Stimulants are a type of drug that speed up the processes of the brain and body. Different stimulants have different levels of legality. However, all stimulants can be addictive and may be harmful if misused. Stimulants are commonly prescribed by medical professionals to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy, and other conditions.

Villa Oasis San Diego understands how dangerous stimulant drugs can be, especially for individuals with mental health disorders. We provide addition treatment at our luxury rehab center in San Diego, and even provide a dual diagnosis treatment program for those who have overlapping addiction and mental health issues.

Curly haired woman wearing a white shirt and jeans sits on a white couch resting her arm on her raised knee during a stimulant treatment 1-on-1 therapy session, looking anxiously to the distance

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    What are stimulants?

    While many people think of stimulants as primarily “study drugs” used for ADHD and other conditions, the category is broad. Stimulants include common, legal drugs like caffeine and nicotine, over-the-counter drugs like amphetamines, and illegal drugs such as cocaine and meth.

    Certain stimulants, when used correctly, can be safe and may be vital in treating specific conditions. However, even these stimulants can be dangerous, as prescribed stimulants can be easily misused.

    Effects of stimulants

    Stimulants are complex drugs. As such, effects may differ depending on a wide variety of factors, including the size of the dosage and the duration of stimulant use.

    Short-term/low-dosage effects

    One of the primary effects of stimulants is euphoria, a short rush of positive emotions. In addition, when taken in smaller quantities or over a shorter period, stimulants can cause the following physical symptoms:
    • Feeling of mental clarity
    • Increased confidence
    • Increased energy levels
    • Increased heart rate
    • Increased blood pressure
    • Increased wakefulness
    • Lowered appetite

    Long-term/high-dosage effects

    In addition to the short-term effects of stimulants, long-term usage of these drugs may lead to additional symptoms. These effects may also occur as a result of high dosage or misuse. Long-term or high-dosage effects may include:
    • Dizziness
    • Headache
    • Restlessness
    • Vomiting
    • Chest pain
    • Excessive sweating
    • Paranoia
    • Hallucinations
    • Psychosis
    High dosages of stimulants can have many symptoms, including symptoms beyond those listed here. Individuals experiencing negative symptoms as a result of stimulants should seek medical care as soon as possible.
    Man suffering from stimulant addiction sitting on the floor looking anxious with his head leaning on a woman sitting on a white couch behind him, holding his head in comfort

    Stimulant addiction

    Like all drugs, stimulants can be addictive, even with brief usage or less severe forms. After all, most people know at least one person with caffeine dependency. The same can be true for all stimulants, and when a person becomes addicted to a stimulant, it can be very troublesome and dangerous.

    Stimulant addiction is a type of substance use disorder (SUD) known as stimulant use disorder. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), five million people in the U.S. used cocaine in 2020, two million used methamphetamines, and five million misused prescription stimulants.

    Signs and symptoms of addiction

    Stimulant use disorder is defined by an individual’s use of stimulants despite negative side effects. The disorder may be recognized by the following signs and symptoms:
    • Repeatedly visiting doctors for renewed prescriptions
    • Taking more stimulants than prescribed to you or more often than prescribed
    • Cravings for stimulants


    Symptoms of withdrawal may vary depending on the stimulant taken. However, some common symptoms of withdrawal may include the following:
    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Irritability
    • Paranoia
    • Increased appetite
    • Insomnia
    • Body aches and fatigue

    Treating stimulant addiction

    Stimulants are broadly treated through behavioral-based approaches, as no medication-assisted treatment (MAT) currently exists for stimulant use disorder. SAMHSA has outlined four primary, effective treatment types. These include the following:

    • Motivational interviewing (MI): A type of behavioral treatment, MI involves an individual and a clinician working together. During motivational interviews, the individual works with the clinician to discover what they want and how they can achieve it.
    • Contingency management: Contingency management is a behavioral treatment that utilizes operant conditioning. In contingency management, individuals are rewarded for desired behavior.
    • Community reinforcement approach (CRA): Like contingency management, CRA uses operant conditioning to help individuals recover from addiction. Instead of using objects as rewards, CRA understands family, friends, and community activities as rewards and reinforcers.
    • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT is a type of talk therapy. While in CBT, an individual works with a clinician to understand their negative thought patterns and reshape their mental strategies to more healthy ones.

    Get treatment at Villa Oasis

    Stimulant addiction isn’t easy, especially not with withdrawal and stigma, and incomplete support. Why are so many of those with stimulant use disorder expected to overcome it on their own, then? At Villa Oasis San Diego, we know that overcoming addiction is challenging and we know that no one overcomes it alone.
    Located in San Diego, California, we offer a beautiful, safe, and high-end rehab center for those with stimulant use disorder or other SUDs. To ensure our residents can get the care they need, we offer a maximum of six beds. Our center also offers a two-to-one resident-to-staff ratio, which allows us to prioritize each resident’s process and journey.

    Our therapies

    The best care uplifts each person as a whole individual. After all, how does treatment work if it ignores the complex reality of what’s going on in an individual’s life? At Villa Oasis, we provide complete care. That includes a wide range of therapies and treatment modalities, including the following:

    • Adventure therapy
    • Anger management
    • Behavior modification
    • CBT
    • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
    • Equine therapy
    • Exposure and response prevention
    • Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)
    • Motivational interviewing
    • Relapse prevention
    Remember that stimulants are best treated with behavioral techniques — techniques we offer. At Villa Oasis, anyone can recover.

    Recovering in comfort

    Villa Oasis knows that rehab shouldn’t be uncomfortable. Our rehab center offers the same comfort and luxury that our residents expect at home, plus some. At their most vulnerable, people need to have high-quality care.
    We’re proud to offer high-end meals cooked daily by our on-site personal chef, chosen to promote health and happiness. In addition, residents can watch movies in our theater or swim in our pool. Finally, all residents have access to our holistic treatment modalities, which include yoga, breathwork, meditation, acupuncture, massage therapy, mindfulness, and more.
    Villa Oasis backyard with pool and couch sitting area and lots of greenery

    Your rise begins.