Stimulants and Substance Use in California

Stimulants are highly addictive, commonly used substances. Stimulants are also, however, widely used to treat different medical conditions. Unfortunately, prescription use can, in some cases, lead to dependency. It is possible to use these substances without realizing it. A stimulant is a substance that excites the body by stimulating the central nervous system. They often come in different forms and are not always recognizable. 

One stimulant that is commonly used today is caffeine. Caffeine is a widely used stimulant present in coffee, tea, and soft drinks, and while it helps increase energy and alertness, it has potentially harmful effects. Stimulant use has become an issue across the country, and throughout California, the cases of stimulant dependency are rising. For this reason, it is essential to stay educated, up-to-date, and cautious regarding use.  

Common Stimulant Use

As mentioned, stimulants refer to any substance that excites the body, stimulates the brain, or just generally energizes you. The most common everyday example of stimulant use occurs when drinking a morning cup of coffee, tea, or whatever kind of caffeine-infused beverage to wake up. If you have ever tried giving up coffee or caffeinated drinks, you probably learned that it is not easy. You most likely experienced withdrawal symptoms, including fatigue, irritability, or even flu-like symptoms in severe cases. 

Other common stimulants used are of the prescription variety. Medical professionals frequently prescribe stimulants to treat disorders like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or even narcolepsy. The most common prescription stimulants are Adderall and Ritalin. 

Many times children are put on medications like these at a very young age to help them concentrate. While some children and adults benefit from taking prescription stimulants to improve their focus and concentration, it is not uncommon for people to share these medications with friends—especially in academic settings. It is important to remember that just because a medical professional prescribes something, it should still be used with caution.

Dangers of Stimulant Use

As with any substance, improper or excessive use can wreak several harmful effects on your mind and body. You may begin taking a prescribed stimulant more than you should, which is detrimental to your body. Taking medication to get high instead of taking it for legitimate reasons is a sure way to fall into dependency. Even when used for medical necessity, feelings of euphoria can still occur, and the body’s temperature, heart rate, and breathing increase. 

While the initial effects of stimulants on the body do not cause alarm, adverse effects frequently occur when taken in excessive amounts. You can even overdose on stimulants too. Symptoms vary, but a stimulant overdose will often be accompanied by tremors and muscle pain, increased or erratic breathing, and may even lead to seizures or a heart attack. There are not many symptoms of stimulant overdose, but even with recognition of just a few signs, you have the potential to save a life. 

Unfortunately, stimulant use can also worsen co-occurring mental and psychological disorders. When seeking treatment and receiving prescribed medication for multiple conditions, be sure to communicate openly and honestly with your doctors. You do not want to end up on a path of addiction with irrevocable health effects without even realizing it.

Stimulants in Los Angeles County 

In addition to prescription stimulants, various illicit stimulant amphetamines are frequently used. Common illegal drugs in circulation are methamphetamine, cocaine, and other synthetic substances. While alone dangerous, these drugs are often laced with other substances that increase overdose risks. In recent years, methamphetamine use has become a growing concern in Los Angeles County. 

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) define methamphetamine, or meth, as a “synthetic stimulant that is addictive and can cause considerable health adversities that can sometimes result in death.” SAMHSA attempts to educate the public on the vast risks of meth. Meth will change how your brain works, exasperate anxiety and other co-occurring disorders, and like prescription stimulants, can lead to overdose. 

Positive test rates for meth in LA County are on the rise, and treatment admissions for methamphetamine use have increased since 2018. Aside from California, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also reported rising rates of fatal overdoses due to meth and stimulant use. The numbers continue to increase dangerously. 

If you or someone you love is currently suffering from an addiction to stimulants, we implore you to immediately reach out to us at the Lakehouse Recovery Center. The pillars of our stimulant treatment program are medical and therapeutic treatment, education, and continued wellness. With the help of our trained professionals, you can begin your path to recovery from stimulant addiction today and learn to live a life free of active addiction long-term. 

Stimulant use has increased exponentially in the past couple of decades. In California alone, alarming rates of individuals suffering from overdose have stimulants in their system, with methamphetamines being one of the most common drugs. Stimulants refer to substances that excite the body, stimulate the brain, or generally energize you. A prime example is drinking coffee in the morning to wake up. Illicit substances like methamphetamines and even legal prescription stimulants have become especially common in recent years. Prescription stimulants are often prescribed to individuals to treat common conditions like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. As the prescriptions increase, so does the misuse. Improper or excessive stimulant use will physically alter the body and begin to crave more if you do not regulate your usage. For a full-service addiction treatment program that helps minimize the health risks and adverse effects of stimulants, call The Lakehouse Recovery Center at (877) 762-3707 today.