Stimulant addiction is a prevalent and challenging issue worldwide, impacting individuals from all walks of life. When someone is caught in the cycle of stimulant addiction, it can feel almost impossible to break free. However, with the right support, education, and tools, recovery is more than just a possibility—it’s a reality for many. At Peachtree Recovery Solutions our stimulant addiction treatment in Atlanta, Georgia can help you reclaim and rediscover a life without stimulants.
Stimulants, often referred to as ‘uppers,’ are a class of drugs that increase the activity of the central nervous system (CNS) and the body. Stimulants heighten alertness, attention, energy levels, and physical activity while elevating blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate. Their ability to boost mental and physical functions makes them particularly appealing, but this also comes with a higher risk of misuse and addiction.
Stimulants are a broad category of substances and include both legal, prescription medications and illegal drugs. Most common types of stimulants include:
Stimulants increase the levels of certain chemicals in the brain, primarily dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. These neurotransmitters are responsible for our feelings of pleasure, motivation, reward, and alertness. Stimulants prompt the brain to release these neurotransmitters in larger than normal quantities, leading to their characteristic effects.
For instance, dopamine is closely associated with the brain’s reward system. When you do something pleasurable, dopamine is released, and you feel good. Stimulants force the brain to release excessive amounts of dopamine, leading to intensely pleasurable feelings known as a ‘high.’
Yes, stimulants can be highly addictive. Regular use of these drugs can alter the brain’s reward system, causing an individual to need increasing amounts of the drug to achieve the desired effect, a phenomenon known as tolerance. Eventually, users may find that they need the drug to feel ‘normal’ and may experience withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop, signaling dependence. This cycle of tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal can lead to addiction—a chronic, relapsing brain disease characterized by a compulsive need to seek and use the drug, despite harmful consequences.
Stimulant addiction often manifests through a range of physical, psychological, and behavioral changes. Some common signs and symptoms include:
Detox is the initial step in treating stimulant addiction, involving the removal of the drug from the body. This phase often accompanies withdrawal symptoms, as the body adapts to the absence of the drug. These can include:
Stimulant withdrawal is not the same for everyone. The timeline can vary depending on several factors, such as the type of stimulant used, the duration and intensity of use, the individual’s overall health, and whether they’re also dealing with other addictions or mental health conditions.
However, a general timeline for stimulant withdrawal might look something like this:
First 24 Hours: Initial withdrawal symptoms can begin within a few hours after the last dose and typically involve a strong desire to continue using the drug. Symptoms might include agitation, restlessness, and an overwhelming sense of fatigue.
Days 2-3: During this time, ‘crash’ symptoms become more pronounced. These can include exhaustion, increased appetite, anxiety, and depression. Cravings can also intensify.
Days 4-10: Physical symptoms may begin to subside at this point, but psychological symptoms like anxiety, irritability, and depression can continue. Cravings for the drug can still be quite intense.
Weeks 2-3: While cravings might decrease somewhat, this is often the time where anhedonia (the inability to feel pleasure), difficulty concentrating, and disturbed sleep patterns can occur. These psychological symptoms can be challenging and, in some cases, might persist for several weeks or months.
After 1 Month: Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) might set in for some people. This involves protracted withdrawal symptoms that wax and wane over a period of several months. Symptoms typically include mood swings, ongoing depression, prolonged cravings, difficulty managing stress, and trouble sleeping.
This is a rough timeline and it’s important to remember that everyone’s experience with stimulant withdrawal is unique. In some cases, certain withdrawal symptoms, particularly psychological ones like depression and cravings, may last much longer and require ongoing management. Residential or outpatient rehab is preferable during this time.
At Peachtree Recovery Solutions, our comprehensive drug rehab in Atlanta is often tailored to the individual’s needs and can include a combination of medical detox, individual and group therapy, medication-assisted treatment, family counseling, and aftercare planning.
Evidence-based therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and contingency management (CM), are commonly used in stimulant addiction treatment. CBT helps individuals identify and change harmful thinking patterns, while CM uses incentives to encourage drug-free behaviors.
Our comprehensive treatment plans often include holistic services, such as yoga, mindfulness, nutrition counseling, and fitness programs, to support overall wellness and recovery within our outpatient treatment programs that include Partial Hospitalization, Intensive Outpatient Programming and other levels of care.
Finding the right treatment for stimulant addiction in Atlanta starts with reaching out. When you are ready to get started, the Peachtree Recovery Solutions team is here for you. Verify your insurance now or call us at (678) 331-4872.