Stimulant Drug Abuse; The Good, The Abused, And The Deadly
Stimulants are a type of drug that elevates a person's mood, makes them more alert and sharp and gives them increased energy levels. They also elevate blood pressure and increase heart rates and respiration (breathing). At one time, stimulants were used for the treatment of asthma and other breathing problems as well as other medical ailments.
What are some of the abused drugs that fall into the Stimulant category?
Cocaine is a powder which is derived from coca plant leaves. Most of the time when cocaine is obtained on the streets it's in a powder form. Cocaine is extremely addictive and many people all over the world suffer from cocaine addiction. Crack Cocaine is a form of cocaine that is smoked. This drug is processed with chemicals like ammonia and baking soda then heated. Crack Cocaine makes a crackling type sound when smoked which is how it got its name.
Speedball is a combined mixture of cocaine or crack cocaine mixed together with heroin. These 2 illegal drugs are smoked together at the same time. Cocaine addiction and crack cocaine addiction is extremely prevalent throughout the world.
Methamphetamine comes in a clear crystal or powder form. Many times methamphetamines are produced in small illegal labs and contain extremely toxic substances; antifreeze, battery acid and drain cleaner are some of the common ingredients used when manufacturing this illegal abused substance. Many methamphetamine addicts dissolve the powder in water or alcohol. When smoked, it's referred to as ice, crystal, crank, glass, fire, and go fast. Methamphetamine abuse is very widespread; this powerful stimulant is responsible for the meth addictions throughout the world.
Amphetamines come in a tablet or pill form, the stimulant Adderall is an amphetamine that at times is prescribed by physicians for the treatment of ADHD which is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Amphetamine abuse is very common and many addicts crush or snort the substance when they take them. Methylphenidate is also prescribed by doctors for the treatment of ADHD. Concerta and Ritalin fall under this drug classification. When taken as prescribed by a physician this drug is very effective. Sadly many people suffer from Concerta and Ritalin abuse and addiction as well.
Today, stimulants are prescribed by physicians for treating just a couple of health issues, such as narcolepsy, ADHD and depression. Other medications are tried first in the treatment of depression but if the patient doesn't respond well to them, stimulants may be prescribed.
Dextroamphetamine which is Dexedrine and Adderall, and Methylphenidate which is Ritalin and Concerta improve chemicals in the brain, they increase norepinephrine and dopamine. Norepinephrine is a stress hormone; it increases energy in the body during stress. Dopamine adjusts emotions in the brain. When taken as prescribed, stimulants are very effective for the treatment of certain medical conditions.
Stimulants such as cocaine, crack cocaine, and methamphetamines are abused for the extreme high and euphoria the individual receives when abusing them. It changes the brain in such a way that the individual feels pleasure and energy. What individuals don't understand when abusing stimulants is the fact that they really mess with the dopamine system in the brain and with repeated stimulant abuse the person becomes anxious and paranoid many times. Eventually, the individual's brain becomes incapable of producing dopamine on its own and the addict is unable to feel pleasure anymore without the use of the drug. This is the reason the addict continues to abuse stimulants in higher doses and more often. Many turn to other drugs as well because now their brain functions are really messed up and they will do almost anything to feel better. It's a vicious cycle for the addict's stimulant addiction.
Individuals who suffer with cocaine addiction, methamphetamine addiction, amphetamine addiction and other stimulant addictions risk unbelievable consequences from this abuse depending on the substance abused. Some of the dangerous and serious effects are;
- Heart fibrillation can occur because the blood can't flow through the body like it's supposed to. This makes the heart work much harder because it's is trying to pump the blood throughout the body. Long term, this leads to heart problems that may be irreversible.
- Paranoia, aggressiveness, dangerous anorexia and erratic behavior are risks that are involved with long term drug abuse also. Over time, many are unable to think clearly anymore on their own.
- They visually hallucinate and hear things, suffer from delusions and extremely severe dental problems.
- Panic attacks, paranoid psychosis, loss of smell, and nosebleeds.
- Homicidal and suicidal thoughts, loss of sex drive, HIV and other infectious diseases, and sensations of bugs crawling up and down their skin.
- Strokes, heart attacks, heart problems and DEATH
IS ALL THE ABOVE EVEN WORTH THE RISKS?
Drug addiction is extremely serious today. There are so many lives lost every day due to drug abuse. We hear it on the news, read it in the paper and see it on the internet. Most everyone knows of someone who is suffering from alcohol or drug addiction, and sometimes both. These people who die from drug overdose, drug related suicides and drug related crimes have family members who have to go on living the rest of their lives with a void and emptiness inside that no one else can ever fill. Those who die due to drug abuse are children, parents, spouses, brothers, sisters, grandparents, relatives and friends. Every day there's another hole and another void that takes place in some family's home and their lives will never be the same.
Hundreds if not thousands die every year because they didn't even realize the drug they were abusing was mixed with something else. On June 7th, 2010 it was reported that contaminated cocaine killed 2 individuals in Minnesota because it was tainted with an anti-worm medication that is used by veterinarians. Five people became sick after abusing cocaine but only 2 of them died. I cannot stress enough the importance of Drug Prevention, Drug Addiction Intervention, and Drug Abuse Treatment. Thousands of lives can be saved every day if people only understood the effectiveness of early drug intervention and drug addiction treatment. Drug prevention is not only needed in today's world but is a necessity. It is just as important and critical as food and water that keeps us alive. Our children's lives today and in the future depend on it. Drug abuse is not getting any better it's only getting worse.
Sure certain drugs that were dangerously abused in the past show decreases in abuse from year to year but that's because there is always another illegal drugs popping up, always new prescription drugs hitting the market that are abused and always new ways to abuse alcohol and other toxic substances. Drug prevention education is so important and young children need to understand that drug abuse is dangerous and ruins your life, that drug addiction kills and that death is forever. For those children that come from families where the parent or parents abuse drugs, sadly these young children may never understand this. Drug prevention programs in schools may be the only positive reinforcement and education they can count on.
Drug Addiction Intervention
Many times family and friends will get together with the individual that is abusing alcohol or addicted to drugs in hopes to get them to understand that they need help for their substance abuse and drug addiction. Studies show that when this is done through a professional drug or alcohol addiction intervention program the success rate is not only higher but the family learns ways to cope with the addiction treatment process as well. Drug Addiction Treatment programs are extremely important in anyone's life who is dealing with drug addiction and drug abuse. There they will not only receive professional treatment for their addiction but through professional drug abuse counseling and therapy they will safely have the chance to really understand themselves, find new ways to handle stress in order to make healthy and safe choices throughout the rest of their lives. Many have gone on to help others.
Just think of the many lives you will touch and be able to help because of your own success in turning your life around. You don't have to be a drug abuse counselor or therapist to touch someone else's life that is addicted to drugs or alcohol. It doesn't matter where you live, if you or someone you know needs help, guidance, substance abuse intervention or drug addiction treatment please don't hesitate to call this toll free number that's available 24 hours a day. We know what you're going through and we can help!