Approximately 16 million adults in the United States used prescription stimulants in the past year. Drugs such as Dexedrine, Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta are generally used for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or narcolepsy. These medications stimulate the brain and central nervous system to give you a temporary boost of energy and increase alertness. When used correctly, prescription stimulants are highly effective in increasing productivity, improving social skills, and elevating your mood. Many people who use these drugs for ADHD report an increase in productivity and organization. However, abusing these medications can have severe and even deadly consequences.
Misuse and How It Affects You
Out of the 16 million adults that use prescription stimulants, five million of them have reported misuse of these medications. Taking more medication than prescribed, taking someone else’s medication, faking symptoms of ADHD to get your prescription, taking medication to lose weight, and taking the medication simply to feel “high” are all examples of misuse. The most common reason that adults abuse this class of medication is the desire to increase performance, alertness, and concentration in professional or academic settings. However, doing so can have both short and long-term effects that can be dangerous and life-threatening. High doses of stimulants can cause heart failure, seizures, paranoia, high body temperatures, anger, psychosis, hallucinations, and irregular heartbeats.
Addiction to Prescription Stimulants
Misusing prescription stimulants can lead to substance abuse disorder and, in extreme cases, full-blown addiction. Prescription stimulants are considered controlled substances and, because of that, must be monitored by physicians. It is important to note that prescription stimulants are typically not something that people take just to get high. It is not uncommon for someone who needs to perform in fast-paced, high-stress work or school environments to become dependent on them, especially if they have yielded positive results. Signs of addiction to prescription stimulants include an inability to work without the medication, mental fogginess, and experiencing symptoms of withdrawals, which start within hours after quitting.
There are some benefits to using prescription stimulants, but abusing them can put you at risk for addiction. The best way to avoid addiction to prescription stimulants is to take the medication exactly as your physician instructed and couple that with behavioral therapy. If you start suffering from any adverse effects, immediately report them to your doctor. Valiant Living offers many programs that can help you overcome your addiction. If you or someone you love is battling with addiction to legal stimulants, contact one of our friendly staff members at (303) 952-5035.