Stimulants

There are a number of different kinds of stimulants, from caffeine to the illegal drug known as Ecstasy. However, there are also stimulants that are used to treat psychiatric illnesses, most commonly known are the stimulants used to treat ADHD and ADD. Some stimulants are also used to treat the sleeping disorder narcolepsy as well as to treat obesity. Stimulants are often used or abused recreationally, which of course is not what they are intended for, and it isn’t safe.

Some stimulants that are legally prescribed to treat mental disorders are:

  • Amphetamines
  • NRIs (Norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor)
  • NDRIs (Norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor)
  • Modafinil

Why Are Stimulants Used?

Stimulants of any kind can be abused, or used for non-psychiatric purposes. For example, Ecstasy and Cocaine are both illicit drugs that are stimulants. Other stimulants like the prescription medication Adderall is an amphetamine used for the treatment of ADHD and ADD. NRIs and NDRIs are used to treat ADHD and sometimes depression. Modafinil is used to treat narcolepsy and other sleep disorders, ADHD, depression, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease and cocaine addiction.

Stimulants provide improvements to mental and physical function; for example allowing a person with ADHD or ADD to have alertness. It may seem that a stimulant would cause more hyperactivity, but it actually helps them to focus on tasks at-hand.

How Are Stimulants Dangerous?

Stimulants are known for being abused or used recreationally. Even medication like Adderall is often used to achieve a “high.” Stimulants can cause fatal heart attacks and seizures, even in short-term usage. Long-term usage can be dangerous because they can be addictive, especially for those who use them compulsively. Taking certain stimulants for a long period of time, or increasing the dosage significantly, can cause hostility, paranoia, increased heart rate and high body temperatures. Because there are fatal risks, it’s vital to take them only as prescribed, and to follow the directions carefully. If you notice any ongoing negative side effects, talk to your doctor about changing medication.

Who Should Use Stimulants?

Stimulants are most popularly used in ADD/ADHD patients. If you or your child is suffering from one of these disorders, stimulants can be of help. With increased attention and focus, improvements can be seen in school, personal relationships and home life. People suffering from serious sleep disorders like narcolepsy can use stimulants to keep symptoms to a minimum. Some stimulants are used for the short-term help of obesity, but they shouldn’t be a long-term solution.

What Should You Do?

If you are suffering from a psychiatric disorder such as ADD, narcolepsy or even obesity, talk to your doctor about medication options. Stimulants can offer a great deal of relief. Just be sure to use the medication wisely, and to not overdose or use compulsively. If you notice serious side effects, talk to your doctor about stopping usage and trying other alternatives.

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