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Stimulant Addiction Treatment

Outpatient Stimulant Addiction Treatment

We live in a culture that demands more of us than ever before. Finance executives, corporate lawyers, technology employees, and even students face grueling work demands and the need to focus on what can be tedious work tasks.

With the belief that it will enhance their performance and productivity at work and school, some pursue stimulants like Adderall either over the internet or buying it off the street. Cocaine is used to feel euphoric effects, give confidence, and enhance the effects of alcohol. Although it may seem to work, the effects are often temporary, leading to more and more use at higher doses and, finally, addiction with consequences to physical and mental health.

How Stimulant Addiction Happens

Addiction to stimulants occurs in people seeking external sources to help increase energy, confidence, mental focus, and productivity. Sometimes, people just start taking stimulants for a euphoric effect while partying. Whether the drug of choice is initially prescribed by a physician, bought on the street, or shared by a friend at a party, stimulant misuse will compromise natural dopamine processes meant to minimize pain and induce the sensation of feeling good.

Stimulant use increases dopamine release in the brain to unhealthy levels. Over time, the body and the brain require continued and increased use to get the desired effect. Without it, cravings and other physical, behavioral, and emotional symptoms arise, affecting relationships, career obligations, and financial stability.

Types of Stimulant Addiction

Adderall Addiction

Corporate pressure to perform has led many to seek assistance through the use of stimulants in pill form. Commonly prescribed for people who have ADD and ADHD disorders, Adderall is administered to help increase focus, process information better, and generate a calm feeling in those with compromised attention abilities and hyperactivity. People who take Adderall without a medical reason experience heightened focus but endanger other aspects of their health.

Dangerous Side Effects of Adderall

  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Jitters or restlessness
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Heart palpitations
  • Interrupted sleep or insomnia
  • Heart attack
  • Seizures
  • Death
  • Street “Adderall” is often tainted with Fentanyl, causing overdose and death

Cocaine Abuse

Cocaine is a powerfully addictive drug. The powdered form of cocaine can be snorted or dissolved in water and injected. “Crack” is the street name given to cocaine that has been processed to create a rock crystal, which is heated to produce vapors that are smoked.

How Is Cocaine Abused?

Cocaine is delivered in three ways: snorting, injecting, and smoking. Snorting includes the action of inhaling cocaine powder through the nose, where it is then absorbed into the bloodstream through the nasal tissues. Injecting includes using a needle to insert the drug directly into the bloodstream. Smoking is done via inhaling cocaine vapor or smoke into the lungs to absorb the drug into the bloodstream. All three methods can lead to addiction and other serious health problems, including cardiovascular, neurological, and infectious diseases.

Cocaine is often used while drinking alcohol, creating the chemical cocaethylene in the bloodstream. Cocaethylene can give an even more intense, longer-lasting effect than alcohol or cocaine alone.

How Does Cocaine Affect the Brain?

Cocaine increases levels of dopamine, a brain chemical that affects pleasure and movement. Cocaine prevents dopamine from being recycled to the brain, resulting in excess that is responsible for the euphoric effects. Tolerance to the cocaine high can develop. Cocaine abusers will increase usage in an attempt to intensify and prolong the euphoria, which can also increase the risk of adverse psychological or physiological effects.

How Does Cocaine Affect Health?

Cocaine constricts blood vessels, dilates pupils, and increases body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. It causes headaches and stomach complications such as pain and nausea. Cocaine tends to decrease appetite, and users can become malnourished. Snorting cocaine can lead to loss of smell, increased nosebleeds, swallowing problems, hoarseness, and a constant runny nose. Ingesting cocaine can cause severe bowel gangrene. Injecting cocaine can result in severe allergic reactions and an increased risk of contracting HIV/AIDS or other infectious diseases. Cocaine abusers can experience extreme paranoia and auditory hallucinations, and these psychotic symptoms can persist. Cocaine abusers can also experience acute cardiovascular or cerebrovascular emergencies, such as fatal heart arrhythmia, heart attack, or stroke, resulting in sudden death.

How is Stimulant Abuse Treated?

Behavioral interventions such as behavioral therapy have been effective in treating stimulant abuse and preventing relapse. Treatment must be tailored to the patient’s needs to maximize positive outcomes. This often involves a combination of treatment, social support, and other services.

There are no FDA-approved medications for treating stimulant addiction. Several treatments, including vaccines, are being researched for their safety and efficiency. While medications are effective in treating addiction, combining them with intense behavioral therapy programs is the most effective method to treat stimulant drug use long term.

Why Personalized Addiction Treatment Is Essential

Stimulant addiction is a result of a more significant, unaddressed issue. Whether it be an existing mental health condition, life trauma, or an overwhelming sense of personal inefficiency, research indicates drug dependency can be successfully overcome through our integrative treatment programs involving a combination of psychotherapy, specialized behavioral therapy, support groups, relapse prevention, and, when needed, medication-assisted treatment.

Our doctors work collaboratively to provide a discreet, practical, integrative approach to treating stimulant addiction and its origins in your life.


Rehab is not essential to overcome cocaine addiction. Though it is nearly impossible to overcome any addiction on willpower alone, motivated people can overcome cocaine addiction as an outpatient with psychotherapy, group therapy, or 12-step groups. If you have tried outpatient treatment and it has not worked, inpatient rehab can be helpful because it gives you structured time away from cocaine and triggers while developing tools to cope with life and addiction.

Like any substance, signs of cocaine addiction include the following:

  • Inability to stop the use or reduce the amount
  • Needing to increase the dose to receive euphoric effects
  • Continued use despite mounting negative consequences
  • Negative effects on work, relationships, or health
  • Experiencing withdrawal when stopping or reducing use
  • Experiencing physical and psychological symptoms of addiction, such as:
    • Persistent nosebleeds
    • Breathing problems
    • Loss of appetite
    • Risk-taking behavior
    • Thoughts of suicide
    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Psychosis
    • Cravings for cocaine

Abusing stimulants can lead to a variety of health disorders and conditions, including heart attack, stroke, psychosis, paranoia, violent behavior, severe weight loss, and overdose–not to mention stimulant use disorder or dependence itself.

When using stimulants for a prolonged amount of time or after becoming dependent, you experience withdrawal symptoms once stopping or reducing the amount.

These symptoms typically manifest as the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Depressed mood
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Concentration difficulties
  • Increased appetite
  • Cravings
  • Headaches
  • Psychosis

Stimulant dysphoria is a symptom of stimulant withdrawal termed as the opposite of euphoria. It is accompanied by intense feelings of unease in a person’s life.

Not all stimulants will cause intense withdrawals, and withdrawal is usually not dangerous in itself. But, because withdrawal can result in severe fatigue, depression, and dysphoria, it’s best to stop under medical supervision.

Long-term and heavy stimulant use can change the structure and function of the brain by decreasing gray matter volume. This can lead to impairments, such as decreased memory, inattention, and poor decision-making abilities.