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Know what Stimulants are.

How Stimulants effect you

Stimulants are a class of drug used to identify drugs that elevate the mood of an individual, increase the feelings of well-being, and increase energy and alertness. Most stimulants are classified as central nervous system stimulants which increase the number of neurotransmitters, dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. One of the most common uses of the drug is to help treat people with ADHD due to the effect the drug has that helps improve one’s concentration. 

When it comes down to street names for stimulants, they’re usually spread out among the different types as opposed to the terms being used for the term “stimulant” itself. Common slang includes “Addies” for amphetamines, “Happy pills” for antidepressants, “Speed” for diet pills and “Roids” for steroids. 


Signs & Symptoms

stimulant addiction symptoms and information | Addiction Treatment Helper

Signs of stimulants abuse

Addiction to stimulants can cause a variety of behavioral addictions that provide signs to those who are trying to help the user. Those who abuse stimulants may begin to find themselves unable to rest and exhibiting excessive energy and hyperactivity. Mood swings is a common symptom of abuse and can lead to impulsive, aggressive and deceptive behaviors. Deceptive behavior can include doctor shopping, so keep an eye out to see if the user has been seeing multiple doctors. Aggressive behavior can be the abuser having outbursts of anger and can be linked to their inability to sleep for multiple days at a time if they continue to abuse the drug. 

If on the lookout for overdose signs, one should look for subtle signs in their vitals. Among the overdose signs chest pain, headaches, irritability and agitation are some of the most common and are the easiest to spot. Excessive sweating and jerking or rigid limbs can also be linked to an overdose and are the most surface level signs. 

Some effects of stimulant abuse can cause a spike in energy for the user casing them to see an increase in wakefulness, talkativeness and a difficulty sleeping.

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Effects on the Body

Stimulant abuse can have a multitude of effects on the body, with some being pleasurable to the user and others not so pleasurable. Reasons people abuse stimulants can range from a student wanting to stay up later studying to just a straight-up addiction from someone not taking their medication correctly or wanting to find new ways to get that euphoric feeling. Some effects of stimulant abuse can cause a spike in energy for the user causing them to see an increase in wakefulness, talkativeness and a difficulty sleeping. For negative effects, the abuser can see a decrease in their appetite, an increase in pulse and blood pressure, and in the worst of cases the brain will begin to make less dopamine naturally due to the sharp increase in the artificial increase in dopamine from the drug.

In cases where an overdose occurs many different effects can take place. An increase in body temperature or onset fevers and increases in pulse may occur. A variety of mental disorder are common too, with disorientation or mental confusion being some of the most common. Delirium and loss of consciousness may occur in cases where the other physical factors become too overwhelming. Irregular breathing, cardiac arrest and cardiovascular collapse are the worst of the overdose symptoms, but can be prevented if the user takes note of the chest pains that some before the worst of it.


National Statistics



abused Stimulants

1.2 Million

users are

nonmedical users of stimulants



people having received treatment in 2012


Effects on America

Stimulant abuse has been on the rise for the past few years. The number of users has steadily risen since 2004 where the number of emergency room visits related to stimulant abuse was 2,303. That number had risen to 17,272 in 2014 and has only been rising since. This number doesn’t just include medical and prescription users but extends to non-medical users too. In 2012 there were an estimated 1.2 million non-medical users of stimulants. The users aren’t just adults either with the number including all people aged 12 and up in the U.S.  In the emergency room visits 38% of them had some form of alcohol involved in the stimulant abuse. Luckily the number of people seeking help for their stimulant abuse has been on the rise as well. With nearly 360,000 people receiving treatment in 2012, the number has only been going up since. 

High schoolers and people around the age of 18, seem to be the most likely to abuse the stimulants. In a national multicohort study, they brought together a sample of 4572 people in 2010 and 2011 to study the lifetime prevalence of medical use of prescription stimulants. Through the study, they found that the prevalence was 9.5% for both medical and nonmedical use. For those who were prescribed the medical stimulant about 59.3% reported that they only ever used them for medical reasons with 22.9% saying that they used the drugs medically before entering the nonmedical abuse. 17.8% reported that they used it nonmedically before ever using the drug medically though. The study had concluded that 1 in every 6 high school students had been exposed to some form of stimulant whether it be medical or non-medical.





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