The Long-Term Effects of Stimulant Abuse

The Long-Term Effects of Stimulant Abuse

Stimulant use can be extremely harmful. When misused, stimulants can become easy to overindulge in. Stimulant abuse is common, and when using stimulants, depending on the frequency and type, it can lead to illness or even death. 

Oftentimes co-occurring mental health disorders can develop with stimulant abuse. The presence of one starts to depend on the other. When stimulants are paired with a mental health disorder, it is crucial to seek help. 

The dependency on the stimulant becomes stronger and is common for those with mental health issues. There is a way to manage the stresses and discomforts of life without the abuse and dependency on stimulants. With treatment, the long-term effects of stimulant abuse can be avoided and warded off. 

What Are Stimulants?

There are various types of stimulants. To name a few, there are prescription stimulants, legally accessible stimulants, and illegal stimulants. Although some are natural and can be used for dietary purposes, those abused most are unsafe and can be lethal. 

Prescription stimulants are those that are prescribed by doctors, such as Ridellan, Adderall, or Dexedrine. These are prescribed as a medicine to treat symptoms such as impulsive behavior, hyperactivity, narcolepsy, or even depression. There are times when prescription stimulant use is misused. Sometimes a person may not realize they are misusing it, but anything outside of instructions for the prescription is considered misuse. 

Natural forms of stimulants are those such as caffeine, ginseng, or ephedrine. These are legal and are present in coffee, energy drinks, and some over-the-counter medicines. Although natural stimulants may not be as harmful as prescription or illicit ones, the overconsumption of them can still be unhealthy.  

Some illegal or illicit stimulants are methamphetamine, cocaine, or ecstasy. These stimulants are considered street drugs and are illegal as there are a host of risks associated with these forms of stimuli. Outside of these types of stimulants being illegal, they are highly addictive. Some can cause dependency even after the first use.  

The Effects of Stimulant Abuse

Stimulants work by increasing brain activity, which enhances your alertness, focus, and energy. It is easy to begin taking a prescribed, natural, or illegal stimulant to better your focus and ultimately wind up dependent on it.

A few short-term effects of stimulant abuse include dangerously high body temperature, decreased appetite, and cardiovascular issues. Continued abuse of stimulants can result in more intense symptoms. Long-term effects of stimulant abuse include, but are not limited to, nutritional deficiencies, seizures, and heart failure. 

Overindulgence in anything that alters your mind and body can be detrimental. It pays to pay attention to your body. Stimulants of any kind can disrupt or over-enhance a physical organ and cause harm. The difference that knowing this truth can make is sometimes life or death. 

Co-occurring Mental Health Disorders That Can Accompany Stimulant Abuse

Stimulant abuse can come with more than one dilemma, a co-occurring mental health disorder being one of them. The coexistence of both substance use disorder (SUD) and a mental health disorder is considered a co-occurring disorder. 

This can happen easily; stimulant use can start out as an escape from anxiety or hyperactivity. However, noticing a loss of control before it is too late can be life-saving. 

The risks of stimulant abuse become more extensive when coupled with a mental health disorder. For instance, if you are taking a prescription stimulant to aid your symptoms of a mental health disorder and you become dependent, the symptoms can actually worsen. If, instead of remaining balanced with the medication, you experience worsening conditions, take that as a sign of danger and proceed with caution.

When these signs of addiction and abuse go unnoticed, anything can happen. Sometimes when individuals become tolerant of a substance, they require more to feel the effects. However, this is dangerous, especially with stimulants, as it causes the possibility of overdosing.

Treatment Options for Stimulant Abuse

Forms of long-term stimulant abuse can, unfortunately, be lethal. At SoCal Mental Health, we work with our clients to customize treatment plans. These treatment plans are created with the purpose of addressing healing mental, physical, and emotional damages incurred. 

Some types of treatment that we offer are psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and other talk therapies. In these types of settings, you can benefit from one-on-one or group therapy with other clients seeking help.

These forms of treatment work to undo the damage that has been done to the body and mind by the overconsumption of stimulants. However, addiction is not the sole focus, and we help you do the work required to manage any mental health disorder and address the causes of the abuse. 

It’s unlikely that anyone chooses to become addicted to stimulants. The short-term and long-term effects can offer more discomfort than what the stimulant is being taken to combat. However, becoming addicted can simply happen to anyone. That is why resources for treatment are available to everyone who may need it.

If you or someone you know is struggling with stimulant abuse, you are not alone. Many people use different types of stimulants. Some may not even realize that they are abusing it. This is especially prevalent with prescription stimulant abuse. You can avoid the long and short-term effects of stimulant abuse by catching it early. If you notice that you may have an addiction to a stimulant, it is not too late. Being stuck in your addiction does not have to be your fate, as some tend to assume. There is a treatment plan that can directly cater to you and your unique needs. Call SoCal Mental Health for more information on treatment options at (888) 312-0219.

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