Stimulants are drugs which affect both brain and physical function. They cause the user to stay awake for longer, feel more focused and generally more energetic. Stimulant addiction often includes prescription drugs, especially amphetamines, which have been abused in the UK for some time.
Recover starts with one important step
More recently methylphenidate (Ritalin) has become widely misused, and so have amphetamine derivatives, especially MDMA (ecstasy) and other chemically engineered amphetamines. These are sometimes described as ‘club drugs’ and are widely available, meaning that their use amongst young people has grown significantly over the past few years. Stimulant addiction treatment can help break the cycle of stimulant abuse.
Equally popular is cocaine and its derivative crack, both of which have become more acceptable and more affordable in recent times. Amongst users, stimulants have a ‘good image’ in contrast to heroin. Stimulants are seen as fun, racy and safe, and are associated with a party lifestyle.
Symptoms and side effects of stimulant addiction
The initial positive effects of stimulants are soon outweighed by progressive, subtle negative effects, you may experience:
- Increasing mood swings - particularly episodes of depression and paranoid thoughts, 24 to 48 hours after usage (downers)
- Irritability and erratic behaviour at home and at work
- Increased anxiety and tendency to panic attacks
- Disturbed sleep and the need to take tranquillisers to cope with this, alongside the anxiety and downers
- The ability to drink more alcohol with its own inherent problems
Prolonged heavy use can lead to more marked mental illness:
- Psychosis – paranoid thoughts which will not go away
- Auditory hallucinations – hearing voices which will not go away
- Severe debilitating depression
- Panic disorder – recurrent, debilitating panic attacks
Free initial addiction assessment
We understand embarking upon recovery can be an emotionally turbulent time for you. With this in mind, the Priory offers a free initial assessment with an experienced therapist at all of our addiction treatment hospitals and clinics to help you discuss your addiction in confidence
Addiction and consequences
Abuse of stimulants is common and the potential for addiction is much greater than most users will admit to. As stimulants are easily affordable and readily available, recreational use increases. As a result, an increasing number of people with addictive potential are being exposed to addictive drugs, and so the number of addicts increases.
The consequences of increased stimulant use effects all aspects of the user’s life. This can impact heavily upon your family and work life, financial situation and your physical and mental health. Such negative effects are often very obvious to those close to you– parents, employers and spouses, whilst you are often unaware of these effects.
How the Priory can help
If you are a concerned friend, partner, family member, employer or professional then it might help to call the Priory for an informal chat with one of our addiction therapists. Alternatively, you can come for a free confidential face to face assessment. This can sometimes help to start a process which will lead to an effective intervention to help the individual to seek help. For more severe cases, an appointment can quickly be made with a consultant psychiatrist.
A wide range of practical solutions are available at the Priory, starting with a free assessment with an addictions therapist. We can offer individual therapy session to explore your concerns further, along with day care and inpatient treatment (rehab) options to address the addictive issue.