Stimulant Abuse, Addiction, and Treatment in Orange County California
Stimulants are a class of drugs that speed up or increase activity in the central nervous system (CNS). These drugs can increase energy, heart rate, blood pressure, motivation, and respiration. Stimulants are also called “uppers.”
There are two types of stimulants: prescription stimulants and illicit stimulants. Prescription stimulants, such as Adderall and Vyvanse, are often used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or narcolepsy, a daytime sleeping disorder. Some prescription stimulants, like Desoxyn, are prescribed for weight loss. However, prescription stimulants can also be abused and lead to the development of an addiction.
About 5.1 million people, or 1.8% of people aged 12 or older, abused a prescription stimulant in 2020. An estimated 758,000 people (0.3%) had a prescription stimulant use disorder.
Illicit stimulants, on the other hand, are sold on the street and are not produced by pharmaceutical drug manufacturers. These drugs may contain a number of dangerous additives or adulterants, such as fentanyl, and are extremely addictive. Three of the most popular street stimulants are cocaine, crack cocaine, and crystal meth.
If you or someone you love is addicted to stimulant drugs of any kind, receiving treatment from a drug and alcohol rehab center can be life-changing. Speak with a dedicated admissions counselor at Sheer Recovery to learn how our California drug rehab center can help.
Commonly Abused Stimulants
Some of the most widely abused prescription stimulants include:
- Adderall (amphetamine/dextroamphetamine)
- Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine)
- Ritalin (methylphenidate)
- Desoxyn (methamphetamine)
- Focalin (dexmethylphenidate)
- Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine)
Abuse of stimulants like Adderall is most common in young adults, high school students, and college students. Young adults may take prescription stimulants to stay awake longer, have more energy at parties, or enhance their studying and schoolwork.
Up to 35% of college students have tried Adderall without a prescription. Most get their prescription drugs from family or friends.
Popular street stimulants are:
Short-Term Side Effects of Stimulant Abuse
The exact side effects produced by a stimulant drug depend on which drug is consumed, but common short-term side effects include:
- Increased wakefulness
- Enhanced focus and alertness
- Increased productivity and motivation
- Increased heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature
- Muscle spasms
- Reduced appetite
- Dilated pupils
Mixing stimulants with alcohol or other drugs can increase the risk of adverse side effects, drug overdose, and sudden death.
Long-Term Dangers of Stimulant Abuse and Addiction
Regular stimulant abuse of any kind can be highly addictive. In the long term, these drugs can cause serious mental and physical health problems. For example, meth abuse is linked to dental problems like tooth decay and “meth mouth.”
Potential dangers of stimulant abuse include:
- Extreme weight loss
- Visual and auditory hallucinations
- Poor decision-making
- Cardiovascular disease
- Birth defects
- Parkinson’s disease
- Lung damage
- Cognitive decline
The sooner you receive treatment and get sober, the more opportunity you have to avoid the damaging, long-term effects of stimulant abuse.
Signs of Stimulant Addiction
Stimulants make people feel energized, alert, and motivated, but they can also make people paranoid, irritable, and jumpy. People who are addicted to stimulants may exhibit these characteristics on a regular basis. They may also stay awake for several days at a time, have an irregular sleep schedule, and have poor self-care.
Regardless of the type of stimulant being abused, regular use of the same drug will lead to increased tolerance over time. Tolerance happens when you become less sensitive to the effects of a drug because your body is so used to having it in excess. An increasing tolerance will encourage you to increase the dosage and frequency of your stimulant use.
People who develop tolerance to stimulant drugs may also become physically dependent, especially if they remain under the influence the majority of the time. Physical dependence occurs when your body can no longer function normally without having the drug you have been abusing. You know you are physically dependent on a substance when you experience symptoms of withdrawal when the effects of the drug wear off.
Tolerance and physical dependence are two of the most self-recognizable signs of addiction. Other signs that you or a loved one are addicted to stimulants include:
- Getting nervous or anxious when the drugs wear off because you don’t want to crash or go into withdrawal
- Lying to friends or family
- Isolating from loved ones
- Wanting to quit or trying to quit but being unable to do so
- Spending a lot of time obtaining, using, and recovering from the effects of stimulants
- Experiencing extreme mood swings
- Risk-taking, dangerous, or illegal behaviors
- Continuing to use stimulants despite their negative side effects
- Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
If you think you are facing a stimulant addiction, the best time to get help is right now. Speak with a dedicated admissions counselor at Sheer Recovery today to learn about your treatment options.
Stimulant Withdrawal and Detox Treatment
Stimulant withdrawal is physically and mentally painful, and in severe cases, it can be life-threatening. Symptoms of withdrawal can appear just hours after the effects of short-acting stimulants wear off or 1-2 days after longer-acting stimulants.
The severity and timeline of your withdrawal symptoms may vary greatly depending on which drug you are detoxing from, how long you have been using it, and your overall health.
Common symptoms of stimulant withdrawal may include:
- Mood swings
- Sleep difficulties
- Drug cravings
- Brain fog
- Difficulty concentrating
- Body aches
- Exhaustion and fatigue
In moderate to severe cases, individuals may be at risk of potentially dangerous symptoms, including:
- Suicidal ideation
Without prompt medical attention, these symptoms can become life-threatening. It is always best to detox under close medical supervision.
Stimulant drug detox centers in California provide around-the-clock care and support that can assist you in starting your recovery. Even though there aren’t any medications that are specifically approved for treating stimulant withdrawal, there are medications that doctors can prescribe to treat your symptoms. For example, medications like benzodiazepines, sedatives, or antipsychotics reduce activity in the central nervous system (CNS) so they can alleviate symptoms like anxiety, irritability, insomnia, or psychosis.
Sheer Recovery’s drug and alcohol detox center provides residential medical detox services designed with your safety and comfort in mind. Our team will assess your needs, monitor your symptoms, and do everything we can to make your experience a positive one. Once you are done detoxing, a counselor will help you transition to one of our treatment programs.
Long-term stimulant abuse can alter the way you think, feel, and behave. It can take time to repair your mental health, adjust your thinking, and change your behaviors, but individualized counseling and evidence-based therapies can help you turn your life around.
Stimulant addiction typically develops as a result of stress, trauma, or untreated mental illness. Overcoming your addiction requires diagnosing and treating the root cause of your substance abuse, so co-occurring disorders like ADHD, PTSD, depression, and anxiety are the primary focus of our treatment programs.
Sheer Recovery clients have access to a few different treatment options based on their needs and addiction severity.
- Residential inpatient rehab
- Partial hospitalization program (PHP)
- Intensive outpatient program (IOP)
Our experienced clinical team, combined with our luxurious and state-of-the-art facility, creates a safe, supportive environment for you to begin your recovery journey. When you are ready to leave treatment, our counselors will work closely with you to develop an aftercare plan that suits your needs.
Find Treatment for Stimulant Addiction in California Today
Sheer Recovery’s secure, private, and comfortable treatment environment gives clients an ideal place to heal while being guided through group and individual therapy sessions by our dedicated, licensed therapists. Our commitment to patient care and excellence is reflected in the time and effort placed into guaranteeing our clients a positive treatment experience.
By the time you are done with our program, you will have a clear understanding of your addiction, your triggers, and what you need to do to stay sober. Make the decision to recover from stimulant addiction today by speaking with one of our compassionate team members. We’re available 24 hours a day to answer your call, assess your needs, and help you start your recovery.