Stimulant addiction is much more common than people assume. These drugs are readily available and relatively cheap, and their affordability and ease of access mean that addiction rates are high.
According to SAMHSA, stimulants act on the brain by encouraging the production of excess dopamine – a chemical in the brain responsible for motivation and reward. Dopamine is one of the primary brain chemicals released when we engage in biologically rewarding or pleasurable activities, like eating, running, or sex.
When we use stimulants, more dopamine is produced in the brain than there would usually be without drugs. Over time, the brain becomes accustomed to this increased level of dopamine. As a result, dopamine release without the use of stimulants can be underwhelming. The user is then driven to seek out more of the drug to feel normal, and this dependence can soon lead to addiction.
Because of stimulant dependence and addiction, users are subject to a diminished quality of life.
Addiction impacts all areas of life, and those suffering from addiction are likely to face issues regarding: