Commonly known as “uppers,” stimulants up the psychological process which then increases physiological, respiratory, and cardiovascular activities. Due to the additional dopamine release, most stimulant users, especially for the first time, would describe feeling much more energetic, focused, aware, and confident of themselves.
The three major stimulants are amphetamines, methamphetamines, and cocaine. Despite the positive medical use of these drugs for surgical procedures and in the treatment of ADHD, the mere mention of any of these drugs often creates a negative image. Illegal use of street drugs has led to widespread negative views on stimulants and increased care in handling any medical stimulant prescription.
The South American coca plant produces this potent whitish and crystalline drug. Taken illegally, most users snort the powder or dissolve the powder in water to inject into the veins. For an intense, but short-lived high, cocaine also makes crack, which the users can smoke. To increase its street value, cocaine is diluted with sugars.
Though most of its use is illegal, cocaine has legitimate medical purposes. It should come as no surprise since lidocaine is chemically similar to cocaine, and lidocaine is a common anesthetic for most dental procedures. Since cocaine is an excellent vasoconstricting and anesthetic compound, some big hospitals use it for topical application. By blocking nerve impulses, doctors can perform procedures that involve the upper respiratory tract. It also constricts the mucosa membrane.
Cocaine’s fast absorption across mucous membrane explains why most illicit users snort the powder or rub it on the inside of their mouths, particularly the gums. The result in cocaine abuse is central nervous stimulation – which is what happens when this drug blocks dopamine reuptake. Effects in a cocaine high include euphoria, alertness, confidence, and sometimes, sexual arousal.
Most people experience unpleasant side effects like restlessness, irritability, insomnia, and anxiety once they come down from the high. The more one uses cocaine, the more they develop a tolerance to the highs, while side effects intensify and worsen. Adverse psychological, respiratory, and cardiovascular effects heighten, which leads to addiction, overdosing, and death.
Medically, meth is used in the treatment of (ADHD) Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Stimulants affect and change central nervous activity, and meth can help in increasing focus, and improving organizational, visual, and listening skills. Along with an improved diet plan, doctors also use meth for weight loss in severely overweight individuals.
Illegally, meth comes in pill, powder, or crystal form that users can swallow, snort, inject, or smoke. Meth injections and smoking methods are much more potent, and some users increase the intake as well. Since meth and cocaine are stimulants, the effects (both positive and negative) are generally similar – high body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, euphoria, increased energy and alertness are some of the physiological and psychological effects.
Still, meth has a longer half-life than cocaine, which means that chronic users often experience harsher withdrawal. Heavy and chronic users exhibit confusion, paranoia, anxiety, and even violent behavior. For most illicit drug users who have families, legal family law battles that involve children rarely end in retaining custody, and this often leads to further occupational and social deterioration.