How Do Stimulants Affect The Brain?

Whether you think you might have a problem with stimulants of some kind or another, or you just want to know more about them in order to keep away from them in future, it’s useful to understand the kinds of effects that stimulants tend to have on the brain. 

The more you understand about this, the easier you will generally find it to avoid using such substances. Of course, if you are concerned you might be abusing stimulants or that you may have an addiction, you should seek help as soon as possible, and remember that recovery is always possible for you.

How Stimulants Work

You can think of stimulants as any substance that causes an uptick in your energy levels, though some are obviously more problematic than others. However, they all share something in common, which is the basic way in which they function. 

Essentially, all stimulants work by increasing dopamine levels in the brain, the neurotransmitter concerned with pleasure and attention. There is a slow and steady release of this dopamine when you take a stimulant, which causes the pleasurable effects and the feeling of wanting to do something with all that energy.

Through abusing such substances, however, someone might temporarily find that they feel happier, more sexual, more confident and more productive. However, like any abuse of substances, this is not the end of the story. Once the drug leaves the body, the dopamine levels will actually be more depleted than usual, resulting in exactly the opposite: sluggishness, low energy, lack of confidence, fatigue and depression.

How Do Stimulants Affect The Brain?

The Dangers Of Stimulants To The Brain

The brain is actually the main organ that will be affected by stimulants, although the heart generally gets a rough ride from these substances too. Through prolonged use, stimulants can cause brain damage that could be permanent, and every time someone uses a stimulant drug they are playing around with the chemical makeup of their brain.

One of the main effects that abusing stimulants has on the brain is due to the huge amount of dopamine these drugs release. If you continue to take a lot of stimulants, then the brain will continue to have these huge increases in dopamine levels. However, it also means that it will have larger and larger depletions of dopamine. 

Over time, the brain will struggle to create and maintain the normal amount of dopamine needed to function properly. That then means that you might be depressed, anxious, and struggle to enjoy the pleasure in normal daily activities.

Side Effects Of Prolonged Use

As you can see, it can be pretty devastating to the brain to use stimulants too much. And there are many side effects of prolonged use which you will want to be aware of too, and which you will hopefully want to avoid. 

If you use stimulants for too long, you will be much more likely to experience insomnia, anxiety, confusion, violent behavior and mood swings. You might be paranoid, delusional and suffer from hallucinations.

Recovery

As with any substance, however, it’s important to remember that recovery is always possible. Even though you may have caused lasting damage to the brain’s ability to handle dopamine, actually the elastic nature of the brain means that you are always able to improve things somewhat, so it is absolutely worth seeking to overcome your abuse of stimulants, or your addiction if you think you might be addicted.

To ensure the best chance of success in recovery, it’s wise to go for rehab. This is going to make it as likely as possible that you will overcome the addiction to these stimulant substances, and it is easily the best way to ensure that you are doing all you can to improve your chances of success.

Of course, you will want to make sure that you choose wisely when it comes to the rehab center, but the main thing is that you find one that seems appropriate for you and which has a strong track record of helping people with their drug problems.


Stimulants can be a huge problem for many people, causing a lot of issues with the brain which you would rather not have. If you think you might have a problem with stimulant abuse or addiction, and you want to get some help for it, get in touch with the Findlay Recovery Center today. We will be more than happy to offer our assistance in helping you overcome your addiction, and we look forward to hearing from you.

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