According to data compiled by, nearly 4 percent of all Americans are abusing medications that have been prescribed to them, especially opioids and stimulants. In most cases, these medications were prescribed to treat an underlying health problem, but unfortunately, some people have become addicted to them. This is the case for many of today’s commonly prescribed stimulants like Ritalin, Dexedrine, and Adderall, for example. In this article, we will detail some of the tell-tale signs of stimulant addiction and when you should consider seeking help.

How Do People Become Addicted To Stimulants?

If stimulants are taken for a prolonged time, the body’s capacity to function normally will be impacted. In most cases, individual will experience physiological changes while taking stimulants and also after they have stopped. Some of these physiological changes may include high blood pressure, high body temperature, and a rapid heart rate. Stimulants can also lead to changes in brain chemistry, seizures, and neurotoxicity. As far as the psychological impact, long-term stimulant use can result in depression, anxiety, hallucinations and, in severe cases, suicidal thoughts. Needless to say, overcoming addiction to stimulants can be challenging. To further complicate matters, those addicted to stimulants may continue to feel the effects of withdrawal for months after they have stopped using. Some of these withdrawal symptoms include

  • Extreme drug cravings
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sleep problems

What Makes Stimulants So Addictive?

Stimulants work by targeting receptors in the brain, which over time builds up a tolerance and requires more stimulation. In response, those who are addicted will continually take more of a given stimulant to achieve an optimal high. It is also worth noting that stimulants can cause hyperstimulation in the brain that can trigger feelings of euphoria. While we are on the topic, the physiological effects are salient across almost all stimulants. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if an individual is taking Adderall or Ritalin; the long-term use of these medications will invariably lead to addiction.

How Are Stimulants Being Misused?

As a means to derive a quick and more sustainable high from stimulants, many people tend to misuse them in one way or another. For example, it is not uncommon for some people to snort or inject the medication. This is not only ill-advised but also has serious health consequences. Beyond that, it increases the likelihood of addiction. Why does snorting or injecting stimulants lead to a more intense high? Well, those who are addicted prefer to have the medication in their bloodstream as soon as possible. When taken orally, the effects of stimulants are less intense, and the onset is much slower.

Finding Help For Stimulant Addiction.

When it comes to any form of addiction, the first step toward recovery is recognizing that you have a problem and then seek help. The best way to go about this is to enroll in a drug treatment facility where you will go through a detox program. Many drug treatment facility will offer medically-assisted detox programs to help with the withdrawal symptoms that will come once you have stopped using. Some of the medication used during detox include:

Lioresal – This medication prevents the release of dopamine, noradrenaline, glutamate and removes the euphoric sensation that comes with taking stimulants.

Norpramin – Classified as a tricyclic antidepressant, Norpramin is prescribed to resolve the lows that are typically associated with abstaining from stimulants as well as other substances like cocaine, for example.

Hydroxyzine – Commonly prescribed as an antihistamine, hydroxyzine is also very effective in resolving stimulant withdrawal symptoms, particularly nausea and vomiting.

Antabuse – Although commonly used in conjunction with alcohol detox programs, Antabuse is occasionally used to help those seeking to end their addiction to stimulants. This medication works by causing individuals to become sick if they consume stimulants, alcohol, or cocaine.

Although rarely mentioned in conversations concerning addiction, stimulant addiction is a very real and pervasive problem in the U.S. and other countries. Fortunately, there are treatments available for those looking to overcome their addiction and reclaim their lives.

Please visit The Recovery Village ( to learn more.