What Are the Dangers of Stimulants Such as Cocaine?


depressed man against wall

Stimulants, sometimes called “uppers”, are a class of substances that elevate alertness and energy by increasing activity in the central nervous system and the body. Historically, stimulants have been used to treat asthma and other respiratory problems, as well as obesity, neurological disorders such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and more. However, as emphasized by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), limitations have been placed on prescription use for stimulants due to their addictive properties.

Illicit stimulant drugs include cocaine, crack, MDMA (ecstasy), methamphetamine and more, while prescription stimulant brands may include Adderall, Ritalin, Methylin, Concerta, and more.  All in all, stimulants effect a person by producing feelings of euphoria, decreased appetite, wakefulness, talkativeness, and energy. When prescribed, stimulants can assist with a wide variety of health conditions. When abused, stimulants can be very dangerous.

When stimulants are taken, the brain’s feel-good chemicals, called dopamine, rapidly increase, causing a miscommunication between cells in the brain. When too much dopamine is released from stimulant abuse, the following could occur:

  • Spiked blood pressure
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Extremely high body temperature
  • Chronic insomnia
  • Depression
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Impotence

When taken in very high doses, stimulants may even cause heart failure, seizures, paranoia, aggression, and psychosis. If taken with other drugs or alcohol, the effects may be even stronger.

Who is most at risk for abusing these drugs? As described in the publication titled, The Neuropsychiatric Complications of Stimulant Abuse, stimulants have been widely known as “Student’s Little Helper” as many students across the world have taken stimulants to help them stay awake to study for exams. Unfortunately, many have also been led to dependence and addiction in attempt to make it through their school assignments. Stimulants have also affected individuals looking for a “pick me up” who may be struggling with mental illness and/or addiction with other drugs.

Illicit stimulant drugs are banned because they can cause organ damage, malnutrition, skin diseases, and much more. If you’ve been abusing stimulants, make the decision to seek help today.

Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing both substance abuse and symptoms of a mental disorder, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.