What are Stimulants?

The types of drugs that make you feel more alert are often referred to as stimulants. Many drugs fall under this term. A popular legal stimulant is caffeine, which can be found in coffee, tea and chocolate.

Naturally occurring stimulants (probably to designed to fend off invading insects) are found in many plants and these substances can also make the human brain and body more active.

Many party drugs are classified as stimulants. Designed to give users the energy and mindset to want to dance all night and into the next day,  stimulants are the drug of choice for clubbers who want to keep awake and alert for many hours.

Stimulants take effect by speeding up the messages that travel between the brain and the body.  This is done by increasing activity of the central nervous system. Some of the most commonly used stimulants include amphetamines, cocaine, ecstasy and methamphetamine.

One of the major reasons that users choose to take stimulants is because of the euphoric feelings that can be flt when taking such drugs. This happens because of a build up and increase in levels of Dopamine in the brain, the neurotransmitter that handles feelings of pleasure.

Short-Term Effects of Stimulants

Exhaustion, apathy and depression are all effects of the “down” that can be felt after the “high” of taking stimulant drugs. This lasting and immediate exhaustion can create a circle of drug use as the user takes more of the stimulant to overcome these feelings. Soon a dependency on the drug can be created as the user strives to feel “well” rather than to get high.

Long-Term Effects of Stimulants

The types of drugs can be addictive. Regular high doses of stimulants can over short time periods can cause feelings of paranoia and hostility. An irregular heartbeat and dangerously high body temperatures can also result from such high doses of the drug.

Photo Credit: Michael Allen Smith on Flickr