Stimulant use and chronic stimulant abuse has a profound affect on the brain and the rest of the body. Because stimulants–such as cocaine, amphetamines and methamphetamines–affect the brain’s chemistry, typically increasing dopamine, seratonin and/or norepinephrine, those who take stimulants experience a temporary feeling of euphoria.
Illegal stimulants are known on the street as crank, coke, speed or meth, however there are also prescription stimulants sometimes prescribed for chronic fatigue syndrome, attention deficit disorder and a few other medical conditions. These prescription stimulant medications may be medically necessary for certain individuals in small doses and under a doctor’s supervision, but even prescription stimulants are dangerously addictive and can be deadly when abused.
A person abusing illegal and legal stimulants may suffer from:
- Decreased appetite
- Distorted sensations
- Rapid breathing
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Dry mouth
- Sexual dysfunction
- Intestinal disturbances
- Heart palpitations
- Excessive sweating
Those who abuse stimulants long term may begin to experience convulsions, itchy dry skin, impaired memory, depression, obsessive-compulsive behaviors and even psychosis. Some of the more obvious physical consequences of stimulant use–especially that of methamphetamines or meth–are severe dental decay and open sores on the skin.
Stimulant abuse is dangerous. The risk of heart attack is very real, especially in young people or anyone with a family history of heart disease or hypertension. What’s more, stimulants can have deadly consequences when combined with MAOI anti-depressants. Among the less life-threatening, but equally serious consequences of stimulant abuse are increased risk of glaucoma and failure of birth control pills and intrauterine contraceptives.
If you or someone you love is abusing stimulants it is important to seek help today. Mt. Regis–an addiction treatment facility–offers a free, confidential mental health and addiction assessment over the phone. A trained clinician is available to speak with you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call (702) 646-5000 or toll-free (877) 774-4557.