Prescription Stimulants

Prescription stimulant medications are often prescribed to treat children, adolescents, or adults diagnosed with attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). College students are known to abuse prescription stimulants to increase alertness, attention, energy, and heart rate to cram for tests, lose weight, or to get high. Research actually shows, though, that students who abuse prescription drugs do worse in school than students who don’t and increase their likelihood of becoming addicted to them.

Types of Prescription Stimulants:

Street Names Commercial Names Common Forms Common Ways Taken
Black Beauties, Truck Drivers, Uppers, Speed, LA Turnaround, Hearts, Copilots, Bennies Amphetamines: Adderall®, Vyvanse®, Dexedrine®, Biphetamine® Capsule, tablet Orally, crushed and smoked, snorted, injected
Vitamin R, The Smart Drug, Skippy, JIF Methylphenidate: Concerta®, Methylin®, Ritalin® Capsule, tablet, liquid Orally, snorted, injected

Some other stimulants can be somewhat addictive if taken in excess, and this can be very problematic for individuals who begin to abuse harmful stimulant drugs: caffeine, cocoa, nicotine, tea.

What are Amphetamines?

Amphetamines are a central nervous system stimulant that is commonly used as performance and memory enhancer, although both methamphetamine and amphetamines are associated with high amounts of recreational use.

Types of Prescription Amphetamines:

Street Names Commercial Names Common Forms Common Ways Taken
Uppers, Addy, Dexies, Christmas Trees, Speed Adderall®, Ritalin®, Vyvanse®, Dextroamphetamine®, Concerta®, Focalin®

How Are Amphetamines Used?

Amphetamines, such as Adderall, Ritalin, Vyvanse, and Dexedrine, tolerance develops rapidly, so periods of extended use require larger doses increasingly to achieve the same effect. Amphetamines are typically swallowed orally or could be crushed and snorted, which poses a higher risk for health complications.

Health Effects of Stimulants

Short-Term Effects:

  • Increased alertness, attention, energy
  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate
  • Narrowed blood vessels
  • Increased blood sugar
  • Opened-up breathing passages
  • Malnourishment

In high doses, dangerously high body temperature, irregular heartbeat, heart failure, and seizures can be fatal. In combination with alcohol, stimulants mask the depressant action of alcohol, increasing the risk of alcohol overdose and may increase blood pressure and jitters.

Long-Term Effects:

  • Heart problems
  • Psychosis
  • Anger
  • Paranoia
  • Convulsions
  • Addiction

The number of prescriptions for some of these medications has increased dramatically since the early 1990s. Unintentional overdose deaths involving opioid pain relievers have quadrupled since 1999, and by 2007, outnumbered those involving heroin and cocaine. The average age of first use is 21 years old.

The continued abuse of amphetamines will render the user unable to sustain a lot of activity, causing the abuser to crash. The effects of amphetamines on the abuser’s personality are just as sheer as the physical effects, often causing deteriorations of the abuser’s behavior or appearance.

How Stimulants Work

Like all stimulant drugs, prescription stimulants increase levels of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure, movement, and attention. When taken as directed, prescription stimulants produce slow, steady increases in dopamine in the brain. Scientists think that these gradual increases may help to correct abnormal dopamine signaling that may occur in the brains of those who are diagnosed with ADHD.

Amphetamine physical symptoms quickly set in causing the brain and the body to go through a series of uncomfortable reactions.

  • Oversleeping
  • Excessive hunger
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Lack of coordination
  • Shaking
  • Seizure
  • Dehydration
  • Cardiac Arrest

Amphetamine psychological symptoms begin from the extensive drug high followed by a crash and burn cycle that includes extreme fatigue and extended periods of inactivity.

  • Irritability
  • Short temper
  • Cravings
  • Hallucinations
  • Sensory and auditory misperception
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Psychosis

Stimulant Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawals from prescription stimulants of any kind can cause many physical and mental issues that may not subside quickly and can sometimes last several months or longer. Various stimulant withdrawal symptoms are listed:

  • Powerful craving for more
  • Sleep disturbances (insomnia and narcolepsy)
  • Intense hunger
  • Anxiety and Irritability
  • Panic attacks
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts

Amphetamine Withdrawal

Studies have found that full-time college students, between the ages of 18 and 22, were twice as likely to abuse amphetamines than those of the same age not in college.

Individuals using amphetamines non-medically in college were also:

  • Three times more likely to have used marijuana in the past year
  • Eight times more likely to have used cocaine
  • Five times more likely to have used painkillers non-medically
  • 90% were reported binge drinkers and more than 50% were reported to be heavy drinkers

Prescription Stimulants Addiction Treatment in Port St. Lucie, FL

By increasing awareness and promoting additional research on prescription drug abuse, and when prescription stimulants are not abused, the proper medications can be part of a beneficial treatment plan for individuals with severe ADHD and other medical conditions.

Real, lasting recovery involves intensive therapeutic addiction treatments that tackle the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of the addiction.

If you or your loved one have become addicted to prescription stimulants, visit our admissions processing page to start your path of recovery today.

To get on the road to recovery today, call (866)-778-7470 or contact us now.

We Accept Most Insurances

Table of Contents
Scroll to Top