Frequently Abused Stimulants

06/03/20: Drug Addiction
Drug abuse has become a problem that doesn't seem to be ending soon. Nearly every country has some proportion of drug abuse cases wherein people are illegally trading and consuming drugs. Both prescription and non-prescription drugs have become quite popular among the addicts. In this post, let's talk about stimulant drugs and their types that are most commonly abused.

What Are Stimulants?

Stimulants are a class of highly addictive and dangerous drugs that are commonly abused around the world. These drugs are referred to as uppers and their intake increases activity in the body. Generally, stimulants are abused due to its euphoric and performance-enhancing effects which spikes energy levels and improves focus. These drugs are often prescribed for narcolepsy and ADH disorders. However, since the drug is known to be abused by teens, young adults, and athletes, it is only prescribed when other measures are deemed ineffective. Stimulants can induce calming sensations as it increases the release of dopamine in the brain.

How Are They Taken?

Stimulants, like any other drug, are either taken orally, snorted, or even injected to get quick results. The effects, however, depends on the type of stimulant taken and can last from a few minutes to a few hours as well. Short term effects of the drug encourage people to consume it frequently which leads to daily abuse. Long-term consequences of this drug are even worse as it directly impacts the usual working of the brain and disturbs the very basic function.

What Are The Types Of Stimulants?

There are two types of stimulants – ones that are available legally and others are sold in the illicit market. Let's dive deep into legal and illegal stimulants and see how harmful they are:

Legal Stimulants

Legal stimulants such as nicotine and caffeine are readily available in stores whereas prescription stimulants are given by the medical personnel to use for a short period of time. Even small doses of stimulants, if continued for long, can lead to serious addiction. Here are the types of legal stimulants:
  • Concerta
Commonly prescribed to the patients suffering from the loss of focus and hyperactivity, this is a prescription medication that is only allowed when prescribed. The drug's makeup is similar to that of cocaine, making higher intakes of Concerta even more dangerous. It has an addictive nature similar to cocaine and users who take more than recommended doses experience unusual cravings, thus leading them to addiction.
  • Adderall
This stimulant in particular is very common among young adults and teens due to its effects of improving concentration and increasing confidence. Adderall is prescribed to treat patients with ADH disorders and narcolepsy. Various students, adults, consume the drug to improve their focus for studying or exams, which soon turns into an addiction where they just cannot study without the help of this drug.
  • Anabolic Steroids
Generally, anabolic steroids are used by athletes and anyone trying to build muscle fast. These drugs are similar to testosterone and can be prescribed. However, laws around illegal possession of this drug are strict and can cost an addict as high as $1,000.

Illegal Stimulants

In the illegal market, methamphetamine (commonly known as meth) and cocaine are primarily the most frequently abused stimulants. These are deemed illicit due to their addictive nature and harmful effects on the body. If taken for long, these drugs can induce dependency resulting in an uncontrollable urge to abuse.
  • Cocaine
One of the most well-known stimulants in the world, cocaine, is a highly addictive drug. It usually has a fine white powder form, but the crack cocaine that comes in the shape of crystallized small rocks is also quite popular. For powdered cocaine, the most common way of ingesting the drug is by snorting, whereas, for crack cocaine, it is usually crushed, burned, and smoked. Studies show that the average age for cocaine abuse is very less. Teenagers and young adults fall victim to this drug until they don't realize it's too late. What starts as an experimental try makes the body heavily depend on the drug, thereby making it difficult to control the urge. Cocaine is sometimes also clubbed with other drugs to help suppress the effects of the latter. This is known as polydrug abuse. For example, it is taken with alcohol to eliminate harmful effects such as dizziness and intoxication. However, combining cocaine with another drug is even more dangerous and can have serious consequences on the body.
  • Methamphetamine
Most commonly known as crystal meth or meth, it is an extremely harmful and addictive drug that is primarily sold in crystal form and has a blue-white appearance. Meth can cause dopamine levels in the brain to shoot up which causes high levels of energy and euphoric effects that last for as long as 10-12 hours. Methamphetamine has severe consequences on both psychological as well as the physical well-being of an individual. The drug is either crushed and smoked or is even ingested through anus or urethra. The addict experience high which lasts for a considerably longer duration, however, after the rush ends, meth can severely alter an individual's behavior. A feeling of fear and anger overpowers the brain and the emotions get more negative. Law enforcement agencies have been strict on meth abuse and several sources are constantly being tracked down. However, the drug is still pretty famous among the addicts who are willing to pay even heftier amounts to get the drug.
  • Ecstasy
Also known as MDMA, this drug in particular is very famous in rave parties, music festivals, etc., and is most commonly used by young adults and teenagers. The drug increases dopamine levels in the brain and enhances the pleasure center. However, long-term use can depreciate dopamine levels and increase the body's dependency on this drug.

Conclusion

Various studies have concluded that teenagers and young adults are most commonly seen abusing both prescribed and illicit stimulants. However, what they fail to understand is the fact that when addiction kicks in, the drug intake can continue for years. Students who depend on stimulants to improve focus and concentration find it difficult to manage in the absence of these drugs. It is because their body has stopped focusing naturally and it needs a push to do so. And drugs are the push. Stimulants also have a long-term effect on the body even if you have stopped the abuse a year ago. The withdrawal symptoms are even worse and can cause the addict to relapse. It then becomes crucial to not try these drugs as even one try is enough to induce addiction. And even if you find someone suffering from stimulant abuse, seek immediate medical attention.

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