Stimulants, also known as Uppers, are a category of drugs that are used for increasing alertness, activity, and energy. Many stimulant drugs are used in prescription medications to alleviate disorders or illnesses that affect the nervous system. Overuse or abuse of stimulant drugs can lead to addiction, resulting in a host of other physical and mental reactions and disorders.

How Stimulants Work

Stimulants speed up processes in the brain and the body by releasing large amounts of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine in a short amount of time. When used under a physician’s care, stimulants may be prescribed for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and some forms of sleep disorders. Nevertheless, prolonged usage of stimulants can result in severe and potentially chronic side effects.

Long-term misuse of stimulants can also inflict damage on the brain by reducing the number of neurons and glial cells, leading to a decrease in white matter. Over time, it causes a depletion of naturally produced levels of dopamine and serotonin while increasing neurotoxins within the brain.

5 Classes of Stimulants

1. Caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant drug present in substances such as coffee and some sodas. It’s stimulating effects speed up the messages between the brain and the body. Caffeine is also addictive, causing withdrawal symptoms when a regular intake is not available.

2. Nicotine

Nicotine, mainly found in tobacco used in cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes, and other tobacco-based products, is another widely used addictive stimulant. Excessive use and long-term use may cause premature death, roughly 1 out of 5 deaths in the United States. It is a highly addictive substance that causes dopamine floods to the brain, high blood sugar, and a host of vascular diseases.

3. Cocaine

Cocaine, derived from Coca bush leaves, is another stimulant that can be consumed in multiple ways, including smoking, snorting, inhaling, chewing, and injecting. It is illegal in the United States but it is still one of the most abused drugs. Long-term use of cocaine may create a range of effects on the body and the brain, such as insomnia, high blood pressure, anxiety, paranoia, and violent behavior. Cocaine overdose can lead to panic attacks, hallucinations, kidney failure, seizures, stroke, and heart attack.

4. Methamphetamine

Meth, or methamphetamine, is an extremely addictive psychostimulant drug similar to prescription amphetamines. It can be consumed in various ways such as smoking, snorting, inhaling, ingesting, and injecting. It is illegal in the United States but is rapidly expanding its reach over the substance-abusing population. Overdosing on methamphetamine may lead to kidney failure, convulsions, passing out, stroke, heart attack, and death.

5. Prescription Stimulants

Prescription stimulants are psychoactive drugs that are commonly used in prescription medications such as Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), to help patients with their ability to focus and to control their impulses. Long-term abuse of these medications can lead to depression, nausea, anxiety, manic states, and cardiovascular complications.

Short-term Side Effects of Stimulants

Long-term Risks and Dangers

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Long-term use of stimulant drugs damages the central nervous system (CNS) by acting on the neurotransmitters in the brain, which creates an imbalance of neurotransmitters. To combat the effects of these dangerously addictive substances may not be easy, but you can overcome your addiction with treatment if you have the commitment to do so. At New Hope Healthcare we believe that taking the first step of reaching out puts you on the road to recovery. Don’t hesitate to take that first step. Call us today at 866-806-1027

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At New Hope Health in Tennessee, we offer free insurance verification for our clients who feel they need some help. When you contact us, we will carry out the thorough analysis of your addiction problem, and then recommend a workable drug treatment program. Next, we will contact your insurance provider on your behalf and verify your benefits. We will also let you know if you will be responsible for any out-of-pocket expense not covered under your plan.

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