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Recognizing Stimulant Abuse or Addiction in a Loved One

Recognizing Stimulant Abuse

Recognizing Stimulant Abuse or Addiction in a Loved One

Do you have a loved one, friend, or maybe a co-worker that you think may be abusing stimulants? Stimulant abuse is surging across the nation today. For a while, the medical community only worried about opioids and the abuse and addiction to these drugs. Now stimulants are making a comeback in popularity from many years ago. There are ways of recognizing stimulant abuse and addiction. Here, we will discuss some of the signs to look for if you feel that a loved one or friend may be abusing stimulants.

Recognizing Stimulant Abuse

Individuals don’t always abuse stimulants to get “high” or for the euphoric feelings. Many times, someone will begin taking stimulants to have more focus and productivity in the workplace or school. They may just want to feel more awake and alert during the day. Many busy housewives and mothers take stimulants for this reason as well as to help them complete their many daily tasks.

Recognizing stimulant abuse is not very hard if you know the person really well that you suspect of abusing them. One of the signs that a person is abusing stimulants is talkativeness. They not only talk a lot, but they also talk very fast. Drugs such as amphetamines stimulate the brain which makes the user feel more alert and active as well as talkative. Staying awake for long hours is another sign of stimulant abuse. A person who is abusing stimulants can remain awake for hours without needing sleep. They also may appear very fidgety and not be able to sit still. They need to be doing something rather than sitting at rest.

Other Signs of Stimulant Abuse

When recognizing stimulant abuse, you will also notice that the person doesn’t have the appetite that is normal for them. If this is a person who normally eats regular meals and now they skip meals or don’t seem to have an interest in food or eating, you might be recognizing stimulant abuse in the individual. Some people take stimulants for the only purpose of losing weight. Some other signs of stimulant abuse can include:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Increased body temperature
  • Fast heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Rapid breathing
  • Digestive problems
  • Moodiness or aggressive behavior
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness

Prolonged abuse of stimulants can lead to more serious side-effects such as:

  • Paranoia
  • Nausea
  • Convulsions
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Stroke
  • Cardiac Arrest
  • Insomnia
  • Depression and suicidal ideation
  • Hallucinations
  • Muscle spasms and tics

Recognizing Stimulant Abuse Among Individuals Abusing Illegal Stimulants

Illegal stimulants such as cocaine or methamphetamine are even more dangerous than prescription stimulants. There is a high risk of overdose with these two drugs. Both of these drugs produce intense feelings of euphoria and exhilaration. Long-term abuse of cocaine can lead to seizures, paranoia, and suicidal ideation. Chronic abuse also leads to cardiovascular and respiratory problems along with central nervous system damage.

Recognizing stimulant abuse signs such as a runny nose, hoarseness, or nosebleeds could mean that your loved one or friend is snorting cocaine. It is common for individuals to start off abusing prescription stimulants and then graduate on to abusing illegal stimulants after achieving a tolerance to the former. Recognizing stimulant abuse signs from methamphetamine are more alarming than signs of cocaine use.

Methamphetamine causes sores on the skin from “picking” because the user feels as if they have bugs crawling on them. They scratch or “pick” at the skin causing these sores. Meth users also have sores or scars on the face from burns from cooking or smoking the meth. They also have severe dental problems known as “meth mouth” caused by poor dental hygiene, grinding teeth, and chronic dry mouth. If you are recognizing stimulant abuse signs such as violent behavior, paranoia, delusions, and visual and auditory hallucinations, chances are that your loved one or friend is abusing methamphetamine.

Professional Treatment for Stimulant Abuse

If you have been recognizing stimulant abuse signs in your loved one, friend, or co-worker (especially signs of cocaine or methamphetamine abuse) it may be time to intervene and speak with them about seeking professional treatment for their problem. Reassure them by telling them that you are only addressing the issue because you care deeply about their well-being. Don’t be judgmental or condescending in any way. Let them know that they will have your full support and that you will continue to be there for them during and after addiction treatment.

If you have any questions about what to do if you are recognizing stimulant abuse signs in someone you care about, call one of our representatives. They can answer any questions you may have and explain the different addiction treatment programs that we offer at our facility. Your loved one or friend can receive professional treatment and return to a life free of stimulant abuse or addiction.
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