Stimulants, also known as "uppers", refer to several groups of drugs that tend to increase alertness, elevate blood pressure and increase hart rate and respiration, as well as increase physical activity or energy. Some people use stimulants to counteract the drowsiness or "down" feeling caused by sleeping pills or alcohol. The up/down cycle is extremely hard on the body and dangerous. Amphetamines, cocaine, and caffeine are all stimulants. Historically stimulants were used to treat asthma, obesity, and now are more commonly prescribed for the treatment of narcolepsy, ADHD, and depression that has not responded to other forms of treatment. Amphetamines include three closely related drugs- amphetamine, dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine and Adderall), and methamphetamine. Street names include "speed", "white crosses", "uppers", "dexies", "bennies", and "crystal".
As with other drugs, stimulants can become addictive. Physical withdrawal may occur when discontinuing use. Withdrawal may include: fatigue, depression, and sleep disturbances.
In addition to physical effects, users report feeling restless, anxious, and moody. Higher doses intensify the effect, and the user can become excited, talkative, and have a false sense of confidence and power. Prolonged use can result in psychosis: seeing, hearing, and feelings things that do not exist (hallucinations), having irrational thoughts or beliefs (delusions), and feeling as though people are out to get them (paranoia).
Amphetamines increase heart and breathing rates and blood pressure, dilate pupils, and increase appetite. In addition the user, may experience dry mouth, sweating, headache, blurred vision, dizziness, sleeplessness, and anxiety. Extremely high doses can cause users to flush or become pale, have irregular heartbeat, tremors, loss of coordination, and even physical collapse. Long-term heavy use can lead to malnutrition, skin disorders, ulcers, various diseases related to vitamin deficiency, lack of sleep, weight loss, depression, brain damage that can result in speech and thought disturbance. Amphetamine injection can create a sudden increase in blood pressure that can lead to death from stroke, very high fever, or heart failure. Injection can also cause lung or heart disease, kidney damage, or infection from non-sterile equipment or needle use.