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Prescription Stimulants

Stimulants are prescribed for the treatment of health conditions such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy, and depression. Common brand-name prescription stimulants include Adderall®, Ritalin®, Dexedrine®, and Benzedrine®. Users may call them uppers, bennies, black beauties, crosses, hearts, truck drivers, JIF, MPH, R-ball, skippy, the smart drug, and vitamin R.

How Are Prescription Stimulants Misused?
Prescription stimulants can be ingested as pills or capsules. They can also be smoked, snorted or injected. Smoking, snorting, or injecting stimulants produces a sudden sensation known as a “rush.” Stimulant misuse is often associated with a pattern of binge use (sporadically consuming large doses of stimulants over a short period of time).

Stimulants are taken to produce a sense of exhilaration, enhance self-esteem, improve mental and physical performance, increase activity, reduce appetite, extend wakefulness for prolonged period, and “get high.”

What Are the Risks Associated with Prescription Stimulant Use?
Prescription stimulants can have strong effects on the cardiovascular system. Taking high doses of a stimulant can dangerously raise body temperature and cause irregular heartbeat or even heart failure or seizures. Chronic, high-dose use is also frequently associated with agitation, hostility, panic, aggression, and suicidal or homicidal tendencies. Paranoia, sometimes accompanied by seeing or hearing things that are not really happening, may also occur.

When a user quits suddenly, depression, anxiety, drug craving, and extreme fatigue is observed. This is known as a “crash.” The strongest psychological dependence is often observed with potent stimulants.

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Last Updated: May 22, 2013