Researchers create new drug formulas all the time to treat new and existing health conditions. However, not all of the drugs that they make are safe. The same is true for some drugs that grow in nature. Learning about what is a stimulant can help you see why.
What Is a Stimulant?
The definition of a stimulant is a substance that enhances attention, alertness, and awareness. At the same time, it increases blood pressure and accelerates breathing and heart rate. Some people refer to stimulants as uppers because their effects speed up functions in the body. They can even make people more energetic and improve mood.
Stimulants are psychoactive drugs that include both legal and illegal substances. Examples include caffeine, cocaine, methamphetamine (meth) and nicotine. Several prescription drugs are also stimulants, such as Adderall and Ritalin.
Are Stimulants Addictive?
When you wonder what is a stimulant, you also wonder if they’re addictive or not. In general, all stimulants are addictive because they cause similar effects in the body. However, some are more addictive than others and even have life-threatening risks.
Caffeine is one of the most commonly used stimulants in the world. It naturally occurs in coffee and tea, and it’s present in cocoa beans, which people use to make chocolate. Heavy caffeine consumption can lead to anxiety and insomnia. It can also lead to withdrawal symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, and irritability.
Nicotine is highly addictive, but people around the world still use it. In the early 20th century, smoking tobacco became fashionable. However, it currently has no significant medical use and is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths every year.
Prescription stimulants have a medical purpose such as treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, narcolepsy, and obesity. They enhance the effects of norepinephrine and dopamine, which are hormones that occur naturally in the body. However, they can cause agitation, insomnia, euphoria, fast breathing and increased blood pressure.
Cocaine and meth are incredibly addictive, dangerous and illegal stimulants. In the 19th century, some experts advocated cocaine use as therapeutic for mental disorders. Later, they discovered its addictive properties, and the U.S. government made the substance illegal.
People can snort, inject or inhale cocaine and meth, while some of them even take the drugs orally. The effects of both manifest quickly, but there are consequences for abusing them. Meth, for instance, destroys brain tissue and can cause brain damage. Those who develop addiction need thorough meth addiction rehab or cocaine addiction rehab to recover.
What Are the Long-Term Side Effects?
Stimulant abuse can have long-term side effects. The severity depends on the type of stimulant, though. For instance, the side effects of caffeine won’t be as severe as those of cocaine. However, a few of the adverse effects after long-term use include:
- Coma or death
- Difficulty breathing
- Irregular or pounding heartbeat
- Mental disorders
Get Treatment for Stimulant Addiction with San Antonio Recovery Center
Do you have a stimulant abuse problem and want help? San Antonio Recovery Center is a drug and alcohol rehab facility in Texas. We offer a range of addiction rehab programs for addictive substances, including:
- Alcohol rehab
- Cocaine rehab
- Meth rehab
- Opiate rehab
- Opioid rehab
Don’t let lack of knowledge about stimulants keep you from getting treatment. Learn more about what is a stimulant and how we can help you. Reach out to us today at 866-957-7885.