Also known as uppers, stimulants have strong effects on the central nervous system. Many people view stimulant drugs as performance enhancing, allowing the user to concentrate better and focus more. However, the class of drug harbors some of the most addictive subtances being abused today.

Stimulant drugs work by increasing your heart rate and metabolism in the brain. While this happens the drug itself also mimics the neurotransmitters epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine. These chemicals present in our body act as stress hormones to activate the human fight or flight response.

Since stimulants are perceived as giving the user an advantage they are easy to become addicted to. Many users of methamphetamine, cocaine, and crack believe that using these substances makes them better and more able. Strong dopamine releases associated with stimulants also give the user a feeling of reward and pleasure when the drug is taken. The reward pathway for stimulant drugs is often a strong one, leading the main cause of addiction. This will drive the user to do anything in their power to attain more of the substance to keep feeling the strong sense of well being and pleasure.


As stimulants are able to produce so many perceptively positive effects within the user such as alertness, stamina, and focus, they are very difficult to stop using.

To learn more about stimulant addiction, treatment, and recovery please contact the Stimulant Addiction Treatment Hotline.