If you’re old enough to remember the popular television show “Saved By The Bell” then you more likely than not remember the classic episode where the brainiac character, Jessica Spano gets hopped up on caffeine pills while studying for her big test. The classic moment is when Spano is paranoid and obsessively going on about the test. She wants desperately to go to a music group audition with the girl band she and her friends formed, but she’s tied to her books and in spite of the fact that she hasn’t slept, she wants to keep working. As one of her best friends, fellow classmate Zach Morris, gives her a hug Spano breaks down sobbing half singing, “I’m so excited, i’m so excited, i’m so…scared!” As a kid in the 1980’s and 1990’s, this may have been your first introduction to stimulants.
What Are Stimulants?
One of the broad classifications for intoxicating substances is “stimulants” – drugs intended to increase alertness, invigorate the body, and enliven the mind. The focus of a stimulant is the central nervous system. Of course in the process of invigorating, they tend to blow your blood pressure, anxiety, and heart rate through the roof, also all lending themselves to temperature deregulation. Some stimulants are legal medications used to treat anything from allergies to ADD; some are illegal such as meth and cocaine. Addiction to stimulants, depending on the substance, can be devastating. FHE Health offers outpatient detox centers in South Florida as well as long term drug rehab to get off of the stimulants and back to that girl band audition with your friends!
Examples of Stimulants
- Epinephrine – An injectable stimulant to jump start the central nervous and the respiratory systems, often used to combat extreme allergic reaction.
- Cocaine – a recreational stimulant that is usually taken by snorting it up the nose, rubbing it into their gums, inhaled or smoked.
- Methamphetamine – recreational drug, an illicit and very dangerous version of an amphetamine taken by a pill, in a beverage or food, snorting it, or smoking the substance.
- Caffeine – the most socially accepted stimulant, is sometimes added to pain medication as a way to increase productivity of the pain killer, for instance often migraine medication will include some amount of caffeine. Caffeine is most commonly consumed via food or liquid as a legal upper but also sometimes found in pill form.
- Amphetamine Prescription Drugs like Adderall and Concerta – intended to combat hyperactivity, and lack of focus. These are mostly taken as pills.
Why Do People Use Stimulants?
People like Jessica Spano are often driven to substance abuse and drug or alcohol addiction through a feeling or fear that something is missing within them. It is no different with stimulants. Jessica was terrified that if she didn’t ace her test she wouldn’t get into Stanford, a life long dream. Just like with this character, stimulants are most often taken to compensate for a perceived lack of something in their life – to engage their creativity or work ethic, to overcome social anxiety, or to inflate their sense of self-worth. Unfortunately the solutions provided by drugs like this last only as long as the substance is in your bloodstream. Once the high has ended the user usually feels that same lack of something even more poignantly. This may very well lead to them plotting their next fix.
Effects of Stimulants
As mentioned above stimulants can be hard on the body – particularly on the cardiovascular and cerebrovascular systems. Overworking the heart can cause all manner of complications including cardiac arrest or seizures. Many stimulants interfere with the body’s ability to regulate its own temperature, which puts the user at risk of heat stroke or damaging internal organs from elevated temperature. Abuse of stimulants also takes a heavy toll on the mind as many have side effects including hostility, paranoia, and violent tendencies.
If you or a loved one in or around The Sunshine State is struggling with addiction to stimulants, it is important to get help through a treatment program in Florida. Through the FHE Health outpatient detox center and long term drug rehab, you can root out the underlying issue that caused the desire for a stimulant in the first place. It can be a difficult issue to plumb, and one that you will likely need support from a professional mental health care specialist and knowledgeable community to unwind. The speed that you travel is the best speed for you, when you try to accelerate it to match an unrealistic internally set goal, you are setting yourself up for disaster.
Call us today to learn more about recovering from addiction to stimulants. (844) 299-0618