Stimulants are a broad class of substances that run from the caffeine you get in your morning coffee, to prescription stimulants, such as Adderall and Ritalin, and, at the far end of the spectrum, to illegal substance such as cocaine, crystal meth, and Ecstasy. Stimulants temporarily increase your energy and attention levels. They also increase your heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature, keep you awake, and (at least prior to the point of addiction) engender a sense of euphoria that erases any negative elements in your immediate environment. When prescription stimulants are used under proper medical care, they are an effective therapeutic option to treat certain psychological and other disorders. Stimulants also have a dark side, however, that places them in the category of extremely addictive substances.
Stimulant Addiction Treatment
Stimulants work primarily by flooding your brain with dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter that fosters a sensation of reward when you experience something good. The stimulant dopamine response is so strong that your brain chemistry changes to accommodate extremely high levels of dopamine. When you stop using stimulants, your brain’s chemistry does not immediately revert to its pre-stimulant state, but instead continues to crave stimulants to feed those chemical changes. Physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms occur when your brain and metabolism are starved of the stimulants that they have come to need and expect.
Stimulant Addiction Treatment Center
Treatment for stimulant addiction begins with a medically supervised detox and withdrawal phase. Addictions to prescription stimulants might be treated by gradually lowering the dosage of the stimulant that is given to an addict. This minimizes the risks of seizures and other serious withdrawal effects that might leave a recovering addict with a long-term disability. Cocaine and crystal meth addictions are not as readily treated, as there are no approved pharmaceutical substitutes to alleviate withdrawal symptoms from these substances. Individuals who are addicted to these substances will endure a two- or three-day window during which they will experience severe flu-like symptoms and psychological disorders. Counselors and addiction treatment therapists always recommend that detox and withdrawal occur under the care of an experienced physician to prevent the addict from harming himself and from giving up on his or her detox when the symptoms become difficult to handle.
Stimulant Detox & Recovery
Following detox, a recovering addict will be directed into a residential program of intense cognitive and behavioral therapy. A recovering addict may be able to participate in daily outpatient therapy, but addiction recovery specialists prefer inpatient residential therapy for at least the first four weeks after detox and withdrawal. During this time, a recovering addict will learn a new set of tools and techniques to reject temptations to relapse and to develop a path to long-term sober living. Stimulant addiction can remove an addict’s ability to experience joy through any method other than stimulants, and addicts can find themselves succumbing to boredom while in recovery. Most recovery programs address this issue with suggestions and activities that engage a recovering addict with his now-sober environment.
You might have inadvertently fallen prey to prescription stimulant addiction, or you might have turned to stimulants to remover the pain of anxiety or depression.
Regardless of what catalyzed your addiction, the counselors and therapists at the Last Resort Recovery Center (near Austin, Texas) are available to help you recover from that addiction and to guide you through your own rehab and recovery. Please contact us at 512-570-6750 to discuss how we can help you break your stimulant addiction and move forward in a stimulant-free life.