Meet the stimulants

In case you are wondering how do stimulants work?…Stimulants work by acting on the central nervous system (CNS) and increase user’s alertness and cognitive function. They make you feel more alert, focused, and raise your blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing. Stimulants can be prescription medications, including:

  • Adderall
  • Dexedrine
  • Ritalin
  • Concerta
  • Desoxyn
  • Ephedrine

Or stimulants can also include illicit substances such as:

  • cocaine
  • crack
  • crystal meth

Misusing stimulants, whether prescription medications or illicit drugs, can lead to addiction. Addiction is when you continue to seek out and take stimulants even though you know it is damaging you health and life, ruining your relationships, and causing you problems in school or at work.

Who uses stimulants?

In 2011, less than one in ten adolescents reported using Ritalin or Adderall nonmedically during the year prior to being surveyed. Among adolescents, the nonmedical use of stimulant drug is either due to recreational reasons, or they use them as ‘smart drugs’ to improve performance in school. The nonmedical use of prescription stimulants is more common among college students than high school students. Studies have found that 4.1% to 10.8% of college students reported using prescription stimulants nonmedically during the past year.

In 2012, there were an estimated 1.2 million nonmedical users (aged 12+) of prescription stimulants in the United States.

However, stimulant abuse and addiction is most common among adults aged 26 and older. In fact, about 63% of stimulant users are older than 26 years…which means they represent a significant part of the country’s workforce. But, how many are employed? Here is a breakdowns of statistics by employment status of stimulant users:

  • 38% are employed
  • 30% are only part-time employed
  • 15% are unemployed
  • 17% are out of the labor force

What about race? Here are data for non-medical use of prescription-type psychotherapeutics from 2013:

  • White 69.59 %
  • Black 8.97 %
  • Hispanic 16.71%
  • Asian 2.04 %

The face of stimulant addiction questions

You can contact your primary care physician or family doctor, a school counselor, your psychologist, or licensed psychiatrist for referral to adequate stimulant addiction treatment. OR Call our Helpline at 1-877-688-2356 to get free and confidential suggestions about rehab options.

If you have any additional questions, feel free to post them in the comments section at the bottom of the page. We try to answer all legitimate inquiries personally and promptly, or we will refer you to professionals who can help.

Reference Sources: Pharmacy: Nonmedical Use of Prescription Stimulants: What college administrators, parents, and students need to know
NIDA: Prescription Drug Abuse
NCBI: Prevalence of Illicit Use and Abuse of Prescription Stimulants, Alcohol, and Other Drugs Among College Students: Relationship with Age at Initiation of Prescription Stimulants

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from Addiction Blog