What are Stimulants?

Stimulants comprise a large group of substances that include everything from the caffeine in coffee to illegal drugs such as crack cocaine and Amphetamines. Stimulants increase the amount of neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters are the chemical messages that nerve cells send to each other to create sensations in the body. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that is the most sensitive to the action of Stimulants. Dopamine is similar to adrenaline and affects brain processes that control movement, emotional response, and the ability to experience pleasure and pain. Stimulants are typically abused with the goal to increase energy and alertness, elevate mood, and boost athletic performance.

What are the common names or slang terms for Stimulants?

The list of common names or slang terms for the various types of prescription and illegal Stimulants include: Uppers, Disco Pellets, Robin's Egg, Crank, Speedball, Speed, Snow and Amp.

What do Stimulants look like?

Stimulants are produced in many forms including pills, capsules, powders, liquids and crystals.

How are they used?

Stimulants can be taken orally, snorted, injected or smoked. Over time, the body can build up a tolerance for Stimulants so the dose must be increased to achieve the same desired results.

What are their short and long-term effects on the body?

Stimulants can reduce fatigue, suppress appetite, and increase alertness, but may also lead to insomnia and feelings of nervousness, irritability, paranoia, or aggression. At higher doses or after long-term use, Stimulant use can lead to loss of weight, mild hypertension, hallucinations, convulsions, brain hemorrhages, and serious heart health issues including palpitations, rhythm abnormalities, circulatory problems and heart attack. A single extreme dose of a Stimulant can also result in death.

What is their federal classification?

Many Stimulants are included in Schedule II of the Code of Federal Regulations' Schedule of Controlled Substances. However, some stimulants like ephedrine are not specifically listed in Schedule II.