Stimulants

Stimulants are a class of drugs that consist of both legal and illegal substances. Stimulants excite the central nervous system, rapidly increasing the feel-good chemicals in the brain such as dopamine and disrupting normal communication between cells in the brain.

Types of Stimulants:

  • Legal Stimulants, such as nicotine and caffeine
  • Prescription Stimulants, such as Ritalin, Adderall, Dextroamphetamine
    • Most safe when used correctly as prescribed by your doctor.
    • Can still produce physical or psychological dependence.
  • Illegal Stimulants, such as cocaine and methamphetamine

Cocaine

A small, powerful drug made from the leaves of the South American coca plant. It appears as a small, chunky, white solid.

How is it used?

  • Can be snorted while in powdered form
  • Injected into the veins after dissolving in water
  • Smoked

Methamphetamine

Similar chemical structure as amphetamines, but is in crystal form. It appears as glass fragments or shiny blue-white “rocks” of different sizes.

How is it used?

  • Orally
  • Smoked
  • Injected
  • Snorted

Health Effects

Short-Term:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Increased respiratory rate
  • Violent behavior
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Insomnia

Long-Term:

  • Dental problems
  • Increased risk for contracting diseases
  • Loss of sexual function
  • Long-term heart problems
  • Brain damage
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Anorexia
  • Panic attacks
  • Psychosis
  • Delusions
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Coma
  • Death

Treatment Options

  • Detox
  • Behavioral Therapies