The term stimulant gets tossed around quite a bit in common language. Many chemicals have mild stimulant effects which we partake infrequently, such as coffee. However, there are a variety of stimulants that appear in dangerous drugs and sometimes are even used to lace harmless-looking products to make them addictive. Many more are present in common drugs used prescribed to adults and minors throughout the country.
Knowing what the most dangerous types of stimulants are can help protect a family from the shock of sudden addictions. Many stimulants are highly addictive and can be life-threatening, so it is essential to have an overview of the types of stimulants and understand the threats they pose. Knowledge is the first step to helping a loved one manage and overcome their addiction.
What Is Nicotine?
Adding nicotine to products makes them very addicting. We see this with the upsurge in illness caused by abusing adult products such as vape pens other supposedly alternative tobacco products. Nicotine occurs naturally in some foods and many of us are not aware of how easy it is to add this natural hook in ingredients.
While nicotine is not nearly as addicting as the other chemicals on this list, it is a stimulant and one that most of us are familiar with, either by our own decisions or from interaction with others that struggle with a tobacco-related addiction. Even though many consider this drug relatively mild, people all over struggle their entire life to overcome just nicotine. Consider how hard it is to quit cigarettes, and then double and triple that suffering and imagine struggling with a much more dangerous addiction.
What Is Cocaine?
One of the most used illicit substances in America, cocaine is a scary word to a lot of people. It comes in an alarming array of forms with many ways to administer the drug. This is especially concerning, as it is one of the most painfully addicting drugs available. Like all stimulants, cocaine creates a chemically induced rush. However, the user often becomes hooked by the chemical compounds in as little time as just one use.
It is a highly psychoactive substance derived from the leaves of the coca tree. One of the major impacts of cocaine is a rewiring of the brain’s pleasure center to only respond to cocaine. In very little time, this drug will take over a person’s life in ways that will seem shocking to friends and family that knew them before the addiction.
What Is Methamphetamine?
Also known as meth, this drug is just as dangerous as cocaine. A chemical compound originally formulated in the 1950s, this drug was commonly used to treat normal conditions. As with other drugs still on the market today, meth was previously used to treat attention deficit disorders, inability to sleep, and even some weight conditions. It did not take long for the side effects to rear their ugly head; however and the drug began to make its way onto the streets of illicit abuse.
Meth is also known to be highly addictive and can create dependency in as little as 24 hours after the first use. Most alarmingly, meth has the extreme repercussion of usage and rapidly deteriorates the body with each successive use. In addition to sapping an addict’s ability to enjoy anything but the drug, meth destroys brain tissue and can induce psychotic and dangerous behavior. Symptoms of all-senses hallucinations, paranoia, skin-crawling sensations, and delusions are a few common results of abusing this drug.
What Is Amphetamine?
A chemical relative of meth, amphetamine shares many of the same nightmarish qualities. It too is highly addictive and quickly absorbs the reality of the addict, becoming the only thing that matters. This drug is still commonly used to treat normal disorders such as ADHD, Narcolepsy, and occasionally weight loss. As such, it is frequently pilfered in its pharmaceutical form and ingested illegally, as well as smoked in its unrefined state.
Amphetamine has an even longer part in medical history, which points to less common abuse from individuals obtaining pills without a prescription. Nevertheless, when it does occur, it can be just as destructive as cocaine or meth. This drug too can induce the alarming mood swings and psychosis prevalent with meth abuse. Also, long-term abuse can result in breathing difficulties and heart irregularities, skin disorders, and even seizures.
What Are Prescription Stimulants?
Amphetamine is certainly not the only pharmaceutical drug that is frequently lifted and used without a prescription. Other common drugs include Ritalin, Adderall, and Dexedrine, all of which are used commonly to treat ADHD and other attention deficit disorders. These drugs contain a cocktail of chemicals, but most have a compound that is related to or derived from amphetamine.
As such, they can be very dangerous when not prescribed carefully and taken with just as much care. The widespread diagnosis of attention deficit disorders makes these drugs distressingly common on the streets. Common side effects include a dangerously rapid heartbeat, mood swings, and agitation, increased restlessness, narrowing of veins, insomnia, and shaking uncontrollably.
As with the previous drugs, abusing these prescription drugs can a euphoric rush, followed by an almost immediate state of addiction, and a rapid loss of the ability to enjoy anything besides the drug. The FDA can recommend dosing of these drugs to children as young as six, so parents should be very aware and cautious if they decide such actions are essential. Awareness of other household members who may be vulnerable to addiction should be carefully considered when storing any type of heavy prescription drug.
Chapman’s House is familiar with a wide range of illicit drugs and their impacts. That is why we can offer effective and long-lasting outpatient stimulant addiction treatment. We understand the pain family and friends go through and we are ready to help loved ones work through rehabilitating back into society post-hospitalization and inpatient treatment. Our facilities are staffed with knowledgeable people ready to go over an overview of the types of stimulants and the ins and outs of drug abuse and provide detailed information, as well as top-notch care.