Many of us need (or at least believe that we need) a good strong cup of coffee in the morning to get us going. We rely on the caffeine in our coffee to help us shake off the grogginess we feel when we first wake up. And most of us don’t stop at a single cup of coffee—or if we do, we simply switch to another beverage with caffeine in it, like tea or soda or energy drinks. Caffeine, generally speaking, is pretty safe to consume (though it can disrupt your sleep, which is something to keep an eye on). But there are plenty of stimulants in the world that can cause all sorts of problems. Let’s take a look at two of them—one legal (Adderall), one illegal (Meth), and both potentially dangerous.
Adderall Should Not Be Used as a Performance-Enhancing Drug
Adderall is a prescription medication that can provide significant benefits for people who have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Used as prescribed, it is safe and effective.
But because the drug tends to help individuals focus and maintain alertness, it is sometimes used as a kind of performance-enhancing drug—in the same way an athlete might use steroids to improve their performance—by those who want to study or work longer hours without losing their mental edge.
However, misuse of Adderall can lead to a host of symptoms including:
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or constipation
- Significant weight loss
- Headaches and/or uncontrollable shaking in part of the body
- Difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep
It perhaps goes without saying that none of those things boost your ability to succeed at work or school. In fact, misuse of Adderall will eventually make it impossible to succeed at much of anything.
There Is No Method to the Madness of Meth
While Adderall is legal and beneficial when used correctly, methamphetamines are illegal and offer no benefits at all.
Now, a person who is using meth might tell you otherwise. They might suggest that the combination of a long-lasting boost of energy and a feeling of euphoria are absolutely benefits of using meth. Unfortunately, however, those so-called benefits are short-lived and quickly replaced by serious symptoms.
For example, all too quickly, a meth user finds that they have to keep using the drug to avoid what are known as “comedowns.” These comedowns are characterized by muscle pain, fatigue and lethargy, headaches, and feelings of depression or hopelessness. In order to fend the comedowns off, a meth user just keeps using—and then may find themselves “tweaking.”
Symptoms of tweaking can include a constant state of wakefulness lasting up to 15 days (imagine being awake for more than two weeks straight!) and an irrepressible sense that insects are crawling on or under your skin. That second symptom can lead to intense scratching, which can cause serious infections.
None of that sounds anything like euphoria, right? In fact, those symptoms—especially the ongoing wakefulness and the feeling that you are covered in bugs—are pretty much the exact opposite of euphoria.
Withdrawal Can Trap You Between the Proverbial Rock and Hard Place
After reading our warnings about Adderall and meth, you might be thinking something along the lines of, “Well, if I were using drugs and had symptoms like those, I’d just stop using the drugs.”
That makes perfect sense. Unfortunately, it is seldom anywhere near that easy.
Continued use of drugs causes your body to become accustomed to having the substances in your system. When you stop taking those drugs, your body reacts—often in deeply unpleasant or even life-threatening ways. Often the cravings that come with withdrawal are all but impossible to resist, and so a person returns to drug use to find relief.
And then the cycle starts over again: You try to stop taking drugs because they are destroying your health (and likely much more). The withdrawal symptoms are too much to bear so you start using again. You try to stop taking drugs…
It might seem like there is no way out of this terrible situation. Fortunately, however, there is.
Break Out of the Cycle by Seeking Treatment
The best way to regain your sobriety is to get treatment at a recovery facility like Farley Center. Stepping away from your day-to-day life and entering a drug-free environment where you will not only receive personalized treatment grounded in evidence and experience, but also be respected and supported, can allow you to make difficult but necessary changes to your life.
We Make it Our Mission to Help You
At Farley Center in Williamsburg, VA, our mission is simple: to improve the lives we touch. If you are struggling with drugs or alcohol, we can help you regain and maintain your sobriety. We provide medically supervised detoxification, a rehabilitation program that provides resources, strategies, and support for your recovery journey, and a continuum of care that will help you start that recovery journey with confidence. If you are ready to get sober, we are ready to help.