What Are Stimulants?
Stimulant drugs are a class of psychoactive substances that, according to Drug Policy Alliance, “stimulate or activate the central nervous system and are commonly referred to as ‘uppers.’” There are many different substances that are considered stimulants, including illegal drugs (e.g. crack and powder cocaine, methamphetamines, etc.), caffeine, nicotine, and prescription stimulants (e.g. Vyvanse, Ritalin, Adderall, etc.). The effects of stimulants can range from short-term energy boosts to long-term deviations to the neural pathways and synaptic connections in one’s brain and/ or organ system injury.
How Are Stimulants Addictive?
Stimulants work in one’s body by altering and increasing the effects of certain neurotransmitters (dopamine and norepinephrine), which results in increased blood pressure, respiratory function and euphoria. Stimulants can be abused in a variety of ways, including snorted as powder, injected with a needle or syringe, heated into crystal form and smoked, and/ or swallowed in pill form. Individuals that abuse stimulants are at increased risk for developing a tolerance to the substance, meaning they will require more of the drug to achieve the desired effects. This can quickly lead to dependence (needing the substance in one’s system to function optimally), which is often swiftly followed by addiction.
Signs and Symptoms of a Stimulant Addiction
There are several common signs and symptoms that could indicate an individual is struggling with stimulant abuse. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH) provides the following examples of frequently exhibited signs and symptoms associated with stimulant abuse:
- Increased productivity, motivation, and/ or arousal
- Extended endurance
- Enhanced alertness
- Increased heart rate
- Annandaled blood pressure
- Heightened body temperature
- Muscle spasms
The severity of symptoms will depend on the individual, the type of stimulants abused, the dosage and quantity abused, the personal health history of the individual as well as additional factors.
The specifics that make up the treatment process for individuals struggling with stimulant abuse and/ or addiction will be unique to each person. Every individual is different and will respond distinctly to the array of therapeutic modalities used to treat stimulant addiction. The first step of treatment will be for an individual to undergo detox. Detox is the process that rids one’s body of all foreign substances. Once detox has been completed, it is recommended for an individual to continue the recovery process by attending a formal substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment program. During the program individuals will participate in various therapies (e.g. cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, creative arts therapies, group therapy, etc.) and establish healthy daily habits to reinforce leading a sober life. Post treatment, individuals prioritize sobriety in a plethora of ways, one example could include engaging in the recovery network by attending support group meetings.
Why Choose Annandale in Pasadena?
Annandale Behavioral Health is a private wellness center located in the beautiful hills of Pasadena, CA. Our center provides the ideal environment for guests to reconnect with nature while receiving premium and personalized treatment. At Annandale, we honor each person’s individuality and have a core belief that everyone is capable of achieving true wellness. We understand that in order to heal, every person in recovery deeply benefits from a customized and tailored treatment plan, which we carefully develop for each of our guests. Our multidisciplinary clinical team is made up of highly regarded psychiatrists, physicians, therapists, nursing, and support staff.
Annandale Behavioral Health offers a full continuum of care, including medically supervised detox, stabilization, residential treatment, and aftercare services. We are here to support you every step of the way to help you learn how to lead a healthy, authentic, and fulfilling life that both promotes and supports true wellness.
If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one in regards to mental illness, substance abuse, and/ or addiction, please do not hesitate to reach out for guidance. Our admissions team is available to answer any general questions regarding substance abuse, addiction, mental health issues, treatment, and/or specific questions about our program here at Annandale Behavioral Health. We welcome the opportunity to discuss how we might best be able to help you or your loved one in the recovery process. Feel free to reach us by phone at 855-778-8668 or through our contact form. We look forward to supporting you on your journey.