Stimulant Detox in Austin, TX

You dont have to go through stimulant withdrawals by yourself.

As of 2019, methamphetamines and cocaine use are on the rise in Texas. Methamphetamines are the top stimulant drug threats in Texas, rated by the DEA. Stimulant addiction treatment is available for those who wish to rid themselves of compulsive behaviors.  Stimulant drugs are more common than you think, from local coffee shops to illicit aftermarket derivatives of methamphetamine. Stimulant drugs are referred to as “uppers” for their boosts of energy in the short term.

What Are Stimulants?

Stimulants are best described as substances that increase neurotransmitter production through the central nervous system. Stimulants can come in a variety of forms. Stimulant addiction develops after binging these substances over a short period — where everything else does not matter except maintaining the rush. That espresso you downed before that important final exam is classified as a stimulant along with the ADD medication you were prescribed at 13. 

These drugs are designed to provide sharpness to the mind that typically has short half-lives. Certain stimulants have short-acting and long-acting effects on the body, which can alter the length of the high and how long it remains in the system.

Cocaine

Cocaine is a fairly common stimulant with a wide range of side effects. Long-term abuse has been linked to heart failure and other complications. Cocaine is derived from the coca plant and typically comes in off-white powder form. The mode of use is through the nose but it can be ingested or smoked (crack-cocaine) for different releases into the body. 

Cocaine use could begin through experimentation, dishing out euphoric and confidence-building energy to the user for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. The age at which users try cocaine has dropped to approximately 13, which can have devastating effects on adolescent development. Cocaine is a stimulant that’s often paired with other substances such as alcohol.

Methamphetamines

Methamphetamines are synthetic stimulants that are known for their fast-acting response times and permanent brain damage. Crystal methamphetamine is the most common form, with a growing illegal industry being trafficked throughout the US. Meth is typically smoked or injected for varying degrees of release into the bloodstream. 

The danger of meth is the incredibly immediate euphoria but sharp decline as the comedown can produce intense negative feelings of anger and depression. Methamphetamine use can prolong long-term health effects such as damaged teeth, itching, poor cognition, and increased body temperature.

Ritalin/Adderall

Ritalin and Adderall are two stimulant drugs used to treat chronic mental health conditions such as ADHD and narcolepsy. These “study drugs” are based on an amphetamine/methylphenidate chemical makeup to treat various conditions. 

These prescription stimulant drugs have the potential for abuse as most youths are taking these substances in school settings, typically for studying long hours from the boosted focus. The improved cognition primes these drugs for abuse, as the habit forms over an extended time. 

These prescription stimulant drugs harbor long-term effects such as depression, manic states, anxiety, and insomnia.

Caffeine/Nicotine

Caffeine is distributed throughout many products such as coffee, chocolate, soda, teas, and herbal supplements. Caffeine can provide healthy doses of dopamine, but won’t cause an addiction. Caffeine has noted effects on appetite and alertness, increasing heart rate and blood pressure to vibrant outcomes. 

Compared to other stimulants, the withdrawal effects of caffeine are less harmful compared to others, which might require medical detox. Nicotine is another stimulant known for its production of epinephrine and constricting blood vessels. 

Over-the-Counter Drugs

OTC stimulant drugs such as ephedrine and pseudoephedrine are commonly found in allergy or sinus medication. However, these substances are sold under precautions, with sellers required to keep logs of how much is distributed. These stimulants are fundamental components to create methamphetamines, which have harsher physical effects. 

stimulant withdrawals
Psychotherapist and group of stimulant addicted people holding hands
Close-up of psychiatrist hands together holding palm of her patient in stimulant addiction treatment

How Do Stimulants Affect the Body and Brain?

Stimulants are noted for their excitable control over the central nervous system. Dopamine and norepinephrine are two neurotransmitters that are responsible for the reward centers in the brain. The brain is designed to repeat behaviors that activate the reward systems, which evolved through evolution. The basis for this was to prevent the body from repeating dangerous behaviors (Ex. Knowing the difference between poisonous or harmful environmental/stimuli) to better ensure survival. 

Essentially, stimulant drugs act as a steroid for those chemical messengers after tolerance is built. It becomes difficult for the body to hone in on other rewards such as exercise and painting that don’t hold the same weight as a key bump of cocaine. Stimulant drugs have therapeutic effects if used properly.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Stimulant Addiction and Withdrawal?

Stimulant addiction can change depending on the substance used and how long the user has been in contact with it. After long-term use of a stimulant, the body requires the substance to regulate the production of stimuli and neurotransmitters. 

Think of the stimulant as the crutch for a limb that isn’t necessarily broken. Once the body develops a tolerance to a stimulant, one can expect to experience withdrawals after use has stopped. These withdrawal symptoms can be quite uncomfortable, often leading the person to seek other alternatives. 

Signs of stimulant addiction could include:

  • Dilated Pupils
  • Mood swings
  • Runny nose
  • Jitteriness, muscle spasms
  • Frequent trips to the bathroom
  • Unexplained jolts of energy and sociability
  • Weight changes
  • Increased paranoia and anxiety

Since each stimulant is designed differently to respond in the body, it’s important to consider the severity of the withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms could begin as early as 24-36 hours after use has stopped, which can last up to 96 hours to a few weeks. Within the first 48 hours after use has ended, the person could feel fatigued and experience difficulty sleeping. 

The symptoms can range from mild to severe but are not immediately life-threatening. The mental withdrawal symptoms of stimulants are noted for being influential towards a user’s recovery.

Those suffering from stimulant withdrawals might experience:

  • Headaches
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Depression and suicidal ideation
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of interest or apathy

What Is the Detox Process Like? How Long Does It Take to Detox from Stimulants?

If a patient has been dependent on a stimulant for long periods, it’s recommended that they endure medical detox to ensure they have a fighting chance towards recovery. Tapering off a stimulant is commonly practiced to help the person’s body adjust to the lower levels during stimulant addiction treatment. Suicidal thoughts and depression are reported to occur in patients with stimulant withdrawal. 

The process of stimulant withdrawal operates within a window of two weeks since its last use. Certain psychological symptoms may persist after this period, so it’s important to be open about these experiences. There isn’t a standard stimulant withdrawal medication practice.  Medication can be provided if the patient begins to experience persistent symptoms such as loss of sleep or increased anxiety. Prozac and Naltrexone are two drugs that are effective in treating mood disorders and alcohol/opioid dependence.

What Are Some Treatment Options after Stimulant Detox is Over?

After you’ve completed detox for stimulants, it’s critical to remember that recovery is an endless journey to learn and grow from these experiences. Depending on the severity of your case, an outpatient treatment program could be suitable for your needs. They allow the flexibility and discreteness to work and operate in your life, building on your coping skills. 

Inpatient treatment programs are a more intensive alternative for those who require 24/7 care and medical treatment. For those without a proper support environment and other disorders, inpatient treatment programs would be an ideal option. 

Therapy for Stimulant Addiction

Individual and group therapy options are available from the previously mentioned treatment options. These therapies are designed to target the core of your compulsive behaviors through association and guide life skills. No one else can fight for your recovery besides yourself. The mentors and peers you meet along the way will only serve as guiding points.

Since most substance use disorders influence mental health disorders and vice versa, therapy is recognized as a powerful tool to engage with patients on a deeper level.

Stimulants can have long-term effects on the brain and body after use. It’s important to rely on your support system to awaken feelings of shame, guilt, and anxiety to prevent potential relapses. Withdrawing from your resources in a time like this increases your risk of relapse and it’s vital to building transparency moving forward. Building a structure in your life can prevent the time you would use for stimulants drugs to develop hobbies or meet new friends. Support groups are available for those seeking to develop within a community that understands the nuances of addiction.

Makana Path Is Here to Heal

Recovery from stimulant drugs can pose a slew of different obstacles. It might feel as though you have no one to support you in this battle but Makana Path is waiting for you. Addiction can feel like a shadow that won’t leave your side. Makana Path is equipped with the training and attention you need to maintain sobriety. If you or a loved one are struggling, feel free to reach out to us today.

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