Using a stimulant may seem like an effective way to make it easier to study late at night or to have enough energy to participate in an athletic event. However, even if you use a stimulant that is prescribed by a doctor, there is a chance that you may become dependent on it. Furthermore, you can become dependent on something that you may have only used for a short time or in a relatively small amount.
Table of Contents
- Anyone Can Become Dependent on Adderall or Other Stimulants
- Common Symptoms Related to Stimulant Withdrawal
- What to Expect While Detoxing
- What Does the Detox Process Look Like?
- Medication May Help With Your Worst Symptoms
- You May Have to Go Through Detox Multiple Times
- If You’re the Friend or Family Member of an Addict
Anyone Can Become Dependent on Adderall or Other Stimulants
Typically, those who suffer from other mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety have a higher risk of becoming addicted to prescription or illicit drugs. However, it’s worth noting that anyone can develop a problem as these substances have an impact on how your nervous system operates. Therefore, you may find that you are consistently increasing the dose of your drug of choice or are taking it more frequently to see any effect.
Common Symptoms Related to Stimulant Withdrawal
You may notice a negative impact to both your physical and mental health if you stop using prescription or illicit stimulants for more than a few hours. Common physical symptoms of withdrawal may include a sharp increase or decrease in weight, body aches or chills and an inability to speak clearly. You may also notice changes to your heart rate and blood pressure that may make it difficult to stand or remain in control of muscle movements.
In addition, you may feel irritable, anxious or as if something just isn’t right for several days or weeks after you stop taking your preferred stimulant. It’s also possible that you will have trouble falling asleep or that you will sleep more than usual during the detox period. In some cases, sleeping more than usual is your body’s way of making up for the fact that you didn’t get enough rest while using.
Finally, you may be paranoid, hallucinate or otherwise perceive things that don’t actually exist. This may contribute to an inability to sleep or otherwise function properly while detoxing. As your body readjusts, you may notice that you don’t have the same level of passion for things that you might have enjoyed in the past. If you have a history of depression or suicide, it may be a good idea to seek help immediately as you may be at a higher risk of harming yourself or others.
What to Expect While Detoxing
The duration and severity of symptoms that you’ll experience while detoxing depends largely on how long you used and how much you were using prior to quitting. For those who used a prescription medication as directed, detox may only last a few days and include mild symptoms. For those who ignored the directions or who used illicit substances, the detox period may last several weeks or months and feature extreme symptoms for several days or weeks after quitting.
As a general rule, most symptoms should clear up within two to three weeks after you stop using. However, you may experience cravings and bouts of depression or anxiety for several months or years. It’s possible that you will always have at least mild cravings or mental health issues related to stimulant use.
It may be worthwhile to take part in an outpatient program designed to help those who need help in their quest to stay sober. You may also want to consider working with a mental health professional to address the potential causes of your addiction. For instance, you may have started using because you were afraid that you’d be considered a failure if you weren’t a sports star and perfect student.
By coming to terms with the idea that it’s acceptable to fail every so often, you may find that you no longer need drugs to feel good about yourself. Ultimately, you’ll stop using or find that your cravings are more manageable because you aren’t looking for an escape from reality.
What Does the Detox Process Look Like?
If it can be done safely, you may be asked to stop using immediately as opposed to tapering off over time. While this may result in more extreme symptoms, it also means that your body will be able to recover faster. Conversely, tapering is generally recommended for those who aren’t physically or mentally able to deal with the trauma that the body experiences after being deprived of something it craves.
As you might expect, tapering generally produces milder symptoms but takes much longer to complete. Ideally, you’ll consult with a medical professional before making a decision, and it may also be best to go through the detox process in a hospital or other clinical setting. This will minimize the risk that you hurt yourself, hurt someone else or otherwise deal with a situation that might require immediate intervention on your own.
Medication May Help With Your Worst Symptoms
Another potential benefit to going through detox in an inpatient setting is that you may have better access to medication for your symptoms. A physician may be able to help ease the physical pain that you’re experiencing or help reduce the mental health issues that you’re dealing with. Medication may also help you regulate your sleep cycle, help with appetite or otherwise make it easier to overcome the temporary stress that you’re putting on your mind and body.
You May Have to Go Through Detox Multiple Times
One of the hardest things to accept about addiction is that you’ll never truly be over it. In fact, dealing with addiction may be especially challenging after going months or years without using because you may believe that you can survive using cocaine one time or taking just one prescription pill to help you stay awake. However, the truth is that a relapse can happen at any time regardless of how well you were taking care of yourself before it happened.
Therefore, it’s possible that you’ll need to go through the detox and recovery process more than once during your journey to a sober lifestyle. It’s important to remember that relapsing doesn’t mean that you are a failure or that you will never get sober. Instead, you should focus on the fact that you were strong enough to seek the help that you needed.
If You’re the Friend or Family Member of an Addict
Living while being addicted to stimulants can be extremely difficult regardless of how well an individual may seem to function. However, it can be just as hard to be the friend or loved one of an addict. This is because you know how much damage a person is doing to their mind and body but have no way to put a stop to it.
While it’s unlikely that you can forcibly commit someone without that person’s consent, there are ways that you can help. Most importantly, you should stress that you’re always available to talk or to simply listen to that person’s problems.
In addition, you may want to provide information about resources that are available to those who are addicted to stimulants or anything else. Although your friend or loved one may not seem interested in what you have to say, it may start that individual on the path to getting sober.
If you are ready to overcome your dependence on stimulants, the folks at Illinois Recovery Center are ready to help. We offer a variety of programs that are tailored to meet your needs and promote a lasting recovery. Feel free to give us a call right away or get in touch with us through our website to learn more about services or to enroll in a detox program.
Why do stimulants calm me down?
Stimulants, such as ADHD medications like Ritalin or Adderall, can have paradoxical effects and help some individuals to feel calmer. This is because stimulants can increase the availability of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine and norepinephrine, which play a role in regulating mood and attention.
In some individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the brain may not produce enough of these neurotransmitters, leading to symptoms such as impulsiveness, hyperactivity, and inattention. By increasing the levels of these neurotransmitters, stimulant medications can help to regulate mood and improve attention, which can result in a calming effect for some individuals.
It’s important to note that the effects of stimulants can vary from person to person, and what may work for one person may not work for another. Additionally, taking stimulants without a prescription or outside of a doctor’s guidance can be dangerous and have serious health consequences. If you have concerns about your symptoms, it is best to talk to a doctor who can help you determine the best course of treatment.
Why do stimulants make me sleepy?
Stimulants, such as caffeine, increase alertness and wakefulness by blocking the action of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that builds up in the brain throughout the day and promotes sleepiness. However, this process can also cause an imbalance in the brain’s natural sleep-wake cycle, leading to feelings of sleepiness or exhaustion once the effects of the stimulant wear off. Additionally, stimulants can also disrupt normal sleep patterns by interfering with the timing and quality of sleep, which can contribute to feelings of sleepiness during the day.
What are the withdrawal symptoms of stimulants?
The withdrawal symptoms of stimulants can vary depending on the specific drug and the individual’s pattern of use. Stimulants such as cocaine, amphetamines, and methylphenidate (Ritalin) can all produce withdrawal symptoms when the drug is discontinued or the dose is reduced.
Some common symptoms of stimulant withdrawal may include:
- Fatigue and sleep disturbances, such as insomnia or hypersomnia (excessive sleepiness)
- Irritability, mood swings, and depression
- Increased appetite and weight gain
- Psychomotor agitation or retardation
- Anxiety, panic attacks, or paranoia
- Cravings for the drug
In some cases, individuals who have been using stimulants at high doses or for a prolonged period of time may experience more severe or potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms. These can include:
- Hallucinations or delusions
- Extreme agitation or aggression
- Cardiovascular problems, such as high blood pressure or heart arrhythmias
It’s important to seek medical support when discontinuing stimulants or any other medication that has the potential for dependence or withdrawal. Healthcare providers can help to develop a safe and effective tapering schedule to reduce the risk of withdrawal symptoms, as well as monitor for any potential complications. In some cases, additional medical or mental health treatment may be needed to help manage withdrawal symptoms or address underlying health issues.