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Symptoms and Signs of Stimulant Abuse

person with headache struggling with symptoms and signs of stimulant abuse

Stimulants can be addictive and deadly. Unfortunately, people who use stimulants aren’t always aware when they’ve crossed the threshold to dependence and addiction. If someone you love is showing signs of stimulant abuse, or if you’re concerned about your own stimulant use, a stimulant detox center program can ensure safe withdrawal and provide a path to recovery. Let’s take a closer look at some signs you or someone you love is abusing stimulants.

What are Stimulants and How are They Abused?

In managed doses, stimulants increase attention spans, concentration, and energy. Drugs that are considered stimulants include prescription medications used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. These drugs may be amphetamines like Dexedrine, Adderall, and Biphetamine, or methylphenidates like Ritalin and Concerta.

Stimulants are also found in some illegal drugs, like cocaine, MDMA, and methamphetamines. These drugs have similar effects to prescription stimulants, but they take effect much more quickly, and users have a more intense reaction.

How Stimulants Work in the Body

Stimulants make a user more alert by increasing chemicals that act on the central nervous system. A stimulant user’s brain has a high level of dopamine, a chemical that produces positive feelings in the brain’s reward centers. Unusual energy, focus, and euphoria, all short-term effects of high dopamine, may be signs of stimulant abuse.

When people take prescription stimulants under a doctor’s guidance, the physician monitors the dosage carefully. However, if people take more stimulants than they’ve been prescribed, or take them without a prescription, they risk developing tolerance. Another sign of abusing stimulants is taking higher and higher doses to feel the same effect.

When someone abruptly stops taking stimulants after building up a dependency, they may suffer unpleasant withdrawal symptoms like nausea, headaches, and fever.

After a long period of stimulant abuse, users risk developing serious physical symptoms like malnutrition, high blood pressure, and damage to the blood vessels, kidneys, and lungs. In some cases, stimulant abuse can lead to heart problems or strokes.

What Are the Signs of Stimulant Abuse?

The signs of abusing stimulants will vary, depending on factors like:

  • How long someone has used stimulants
  • Which drug they’re using
  • How often they use stimulants
  • Any pre-existing health issues or personality traits

These are the most common symptoms to look out for, but keep in mind that every individual will be different.

Behavioral and mood changes include:

  • Extreme mood swings
  • Excessive energy
  • Jitteriness or twitching
  • Reckless behavior or poor decision-making
  • Constantly losing prescriptions or seeking more prescriptions
  • Social withdrawal
  • Hallucinations or delusions
  • Anxiety and paranoia
  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Rapid speech or inability to stop talking

Physical symptoms might include:

  • High blood pressure
  • High body temperature
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Decreased appetite
  • Dilated pupils
  • Weight loss
  • Hair loss
  • Excessive sweating

If you or someone you love shows many of these signs of stimulant abuse, it’s time to seek help.

Safe Stimulant Detox at Springfield Wellness Center

At Springfield Wellness Center, we’re committed to helping patients break the cycle of addiction. We provide a safe place to detox from stimulants and prepare for the next steps in your recovery. Medically supervised detox keeps you healthy while stimulants leave your system.

Many patients who pursue drug abuse treatment can also benefit from mental health and mood disorder treatment. Here, you can take advantage of our excellent treatment programs. Our groundbreaking BR+NAD addiction therapy can also help you achieve lasting recovery. BR+NAD can help repair the damage done to your brain by stimulants, and increase your overall well-being.

Stimulant abuse may be part of your past, but it doesn’t have to define your future. Call us at 844.334.4727 or reach out online to learn more. Our professional team is standing by to help you or someone you love.