Medically Assisted Stimulants Detoxification
At Immersion Recovery we understand how difficult stimulant withdrawal can be. Many times withdrawal symptoms are so serve that those struggling with an addiction to stimulants return to using within 24 hours. The key to overcoming this obstacle is a medically supervised detox where withdrawal symptoms can be identified and treated immediately. At Immersion Recovery Center we perform an in-depth initial evaluation and tailor a treatment plan unique to each clients needs and recovery goals. Immersion Recovery Center provides 24 hour medical supervision and comfort care for our detox clients. Our medical and client support team’s goal is to make sure all clients have a safe and comfortable detox so they can begin the next phase in their recovery journey.
Stimulants are a class of drugs that work to speed up the central nervous system and raise levels of physiological or nervous activity in the body resulting in increased energy, focus, and an inability to sit still. Many drugs fall under the stimulant blanket, some of the most common being illicit substances like cocaine and methamphetamine and prescription medications like ritalin. Below, take a look at some common stimulants, what they are, and how they affect the mind and the body.
- Cocaine: Cocaine is an illicit psychoactive drug derived from the leaves of the naturally occurring coca plant – typically found in South America. Cocaine is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream regardless of how it is administered. It can be snorted, injected, or taken orally. Enzymes within the engager rapidly absorb the drug leading to a short “high” – typically between 30 and 60 minutes. Those who abuse cocaine typically take it in great quantities throughout the day or night in attempts to avoid losing this high. This cyclical pattern often results in physical dependency.
- Methamphetamine: Methamphetamine is more commonly known as “meth” and has a reputation for being more popular among lower-income populations. Meth is extremely addictive and comes with a host of serious side effects. This drug rapidly destroys tissue within the brain often leading to permanent brain damage.
- Ecstasy: Ecstasy is a psychoactive drug mostly used recreationally. This has garnered it a reputation as being a “party drug” and gained recent and rampant popularity in the rave scene. Those who take this drug will usually experience intense feelings of euphoria, increased energy, empathy, and pleasure. Effects of the drug usually last between three and six hours and the comedown results in depression due to depletion of “feel good” brain chemicals like dopamine and seratonin.
- Adderall: Prescription stimulants like adderall which is used to treat attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy affect the central nervous system and are designed to increase focus. Those without pre-existing mental health conditions can do serious damage to their brains with repeated use.
- Ritalin: Ritalin, another prescription stimulant drug is frequently abused by college students while they are studying for major exams. Ritalin is prescribed to treat attention disorders much like Adderall but rates of abuse are exceptionally high – especially among students.
- Synthetic marijuana: Synthetic marijuana more commonly known as “spice” or “K2” is called a cannabinoid because it resembles chemicals found within the marijuana plant. However, when this mind-altering drug is taken it can cause hyperactivity, nervousness, and other serious symptoms associated with stimulant drugs.
- Caffeine: Caffeine isn’t illegal and it is the most commonly used stimulant available. Believe it or not caffeine is considered a psychoactive drug and it can have a major effect on the way the body and mind function. An overuse of caffeine can result in sleep disorders, nervousness, and irritability – however, misuse of caffeine doesn’t require medical detox despite minor withdrawal symptoms (agitation and severe headaches).
Signs and Symptoms of Stimulant Addiction
Depending on the type of stimulant that is being abused signs and symptoms of addiction can vary. Take a look at the following types of stimulants and the specific symptoms that are associated with their abuse or dependence.
- Cocaine: Symptoms of cocaine abuse include weight loss, mood swings, social isolation, constantly runny nose, nosebleeds, changes in sleeping and eating patterns, frequent trips to the restroom, financial problems, increased need for privacy, and unexplained excitability.
- Prescription stimulants: Symptoms of adderall abuse include irregular heartbeat, loss of appetite, major changes in sleeping patterns, hallucinations, convulsions, sexual dysfunction, nausea, severe anxiety, exhaustion, memory loss, secretive behavior, a decline in personal hygiene, mania, and extreme impulsivity.
- Methamphetamine: Symptoms of meth abuse include hyperactivity, twitching, facial tics, paranoia, dilated pupils, sudden and extreme weight loss, open sores on the face and skin, rapid eye movement, mood swings, violent outbursts, erratic behavior, rotting teeth, burns on the lips and fingers, and agitation.
- Synthetic stimulants: Symptoms of synthetic stimulant abuse are very similar to the effects of methamphetamine abuse and include erratic behavior, hyperactivity, mood swings, weight loss, an inability to focus, and a lack of motivation.
- Ecstasy: Because ecstasy has such a significant impact on the brain, symptoms of abuse are majorly psychological. Negative effects of regular ecstasy use can include ongoing confusion, paranoia, severe depression, anxiety, nerve degeneration, lasting brain damage, and psychosis. Some physical symptoms include hemorrhaging, cardiovascular collapse, and kidney failure.
Withdrawal and Detox from Stimulants
If not treated by a team of professionals in a medical environment the withdrawal symptoms associated with stimulant detox can be extremely dangerous. If an individual is using any one of the stimulant drugs listed above – ADHD medications, cocaine, or methamphetamine – a medical detox will likely be required. Generally speaking there are three main stages of stimulant withdrawal:
- Initial stage: Within several hours after an individual stops using stimulants he or she will likely experience cravings and feel moderately depressed, irritated, and anxious.
- Middle stage: Once the initial stage comes to a close the individual will begin to experience more severe symptoms of withdrawal including exhaustion (both mental and physical), worsening depressive symptoms, and an inability to sleep or relax (insomnia).
- End of acute withdrawal stage: Somewhere around 12 hours after the last use the individual will experience an increase in symptom severity that will typically last between three and six days.
One of the biggest health risks involved in stimulant withdrawal is severe depression which can result in suicidal ideation. If a stimulant addict is not prescribed medication to help with his or her affected brain chemistry the risk of suicide is high. This is why, even though stimulant detox is rarely life-threatening on a physical level, psychological symptoms can be fatal. At Immersion Recovery Center we have a team of prescribing physicians and medical clinicians available 24-hours a day to oversee those experiencing any adverse effects. Fortunately, stimulant withdrawal isn’t an exceptionally long process and those with a history of stimulant abuse will typically be released to inpatient treatment within a week (roughly) once they have been cleared by a medical professional and once a solid treatment plan is in place.
Immersion Recovery and Drug Detox
We at Immersion Recovery understand how crucial it is to provide each and every one of our detox patients with the respect and compassion they undeniably deserve. We conduct an intensive evaluation upon admittance, ensuring that treatment programs are tailored to each individual patient’s needs. If you have been struggling with stimulant abuse or addiction, and if you need help to quit, we are available – call us at any time of day or night with any questions or concerns you may have.