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Stimulants

How Do They Work?

Stimulants are sometimes prescribed by doctors to treat conditions such as asthma, respiratory problems, obesity, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and sleep disorders like narcolepsy.  This class of drug is often abused for its ability to produce euphoric effects or to counteract sluggish feelings induced by tranquilizers or alcohol.

Why Do Teens Abuse Them?

Teens abuse stimulants to feel alert, focused, and full of energy, perhaps to manage course work or final exams.  They also use stimulants to lose weight.  

What are the Physical Side Effects?

  • Dilated pupils
  • Decreased appetite
  • Loss of coordination
  • Collapse
  • Increase heart and respiratory rates
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Tremors
  • Headache
  • Flushed skin
  • Chest pain with palpitations
  • Excessive sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps

What are the Psychological Side Effects?

  • Feelings of restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Delusions
  • Hostility and aggression
  • Panic
  • Suicidal or homicidal tendencies
  • Paranoia, often accompanied by auditory and visual hallucinations

What are the Withdrawal Symptoms?

  • Depression
  • Disturbance of sleep patterns
  • Fatigue
  • Apathy
  • Overdose is preceded by:
    • High fever
    • Convulsions
    • Heart Failure

Common Drugs:

 Drug Name    

 What They Do

 Commercial and Street Names

Amphetamines
Photo courtesy of: nml.nih.gov
Strong stimulant drugs that speed up the central nervous system
Biphetamine, Dexedrine, Adderall; bennies, black beauties, crosses, hearts, LA turnaround, speed, truck drivers, uppers
Methylphenidate
Photo courtesy of: drugs.com
Amphetamine-like drugs that affect the central nervous system
Concerta, Ritalin; JIF, MPH, R-ball, Skippy, the smart drug, vitamin R