Central Nervous System Stimulants Speed the Body Up

Central nervous system (CNS) stimulants speed up mental and physical processes in the body. This can be useful in the treatment of certain medical conditions. The properties of this type of drug also make it attractive to recreational drug users. These medications have many unpleasant side effects and there is a high potential for addiction. If people abuse CNS stimulants they run the risk of destroying their mental and physical health.

Central Nervous System Explained

The CNS is made up of the brain and the spinal cord. It performs vital functions in the body including:

* Analyzing and storing information
* Directing the body when an action needs to be performed
* Taking charge of reflexes
* Interpreting signals from the peripheral nervous system

How Central Nervous System Stimulants Work

The exact way that a CNS stimulant works will depend on the type of drug. Amphetamine, cocaine, and methamphetamine all work by increasing the levels of a neurotransmitter known as dopamine. This chemical is able to stimulate the brain. Some of the other CNS stimulants also increase the levels of other chemicals such as serotonin, and norepinephrine. These are sometimes referred to as feel-good chemicals because they can produce a feeling of euphoria.

CNS stimulants can produce a number of effects on the body such as:

* Increased alertness
* Increased energy levels
* Less need for sleep
* Improved attention
* Increased heart rate
* Elevated mood and euphoria
* Increased confidence
* Improved concentration
* Loss of inhibitions
* Increased respiratory rate
* Decreased drowsiness and fatigue
* Vasoconstriction

Medial Uses for CNS Stimulants

Central nervous system stimulants can be used for:

* Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
* Narcolepsy
* Neonatal apnea
* Chronic lethargy
* Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome
* Prolonged depression that is not responding to antidepressants
* Morbid obesity (it is not recommended that people use CNS stimulants for normal weight loss due to unwanted side effects)

Recreational Use of CNS Stimulants

This type of drug is commonly used for recreational purposes. People are attracted to the ability of CNS stimulants to increase energy levels. Some of these substances will also create feelings of euphoria and give the user high levels of self-confidence and feelings of being in control. These effects of the drug are so enticing that people can quickly become addicted to them. The comedown from these stimulants tends to be so harsh that the substance abuser may feel the need to keep on taking more so as to reclaim the good feelings. Crack cocaine is a particularly addictive CNS stimulant because the high only lasts a few minutes. Users will keep taking the drug throughout the day.

Types of Central Nervous System Stimulants
There are a number of different types of CNS stimulant including:

* Amphetamine (speed)
* Ephedrin
* Methylphenidate (Ritalin)
* Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine)
* Methamphetamine (Desoxyn – crystal meth or ice)
* Yaba
* Pemoline (Cylert)
* Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (Ecstasy or MDMA)
* Benzoylmethylecgonine (cocaine)
* Caffeine

Side Effects of CNS Stimulants

There are a number of undesirable side effects associated with this medication including:

* Loss of appetite
* Increased levels of anxiety
* Episodes of crying for no real reason
* Depersonalization
* Weight loss
* Dizziness
* Headaches
* Irritability
* Facial tics
* Feelings of restlessness
* Body shakes or trembling
* Increased respiratory rate
* Panic attacks
* Mood swings
* Manic behavior
* Feelings of depression
* Inability to sleep
* Paranoia
* Tachycardia (rapid heart rate)

The Dangers of CNS Stimulant Addiction

Addiction to this type of drug can have a devastating impact on the physical and mental well-being of the individual. It can drive people to insanity and drastically decrease their quality of life. Unlike some other addictive substances it is not necessary for the individual to take CNS stimulants for long before they are addicted. There are several dangers of this type of addiction:

* Increased tolerance , such that the individual will need to take more of the drug in order to experience the same effect
* Withdrawal symptoms for those who stop taking the substance
* Severe paranoia and psychosis leading to a loss of touch with reality
* Severe depression and suicidal thoughts
* Damage to body organs including the heart and respiratory system
* Illness due to poor nutrition
* Work and family problems
* Impotence

Treatment for CNS Stimulant Addiction

If the individual has the willingness to escape their addiction then there is no reason why they will not be able to build a good life in recovery. The withdrawal symptoms from this type of drug may be unpleasant, but they will usually pass after a short period of time. The real problem for people in early recovery is that they may miss the highs of their addiction. Life can initially feel flat without these substances. It takes a bit of time before people are able to build a good life away from addiction, but things do get better. Some people will give up stimulants without help, but many find that it is beneficial to attend rehab. That way they will pick up coping strategies that will be of great value in early recovery.