Americans use stimulant medications for non-medical purposes each month. ADHD medications and other prescription stimulants are used by those who are not prescribed either to get high, or to enhance their performance in work or school. Use of cocaine, meth, and other illegal stimulants in any way qualifies as abuse, as these drugs have no accepted legal use. Whatever the reason, stimulant abuse has some consequences that should be taken note of.

Physical and Psychological Consequences of Stimulant Abuse

effects of stimulants

Stimulant abuse has a high potential to lead to addiction and associated issues to a person’s health and well-being.

One of the primary consequences of stimulant abuse that must be noted is that stimulants have a potential for addiction. Chronic use of the substances can cause a person to lose control over their use, and to end up dependent on the drugs and compulsively seeking them out. Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease which almost always requires treatment and continued attention and care.

There are withdrawal symptoms associated with stimulant abuse and addiction, as well. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, these symptoms include fatigue, depression, and disturbance in sleep patterns. Other symptoms of stimulant withdrawal include restlessness, anxiety, and moodiness. Furthermore, repeated abuse of some stimulants, especially in a short period of time, can lead to feelings of hostility, paranoia, and even psychosis. Stimulant abuse can lead to a dangerously high body temperature in users, an irregular heartbeat, and in some cases cardiovascular failure and seizures.

Stimulants, especially ADHD medications, can lead to decreases in appetite. Another paper from the National Institute on Drug Abuse shows that another consequence of stimulant abuse can then be malnutrition, which leads to other health complications. Long-term heavy use can cause skin disorders, ulcers, vitamin deficiency, and dangerous weight loss.

Other Consequences of Stimulant Abuse

Not only can stimulant abuse damage your body and leave you addicted to substances, it can also affect other aspects of your life, including:

  • Finances
  • Relationships
  • Job or school performance

As stimulants take on a bigger role in a person’s life, they spend more time doing them. The more time you spend occupied by and high on stimulants usually means less time with your loved ones and doing things you used to find enjoyable. Stimulants may change how you act to a degree, and people around you may not enjoy the changes, especially if they know they are drug-induced.

Stimulants are not free, and stimulant abuse will likely cost you financially. Cocaine, meth, Adderall – all of these substances will come at a financial cost, and the more you abuse them, the higher the cost. As a stimulant habit grows it becomes more and more threatening to a person’s financial situation.

While some people take stimulants in an effort to do better in work or school, there often comes a time when the effects are not as desired. Whether you end up overworked, overtired, or undernourished, stimulants will end up negatively affecting your performance at work or school.

The cost of stimulant abuse – financially and figuratively – is higher than you may initially realize.

By the definition from the US National Library of Medicine, stimulants are drugs that increase your heart rate, breathing rate, and brain function. These body function changes increase a person’s attention, alertness, and energy. Stimulants were historically used to treat many illnesses, including asthma, obesity, neurological disorders, and others, but the realization of their potential for abuse changed this. Now stimulants are only used to treat a few health conditions, such as ADHD and narcolepsy.

Stimulants can be broken into categories of legal and illegal, natural and synthetic. The most common types of prescription stimulants are dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine and Adderall) and methylphenidate (Ritalin and Concerta). Most stimulants – legal or illegal – have a high potential for abuse and can lead to addiction.

Illegal Stimulants

abuse of stimulants

Adderall is a stimulant prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Some illegal drugs are considered stimulants because of the effects they cause.

These are all illegal stimulants:

  • Cocaine
  • Crack cocaine
  • Methamphetamine (meth, crystal meth)
  • Speed
  • MDMA

All of these drugs carry a high potential for abuse and addiction. They can produce tolerance in chronic users that requires users to take more and more of the drug to feel the same effects, which contributes to dependence and addiction.

Legal Stimulants

There are several substances and drugs that are considered stimulants and that are legal. While these also carry a potential for addiction, their accepted uses are important. Others, such as caffeine, have a lower potential for abuse than illegal stimulants.

These are all legal stimulants:

  • Caffeine
  • Nicotine
  • Guarana
  • Ginseng
  • Taurine
  • Amphetamines: Dexedrine (Adderall), methylphenidate (Ritalin)
  • Ephedrine

The last of the stimulants on that list, amphetamines and ephedrine, are prescription stimulants. These are technically legal, but only if you are prescribed to use them. If they are misused (i.e. prescription not followed) or abused (i.e. used without prescription), they are illegal.

Stimulant Abuse

Stimulants are very popular drugs of abuse, especially among college students. In recent years there has been a definite increase in the number of students who abuse and misuse stimulants that are prescribed to treat ADHD. Adderall, Concerta, and Ritalin are all brand names of these drugs, which are occasionally referred to as ‘study drugs’. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, these drugs are abused for two reasons: to enhance academic performance, and to get high. In terms of enhancing academic performance, stimulants help students focus and stay energized for several hours.

Other commonly abused stimulants are cocaine, crack, and meth. These drugs are illegal in all senses, and are used mainly for the high they produce. Cocaine is snorted, crack is smoked, and meth is either injected or smoked. All of these drugs carry very negative consequences.

Stimulant abuse can lead to addiction, which is a condition where an individual loses their control over the drug. Addiction is characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior and impaired judgment and decision making. Someone who is addicted to stimulants will have a hard time stopping on their own. Stimulant abuse can also lead to health problems, both short and long-term. In the short term, stimulant abuse can cause irregular heartbeat, dangerously high body temperatures, and the potential for heart failure and seizures.

If someone you love is having problems stopping their use of stimulants there is help available to them. Stimulant addiction treatment consists of different types of psychotherapy that help people become stimulant-free and stay that way.