How Quickly Can a Tolerance to Stimulants Develop?

Stimulants, also known as uppers, are drugs that produce a temporary surge of energy and alertness. They can be helpful in treating certain medical conditions. However, they can also result in a range of undesirable side effects, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Breathing hard
  • Elevated heart rate
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Unfortunately, a tolerance to stimulants develops rapidly, and this can spiral quickly into addiction. Learn more about the historical use of stimulants, what issues they’re used to treat, and what the quick tolerance development can lead to.

Using Stimulants as Medical Treatment

Cocaine and amphetamines are considered stimulants, but you may not know that other prescriptions or over-the-counter drugs fall under this category as well. Some examples include:

  • Methylphenidate
  • Dexmethylphenidate
  • Dextroamphetamine
  • Mixed amphetamine salts
  • Dextromethamphetamine
  • Lisdexamfetamine
  • Modafinil
  • Ephedrine
  • Phenylpropanolamine (PPA)
  • Propylhexedrine
  • Pseudoephedrine

Many of these medications have been used to treat illnesses and diseases over the years, and some are still in use today. Asthma and other respiratory illnesses, ADD, neurological disorders, congestion and more have been treated through use of these medications.

However, doctors have stopped relying on many of these medications in recent years. There’s been concern about side effects, including an increased risk of stroke in women who used PPA. However, the biggest worry was the speed at which patients developed a tolerance to these drugs.

Stimulants Tolerance Develops Rapidly

While stimulants can be safe if you use a controlled amount at regulated intervals, it’s easy to start taking them frequently. When you crave the release or the high you get from this substance, you will begin to take it more frequently.

The more frequently you take stimulants, the greater your tolerance will become. Soon, you’ll need to take double the amount you started with in order to achieve the same end result. This puts you on risk for a serious addiction. It varies from person to person, depending on how much stimulant you take. Experts say a tolerance can build up in a matter of months, or even weeks, in a small number of cases.

Signs of Stimulant Addiction

No one sets out to become addicted to stimulants. It could be you simply wanted relief from whatever medical symptom was bothering you, but you quickly realized you were craving the drug even when you weren’t experiencing symptoms that would call for treatment.

Here are some things you should be on the lookout for, which might indicate you or a loved one has become addicted to stimulants after building up your tolerance to the drugs:

  • You experience withdrawal when you give up the drug for a short period of time.
  • You feel moody, restless and anxious.
  • You become irrational or delusional.
  • You develop paranoia.

Are You Addicted to Stimulants?

If you or a loved one have become tolerant to stimulants and think you may need help, contact 12 Keys Rehab today to discuss our drug addiction recovery programs.

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The Addiction Blog