Stimulant Addiction Treatment in New York

If you or someone you care about is battling stimulant drug addiction in New York, this guide can be your roadmap to seeking help and setting foot on the path of recovery.

We understand the complexities of stimulant use disorder and the devastating impact it has on both individuals and their families.

This article explores the reasons behind stimulant addiction and provides you with an overview of the best treatment options available in New York.


What Are Stimulants?

Stimulants are a broad category of drugs that increase the activity of the central nervous system. This diverse group includes substances with wide-ranging potencies and varying legal statuses. Types of stimulants include:

  • Mild Stimulants: These include relatively mild substances like caffeine and nicotine. (both are still known for their addictive potential)
  • Prescription Stimulants: These options are more potent and used to treat conditions like ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and narcolepsy (daytime sleepiness disorder). These include drugs like modafinil, Adderall, Ritalin, and some amphetamines, which are strictly controlled due to their higher potency and potential for misuse.
  • Illegal Stimulants: This category includes straight-up illegal hard drugs like crack cocaine, MDMA, and methamphetamine or crystal meth, which are among the most dangerous and addictive drugs with no approved medical uses by the FDA.

Why Stimulants Are So Addictive

While some stimulants may have medical purposes when taken according to prescription, they are also misused for their various effects on the brain and body, including:

  • Elevated energy levels and heart rate
  • Wakefulness and increased concentration
  • Suppressed appetite for weight loss
  • Euphoria and mood enhancement

The problem with misusing these drugs is that continuous use leads to tolerance, in which the regular dose of the drug becomes insufficient to cause its effect, so individuals end up increasing their dose continuously.

In the end, this causes severe substance abuse where the body starts craving the drug experiencing unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when its levels start to drop.

Is Stimulant Addiction Common in New York?

Stimulants are among the most addictive drugs in New York and are considered a public health crisis due to the number of overdose deaths per year.

In fact, a report by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene shows that stimulants (especially cocaine) are the second most common cause of overdose death in New York.

Stimulants also accounted for over 30% of all emergency admissions and drug-related hospitalizations in the state because of their life-threatening side effects, especially in the long run.

Besides its local danger, stimulant addiction is common all across the nation. According to the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 14.7 million people aged 12 or older had a stimulant use disorder across America.

What Causes Stimulant Addiction?

One of the main misconceptions about stimulant addiction is that it comes from a specific factor, as it’s usually a combination of personal circumstances and several psychological and social factors.

  • Genetics: Some individuals are naturally more likely to develop stimulant tolerance, even at smaller doses, which puts them at a higher risk of struggling with addiction.
  • Using Stimulants Outside Prescription: Ignoring the doctor’s recommendation whether it’s about the dose or duration of treatment with stimulants can massively increase the risk of becoming addicted to stimulants.
  • Early Use: Researchers found a strong correlation between using stimulants at a young age and being at a higher risk of substance use disorders and addiction.
  • Underlying Health Conditions: People with stimulant use disorders will often have co-occurring mental health conditions, such as anxiety, psychosis, and depression. When these conditions are left untreated, patients typically increase their substance use to cope with their condition, which complicates recovery.
  • Stressful Environments: Exposure to a stressful academic or professional environment can increase the likelihood of stimulant abuse, seeking its energy-boosting properties, which leads to a relatively quick addiction.
  • Having a History of Abuse or Neglect: Individuals with a history of abuse, trauma, or neglect face an increased risk of developing stimulant addiction

Signs and Symptoms of Stimulant Addiction

A person suffering from stimulant addiction may display a combination of behavioral and physical signs.

However, the effects of stimulants may vary from one person to another, depending on the severity of addiction and other factors. Here’s a quick look at the common symptoms and signs associated with stimulant addiction:

Behavioral Signs

  • Noticeable mood swings, irritability, anxiety, overexcitement, and aggression
  • Withdrawal from society and neglecting responsibilities
  • Engaging in risky activities
  • Lack of coherence and coordination due to lack of sleep
  • Financial problems
  • Lying about drug use
  • Fixating on finding methods to obtain more stimulants

Physical Symptoms

  • Muscle twitches and tremors from the nervous system stimulation
  • Increased blood pressure and heart and respiratory rate
  • Significant weight loss
  • Dilated pupils
  • Insomnia and sleep disturbance
  • Skin problems like acne and sores
  • Seizures (in severe cases)

How to Treat Stimulant Addiction

Leaving stimulant addiction untreated can lead to an overdose, which causes life-threatening conditions like heart attacks and strokes. Here are some of the common treatment methods used to treat this challenging condition:

Medical Detoxification

The first stage of any stimulant addiction treatment method is usually medical detoxification, simply known as “detox”. In this stage, the stimulant and its effects are completely eliminated from the body.

This stage is necessary for all forms of stimulant addiction, although it may vary depending on severity.

For instance, healthcare professionals will typically recommend inpatient treatment for patients with severe addiction to manage withdrawal symptoms and ensure the individual’s safety and comfort during this challenging phase.

On the other hand, if the addiction wasn’t too severe, patients might opt for intensive outpatient treatment where they continue to receive medical care and attend sessions but they continue to reside in their house.

Individual Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy is one of the most widely-established forms of treatment when it comes to substance use disorders, including stimulant addiction.

The most common form of behavioral therapy used to treat stimulant addiction is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

This one helps individuals overcome triggers and avoid relapses by developing new thinking patterns instead of the negative thought patterns that lead to abusing stimulants.

Besides CBT, there’s also Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), which teaches patients effective skills to regulate their emotions, such as coping with stress.

Group Therapy

The goal of group therapy is to provide a supportive and encouraging environment for individuals in recovery.

Group therapy can take various forms, such as family therapy, which works on family problems to resolve the issues that might have triggered addiction. Alternatively, group therapy includes peer-support sessions and meetings.

The purpose of these meetings is to connect people sharing similar experiences with stimulant addiction to learn from each other’s experiences and offer support in a safe community while raising a sense of belonging and community.

Complementary Treatments

The path towards recovery from stimulant addiction isn’t easy, so relying on main forms of treatment alone may not always be enough.

That’s why medical professionals might suggest additional forms of treatment to increase the chances of successful recovery.

Complementary treatments can take a variety of forms. For example, using certain medications to keep patients comfortable during the withdrawal phase is fairly common.

Additionally, focusing on the well-being of the person as a whole can also improve the chances of a long-term recovery, which can be achieved through meditation, physical exercise, acupuncture, yoga, etc.

The Importance of Seeking Professional Help While Treating Stimulant Addiction

Now that you know more about stimulant addiction treatment, here are some additional points to consider for a more effective treatment.

Managing Withdrawal Symptoms

The withdrawal symptoms associated with stimulant training can be severe.  That’s why seeking professional medical help and keeping these phases under medical supervision is critical for managing these symptoms and avoiding any life-threatening complications.

Customized Treatment Plan

Another reason why seeking a qualified professional’s help is necessary while treating stimulant addiction is getting a customized treatment plan.

As you can see, the causes, symptoms, and treatment of stimulant addiction can vary significantly from one person to another.

Seeking medical guidance includes creating a customized plan that suits every individual’s needs and requirements.

Relapse Prevention

Breaking free from stimulant addiction is a challenging journey with a high risk of relapse. This emphasizes the importance of patience and dedication to long-term treatment plans to achieve sustained recovery.

Proper Involvement of Family

Recovery from stimulant addiction is greatly influenced by the kind of environment patients surround themselves with and the level of support they get. In fact, feeling isolated is one of the main reasons people use drugs and relapse after recovery.

Having a supportive family and accepting community can provide empathy and understanding, to encourage patients to maintain their progress toward a full recovery.

Finding the Best Stimulant Addiction Treatment in New York

Stimulant addiction is quite challenging but its treatment is not impossible. All you need is patience, determination, and the right type of guidance to help you through your journey.

If you or a loved one are trying to find help with stimulant addiction treatment, consider contacting us right away.

Mid Hudson Addiction Recovery offers a variety of specialized addiction treatment programs and customized plans to help you enjoy a long-term recovery.