Stimulant Addiction Treatment in Maryland

Stimulants are substances that speed up the central nervous system. Because of their effects, stimulants can be very addictive and cause harm mental, emotional, and physical harm. An individual who has a stimulant addiction will experience harsh withdrawal symptoms if they quit using or limit their intake of the stimulant.

If you or a loved one struggles with stimulant addiction, help is available through our detox program and other types of stimulant addiction treatment in Gaithersburg, Maryland. 

What Are Stimulants?

Stimulants are a class of drug that enhances brain activity. By increasing levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, stimulants increase the activity of the central nervous system. The central nervous system includes the spinal cord and the brain which controls the function of other systems in the body. Stimulants make your heart beat fast, increasing your blood pressure and breathing. Some stimulants suppress your appetite too. Because they enhance brain activity and increase levels of certain chemicals, stimulants can increase energy, alertness, and attention. These effects can be overstimulating and result in anxiety, nausea, tremors, and even death. Some stimulants are legal like caffeine and prescription drugs, but there are also illegal stimulants.

Types of Stimulant Drugs

Here are common stimulants:
  • Nicotine
  • Caffeine
  • Amphetamines
  • Methamphetamine
  • Cocaine
  • Methylphenidate
  • Modafinil
  • Ephedrine
  • Ecstasy
  • Diet pills
  • Synthetic cathinone

Signs of a Stimulant Addiction

Stimulant addiction can reveal itself through behavioral, physical, and cognitive symptoms. Stimulants are commonly used to enhance performance or treat disorders such as ADHD and narcolepsy, but these drugs are habit-forming and can be very addictive. So it’s important to monitor the prescription use of stimulants such as amphetamines. People often hide the use of illegal stimulants, but you can look for signs to determine if you or a loved one have a substance abuse problem. Here are some signs of stimulant addiction:

Behavioral Signs

Different stimulants may have specific effects but all stimulants can cause changes in behavior. Some signs you may notice include impulsivity or risky behavior. People using stimulants may also have excessive energy, causing them to sleep less, be more productive, or physically move a lot. Stimulants can also cause more negative behavior such as lying. A very noticeable sign is going to different doctors to get prescriptions for stimulants. If someone you know takes these actions you may want to intervene and talk to them about substance use.

Physical Signs

Stimulants have several physical effects that you may notice if you or someone you know is abusing stimulants. There are subtle signs such as dilated pupils, rapid heartbeat, and high blood pressure. Stimulants may suppress your appetite leading to rapid weight loss. Some stimulants, especially methamphetamine, cause dental problems, so you may notice tooth decay, tooth loss, or gum issues. Speeding up the central nervous system can cause anxiety. This may manifest physically as tremors and involuntary shaking of hands, arms, or legs.

Cognitive Signs

Stimulants are used to medically treat attention deficit disorders (ADHD) and narcolepsy which are spontaneous and uncontrollable episodes of sleep. They’re meant to have cognitive effects to improve performance but using stimulants irresponsibly can have negative effects. People who are addicted to stimulants may show signs of hyperfocus, paranoia, mood swings, and increased confidence. Heightened sensory awareness can occur and an individual may become easily overwhelmed by smells, sounds, or textures. A more extreme sign of stimulant abuse is hallucinations. If you struggle with any of these symptoms or notice signs of stimulant addiction in another you should seek professional help.

Identifying Stimulant Abuse

The signs of stimulant addiction are sometimes subtle so you may identify stimulant abuse by general behaviors or physical signs. For example, individuals who are frequently using stimulant drugs may exhibit sudden changes in their mood or behavior. They may be very irritable or excitable. Other common ways to identify stimulant abuse include:
  • Increased energy
  • Neglecting responsibility
  • Social isolation
  • Financial problems
  • Risk-taking behavior
  • Changes in appearance
  • Legal problems

How Do Stimulants Affect the Brain and Body?


The psychological effects that stimulants have are on your mood and attention capabilities. They increase your focus and may help concentrate on tasks and give them your full attention. This is why people need their coffee in the morning. Stimulants also can increase dopamine levels and produce a sense of euphoria. Often people feel more confident and energetic after taking a stimulant. However, prolonged use of a stimulant can create a chemical imbalance in the brain. Stimulants cause the production of too much dopamine and norepinephrine which has adverse effects on your mood and energy. Overactivated norepinephrine can lead to anxiety which can escalate to become an anxiety disorder. A chemical imbalance in your brain can reduce grey matter in the prefrontal cortex which is responsible for decision-making. Damaging this cortex inhibits high-level cognitive functioning and can lead to poor decision-making and memory problems. When you have a stimulant addiction you’re more likely to be impulsive as well because of these effects on the brain.


Addiction to stimulants can also adversely affect your body by increasing your heart rate and blood pressure, disrupting sleep patterns, and reducing your appetite. A rapid heart rate can prematurely age your heart. People who use stimulants such as amphetamines may find that their entire cardiovascular system shows signs of aging. For example, arteries, which carry blood and oxygen through the body, become stiff. This may cause more serious health problems such as an aneurysm or stroke. Stimulants affect other organs such as your kidneys, which process anything you put into your body and filters out any toxin. Some stimulants cause your body to retain urine which is one way that kidneys can rid the body of toxins. This floods your kidneys with toxins and may cause them to shut down leading to kidney failure.


The primary social effect stimulants may have is straining close relationships. Because of the way stimulants affect your mood, friends, and family may find it difficult to be around you. Some become irritable and aggressive which can also cause relationship problems. As with any addiction, an individual may isolate themselves and become preoccupied with the drug, neglecting relationships and responsibilities. People may be attracted to stimulants because they can enhance your sociability and make you feel more confident. This may facilitate relationships and help connect with others but it can also lead to impulsivity. In social situations, this behavior can be dangerous for yourself and others.

Stimulant Addiction Treatment

Each person suffering from an addiction will receive treatment tailored to their specific needs and circumstance. Stimulant addiction treatment is no different. If you have an addiction to stimulant drugs there are options available for treatment. This allows you to choose the best course of action for you or your loved one.

Medical Detox: Medical detox provides a safe way for people to quit abusing drugs and alcohol. Medically-assisted detox from stimulants usually includes medications to help treat symptoms of withdrawal that occur when you stop or limit your usage of a stimulant.

Inpatient/Residential: This treatment requires you to stay in a facility and offers full medical supervision. Inpatient treatment usually begins with detox to assist with withdrawal symptoms and then focuses on giving you the tools to live a sober life. This includes therapy, both individually and with groups, classes, and other recovery activities.

Outpatient Treatment: Outpatient treatment works for people with addiction or mental health disorders and involves routine visits to a facility, clinic, or hospital. In outpatient programs, you receive the help you need whether it’s medical, therapeutic, or experiential. Many choose outpatient treatment for less severe cases of addiction or continuing treatment after residential treatment.

Intensive Outpatient Program: An IOP requires a bit more time than regular outpatient treatment; usually 15-20 hours. Patients live in their homes but have access to addiction professionals and receive therapy. This treatment focuses on developing positive thought patterns and teaches healthy coping techniques.

Partial Hospitalization Program: A Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) is designed for people who need a higher level of care but don’t require a full inpatient program. This treatment offers medical and psychological care but with less intensity. At The Freedom Center, our PHP program is five to six days a week, lasting six hours a day.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: CBT is a common therapy for addiction treatment because it helps understand and manage your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This type of psychotherapy helps recognize triggers and how to cope with or avoid them. CBT helps develop positive thought and behavior patterns that reduce the risk of relapse.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy: This is a type of CBT that focuses on the psychosocial aspect of treating a condition. DBT uses mindfulness strategies such as meditation to help change negative behaviors that contribute to an addiction problem.

Family Therapy: Family therapy is an important part of stimulant addiction treatment that involves parents, siblings, and children in your therapy session. Family therapy provides education on addiction and teaches coping techniques to everyone. This is a valuable tool in rebuilding relationships that may deteriorate due to addiction.

Overcome Stimulant Addiction at The Freedom Center

Here at The Freedom Center, we’ve helped many who struggle with substance abuse overcome their addictions and begin the journey to recovery. We provide detox and rehabilitation treatment for a variety of substances and disorders.

If you’re looking for help for yourself or a loved one, we have the tools to get you started and make a full recovery. Our medical team will assess you and design a personalized treatment plan to set you up for success.

We offer psychiatric help, group activities, and holistic treatment so that you will have options on how to best treat your condition. Overcoming your addiction and returning to sobriety will improve your life in many ways and you’ll start to see positive change after coming to us for treatment.

Contact us today to learn more about how our stimulant addiction treatment program can help you recover. We can discuss all your questions and concerns about stimulant addiction and recovery, giving you the confidence that this is your best option for treatment.

Break Free From Addiction

At our substance abuse treatment center in Maryland, we do our best to meet each individual where they’re at. Each person comes with a different mold - a different struggle. The best way we can help them is to offer them care that is unique to their own situation; there is no one-size-fits-all method to substance abuse treatment. This is why individualized care is so important to us. If you or a loved one are interested in finding out more, you can contact us here. 

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