Stimulant Abuse

Stimulant Abuse

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Prescription Medication Abuse

Stimulant Abuse – Just because a medication is prescribed, does not mean it cannot be abused. Prescription medication abuse can cause just as many issues as the use and abuse of illegal drugs. There are many people who die because of prescription medication abuse each year. Though addiction may not be the intent when a medication is started, it may be the unfortunate outcome. This is true for those who have been addicted to other things in the past or those who have never had addiction issues before. You must be aware of the possibility before starting any controlled medication as anything can be a risk. One type of medication that can be addictive is that of stimulants. Though stimulants are typically prescribed to make erratic behavior more controllable, when used incorrectly they can have the opposite effect. A couple common stimulant medications will be described below.

Before discussing specific medications you should be aware of what stimulant abuse looks like in someone who is misusing this type of medication. Those who misuse or abuse stimulants are often euphoric, aggressive, hostile, and paranoid. These individuals may also have physical symptoms that include reduced appetite with weight loss and rapid heart rate. Also headaches, and changes in vision and pupil dilation. To some slight degree these may be short term side effects of a new stimulant medication, but lasting effects tend to point toward abuse.

Adderall & Amphetamine Abuse

One of the most commonly prescribed and abused stimulants are Adderall or amphetamine. This is commonly known as speed, but is typically given to those suffering from ADHD or narcolepsy. For those with ADHD these medications can create a calming effect that allows the person to be focused and attentive to areas that may have been an issue before.

adderall

However, those that take Adderall that do not have ADHD can have a completely different experience. In fact, it is used as a way to not need sleep, to stay hyper focused, and keep working in spite of needing to rest. This is a common use for college students, truck drivers, and shift workers. The extra energy is used to meet the perceived demands of that person.

Some people may even use this medication for weight loss. If it is not prescribed or being used as intended it is a problem that needs to be dealt with appropriately.

Another common stimulant used for these purposes is Ritalin. Very similar to Adderall, this stimulant has effects on the central nervous system and increases the levels of dopamine in the brain. This can help improve attention and focus, but can easily be habit forming. Both of these drugs are pretty readily available and this leads to their misuse.

Stimulant Abuse

If you are abusing these common medications and stop suddenly, you may experience withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms include strong cravings, depression, extreme fatigue, and anxiety. If you are abusing the medication or going through withdrawal it is best to seek professional help. It will take a while for your body to adjust to not having the medication and this can lead to physical and mental issues. Do not be afraid to seek help if needed, it can change your life for the better.

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Anne -

Anne Lazarakis joined the DARA Rehab team from Sydney, Australia. She writes about addiction and mental health on a global, local and community level. She also relays personal accounts of substance abuse and recovery through the stories of our clients, their families and our own team members.

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