Stimulants

Stimulant drugs have effects that are the reverse of depressant drugs—they arouse the nervous system. They include such drugs as COCAINE, Amphetamines (speed), and Caffeine. In low doses, perception is heightened, attention is increased, and thought processes are speeded up, resulting in a feeling of greater alertness. MEMORY, however, may be affected, resulting in impaired recall of material learned while under the influence of stimulants. Higher doses intensify the above effects, leading to restlessness and rapidity of thoughts, which reduce attention. Vulnerable persons may become paranoid or even psychotic. Higher effective doses of stimulants may occur via intravenous administration or smoking of cocaine, affecting the brain rapidly and resulting in an abrupt ''rush'' or ''high.'' These effects are typically short-lived but are so intense (pleasurable) that individuals may repeat doses. Discontinuation of stimulants after a long period of use often leads to a temporary period of DEPRESSION. There is evidence that long-term and repeated doses of stimulants can severely damage the brain and affect concentration, mood, and reasoning

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