Friday, May 13, 2022

What Do Stimulants Do To The Brain

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Prescription Drug Abuse Complications

How Stimulants Affect the Brain: Pros, Cons & Risks of Addiction Stanford Psychiatrist Anna Lembke

Prescription drug abuse can have dangerous or deadly effects, especially if you take them along with the drugs listed above:

  • Opioids may cause vomiting, breathing problems, a coma, or death.
  • CNS depressants can slow your heartbeat or breathing. If you stop or slow your dose too quickly, you could have seizures.
  • Stimulant abuse might lead to high body temperature, uneven heartbeat, aggression, paranoia, heart failure, or seizures.

Abuse makes you more likely to become dependent on or addicted to a drug. You also have a higher chance of committing a crime, being the victim of a crime, or having an accident.

Prescription Stimulants And Alcohol Dont Mix

If you take prescription stimulants, make sure that you never drink alcohol at the same time. Thats because mixing them with alcohol increases risk of heart problems, whether or not theyre taking the drugs in excess. There have been reports of young and otherwise healthy people who have suffered a heart attack because they took a small dose of stimulants and drank alcohol at the same time.

Brain Therapies For Addiction

When someone battling addiction enters a facility, they receive medication and have access to innovative treatments. A common treatment to stabilize and soothe the brain after addiction is biofeedback therapy. This allows a professional to monitor the brain. They can figure out how to improve brain activity, reducing the effects of addiction and unhealthy impulses.

Biofeedback uses electroencephalograms . EEGs are typically used to help individuals who have suffered traumatic brain injuries and can be helpful to individuals with obsessive compulsive disorder and other brain disorders. Biofeedback reduces stress and reduces involuntary functions. This therapy can also include meditation, guided imagery, and muscle relaxation.

When this is combined with therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy or dialectical behavioral therapy , biofeedback improves the individuals involuntary functions, like heartbeat, blood pressure, and muscle contraction. Neurofeedback, or EEQ therapy, is a type of biofeedback. This therapy is a brain-training treatment. In the case of addiction, this therapy monitors the brains activity. It helps patients to reduce stress and anxiety and can treat compulsions. The end result of both therapies is the administrator rewarding the brain to recover how it functions.

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Whos Most Likely To Become Addicted

Each persons body and brain are different. People also react differently to drugs. Some love the feeling the first time they try it and want more. Others hate it and never try again.

Not everyone who uses drugs becomes addicted. But it can happen to anyone and at any age. Some things may raise your chances of addiction, including:

  • Family history. Your genes are responsible for about half of your odds. If your parents or siblings have problems with alcohol or drugs, youre more likely as well. Women and men are equally likely to become addicted.
  • Early drug use. Childrens brains are still growing, and drug use can change that. So taking drugs at an early age may make you more likely to get addicted when you get older.
  • Mental disorders. If youre depressed, have trouble paying attention, or worry constantly, you have a higher chance of addiction. You may turn to drugs as a way to try to feel better. A history of trauma in your life also makes you more likely to have addiction.
  • Troubled relationships. If you grew up with family troubles and arent close to your parents or siblings, it may raise your chances of addiction.


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How Long Do Stimulants Stay In Your System

Prescription Stimulants Affect People With ADHD ...

How long a stimulant will stay in your system will depend on some factors such as the dosage you are taking, your metabolism, age, strength and overall health. A general rule of thumb for how long it will stay in your system is:

  • The half-life of amphetamines which are what is found in most ADHD medications is usually less than 11 hours
  • Cocaine has a very short half-life of usually less than an hour
  • Methamphetamine has a longer half-life of around 12 hours, and the effects of being high on meth can last for anywhere from four to eight hours

Withdrawal from Stimulants

Like most drugs, stimulants can cause withdrawal symptoms to occur upon discontinuing use of the drug. Below are the most common withdrawal symptoms that a person may experience.

The following withdrawal symptoms the the body are related to the use of stimulants:

  • Anxiety
  • Vivid nightmares or sleep disturbances

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Stimulants Can Cause A Brain Imbalance

Stimulants rely on chemical messengers in the brain called neurotransmitters to jump-start the nervous system, the brains control center. But instead of maintaining the brains chemical balance, stimulants increase the activity of two brain chemicals while leaving other neurotransmitters alone, creating an imbalance of neurotransmitters.

Stimulants over-activate dopamine and norepinephrine. Dopamine plays an important role in how we feel and experience pleasure. Dopamine also helps regulate our motivation and determines what we focus on and find interesting. Too much dopamine can cause anxiety, insomnia, mania, delusions, and paranoia. Norepinephrine is a stress hormone, increasing your heart rate and providing energy to your body. When overactivated, norepinephrine can lead to anxiety, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, jitteriness, excessive sweating, and organ stress.

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Which Med Improves Executive Functioning And Working Memory

My blanket answer is that it depends on person and med.

Its no easy thing and it isnt something you can test for

I did so much better on zyprexa than Risperdal or abilify. Theres no reason why but it works. Others do better with either or!

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Can A Person Overdose On Prescription Stimulants

Yes, a person can overdose on prescription stimulants. An overdose occurs when the person uses enough of the drug to produce a life-threatening reaction or death .

When people overdose on a prescription stimulant, they most commonly experience several different symptoms, including restlessness, tremors, overactive reflexes, rapid breathing, confusion, aggression, hallucinations, panic states, abnormally increased fever, muscle pains and weakness.

They also may have heart problems, including an irregular heartbeat leading to a heart attack, nerve problems that can lead to a seizure, abnormally high or low blood pressure, and circulation failure. Stomach issues may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. In addition, an overdose can result in convulsions, coma, and fatal poisoning.

Cut Back On Your Obligations

Why Stimulants Help ADHD

For most of my life I have been a yes person. I tell people I will do something, or appear somewhere, even when I know I do not have the time or mental energy to follow through. Then I end up irritable and overwhelmed with my schedule.

I suggest you/me/we start to limit our obligations. Commit only to the causes, meetings and activities that really matter to you. Focus on giving your full attention to your family and your career.

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What Are Cns Stimulants

CNS stimulants are medicines that stimulate the brain, speeding up both mental and physical processes.

They increase energy, improve attention and alertness, and elevate blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate. They decrease the need for sleep, reduce appetite, improve confidence and concentration, and lessen inhibitions.

Experts arent exactly sure how CNS stimulants work, although they suspect they increase levels of one or more neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine, norepinephrine, or serotonin. They may also have other effects, depending on the actual drug. For example, phentermine possibly indirectly increases leptin levels leptin is a substance that tells us we feel full.

Potential Adverse Affects Of Chronic Stimulant Use

ADHD is now recognized as a chronic disorder that continues into adulthood therefore, some individuals take stimulants such as MPH and d-AMP for years. The medical literature provides abundant data to support the potentially positive effect of stimulants for the majority of children, adolescents, and adults with ADHD, and stimulants have been considered to be relatively safe . However, reports of adverse events in conjunction with the use of these drugs have raised concern about their safety.

Unfortunately, there are few long-term studies on the use of stimulants for the management of ADHD therefore, the precise long-term effects either adverse or positive remain unknown. A recent study suggests that the chronic use of stimulant medication to treat ADHD in children does not appear to increase the risk for high blood pressure in the long term, but it may have modest effects on heart rate. The MTA study found that stimulant medication does not appear to increase the risk for abnormal elevations in blood pressure or heart rate over a 10-year period however, the effect of stimulants on heart rate can be detected even after years of use . The effect on heart rate may be clinically significant for individuals who have underlying heart conditions.

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Effects Of Stimulant Drugs

Using stimulant drugs can lead to many health effects that can result in changes to both your heart and your brain, for a long-term period of time. The short and long-term effects of the drug on the body and brain will depend on many factors including what type of drug is being used, the length of time, dosage and the overall health condition of the person using.

What Is Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drug abuse is when you take a medication for a reason other than why the doctor prescribed it. Experts estimate that more than 18 million people ages 12 and older have used prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons in the previous year. Thatâs more than 6% of the U.S. population.

Abusing drugs — even prescription drugs — can change how your brain works. Most people start by choosing to take these medications. But over time, the changes in your brain affect your self-control and your ability to make good decisions. At the same time, you have intense urges to take more drugs.

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How Can A Prescription Stimulant Overdose Be Treated

Because prescription stimulant overdose often leads to a heart attack or seizure, the most important step to take is to call 911 so a person who has overdosed can receive immediate medical attention. First responders and emergency room doctors try to treat the overdose with the intent of restoring blood flow to the heart and stopping the seizure with care or with medications if necessary.

Amphetamine Abuse: Sources And Extent

Resale of prescribed amphetamines constitutes one source of illicit stimulants available for abuse. In addition, licit dextroamphetamine is a substrate for manufacture of illicit methamphetamine, which can then be smoked or injected. One of the easiest ways to make methamphetamine is by addition of a single methyl group to the amino group on the middle carbon atom of amphetamine. Conversely, smoked methamphetamine thermally degrades to yield amphetamine by N-demethylation.,

Insufficient physician follow-up care for stimulant-treated children contributes to the problem. A recent study in the Netherlands suggested that such care was deficient, with one of five patients receiving no follow-up care, and those who did receive care averaging only two physician visits per year. In addition to the risk of stimulant abuse associated with ADHD treatment, clinical reports estimate the risk of addiction from amphetamines prescribed for sleep disorders at 13%. Additional risk accrues in patients prescribed higher amphetamine dosages for longer periods, and those with comorbid psychiatric disease.

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Stimulant Dependence And Withdrawal

Individuals who abuse stimulants over a long period of time will develop a physical and mental dependence on the substance. As their body becomes accustomed to using a stimulant, the individual will begin to rely on the substance. This is known as dependency or addiction. As a result of developing a dependency to stimulants, individuals will experience withdrawal symptoms if they attempt to cease their stimulant use.

Common symptoms of stimulant withdrawal include:

  • Mental and physical exhaustion
  • Intense hunger
  • Drug cravings

One of the biggest risks of stimulant withdrawal is the commonality of experiencing suicidal thoughts or ideation. Because of this, attending a professional stimulant detox center is imperative for ones safety. If you or a loved one abuse stimulants, or have experienced any of the mentioned withdrawal symptoms, it is time to seek help.

Focus On 1 Task At A Time

Stimulants (Ritalin and Adderall) Explained in 3 Minutes

If you are a list person, and many of us with ADHD are list people, only focus on one task at a time. In fact, limit your list as much as you can. I prefer to keep my list to 3-4 items per day.

Choose the task you want to start with and focus on that. Do not even look at your list again until you are finished with the first thing on your list. Trust me on this one.

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Stimulants Can Diminish The Brains Decision Making Ability

In addition to imbalancing the brain, chronic stimulant use can reduce grey matter in the prefrontal cortex . The PFC helps regulate planning, decision making, problem solving, and self-control. In many ways, the prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that deals with higher-level cognitive functioning. When the PFC has abnormally low levels of grey matter, the brain is less able to plan properly, solve problems, and make appropriate decisions. Although small levels of stimulants can help enhance cognitive functioning, moderate and high levels of stimulants are commonly associated with memory problems and poor decision-making ability. One study shows that Adderall can cause significant cognitive damage when students without ADHD illegally use the substance to enhance their grades and school performance.

Summary And Interpretation Of Results

Earlier research has failed to distinguish whether stimulantsâ effects are small or whether they are nonexistent . The present findings supported generally small effects of amphetamine and methylphenidate on executive function and memory. Specifically, in a set of experiments limited to high-quality designs, we found significant enhancement of several cognitive abilities. We found a small but significant degree of enhancement of inhibitory control and short-term episodic memory. Effects on working memory were small and significant in one of our two analyses. Delayed episodic memory was unique in showing a medium-sized effect. However, both working memory and delayed episodic memory findings were qualified by possible publication bias.

Theoretically, the relatively more pronounced effects of delayed episodic memory, in comparison with short-term episodic memory, suggest that stimulants may be affecting most potently memory consolidation in comparison with encoding or retrieval. This conclusion is consistent with previous proposals but, again, qualified by the possibility of publication bias.

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Use And Abuse Of Stimulants

Therapeutically, stimulants are used and/or prescribed for a variety of reasons. They are used to increase or maintain alertness to boost endurance or productivity to counteract fatigue and lethargy throughout the day to counteract abnormal states that diminish alertness or consciousness to decrease appetite and promote weight loss and to enhance concentration . Many stimulants are also capable of improving mood and relieving anxiety, and are occasionally used to treat symptoms of depression.

The euphoria produced by some stimulants leads to their recreational use, so many stimulants are either illegal or very carefully controlled in the United States. Some may be legally available only by prescription. Addiction to some central-nervous-system stimulants can quickly lead to medical, psychiatric, and psychosocial deterioration. Drug tolerance, dependence, sensitization, and withdrawal can occur after repeated use. Over time, stimulants can disrupt the functioning of the brains dopamine system, dampening users ability to feel any pleasure at all.

How Do Stimulants Affect The Brain And Body


Stimulants excite the central nervous system, rapidly increasing the feel-good chemicals in the brain such as dopamine and disrupting normal communication between cells in the brain. As a result, the user may experience euphoria, along with a long list of adverse effects including:

  • Increased blood pressure

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Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention

The FDA offers these guidelines for safe prescription medication use:

  • Always follow the directions carefully.
  • Don’t raise or lower doses without talking with your doctor first.
  • Never stop taking a medication on your own.
  • Don’t crush or break pills, especially if theyâre time-released.
  • Make sure you know how a drug will affect your driving and other daily tasks.
  • Learn about what can happen if you take a medication with alcohol or other prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
  • Talk honestly with your doctor about any personal or family history of substance abuse.
  • Never allow other people to use your prescription medications, and don’t take theirs.

A Review Of Working Memory Training In The Management Of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

  • 1Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Physiology, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • 2Public Health Sector, General Directorate of Health Affairs in Najran, Ministry of Health, Najran, Saudi Arabia
  • 3Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders among children. Working memory deficits underlie many of the behavioural symptoms of ADHD. Alongside psychostimulant medications, strategies to improve working memory may play an important adjuvant role in the management of ADHD. In this study, we review the role of working memory deficits in ADHD, the evidence surrounding working memory training strategies in the management of the condition, and the factors affecting the success of these strategies in alleviating ADHD symptoms. More specifically, we review several non-pharmacological interventions that target working memory deficits in ADHD, with special emphasis on cognitive working memory training. We conclude that the development of evidence-based interventions such as computerised cognitive training could provide an alternative or adjunct to the use of psychostimulants, especially in cases where side effects are a major issue.

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