Without question, one of the neurological disorders most commonly suffered by children in the United States is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, known by most of the populace as ADHD. Quite frequently, this disorder persists throughout the child’s teen years and into their adult life as well. Commonly, medical professionals will attempt to treat this disorder with the use of stimulant medications. However, what many parents and doctors are now learning is that more and more frequently, patients who are prescribed stimulants are abusing their medication. The most common side effects that a person can feel after overdosing on stimulants, either illegal or prescribed, include an elevation of blood pressure, heart rate and breathing, a very strong sense of focus and enhanced alertness. According to recent studies, the most commonly abused stimulants in the United States are amphetamines and cocaine.
Cocaine’s Common Uses
Cocaine, a derivative of a South American plant called Erythroxylon Coca, was originally discovered by the native people of the Andes region. These indigenous tribes would remove the leaves from the plant and chew upon them in order to achieve a feeling of positivity and a boost of energy. When the civilized world discovered the plant, it didn’t discover a more efficient way to synthesize the chemicals in the plant’s leaves, thereby creating cocaine. This synthetic product turned out to be much more effective than simply chewing on the leaves and just like that, the world was changed forever.
When medical personnel discovered that cocaine was effective at helping with medical procedures due to its unique properties, including pain relief, the drug’s use quickly spread across the globe. After multiple companies got the bright idea to use cocaine in their products to cause their customers to become addicted to them, sales skyrocketed.
It is true that cocaine is often used legally for medical purposes and can be quite helpful, but when used illegally, the drug is frequently misused.
Common Uses of Amphetamines
Like cocaine, there a couple of ways that amphetamine is commonly abused. Typically, the user will dissolve it in a beverage or take it crushed, smoked, injected or snorted. After the drug is present in the body of the user, the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine are triggered in the brain. The prescence of amphetamines causes these neurotransmitters to build up in the brain, which will lead to an enhanced state of focus, wakefulness and concentration. These effects are frequently necessary for a person suffering from ADHD, if the user actually doesn’t need the amphetamines, they can harm their body. When the user takes amphetamines with other drugs or alcohol they can hurt themselves even more. Some of the nasty side effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Powerful spasms in the extremities, such as the toes, fingers, hands and feet
- Changes in sexual behavior or conduct
- Feelings of intense power or control with no valid reason.
Some of the long term effects
Abusing amphetamines for a prolonged period of time can have additional negative effects, including:
- Toxic psychosis
- Repetitive motor activity
- Behavioral, mental or physiological disorders
- Skin ailments
- Damaged coordination and physical collapse
- Dramatic changes in mood or mental condition
As of the most recent surveys, approximately four million American children are diagnosed with ADHD. The disorder is continuing to spread and is starting to affect adults and teenagers as well, prompting the prescribing of more and more amphetamines. As long as the user takes the drug exactly as intended, the amphetamine will benefit the user greatly and have minimal side effects. Making sure to take the drug orally will help to reduce the risk of addiction and the temptation to abuse the drug. Compulsive use of the drug could cause the user to damage his or her body and/or become addicted. Binge using amphetamines to try to cure ailments such as depression aren’t a good idea, as it could cause the individual to feel anxious, exhausted, even more depressed and an urge to take more of the drug.
If you or someone that you care about is suffering from addiction to cocaine, amphetamines, or any other substance, feel free to contact one of our drug rehab centers in Tennessee right away. We are here to help you on the path to recovery.