Stimulant Addiction Treatment

What are Stimulants?

Stimulants are a class of drugs that includes cocaine, ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine), methamphetamine, and prescription stimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin. Other commonly used stimulants include caffeine and nicotine. 

Some typical street names for stimulants include:

  • Cat
  • Ice
  • Coke
  • Crank
  • Crystal
  • Flake
  • Snow
  • Speed
  • Uppers
  • Bennies
  • Black beauties

Stimulants come in pills, powders, rocks, and injectable liquids. These drugs stimulate the central nervous system and produce a stimulant effect by triggering increased levels of dopamine in the brain. The elevated levels of dopamine cause an increase in energy and alertness, which is what makes stimulants so addictive for some people.

Stimulants are a type of drug that can be addictive and cause severe withdrawal symptoms. If you are experiencing any stimulant withdrawal symptoms, it is important to seek professional help. There are a variety of treatments available that can help you overcome your addiction.

Some common stimulant drugs include:

Cocaine

This stimulant is derived from the leaves of the coca plant. It can be snorted, injected, or smoked to produce a powerful, short-acting stimulant effect. Cocaine is a stimulant that comes in a white powder form and a rock crystal “crack” form. 

Cocaine has a powerful stimulant effect on the body. There are two main chemical forms of cocaine: Hydrochloride salt and “freebase”. Freebase is water-soluble while crack cocaine is lipid-soluble.

These stimulants are most commonly smoked in a crack pipe but also can be snorted or injected into the body. It is an illegal stimulant, though it is sometimes used in legally-prescribed nasal sprays and inhalers for patients who suffer from severe allergies.

The Origins of Cocaine

Cocaine serves as a local anesthetic by blocking the nerve conduction of pain stimuli across sensory neurons. It is used medically in surgery involving the nasal cavity and larynx (but should never be used for this purpose by anyone who might perform such operations upon themselves).  Cocaine is typically snorted into the nose where it then is absorbed into small blood vessels located within the nasal membrane and sinus cavities and then transported quickly.

Cocaine’s stimulant properties were first noted early in the nineteenth century, around 1844-1845 when various European doctors began experimenting with it for its stimulant effects on the heart and respiration. By 1849, experiments on himself by Dr. William A. Hammond of the United States Army led to his conclusion that cocaine could be used as an effective stimulant and analgesic (pain reliever). 

Later in 1883, Dr. Alexander Wood of Livingstone College experimented with cocaine’s stimulant properties and noted they might prove helpful to those who were ill or depressed since such people tended to lose interest in food and sex.

Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine is an illegal drug that looks like chunks of white crystals or shiny blue-white rocks. This stimulant is made in illegal laboratories and comes most commonly in powder form but also may be found as pills or capsules. Methamphetamine stimulates the nervous system by triggering high levels of dopamine for between 6 and 12 hours after use–compared with only 30 minutes for crack cocaine.

Prescription stimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin are usually taken orally in pill form to aid patients who have been diagnosed with ADHD or ADD.

How Are Stimulants Used? 

People who use stimulants over and over again may struggle with physical dependence on these drugs. People who abuse stimulants often develop stimulant addictions that need to be treated through stimulant addiction treatment. Due to their stimulating effects, stimulants can become very addictive when they are used frequently over time.

Stimulants work quickly on the brain and central nervous system, and the effects only last for a short period of time. This leads many people to want more stimulants and to take them repeatedly for a short period of time which can

Stimulant abuse is the use of stimulants to achieve a euphoric sensation. Stimulant drugs are basically types of stimulative chemical substances, which are psychoactive in nature. Some stimulants are legal substances or medications, while others are illegal stimulants or street drugs. 

Why Do Individuals Use Stimulant Medications? 

Individuals use stimulant medications as treatment for ADHD, narcolepsy, and obesity.

Stimulant addiction is treated with both pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy approaches. The pharmacotherapy approach usually involves the introduction of stimulant medications to manage withdrawal. Managing stimulant addiction can be challenging because stimulants are addictive, and stimulant withdrawal is difficult to manage.

Signs of Stimulant Abuse

Stimulant abuse can be harsh on the body. The signs of stimulant abuse can present themselves as:

  • Nosebleeds
  • Injection of stimulants
  • Mixing stimulants with alcohol
  • Abusing stimulant pills or powder
  • Decreased appetite and weight loss
  • Sleep problems such as insomnia and REM behavior disorder (RBD)

What Are Stimulant Withdrawal Symptoms?

The stimulant withdrawal symptoms can vary depending on the stimulant that was used and for how long it was used. The stimulant withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Panic attacks
  • Depression and irritability
  • Feelings of frustration and restlessness
  • Problems with concentration and memory
  • Paranoia and psychosis (hearing voices, having paranoid delusions)
  • Extreme fatigue and sleepiness
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Nausea and vomiting

In some cases, individuals may also experience severe withdrawal symptoms such as suicidal thoughts, paranoia, and hallucinations. It is important to seek professional help if you are experiencing any stimulant withdrawal symptoms. 

Treatment for Stimulant Addiction

The treatment for stimulant addiction will vary depending on the individual. There are various stimulant addiction treatment options available.

However, some common treatments include counseling, medication, and therapy. There are five primary approaches to treating stimulant abusers; pharmacotherapy, behavior therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), contingency management (CM), and the Matrix Model. It is important to seek professional help if you are struggling with stimulant addiction.

Your stimulant addiction treatment will depend on several factors such as: 

  • How long you have been using stimulants
  • Your health and wellbeing
  • What substances were mixed with stimulants when you abused them
  • Any stimulant addiction induced mental illness that may be present
  • If there are other co-occurring addictions in addition to stimulant addiction (alcohol or drug abuse).

Pharmacotherapy uses stimulants as part of the treatment program. Some of the popular stimulant treatment options include: 

  1. Behavioral Therapy: This type of therapy involves different types of treatment programs that aim to address stimulant addiction. These stimulant treatments include cognitive behavioral therapy, behavior modification, and contingency management.
  2. Pharmacotherapy: This stimulant treatment method uses medications to help a person get through withdrawal symptoms so he can successfully recover from stimulant dependence.

Behavior therapies include techniques designed to change individuals’ behaviors related to stimulant abuse through reinforcement or punishment of certain behaviors. CBT attempts to help people recognize their own thoughts that contribute to using drugs or engaging in dangerous behaviors, learn about the consequences of their actions, and develop ways to avoid relapse if they stop.

The most common approach is to gradually wean the person off the stimulant. This is done by slowly decreasing the dose of stimulant until it is no longer necessary. 

Psychotherapy, or talking therapy, can also be helpful in treating stimulant addiction. This type of therapy can help people understand why they developed an addiction to stimulants, and how to avoid future drug abuse.  In June 2020, 10.7% of U.S adults reported serious thoughts of suicide in the past month. However, data found that suicide deaths in the U.S. decreased by 5.6% from 2019 to 2020. Prior to the pandemic, in 2019, the age-adjusted suicide rate was 13.9 per 100,000.

Support groups can also be beneficial for people recovering from stimulant addiction. These groups provide a safe place for people to express their challenges with stimulant substance abuse. If stimulants are your addiction you need to seek treatment as soon as possible. Stimulant withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening if not treated in a professional environment. If stimulant addiction becomes too severe, you could experience seizures or cardiac arrest. 

There are also long-term dangers that have to do with the structure of the brain itself when it is exposed to stimulants in high doses over an extended period of time. It is important for stimulant addiction treatment facilities to offer a medically supervised detox process to help individuals manage their symptoms during stimulant withdrawal.

New Jersey Drug Statistics

3,888 New Jersey residents (ages 18-21 years old) entered substance abuse treatment in 2019. According to the New Jersey Substance Abuse Monitoring System, there were 98,479 hospital admissions for substance abuse treatment during 2019.

During the pandemic, deaths due to drug overdose increased nationally, primarily driven by synthetic opioid use. In the 12-month period ending in September 2020, the U.S. reported 90,200 deaths due to drug overdoses, up from 70,000 deaths in 2019. Suicidal ideation has been a concern throughout the pandemic.

Aside from opioids, stimulant drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine remain readily available in New Jersey. The production of illegal stimulant drugs such as meth poses particular risks to communities; the drug is usually cooked in makeshift labs that produce highly flammable and toxic fumes.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that stimulants are the most commonly used drugs after marijuana. Stimulants are a class of drugs that include cocaine, methamphetamine, and prescription stimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin. These drugs stimulate the central nervous system and can make people feel energetic and alert.

Despite the fact that stimulants can have positive effects, they can also be addictive. People who abuse stimulants can become dependent on them and experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using them. Stimulant addiction treatment is necessary for those who want to recover from an addiction to stimulants. 

North Jersey Rehabs Center Can Aid Those Suffering From Addiction

Stimulant addiction treatment can be a valuable resource for individuals who are at the grips of substance abuse. Addiction can rewire the processes of the brain, causing the person to rely on compulsive behaviors for comfort. North Jersey Rehabs works to release the internal pain you feel through evidence-based therapies. Stimulant addiction can be devastating for all involved. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, please reach out to our facility.

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/drug-overdose-data.htm 

https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2020-06/Stimulants-2020.pdf

https://www.kff.org/statedata/mental-health-and-substance-use-state-fact-sheets/new-jersey/

https://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/dmhas/publications/statistical/Substance%20Abuse%20Overview/2020/Statewide.pdf