Affluent Neglect

Society expresses great concern for poor, underserved children and the increased likelihood they may lack access to health care and education, or that they may turn to drugs or crime in adulthood. Less attention is paid to children of affluent parents who have their own set of problems. Emotional neglect often goes unnoticed or unreported, which may…

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What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), developed by Marsha Linehan, Ph. in the 1980s, is a type of talk therapy originally designed for high-risk, suicidal people diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Today, DBT is used to treat people struggling with a range of complex and intense emotions, including substance abuse and addiction, PTSD, bipolar disorder, eating disorders,…

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Benefits of Yoga in Addiction Treatment

In general terms, yoga is an exercise that benefits the body, mind and spirit through an integration of breathing techniques, strengthening exercises, postures and meditation. There are many types of yoga; all are beneficial. Although yoga is a centuries-old practice, it is a relatively new treatment modality in the field of drug and alcohol addiction. Acceptance…

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Why Some People Think Sex Addiction Doesn’t Exist

Does sex addiction really exist? Is sexual addiction a true disorder? Or is hypersexuality just an excuse for irresponsible behavior or infidelity? Those are complicated questions, and even experts in the world of behavioral health and addiction will probably never agree on the answers.  Many people think hypersexuality should be classified as an addiction. They…

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PED’s Examples

Psychostimulants (Smart Drugs)

At Paracelsus Recovery, we understand that overcoming a psychostimulant dependency is difficult, and we are here to help. We will tailor-make a treatment programme to suit your specific needs. We aim to teach you robust strategies for coping with stress which does not require damaging your health.

One Client at a Time

Unparalleled staff to patient ratio of 15:1

Psychostimulants (Smart Drugs)

Many people struggle with the pressure to get ahead in their profession. Psychostimulant PEDs (Smart Drugs) can sometimes seem like a means of working harder and getting ahead of the curve. However, the risks outweigh the benefits.

A psychostimulant is any kind of psychotropic substance that stimulates our central nervous system (CNS). Stimulants work by increasing the activity of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine. As a result, we feel more focused, energetic, attentive and confident.

Common Psychostimulant Drugs Include:


Prescription Medications

  • Amphetamine Salts (Benzedrine, Adderall, Vyvanse)
  • Methylphenidates (Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, Focalin)
  • Modafinil (Provigil, Sparlon)

Illegal Substance

  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Ecstasy

Legal Psychostimulants

  • Caffeine
  • Tobacco
  • Creatine

All these drugs can be abused for performance-enhancing purposes and each is highly addictive.

How do Smart Drugs Work?

Cognitive PEDs increase the action of dopamine. This is a neurotransmitter involved in pleasure and attention span. CNS stimulants essentially block our brain’s reabsorption of dopamine, which allows us to experience an excess amount.

CNS prescription medication is often used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. This is because if someone suffers from a condition such as ADHD, they lack dopamine. By blocking our brain’s reabsorption, CNS stimulants help to rebalance their brain chemistry. But if someone misuses these drugs for non-medical reasons, they do the exact opposite. Excess dopamine will lead to unbalanced brain chemistry, and that brings risks with it.

Physical Side Effects Include:

  • Convulsions
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Cardiac arrest (overdosing)
  • Tachycardia (rapid heart rate)
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dehydration
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue

Psychological Side Effects Include:

  • Depersonalisation
  • Increased anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mania
  • Risk-taking behaviour
  • Increased aggression
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Psychosis
  • Addiction

Why are Psychostimulants so Addictive?

Any substance (or behaviour) which releases excessive amounts of dopamine in our brain is addictive. If we do not have any medical reason for using stimulant medication, then these drugs will drastically increase the amount of dopamine in circulation within the brain.

The increase in activity of these neurotransmitters induces a feeling of euphoria, which motivates continued use. However, these highs are followed by long periods of depression, irritability and agitation. This cycle of highs and lows sets the stage for addiction and mental health issues.

Signs of dependency include:


If prescribed, exceeding the recommended dosage.

  • Lying to doctors or exaggerating symptoms to obtain more of the medication.
  • Continuing to use the substance despite wanting to quit.
  • Needing more and more of a stimulant to get the desired effect (tolerance).
  • Experiencing cravings or physical symptoms when not using (withdrawal)

If you show any of these signs, you might be developing a dependency. If you continue to abuse these substances, it could damage your health, career and relationships. However, psychostimulant addiction can be effectively overcome via detoxification and intensive therapy.

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Medical Check-ups
& Treatments
Eye Movement Desensitization
and Reprocessing
Interval Hypoxic
Hyperoxic Treatment
Probiotic Therapies
& Psychonutrition
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