Stimulants are a type of drug that can lead to health problems and addiction. Many times people who are exposed to stimulants or know someone who has recently started using stimulants are not aware of what this type of drug is and what it can do. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about stimulants.

What Are Stimulants?

Stimulants are a type of drug that increases the activity of many parts of the body and can lead to increased energy and alertness. While stimulants can help to increase energy, they also create a high, and people who use stimulants may commonly use them to obtain that high.

What Are Some Common Stimulants?

There are several types of stimulants, ranging from very mild and less dangerous to very addictive and dangerous. Some common mild stimulants include caffeine and nicotine, both of which are legally available. Medical stimulants, such as Adderall, are used for Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other mental health conditions. Medical stimulants are only legal with a prescription and are sometimes abused. On the more dangerous end of the spectrum are addictive and potentially dangerous stimulants; these include cocaine and amphetamines, such as meth and Ecstasy.

Are Stimulants Addictive?

All stimulants are addictive. While something mild like caffeine may not provide a high, it can produce a mild addiction, although this is highly unlikely to be damaging to your social, mental or physical health. All other stimulants are addictive, and this form of addiction may be harmful in the long-term.

What Are the Side Effects of Stimulants?

While stimulants can provide increased energy and focus, medical stimulants and stimulant street drugs can cause many unpleasant and potentially dangerous side effects including: increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, increased rate of breathing, psychosis, and anger.

The effects of stimulants create extra stress on your body that may be harmful and dangerous.

Can Stimulants Kill You?

In 2017, 24,275 people died from using stimulants, with over half of those deaths resulting from cocaine use. The number of stimulant deaths has increased each year since 2012 and continues to rise. Someone who is using stimulants is at risk of overdosing and dying from this overdose.

How Do People Get Treatment for Stimulant Abuse?

Treatment starts with telling a healthcare professional about your addiction and getting their professional advice on how to proceed with treatment. Those with a more mild addiction who have never received treatment before may benefit from outpatient therapy and treatment. Those who have tried to stop using stimulants and failed, or who have a stronger addiction may need to consider inpatient rehab to treat their addiction.

If you or a loved one struggle with an addiction to stimulants or are finding it difficult to stop using a stimulant even though you would like to, then you should consider seeking professional help.

  • Sources

    National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Overdose Death Rates.” January 2019.  Accessed September 25, 2019.