Stimulant drugs (also often known to be called psychostimulants or colloquially as uppers) are an overarching term that covers many drugs including those that increase the activity of the central nervous system and the body. Drugs that are pleasurable and invigorating, or drugs that have sympathomimetic effects.

 Stimulants are widely used all around the world as prescription medicines as well as without a prescription (either legally or illicitly) as performance-enhancing drugs or recreational drugs. The most frequently prescribed stimulants as of 2013 were lisdexamfetamine, methylphenidate, and amphetamine.

Basic knowledge about stimulants

This is how stimulants work. They act on the central nervous system to increase alertness and cognitive function. Stimulants can be prescribed medications or illicit substances such as cocaine. Stimulants like Methamphetamine may be taken orally, snorted, or injected. If you have a stimulant addiction.

This class of drugs listed is considered a central nervous system stimulants. They work by increasing or what some may say multiplying the amounts of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain.

The increase of these chemicals in the brain improves concentration and decreases the fatigue that is common with individuals who suffer from ADHD. However, they can also cause severe negative effects and even Cocaine addiction problems.

How do people use or abuse stimulant drugs?

Most prescription stimulants come in the following forms, tablet, capsule, and/or liquid, which a person takes by mouth. Misuse of a prescription stimulant may mean:

  • taking medicine in a way or dose other than prescribed by your doctor.
  • taking medicine only for the effect it causes and not its use. ie to get high.
  • taking someone else’s medicine.

Types Of Stimulants


This drug was approved for the treatment of hyperactive children in 1955. Ritalin differs from Dexedrine and Adderall because it is methylphenidate. It acts in a similar way of amphetamines but milder than amphetamine-based drugs.


Approved in 1960, Adderall is currently the most popular ADHD treatment drug and the most commonly prescribed amphetamine in the United States. but however, people still abuse it.


Approved in 2000, Concerta is relatively a new drug used to treat ADHD. Concerta is an extended-release version of the drug Ritalin.


Dexedrine, also known as Dextroamphetamine, is a potent central nervous system stimulant and amphetamine. Dexedrine is most commonly used to treat ADHD and has been a market for American consumers since 1976.


Ephedrine is most commonly used to suppress appetite and bronchodilator for those with asthma but has similar effects to other stimulants. Ephedrine also is used for temporary relief of shortness of breath, chest tightness, and wheezing due to bronchial asthma.

It is also used to prevent low blood pressure and treat obesity. It is often available over the counter and is commonly used as an ingredient in clandestine meth labs.


Desoxyn is a type of prescription methamphetamine. Introduced in 1947, it was the first medication prescribed for obesity and It also treats ADHD.


Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy, or molly) is a euphoriant, empathogen, and a stimulant of the amphetamine class. These drugs are briefly used by some psychotherapists as an adjunct to therapy. The drug became popular recreationally and the DEA listed MDMA as a Schedule I controlled substance, prohibiting most medical studies and applications.

Illicit Stimulants

The stimulant class wouldn’t be complete without mentioning cocainecrack, speedballAlpha PHP, and crystal methamphetamine. All these drugs produce effects similar to those of prescription stimulants.

While prescription stimulants are designed as time-release drugs, illicit stimulants produce a shorter and more intense high and this is why people abuse these listed stimulant drugs.

Effects of stimulant drugs

To the brain

Prescription stimulants increase the activity of the brain chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine. Dopamine is involved in the reinforcement of rewarding behaviors. Norepinephrine affects blood vessels, blood pressure and heart rate, blood sugar, and breathing.

side effects of stimulant drugs may be different among people. Here are some notable effects of stimulant drugs.

  • increased blood pressure and heart rate
  • Decreased appetite
  • Euphoria
  • increased concentration
  • Decreased blood sugar
  • Decrease blood flow
  • Difficulty sleeping or Wakefulness

Addiction and overdose to Stimulant drugs

For all those addicted to prescription or illicit stimulants, these substances are the main priority in their life. An addicted Stimulant person often ignores negative consequences, whether personal or health-related.

Stimulants flood the brain with the pleasure-inducing chemical dopamine, which increases why many people use it again. Stimulant addiction can cause immediate and long-term effects on a person’s health.

Stimulant Overdose Symptoms

When people overdose on prescription stimulant drugs, they most commonly experience several different symptoms, such as restlessness, tremors, overactive reflexes, rapid breathing, confusion, aggression, hallucinations, panic states, abnormally increased fever, muscle pains, and weakness.

Stimulant Addiction Treatment

Behavioral therapies, including cognitive-behavioral therapy and contingency management (motivational incentives), can be effective in helping to treat people with prescription stimulant addiction.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy( cocaine rehab) helps modify the patient’s drug-use expectations and behaviors, and it can effectively manage triggers and stress.

Contingency management provides vouchers or small cash rewards for positive behaviors such as staying drug-free. Read more about drug addiction treatment in our

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