Approved Stimulants Uses
Stimulants are best known for their ability to speed up systems in the body. They are approved for use in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy, fatigue, weight loss, and for many other purposes. Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, Dextroamphetamine, Dexedrine, Dextrostat are the some of these medications prescribed. Stimulant abuse can cause adverse health consequences such as increased risk of dangerous cardiovascular complications, high body temperature, seizures, stroke, anxiety, panic, paranoia, and other psychosis.
The most common treatment involving stimulants are those used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD) in children, but, they may also be used to treat adults who have difficulties in focus. Amphetamines and other stimulant medications, when taken as prescribed, gradually increase and sustain dopamine levels in the brain to help the person focus more clearly with increased attentiveness, alertness, and wellbeing. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “ADHD diagnoses are increasing. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of 2011, 11 percent of people ages 4–17 have been diagnosed with ADHD.”
Scientists believe that the natural production of dopamine in ADHD diagnosed individuals is significantly less than that of normal individuals, hence, the stimulants actually balance the chemical function in their brains and produces a calming effect, particularly in children and when taken as prescribed. When another person takes these medications, they have a release of excessive dopamine producing euphoria with an increased potential for abuse.
Narcolepsy and Fatigue
Stimulants work by increasing dopamine which is s naturally occurring chemical that increases attention, pleasure, and movement. Medications used to treat ADHD are often used to treat these sleep disorders such as narcolepsy or excessive sleepiness. Adderall XR, Vyvanse,Concerta, Quillivant XR, and Focalin XR, are approved by the FDA for use in adults. They may be used to energize individuals suffering from severe medical illnesses or in military aviation and space flight for extended wakefulness and to maintain alertness.
Caffeine is often contained in headache medications to enhance analgesic effectiveness for pain relief.
Tobacco is also a stimulant that causes respiratory and cardiovascular system complications.
Stimulants are prescribed to decrease appetite, promote weight loss, and for treatment of obesity. Common brands include Dexedrine, Dexamphetamine, and Dextrostat.
Treatment Resistant Depression
Stimulants can be added to antidepressant medications if a depressed individual is not responding effectively to the current antidepressant therapy.
Offset Effects of sedation in Long Term Opioid Uses
Individuals suffering from cancer, AID’s, and chronic pain may be prescribed stimulants to offset the sedative effects of the opioids and the stimulant may have synergistic effects that increase the pain relief derived from the opioids.
Stimulants are sometimes found in nasal decongestants such as Afrin and pseudoephedrine.