Dextrostat is a brand name for a tablet form of dextroamphetamine, a stimulant drug that works by changing the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain responsible for stimulation and enhancing their effects. It is prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.
As Dextrostat will keep you awake, suppress your appetite, and make you more focused and alert, the medication is often abused for weight loss and performance enhancement. When the pills are crushed and snorted, or mixed with water and injected, Dextrostat may also cause euphoria.
Understanding Dextrostat Abuse
Dextrostat (dextroamphetamine) is a prescription stimulant that comes in a tablet to be taken by mouth. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “For those who take [stimulant drugs] to improve properly diagnosed conditions, they can be transforming, greatly enhancing a person’s quality of life. However, because they are perceived by many to be generally safe and effective, prescription stimulants, such as Concerta or Adderall, are increasingly being abused to address nonmedical conditions or situations.”
People you would never expect, like professors or athletes, have been known to abuse Dextrostat, most likely assuming its safe because it’s a prescription drug. Sadly, by the time they develop side effects and health complications that prove how dangerous the drug can be, it’s probably too late; they are already addicted.
Signs and Symptoms of Dextrostat Abuse
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the abuse of prescription stimulants may cause pleasurable effects such as:
- joy (euphoria) and less inhibition, similar to being drunk
- feeling as if your thinking is extremely clear
- feeling more in control, self-confident
- wanting to be with and talk to people (more sociable)
- increased energy
The initial good feelings caused by Dextrostat can rapidly shift into negative and unpleasant feelings. Long-term users of Dextrostat often experience dysthymia, an affective disorder which features a chronically depressed and/or irritable mood.
Chronic abuse of dextroamphetamine produces a psychosis that resembles schizophrenia and is characterized by:
- picking at the skin
- preoccupation with one’s own thoughts
- auditory and visual hallucinations.
Violent and erratic behavior is also common among chronic abusers of amphetamines.
Dangers of Dextrostat Abuse
Abusing Dextrostat will make you sleep less and lose your appetite. Continued abuse can lead to malnutrition and extreme weight loss. Abuse will raise your heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature to potentially dangerous levels, leading to cardiovascular problems, including stroke.
Repeated abuse of the drug can lead to feelings of hostility and paranoia. Dextrostat abuse can also cause depression. Ironically, it does so for the same reason that it causes euphoria.
When you snort, inject, or take high doses of Dextrostat, you experience bliss from an unnatural release of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Over time, your body and brain become accustomed to the drug’s effects, which leads to tolerance. Tolerance is not only a warning sign because it forces you to take higher doses of the drug, but also because of what tolerance means—the reasons behind it.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s page on Drugs and the Brain, “the brain adjusts to the overwhelming surges in dopamine (and other neurotransmitters) by producing less dopamine or by reducing the number of receptors that can receive signals. Dopamine’s impact on the reward circuit of the brain of someone who abuses drugs can become abnormally low, and that person’s ability to experience any pleasure is reduced.”
Basically, taking drugs becomes not just about getting high, but about self-medicating drug-induced depression. But enjoying anything at all at this point requires you to consume increasingly unsafe levels of drugs. This can easily lead to overdose.
Medline Plus explains that symptoms of dextroamphetamine overdose may include the following:
- uncontrollable shaking of a part of your body
- dark red or cola colored urine
- muscle weakness or aching
- tiredness or weakness
- fast breathing
- aggressive behavior
- irregular heartbeat
- blurred vision
- upset stomach
- stomach cramps
Who Abuses Dextrostat?
What type of person do you imagine being an amphetamine addict?
Maybe you imagine high school and college students cramming for finals, then being unable to stop taking the drug once the semester ends. Maybe you picture skinny people with bad teeth living on the streets. Both of these images can be true.
But more and more frequently these days, amphetamine drugs like Dextrostat are being abused by adult professionals who use it as a cognitive enhancer, hoping to improve their effectiveness at work, in academic pursuits, or as a performer or entertainer. They may not take the medication in high doses, but they are “treating” a condition they don’t have, which is very dangerous.
Studies have shown that some cognitive changes occur in ADHD individuals who take drugs like Dextrostat, but these are merely counteracting the abnormalities in brain function that led to their diagnosis. The effect of the same drugs on a non-ADHD brain may create changes that lead to decreased cognition and reduced neurotransmitter efficacy. It has also been shown that users without ADHD are far more likely to become addicted to prescription stimulants than individuals with ADHD.
An article on “smart drugs” in Psychology Today states, “Although we don’t fully understand the short- and long-term implications of using these drugs on healthy people, we know that the potential side effects range from anxiety, insomnia and depression to headaches, increased heart rate and psychosis.”
These side effects only get worse as tolerance causes you to increase your dosage, which will worsen your dopamine crash as the drug wears off, which will promote continued abuse, tolerance and increased risk of overdose in a deadly cycle.
Am I Addicted to Dextrostat?
If you fear that you are addicted to Dextrostat, ask yourself the questions below:
- Do I abuse Dextrostat every day?
- Do I abuse the drug in order to combat feelings of unhappiness, loneliness, depression, etc.?
- Have friends or family members mentioned more than once that they are worried about my drug use?
- Do I become hostile or angry when they do so?
- Do I ever experience side effects or withdrawal symptoms such as those listed above?
- Do I feel like I can’t have fun, be normal, or complete everyday tasks without Dextrostat?
- Am I secretive about my drug use, lying about when I use or how much I take?
- Do I need more and more Dextrostat each time I abuse the drug in order to feel its effects?
- Have I experienced any major problems in the last year, such as a breakup, job loss, car accident, family problems, financial problems, or getting arrested as a result of my drug use?
- Despite these problems, do I feel unable to stop using Dextrostat on my own?
Dextrostat Addiction Treatment
You may feel trapped by your addiction, but there is hope. Quality, affordable drug addiction treatment programs are available everywhere—all you have to do is ask for help.
To conquer your addiction, you must first stop using drugs. This means detoxification.
While there are no government-approved drugs that can counteract or alleviate the symptoms caused by Dextrostat withdrawal, detoxing in a rehab center under the care of medical professionals will ensure that you detox safely, with as little discomfort as possible.
Once your brain and body have been cleared of drugs, it is time to heal the damage addiction has done, and treat the issues that may have prompted you to start using drugs in the first place.
Good health habits: An addiction to stimulant drugs like Dextrostat can cause changes to your body and brain chemistry that need to be repaired before you can feel good living a life without drugs. Once that damage is healed, you will be able to learn how to be happier sober than you were as an addict. But for this to occur, you need to develop good health habits, such as better nutrition, regular exercise, and quality sleep.
Talk Therapy: Individual, Group and Family Counseling are invaluable ways to address mental health issues, resolve interpersonal conflicts, teach more effective communication, and learn new patterns of thinking and behavior that will support your continued recovery.