United States Department of statistics reveals that over five million U.S. citizens abuse prescription-based stimulants at least once in their lifetime. Additionally, about 400,000 US citizens are known, stimulant abusers. A larger percentile of this population comes from prescription-based addiction. Conventionally, doctors prescribe stimulants to patients with impulse control disorders. An example of an impulse control disorder is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, commonly referred to as ADHD. Off-label use of stimulant drugs is in treating major depressive disorder. In such cases, stimulants help to improve one’s mood and energy.
What Are The Commonly Abused Stimulants?
Coffee, chocolate, and tobacco are the most commonly abused stimulants. It is possible to become addicted to any of these substances. Caffeine is a stimulant found in coffee, tea, soda, and other beverages. Caffeine’s primary physiological effects are due to its ability to increase alertness and attention. The drug can also induce euphoria in some people and may cause insomnia in others. Caffeine has been shown to reduce fatigue by stimulating the central nervous system. It may also contribute to weight loss by reducing appetite. However, caffeine can have a diuretic effect on the body. Chocolate contains caffeine and other stimulants such as theobromine and phenylethylamine (PEA). These are all-powerful central nervous system stimulants that affect mood, appetite, and behavior. Chocolate may also contain compounds such as l-theanine, which have calming properties.
Amphetamines are a class of central nervous system stimulants used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. While they may be helpful in these conditions; however, they can also be abused. Amphetamines are known as the “speed” drug because they increase energy and alertness and cause drug-seeking behavior.
Methamphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant that has many effects on the brain. Methamphetamine causes euphoria, increased alertness, increased appetite, and decreased fatigue. Methamphetamine is highly addictive, and withdrawal symptoms include depression, anxiety, insomnia, restlessness, and irritability.
4. MDMA (Ecstasy)
MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine) or ecstasy is a synthetic compound that is highly addictive due to its ability to affect moods by increasing pleasure and decreasing pain sensitivity. It has been used for more than 30 years as an entactogen (a drug that causes euphoria). Its use is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular problems, high blood pressure, and stroke from increased blood flow to the heart. MDMA (Methylenedioxymethamphetamine) MDMA acts on the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and serotonin to produce feelings of pleasure and well-being.
Some people who use MDMA report feeling a sense of closeness to others when they are under the effects of this drug. It is also commonly used as a recreational drug for its ability to produce euphoria or feelings of empathy for others when used in combination with other drugs such as LSD or marijuana. MDMA is particularly a concern due to its highly addictive nature, and the molecule can be altered to suit the ‘high-needs’ of an individual. These factors make it a more dangerous stimulant.
5. LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide)
LSD is a chemical naturally occurring in small amounts in several plants and mushrooms. LSD is an allosteric inhibitor of serotonin transporters, which increases serotonin levels in the brain. Because of this action, LSD has been used as an antidepressant and can cause hallucinations or delusions. In addition, LSD can cause feelings of fear or anxiety when used with other hallucinogens.
Cocaine is a stimulant drug that blocks the reuptake of dopamine into nerve cells and prevents dopamine from being broken down by monoamine oxidase enzymes in the body. Cocaine has been used as a recreational drug for many years. Still, users have recently abused it to achieve euphoria and a feeling of powerlessness without much concern for the potential negative effects.
7. PCP (phencyclidine)
PCP is a dissociative drug that produces hallucinations and delusions. When used with other hallucinogens, PCP can cause an overdose and death. The overdose symptoms include confusion, shallow breathing, high blood pressure, disorientation, and coma.
8. Gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid
Gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) is a central nervous system depressant that produces euphoria similar to alcohol. It is sometimes used as a recreational drug. GHB has been found to cause serious side effects when mixed with other drugs such as alcohol, benzodiazepines, and narcotics. These side effects can include:
- Unconsciousness or coma
- High blood pressure
- Numbness of the skin or face
- Muscle stiffness and cramping
- Blurred vision
- Rapid pulse rate (tachycardia)
Out of the eight mentioned stimulants, MDMA is the most dangerous stimulant due to its risks. Additionally, current practice has tuned the molecule to suit an individual’s needs. Also, an overdose with MDMA is fatal. Call us at 833-610-1174.