Stimulants work by acting on the central nervous system to increase alertness and cognitive function. Stimulants can be prescription medications or illicit substances such as cocaine. These drugs may be taken orally, snorted or injected. If you have a stimulant addiction, seek help today.
Prescription Stimulant Brands
The most common prescription stimulants are amphetamines and methylphenidates.
Prescription stimulants are used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy and sometimes obesity.
Although there is a molecular distinction between amphetamines (such as Adderall) and methylphenidates (such as Ritalin), effects of abusing these stimulants are essentially the same. Patients are prescribed either amphetamines or methylphenidates depending on the potency and duration needed. Some of the most well-known prescription stimulants include:
Approved in 1960, Adderall is currently the most popular ADHD treatment drug and the most commonly prescribed amphetamine in the United States.
On the market for American consumers since 1976, Dexedrine is most commonly used to treat ADHD. The drug was used by the U.S. Air Force during World War II through the Gulf War to help pilots stay awake.
This drug was approved for the treatment of hyperactive children in 1955. Ritalin differs from Dexedrine and Adderall because it is a methylphenidate. Methylphenidates have the same stimulant effects as amphetamines but have a different molecular structure.
Approved in 2000, Concerta is a relatively new drug used to treat ADHD. It is a methylphenidate like Ritalin, but differs in strength and duration of effects.
Desoxyn is a prescription methamphetamine. Introduced in 1947, it was the first medication prescribed for obesity. It is also used to treat ADHD.
Ephedrine is most commonly used as an appetite suppressant and bronchodilator for those with asthma, but has similar effects to other stimulants. It is often available over the counter and is commonly used as an ingredient in clandestine meth labs.
The stimulants class wouldn’t be complete without mentioning cocaine, crack and crystal meth. These drugs all 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.
Stimulant Effects and Abuse
Stimulant Addiction And Abuse Can Be Difficult To Overcome, But Hope Is Out TherePrescription stimulants are classified as a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act because they have a high potential for abuse and addiction. Approximately 900,000 Americans abuse prescription stimulants every month.
Many people abuse prescription stimulants to enhance performance rather than to get high. In fact, athletes and students have a long history of abusing prescription stimulants to outperform their peers.
The effects of stimulants include:
Stimulants produce an overabundance of dopamine, the pleasure-inducing chemical in the brain. After continued use of stimulants, the brain can no longer produce normal amounts of dopamine on its own. This need for dopamine reinforces stimulant abuse, which can develop into an addiction over time.