Prescription Drugs: Stimulants
By Michael M. (TB 2)
What are stimulants?
How are they abused?
People often use such drugs to enhance academic performance, but studies have shown that stimulants do not increase learning or thinking ability in people who have not been diagnosed with ADHD.
How do stimulants affect the brain?
When doctors prescribe a stimulant, they start at a low dose until they find the right dose for the patient to treat their condition. If the medication is taken in doses other than what was prescibed, however, dopamine in the brain increases very quickly. This changes the way brain cells normally communicate, producing a "high" at the risk for bad side effects and eventually addiction.
What are the other effects of stimulant abuse?
- Increased blood pressure
- Irregular body heat
- Dangerous body temperatures
Can you get addicted to stimulants?
- Inability to feel pleasure
- Thoughts of suicide
- Anxiety or irritability
- Feeling very tired, lack of energy, changes in sleep patterns
- Intense drug cravings
Can you die from abusing stimulants?
How many teens abuse stimulants?
- 6.8% of 8th graders,
- 9.7% of 10th graders, and
- 10.8% of 12th graders
have abused stimulants in their lifetime.