Stimulants are a diverse group of drugs that put the body into a state of increased alertness and energy and raises the levels of physiological activity. Many individuals use stimulants to feel more productive, or to stay awake for longer periods of time. Stimulants can be injected, snorted, or taken orally and have an extremely high potential for abuse. When abused, stimulants can lead to irritability, hostile and aggressive behavior, paranoia and psychosis.
Stimulants can cause an irregular heartbeat, heart failure and even seizures. Methamphetamine is one of the most harmful and widely abused illegal stimulants. Although some stimulants are illegal, others are prescribed for conditions such as ADHD, where they help boost productivity and focus. Those who begin abusing stimulants catapult themselves into a dark world of sleepless nights, paranoid behavior, acting out, and chasing a never-ending high. Stimulants corrupt the brain and neural pathways and prolonged use can lead to long-term damage of the brain that affect the levels of dopamine. Long-term amphetamine and methamphetamine abuse has also been found to greatly increase the risk for developing Parkinson’s disease.
The good news is that with an adequate length of stay in an individualized treatment program, progress can be made, and damage done can be reversed through many different forms of therapies and continued abstinence from stimulant drugs. If an individual is struggling with weight gain, poor focus, or decreased energy, using stimulant drugs may be tempting but stimulants have an incredibly substantial risk for addiction. If someone is abusing stimulants, it is advisable for them to immediately seek out help instead of continuing to use.