Prescription stimulants are being abused at a very high rate, as reported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Five million American adults have been misusing prescription stimulants. Scientists from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services conducted a comprehensive analysis of prescription stimulant misuse among American adults and found that a large percentage of those with a prescription to treat ADHD were abusing their medications.
What Are Prescription Stimulants?
Prescription stimulants are medications used to treat Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Narcolepsy, a disorder characterized by uncontrollable bouts of deep sleep. Prescription stimulants increase attention, alertness and energy levels. Some common brand names for prescription stimulants include: Adderall®, Ritalin®, Concerta®, and Dexedrine®. Popular slang terms for prescription stimulants are “uppers”, “speed”, “addys,” etc. Many people abuse prescription stimulants for their effect on focus and concentration, earning the nickname the “study drug” and growing popularity among college-aged populations.
What is Considered Misusing Prescription Drugs?
There are many ways that people abuse their prescription stimulants. Misusing a prescription stimulant includes:
• taking the medication in any dose other than what has been prescribed
• using the medication in any other way than what has been prescribed (crushing the pill and snorting it, injecting it, etc.)
• taking someone else’s medication
• selling your prescription drug
• taking the medication only for the euphoric effect— the high it gives
• using the prescription despite not having the disorders it is prescribed to treat
Short Term Effects of Prescription Stimulants
Those who partake in ADHD medication abuse claim a euphoric rush after taking the drug. Other short term effects of taking prescription stimulants include:
• increased blood pressure
• increased heart rate
• decreased blood circulation
• increased blood sugar
• improved breathing
Prescription stimulants at high doses can result in a dangerously high body temperature, an irregular heartbeat, heart failure, and seizures. For the five million Americans that misuse their ADHD medication, the reality of taking too much just one time can lead them into critical health conditions. Continued misuse of prescription stimulant drugs can also have side effects and symptoms of psychosis, especially if the user stops and then starts taking the medication sporadically. Prescription drug addiction treatment is highly recommended for those who misuse their prescription stimulants, as misuse can produce dangerous results.
An addiction to prescription stimulant drugs is nothing to be ashamed of, unfortunately getting addicted to a prescription medication happens all too often in the United States. At one point, many who have been using a prescription stimulant for a long time have found that it has stopped treating their anxiety and sleep disorders, and as their tolerance grows, so does the need for more medication. ADHD and sleep disorders like narcolepsy may require medication, however, there are many therapies that are extremely helpful for these disorders—like cognitive behavioral therapy.
The first step to treating a prescription drug addiction is going to a medical detox program. Royal Life Centers has a medical detox program that assesses your symptoms of withdrawal, and evaluates you for any co-occuring disorders upon your arrival to our facilities. Our guests will then be treated for their withdrawal symptoms as we safely, effectively, and comfortably remove the substance from their body during the detox period. Our detox program can last for either 4 or a full 8 day stabilization, depending on each case’s circumstances, needs, and goals.
After Medical Detox
Following detox, our treatment centers offer a variety of programs that are designed to follow guests through the stages of recovery. Our guests collaborate with their case manager and therapist to build a treatment plan tailored to fit their personal needs and goals. At Royal Life Centers, we offer treatment programs for every stage of recovery, our programs include: medical detox, a residential inpatient program, a partial hospitalization program (PHP), our intensive outpatient program (IOP), an outpatient program (OP), sober living and graduate housing. Our mission is to provide the highest standard of care in addiction treatment, as we offer guests support, guidance and the tools to build a happy, healthy, and successful life in sobriety. We not only focus on substance abuse, but the behaviors around substance abuse as well, so that we can fully treat our guests.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Prescription Stimulants.” NIDA, 6 June 2018, www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/prescription-stimulants.
NIDA. “Five million American adults misusing prescription stimulants.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, 16 Apr. 2018, https://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/news-releases/2018/04/five-million-american-adults-misusing-prescription-stimulants.
With five million Americans having reported misusing their prescription stimulants, prescription drug addictions are a large issue in our country today. If you or someone you know needs help, please consult our addiction specialists toll free at (877)-RECOVERY or (877)-732-6837. Our team is available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Because We Care.