It is always best to seek help for stimulant abuse as soon as a problem is identified. Stimulants can become addictive without much use and the addiction only deepens as the drug use continues. The long-term effects of stimulant abuse are very serious and can make beating the addiction a very difficult process. Everyone reacts to drugs differently, but certain long-term side effects are common:
- High blood pressure
- Heart failure
- Compulsive behavior
- Weight loss
Since most stimulants affect the release of neurotransmitters in the brain, abuse can disrupt this fragile system and cause lasting cognitive effects. When the brain is constantly flooded with dopamine, it becomes used to getting this huge reward on a regular basis and over time it will fundamentally change the way the brain works.
When an addict finally decides to seek help and attempt to quit a stimulant, the brain has a hard time coping without the drug and it will resist any attempt to get off the drug. It can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months for the brain to begin to learn how to function properly without the drug. In the case of meth addiction, former users are often depressed for up to a year because their brain has an extremely limited ability to find pleasure without the intense high of using meth.
Even if a drug user is willing to accept help for their addiction, it is difficult to cope with the withdrawal symptoms and not relapse. Some people combat this by choosing to stay in a rehab facility for several months so they are not tempted by the ability to obtain the drug. If you would like to learn more about long-term side effects and treatment programs, call now and speak with one of our trained specialists.