Stimulants main impact on a person’s body is the impairment of a user’s brain chemicals. Stimulant drugs will alter the chemical makeup of a user’s brain and cause them to feel happier, more alert and more confident.
How Stimulants Affect the Brain
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How Stimulants Affect a User’s Brain
Stimulant drugs impact a user’s brain in various ways and because of this a user will experience different side effects from the drug. When a stimulant drug enters a person’s body it flows through the bloodstream directly to their brain. As the drug flows through the brain it will begin to impair neurotransmitters; specifically the ones located in the reward system’s part of a person’s brain.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, all stimulants affect a person’s brain by increasing dopamine levels. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is associated with pleasure, attention, and movement. The euphoric effect of stimulants occurs from slow and steady increases of dopamine that is caused from the stimulant taken.
Due to the increase of dopamine a person on stimulants will feel more energized and alert, and this is why stimulant drugs are prescribed to people who suffer from narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). If a person abuses a stimulant drug they may feel happier, more sexual, more confident, and more productive. However, once the drug leaves a user’s body, their dopamine levels will be depleted resulting in them feeling fatigued and depressed.
The Dangers of Stimulants to a User’s Brain
Although stimulants will cause a person to have increased heart rates which can result in cardiac arrest or stroke, the main impact stimulants have on a person is the damage they can cause to their brain. Prolonged use of stimulants can cause permanent brain damage and every time a person abuses a stimulant drug, they are messing up the chemical makeup of their brain.
Since stimulants mainly impact the pleasure system in a person’s brain, if a person continues to take stimulants their brain will continue to have large increases in its dopamine levels and then large depletions of it. Over time, a person’s brain may no longer be able to create the natural amounts of dopamine needed if a person keeps on altering their dopamine levels from taking a stimulant drug. This can result in a person feeling depressed, having anxiety or having a hard time enjoying pleasurable activities again, even after they quit using the stimulant.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, prolonged use of stimulants, such as methamphetamine can cause a person to have insomnia, anxiety, confusion, violent behavior and mood swings. It can also cause a person to show signs of paranoia, delusions and visual and auditory hallucinations.
There are numerous impacts long-term stimulant abuse can have on a person’s brain being that every time a person uses the drug they are impairing their brain functioning. Every person’s effects may be different, but there are always effects that occur from long-term stimulant abuse.