Slow Down

No Need For Stimulants

What Are Stimulants?

Stimulants are drugs that increase alertness, attention, and energy. They also increase heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration


(Prescription Drug Abuse)

Suspect Someone is Misusing Stimulants?

It is not always easy to tell when people are misusing stimulants, as they may just come across as extremely alert and ready to go. But if you pay close enough attention, you will be able to pinpoint the signs. Symptoms of amphetamine use include:

  • Euphoria
  • Hypervigilance
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Impaired judgment

Caffeine is another type of stimulant that can cause symptoms like:

  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • Muscle twitching
  • Rambling speech
  • Frequent urination
  • Rapid heartbeat.


(Nolen-Hoeksema 2014 DSM-5)

Why?!

Often times there are many reasons why someone would choose to use stimulant drugs. Some of these reasons include:



  • The need to achieve a euphoric state
  • Increased mental alertness
  • Increased energy level
  • Ease of obtaining these medications from peers or clinicians
  • It seen as a part of a plan to improve poor grades
  • Selling these medications to make money

(Stimulant Misuse: Strategies to Manage)

Common Myths About the Stimulant Amphetamine


  • It is the same as methamphetamine.
Amphetamine is commonly mistaken for methamphetamine (meth). They are related drugs that cause similar effects, but meth is illegal because it has more toxic and longer lasting effects.



  • It is the same as caffeine.


Because amphetamines are used to increase alertness, many people believe that using them is no different than drinking coffee or other caffeinated substances


  • I can use it if I have symptoms of ADHD.
A common reason for the misuse of amphetamines such as Adderall or Ritalin is that they are prescribed for ADHD. Without medical supervision and professional dosage recommendations, students to increase their ability to focus while doing homework. They end up taking higher doses and become physically and mentally dependent or addicted.



  • I can stop using any time.


While the initial use of an amphetamine drug can be voluntary, drug addiction can change areas of the brain that control judgment, decision making, and behavior control.


(Stigmas Related to Amphetamine Addiction)


It is our job to educate ourselves about the effects and dangers of stimulant abuse in order to prevent ourselves and others from falling into the traps of believing that it is okay to take them for the reasons mentioned above, or any other reason.

Getting Better

Sometimes, as crazy as it sounds, one drug is needed to wean a person off of another drug. In the case of substance abuse, these treatments help the person lose desire for the drug that they have been abusing. Agonist drugs are prescribed to actually block the effects of the addictive drug. It works in the brain to change the way a person feels about a certain substance. (Nolen-Hoekesma 2014)

References

Harvard Health Publications. (n.d.). Retrieved from Treatment options for overcoming stimulant drug addiction, from the Harvard Mental Health Letter: http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/Treatment-options-for-overcoming-stimulant-drug-addiction-

Nolen-Hoeksema. (2014). Abnormal Psychology (6 ed.). New York, New York: McGraw-Hill Education.

Prescription Drug Abuse. (n.d.). Retrieved from National Institute of Drug Abuse: http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/prescription-drugs/stimulants/what-are-stimulants

Stigmas Related to Amphetamine Addiction. (n.d.). Retrieved from Amphetamine Risks: http://www.amphetaminerisks.com/stigmas-related-to-amphetamine-addiction

Stimulant Misuse: Strategies to Manage . (n.d.). Retrieved from Use and Misuse of stimulants: http://www.acha.org/Continuing_Education/docs/ACHA_Use_Misuse_of_Stimulants_Article2.pdf