Stimulant abuse is common among various demographics in the United States. No age group, ethnicity, or sex is spared when it comes to stimulant abuse disorder.
Many individuals consume stimulants to gain the upper hand during study sessions and test time in college. Other people use these substances to stay awake for long hours at work to complete important projects. Many times, addiction is at the center, and individuals are simply chasing a high.
Regardless of the reason for abuse, stimulant detox is necessary for long-term recovery. What is stimulant detox, and how does it help promote sobriety?
What Is Stimulant Detox?
Stimulant detox is the process in which individuals eliminate all traces of a stimulant from their body. This is accomplished through at-home detox or medically-assisted detox.
Individuals may take measures to make themselves more comfortable during the detox process. Although stimulants don’t present the marked physical dependence as opiates do, there are still significant challenges involved with detox.
If stimulants don’t cause a physical sickness during withdrawal, why is detox necessary? In the next section, you’ll find out why.
Why Is Stimulant Detox Necessary?
During any situation where abstinence is the goal, detox is absolutely necessary. Long-term recovery is impossible without the detox process.
All traces of stimulants are eliminated from a user’s body during detox. Once detox is accomplished, the most efficient course of treatment is selected to ensure long-term recovery. This is necessary to prevent the most significant risks associated with stimulant abuse.
Can You Overdose from Stimulants?
May individuals assume that you can’t overdose from stimulants. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are several common signs and possible outcomes when it comes to stimulant overdose.
- Extremely large pupils
- Heavy sweating
- Rapid heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Loss of color
Individuals going through a stimulant overdose are at an increased risk of further complications. It’s important to seek the assistance of medical professionals to avoid the following:
- Heart attack
- Pulmonary embolism
Any of the previously mentioned conditions can lead to death. The problem with stimulants is the wide variety in which they come. In the next section, we’ll highlight some of the most commonly abused stimulants.
Commonly Misused Stimulants
There are multiple types of stimulants that are commonly misused. It’s not uncommon for college students to misuse various stimulants to stay on top of their work.
College often requires long hours of study and attending marathon class sessions. Using stimulants often gives them the additional energy required to stay up and accomplish these tasks. Some of the most commonly abused stimulants among college students and other demographics are listed below.
Adderall is one of the most popular stimulants among abusers. This prescription drug is an amphetamine that’s typically administered for ADHD. It can cause increased energy, alertness, and hyper-focus when it’s misused.
Desoxyn is a stimulant that falls into the category of methamphetamines. This drug is also commonly written for symptoms associated with ADHD. However, Desoxyn is also used heavily among individuals suffering from obesity seeking to lose weight.
Phentermine is an amphetamine-like stimulant commonly prescribed for weight loss. This drug stimulates the central nervous system and brain, often leading to increased metabolism in users.
Many prescription stimulants are highly likely to be gateway drugs to more significant substances. It’s not uncommon for individuals abusing prescription stimulants to graduate to crystal meth or cocaine.
All of these stimulants can lead to adverse effects when abused. After a long period of abuse, individuals will begin to suffer withdrawal once the drug is no longer present. There are several warning signs associated with stimulant withdrawal.
Warning Signs of Stimulant Withdrawal
There are several warning signs to be aware of when it comes to stimulant withdrawal. It’s important to understand these warning signs, especially considering the risk of psychosis among stimulant users, which can be an incredibly dangerous situation.
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
Individuals that suffer from stimulant abuse disorder going through withdrawal have a high risk of depression. This depression can often lead to a risk of suicide.
Depression and Stimulant Detox
When individuals engage in stimulant abuse, certain chemicals are released within the brain. These chemicals cause the feelings of euphoria experienced during intoxication.
After prolonged periods of abuse, these feel-good chemicals are constantly flowing. Eventually, the brain is unable to control the natural release of these chemicals.
When individuals suddenly stop using stimulants, the brain is unable to produce these chemicals at all. This results in major bouts with depression during detox.
After some time, things will normalize within the brain, and regular production of these chemicals will begin. However, until this time comes, it’s vital that individuals seek rehab options to avoid the risk of suicide and other challenges associated with depression.
Psychosis is another possible result of long-term stimulant abuse or overdose. What happens during stimulant-induced psychosis?
Psychosis and Stimulants
Individuals who abuse stimulants often stay up for days on end. This lack of sleep is what ends up causing psychosis. During psychosis, individuals may display the following symptoms:
- Periods of delusion
- Feeling that everyone is out to get them
- Hearing voices
Both depression and psychosis may be treated during rehab through dual-diagnosis treatment. What is dual-diagnosis, and how does it help stimulant abuse?
Dual-Diagnosis Concerns and Detox
Dual-diagnosis usually begins during the inpatient or outpatient treatment portion of rehab. This is typically addressed after detox is complete. However, it’s highly likely that individuals need this treatment during detox to avoid negative outcomes.
Talking with psychologists and other sources of support during detox can provide relief for underlying conditions associated with stimulant abuse. Further work may be done during the rehab process to further alleviate the negative challenges associated with dual-diagnosis.
Navigating stimulant detox may be easier if individuals understand the stimulant withdrawal timeline. In the next section, we provide an example of this timeline.
Stimulant Withdrawal Timeline
An example of a stimulant withdrawal timeline is outlined below. The exact time and conditions may vary depending on the individual.
Individuals will begin to feel anxious, sad, or agitated. There is also an intense craving for the individual’s stimulant of choice.
After the immediate phase, the user will suffer from mental and physical exhaustion. There will also be feelings of depression, anxiety, and paranoia.
The symptoms listed above will persist and increase in severity and may be accompanied by nausea, stomach cramps, and tremors. Symptoms usually peak around 96 hours but may still linger for several weeks.
The next major hurdle in stimulant detox is navigating the challenges associated with post-acute stimulant withdrawals. These symptoms can persist for months at a time and manifest randomly.
Individuals suffering from post-acute withdrawal may experience random moments of intense cravings, increased heart rate, and depression. There are multiple types of therapies that are effective in treating the side effects of post-acute withdrawal.
Types of Therapies for Stimulants
Treatment for stimulant abuse has made great advances in the last decade. There are currently multiple options and models for treating this condition. Listed below are some of the most effective remedies for stimulant abuse.
- Contingency management is effective at treating stimulant abuse. This includes monitoring an individuals’ support system as well as creating some type of reward system. For example, individuals may receive certain incentives for remaining stimulant-free.
- The matrix model for stimulant detox is similar to dual-diagnosis treatment. It outlines the most common factors that influence abuse and teaches individuals how to deal with these issues. This allows clients to avoid certain pitfalls associated with relapse during treatment.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapies (CBT) are also widely used for treating stimulant abuse.
Each of these therapies is usually applied after stimulant detox. What else is included in the period after stimulant detox?
What Comes After Stimulant Detox?
After stimulant detox, individuals must seek out the most appropriate form of treatment. This usually includes some form of inpatient or outpatient rehab.
Inpatient Rehab for Stimulant Abuse
Inpatient rehab for stimulant abuse may provide the most effective treatment options for individuals seeking to abstain from use. The following list highlights the biggest advantages of inpatient treatment.
- Mental health and recovery are important during treatment for stimulant abuse disorder. Because stimulants wreak havoc on the brain and its chemistry, significant mental health challenges are associated with recovery. Clients work closely with mental health professionals to craft the most appropriate treatment plan, including psychologists and psychiatrists. These may include several behavioral-based approaches to treat underlying mental health conditions. It’s important that clients are able to understand how to effectively overcome feelings of depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges. This is made possible during inpatient rehab.
- Peer groups and discussions led by mental health professionals are vital portions of inpatient treatment. During these group meetings, clients can engage with peers who are going through the same situations. Clients can ask questions, give each other advice, as well as allow each other to vent during these group counseling sessions.
- Family dynamics may also be improved during group therapy sessions. Family and other loved ones are invited to participate in small group sessions with mental health professionals. Together, they decide the best course of action to improve and mend any damaged portion of the family dynamic.
Outpatient Rehab for Stimulant Abuse
Outpatient rehab provides certain benefits that aren’t available during inpatient rehab. However, there are also significant risks and challenges associated with outpatient treatment. It takes a great deal of willpower, motivation, and discipline to remain successful during outpatient rehab.
It should also be noted that clients are required to travel to and from the treatment facility for counseling sessions and peer group meetings. However, the benefits of outpatient rehab may be more important than the risks in some cases.
- Outpatient rehab allows clients to continue to participate in an active professional and personal life. Sometimes, individuals seeking therapy won’t always have the luxury of signing up for an inpatient rehab program. Participating in outpatient rehab allows clients to maintain their source of income while receiving continued treatment for substance abuse disorder.
- Many people find their own homes more comfortable. This is possible during outpatient treatment. There is no requirement to take up residence in a live-in facility during this type of rehab.
In cases when clients have strong willpower, great support systems, and the need to maintain professional and family life, outpatient treatment may be the best option. However, it should be noted that it’s vital to maintain your support systems. Family and loved ones are responsible for holding clients accountable for remaining sober and avoiding relapse. Triggers should be avoided at all costs, including associating with anyone who still might be abusing drugs. Certain areas that lead to the possibility of obtaining stimulants should be avoided as well.
How to Find a Stimulant Detox
If you’re searching for a stimulant detox, the best thing to do is locate facilities that provide the type of treatment you need. Whenever it’s possible, inpatient rehab may be the best course of action, although this isn’t always possible.
Make sure you check reviews of any facility you have on your shortlist. They should have a considerable history and a lengthy amount of experience. Additionally, there should also be favorable reviews or realistic testimonials provided.
When you find the most appropriate location, the chances are much higher that you experience long-term stimulant recovery.
Long-term Stimulant Recovery
At Icarus Behavioral Health, we refer to top medical detox facilities and provide follow-up care that constantly promotes an atmosphere conducive to long-term recovery. Icarus proudly boasts professional staff who care about your needs and mental health professionals to help you navigate the difficult emotional challenges of stimulant abuse disorder.
We encourage you to contact us if you have any questions or concerns regarding our treatment programs. Icarus Behavioral Health tends to take a more holistic approach to healing. However, we have multiple options available, depending on your preference.
Our experience has allowed us to assist countless individuals in experiencing recovery. We would love to make you our next success story.