Psychostimulants include amphetamines and similar medicines, and methylxanthines. Amphetamines are stimulants that primarily affect the central nervous system. Synthetic amphetamines are called methamphetamines. These are synthetic brain stimulants that cause changes in mental and motor functions.
Methylphenidate is in use today. An interesting fact is that amphetamines are introduced into medical use as medicines against colds, elevated temperature, and also as weight loss medication. Today they are used in the treatment of narcolepsy and hyperkinetic syndrome in children. If abused, they stimulate the body activity to the extremes of endurance, completely neutralizing the sense of hunger and fatigue
The effects of psychostimulants abuse
The main effects of psychostimulants abuse are excitement, euphoria, anorexia… In addition, they have a peripheral sympathomimetic effect causing an increase in blood pressure and inhibition of gastrointestinal motility.
They are characterized by rapid absorption from the gastrointestinal tract, so they pass freely through the blood-brain barrier. In cases of abuse, a person under the influence of amphetamine feels restless, upset, and weird, sometimes ill-tempered. Higher doses amplify the effects, and the person becomes more excited, talkative and experiences a false sense of self-confidence or supremacy; he or she can also behave bizarrely; some even become aggressive and hostile.
Psychostimulants act on the psyche in the following manner: increased vigor leads to positive mood changes, feelings of comfort, talkativeness, increased aggression, feeling of stamina and strength, lack of interest in friends and sex, poor appetite and even paranoia.
In addition to acting on the psyche, psychostimulants strongly affect the body by causing physical symptoms: dry mouth, headache, rapid heart rate, rapid breathing, increased blood pressure, fever, and dilated pupils. Accompanying effects: sweating and elevated temperature, redness caused by high temperature, diarrhea or constipation, blurred vision, convulsion, tingling, restlessness, dizziness, loss of orientation, uncontrolled movements (cramps, trembling), insomnia, wounds on the body, stiffness, ineptness.
Amphetamines are easily detectable in standard drug tests. They stay in urine for 24-72 hours after consumption.
Methamphetamines stay in the body for a little longer, 24 to 96 hours. Prolonged taking of amphetamines can lead to malnutrition and lack of vitamins, skin disorders, ulcers, insomnia, weight loss, depression.
Amphetamines cause mental and physical addiction. With long-term consumption, the body develops a certain tolerance, so the person increases the dose, leading to metamfetamine becoming the substance in the body necessary for normal functioning. This is the biggest problem in quitting and therefore, increased amounts of medicines are needed to achieve the desired results. Users of large amounts of amphetamine can develop amphetamine psychosis.
Amphetamine psychosis is a mental disorder similar to paranoid schizophrenia. Psychosis manifests itself through delusions, illusions, and paranoia. Sometimes such people exhibit strange, violent behavior.
Phases of treatment of psychostimulant addiction
- The treatment begins with diagnostics (blood analysis, psychological tests to determine the level of desire for drugs, depression, nervousness).
- The main part of our treatment at Dr. Vorobjev clinic is procedures that eliminate psychological addiction.
At this stage, methods of pharmacological correction, information therapy, and devices for physiotherapy (audio-visual stimulation, NET therapy, laser) are used. Measures are taken to improve the immunity and regenerate cells in the body. Usually, during the inpatient treatment, the patient’s psychological state stabilizes (the desire for drugs, nervousness, depression are eliminated, sleep and appetite improve).
Additional procedures are planned, which can include: group psychotherapy, meditation, education, yoga, walks, exercises, table tennis …
Discharge is followed by the outpatient treatment phase that lasts for a year. The patient takes the medications prescribed in the discharge summary and observes all the rules of outpatient treatment. It is desirable that the patient comes to regular follow-ups every month.
In the event of a change in the condition, depression, or the emergence of a desire for taking drugs, the patient immediately notifies the hospital to get additional recommendations.
This kind of treatment is carried out at our clinic for a long time, and in case of good cooperation with the patient and his family, leads to excellent results.
Phases passed through during the treatment of psychostimulant addiction
- Diagnostics – the first and significant phase of treatment during which the physical and psychological state of the patient is assessed. The standard diagnostic examination for physical condition assessment includes:
- urine test,
- tests for hepatitis B and C, HIV infection,
- general blood analysis,
- blood biochemical testing,
- an internist examination.
The standard diagnostic examination for assessing the psychological condition involves psychodiagnostics (psychological tests are used to determine the level of addiction, the consequences of the use of substances on mental health, to detect the signs of psychological disorders, the presence of depression, the degree of motivation for healing, self-criticality, preservation of voluntary mechanisms).
Having made the diagnosis, the team of doctors examines the findings and develops treatment strategy and plan.
If deviations are found in the results, additional tests are carried out to determine the root cause of the problems.
Depending on the problem, it is possible to do MRT, EEG, ultrasound, X-ray, endoscopy, medicine, and drug concentration analysis, cardiac examination, neurological examination, endocrinological examination … These are all additional tests that are not included in the package price.
- The next step is the beginning of the treatment itself, which involves infusion and Neuro-Jet device treatment. Infusions include multivitamins, minerals, and the complex of amino acids, and in such a combination they improve metabolism, appetite, and return the patient strengths he needs to continue treatment, as therapies at our clinic are intense and strong, and therefore effective. The Neuro-Jet device releases mildly vibrating electrical waves through the joints located on the neck of the patient, and the therapy is completely painless and helps regulate endorphin and dopamine levels in the body, as well as overcoming the first stages of the crisis when the patient withdraws from the substance.
- This is followed by the elimination of the desire for psychostimulants at the subconscious level by information therapy. The patient in the state of medical sleep spends for a couple of hours during which he is exposed to audio-visual stimulation using a computer and special headphones and glasses through which high-frequency signals are transmitted. In the consciousness, we encounter a mental blockade in the form of thoughts “I am not an addict; I neither need this nor does this help me” etc.
- Hypnotherapy. It serves to get to the root of the addiction problem, as during this state, the patient’s subconscious itself gives guidance with the help of a psychologist to solve the problem. It is also used in patients who lose their motivation and desire to continue in the middle of their treatment and want to return to old habits; then the psychologist tries to restore the patient’s power to control his own desire for substance and strengthens his psyche.
- Psychotherapy, education, and yoga. This is a part of the treatment that leads to recovery at the psychological level. With the help of our psychiatrists and psychologists, patients build a defense mechanism against the substance and desire for it. Individual approach to the patient and daily work with him, as well as group therapy, lead to this them understanding the harm that psychostimulants have left on their body. Within the treatment program, education is also provided on the given substances as well as on the consequences of long-term use of them, when aversion is developed in the patient subconsciously.
- Throughout the treatment, patients have the support of our team of physiotherapists, as in combination with our therapies, physiotherapy gives excellent results. The body needs recovery and support to make the treatment process as painless as possible. Physiotherapy helps relieve stress, accelerates blood flow and makes the treatment process faster and more effective.
- The last therapy in the series is aversive therapy, which, due to pharmacological substances, creates a physical aversion towards the drug in the patient.
- After all the treatments, the patient’s condition and progress in recovery are assessed, and the condition before and after treatment in our clinic is analyzed.
- The treatment program includes monthly follow-ups for one year when the condition is re-analyzed by our professional doctors, and therapy is adjusted if necessary.
If patients have any problems and any doubts, we are here to help them. For those who live abroad, there is a possibility of communication by e-mail or by phone.
Phases of treatment of psychostimulant addiction at Dr Vorobjev Clinic
Our program includes transport of the patient from the airport or station to our clinic and back. At our clinic, doctors and nurses are available for patients 24 hours a day and seven days a week. All doctors are certified anesthesiologists, psychiatrists, and psychologists with 10-25 years of experience. The clinic employs more than 60 people. Security of patients and staff is taken care of by the hired security guard. The facility is also under video surveillance.
The extended psychostimulant addiction treatment program includes:
Laboratory diagnostics and exploratory-psychological testing.
Detoxification – procedures for reducing psychological addiction to drugs.
Information therapy – therapy that uses audio-visual stimulation device.
Exercises with a special counselor, education, planning of activities, development of a protective mechanism against relapse.
Psychotherapy (individual, group, family). 12 months of outpatient follow-up – It lasts for 14 days at the clinic.