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Central nervous stimulants include cocaine, amphetamines, caffeine, and nicotine. Every method of administration is probable with central nervous system stimulants.  With these stimulants there is a rush of euphoria that produces self confidence and self-esteem.  These drugs elevate the mood, alertness and activity level.  Most of the problems occur with addiction and include rapid heartbeat, paranoia, heart attack, insomnia and anxiety.  Sometimes addiction can lead to death as the drugs cause the body to not experience hunger, thirst, or fatigue.

Stimulants excite the central nervous system.  When a person is on stimulants their body goes into a flight or fight response which reduces the GI activity.  Stimulants are both legal and illegal and some effects include decreased appetite, reduction in fatigue, and pleasure.  Because of these effects, stimulants are used to lose weight and increase concentration.  Stimulants reach the brain’s reward pathway without eating, drinking, or having sex, which is not good.  Even legal amphetamines speed up the blood pressure and heart rates as well as increase concentration.  Stimulants are thousands of years old and are highly addictive.  Some examples of stimulants are nicotine, caffeine, cocaine and crack.  Nicotine has additives such as ammonia and can stimulate and sedate.  Caffeine is legal for all ages and the withdrawal symptoms are somewhat mild.  Cocaine can make a person feel smart, aware and give them energy.  When cocaine is heated with baking soda it is called crack.  The high from crack only lasts about 5 minutes.

Stimulants have a very wide range of use.  Stimulants decrease appetite, reduce the need for sleep, and increase the heart rate and blood pressure.  Some very common examples of stimulants are caffeine, nicotine, and even chocolate.  However, there are prescribed and over the counter stimulants that are common but many people abuse them to the point where they can become dangerous.  There are also illegal stimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamine.

Amphetamines are used for ADD, weight loss, and narcolepsy.  These are legal and historic examples of stimulants which can be abused.  Ritalin is a prescribed stimulant that is prescribed for ADHD.  Stimulants work on individuals with ADHD because it produced the opposite reaction than what it would on a normal person.  However, people who do not have ADHD or add will use Ritalin for the stimulant effect and this drug is widely abused.

The harder drugs such as crack cocaine, cocaine, and methamphetamine are illegal forms of stimulants and even though they are very much different their abuse potential is quite high.  For example crack cocaine has a high that lasts only a few minutes and the high from methamphetamine can last for hours.  These drugs are extremely toxic to the body and very destructive in every way.


Stimulants. Films Media Group, 1999. Films On Demand. Web. 28 March 2011. <>.