Addictions we Treat


Prescription stimulants are medicines generally used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. They are intended to increase alertness, attention, and energy.

Common prescription stimulants include:

  • dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine®)
  • dextroamphetamine/amphetamine combination product (Adderall®)
  • methylphenidate (Ritalin®, Concerta®).


These medications are sometimes referred to as: Speed, Uppers, and Vitamin R.
The misuse of prescription stimulants is a growing concern, as people take these drugs to improve their mental performance, get better grades, or improve their memory, despite not having ADHD or narcolepsy. Such misuse can lead to harmful health effects, including addiction, heart problems, or psychosis. In Denver, stimulant addiction treatment programs, including those provided by Achieve Whole Recovery, are vital for addressing the misuse of these drugs.


Prescription stimulants usually come in the form of tablets, capsules, or liquids that people take by mouth. However, those who misuse these drugs may take them in a way or dose other than prescribed, take someone else’s medicine, or take them only to get high. They may swallow the medicine in its normal form, crush tablets or open capsules, dissolve the powder in water and inject it into a vein, or snort or smoke the powder. As part of the comprehensive care, our stimulant addiction treatment focuses on the unique challenges posed by the misuse of prescription stimulants.


Prescription stimulants increase the activity of dopamine and norepinephrine, which affect the brain and body. Short-term effects include increased blood pressure and heart rate, increased breathing, decreased blood flow, increased blood sugar, and opened-up breathing passages. At high doses, prescription stimulants can lead to dangerously high body temperature, an irregular heartbeat, heart failure, and seizures.


Taking prescription stimulants in a way or dose other than prescribed, or taking someone else’s medicine for non-medical purposes, can lead to harmful health effects, including addiction, heart problems, or psychosis. Achieve Whole Recovery’s stimulant addiction treatment includes various therapeutic approaches to help patients overcome dependence and regain control of their lives. Misuse can also involve crushing tablets, opening capsules, dissolving powder in water, and injecting the liquid into a vein. People who misuse prescription stimulants can experience short-term effects such as increased heart rate, breathing, and blood sugar levels, as well as the opening of breathing passages. However, high doses can cause dangerous effects such as an irregular heartbeat, heart failure, seizures, and high body temperature. In cases of excessive usage leading to severe health complications, stimulant overdose recovery is an essential service provided by specialists in Denver, ensuring immediate and effective treatment.


Misusing prescription stimulants repeatedly, even within a short period, can cause psychosis, anger, or paranoia. Additionally, injecting drugs and having impaired judgment from drug misuse can increase the risk of contracting infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis. However, studies have not shown a difference in later substance use in young people with ADHD treated with prescription stimulants compared to those who didn’t receive such treatment. This suggests that treatment with ADHD medication does not positively or negatively affect a person’s risk of developing problem use. The team at Achieve Whole Recovery, through their stimulant addiction treatment program, emphasizes personalized treatment plans that cater to the specific needs of each individual.

A person can overdose on prescription stimulants, which can lead to life-threatening reactions or death. Overdose symptoms include restlessness, tremors, rapid breathing, confusion, aggression, hallucinations, panic states, fever, muscle pains, and weakness. Overdose can also cause heart problems, seizures, abnormally high or low blood pressure, and circulation failure, leading to convulsions, coma, and fatal poisoning. It is important to call 911 for immediate medical attention when someone has overdosed on prescription stimulants. First responders and emergency room doctors try to treat the overdose with the intent of restoring blood flow to the heart and stopping the seizure with care or with medications if necessary. Achieve Whole Recovery specializes in stimulant overdose recovery, offering critical support and care during life-threatening situations caused by stimulant overdose.

When prescription stimulants are misused, it can lead to addiction or substance use disorder (SUD). Even taking stimulants as prescribed can cause a person to develop a tolerance, leading them to require higher or more frequent doses of the drug to achieve the desired effects. To effectively address these challenges, Achieve Whole Recovery offers stimulant addiction treatment in Denver, focusing on comprehensive care and tailored treatment plans to support individuals in overcoming addiction. An SUD can develop when the continued use of the drug causes health problems and the inability to meet responsibilities at work, school, or home. Withdrawal symptoms such as fatigue, depression, and sleep problems can occur if a person stops taking the prescription stimulant. To stop prescription stimulant misuse, behavioral therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and contingency management have been found to be effective, and concerns about use should be discussed with a healthcare provider.

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