Stimulant Abuse Effects that You Should be Aware of

Used conservatively and in small, irregular doses stimulants generally will not lead to addiction or physical dependence, but this doesn’t mean that they are safe or can be considered acceptable for use by those who do not have a prescription. Various stimulant abuse effects can wreak havoc on the user’s life regardless of the number of times the drugs are used. In fact, just a single use of stimulants by a user who is susceptible to heart problems or certain other conditions can be fatal.

Stimulant Abuse Effects on Physical Health

Stimulants can cause a number of physical health problems including heart failure, arrhythmias and irregular heartbeat. According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, stimulants can have the following physical effects on the user’s health:

effects of stimulants

Stimulant abuse can cause dehydration and vitamin deficiency.

  • Hypothermia or elevated body temperature
  • Vitamin deficiency and dehydration
  • Heart attack or stroke
  • Ulcers and problems with the gastrointestinal health of the user
  • Seizures, convulsions or coma
  • Respiratory failure

Stimulant Abuse Effects on Emotional Health

Emotionally, stimulant abuse affects the user in a number of ways. Initially, the use of these drugs can cause depression and anxiety. According to the University of Texas Medical Branch, stimulants can cause increases in agitation and anxiety in some users, especially those who have underlying conditions such as anxiety disorders that have gone undiagnosed or that were misdiagnosed. Stimulant abuse can also have the following emotions effects on the user:

  • Toxic psychosis
  • Mood swings
  • Mental illness

Stimulant Abuse Effects on Behavior

For those who take stimulants regularly, the effects on their behavior often vary greatly. Some people become more energetic, talkative and alert while they are taking these medications or drugs while others can feel more lethargic or fatigued. Generally, the behavioral effects of stimulant abuse include:

  • Increased energy
  • Increased alertness
  • Altered sexual focus or behavior
  • Lack of personal hygiene or in some cases, increased awareness of personal hygiene
  • Lowered levels of fatigue
  • Increased agitation and violent outbursts
  • Paranoia and anxiety that takes over
  • Acting out of place
  • Behaving oddly

If you suspect that someone you know might be abusing stimulants, the best thing that you can do is confront the individual about the possibility and consider seeking professional help. Awareness is the first step to understanding and spotting a case of stimulant abuse in someone you care about, and it can go a long way in helping you to recognize the need to seek help for a problem. Early detection and help is key to ensuring that stimulant use and abuse doesn’t have a lasting impact on the user’s life.