Stimulants

Commonly known as uppers, stimulants alter the functioning of the brain (psychoactive) and stimulate the Central Nervous System.

Benefits: can experience euphoric states and sense of being powerful.  Perked up moods, sharp increases in alertness, energy, focus, concentration, ability to party, study and feel sexually aroused.

Psychological Effects: increased alertness, euphoria, energy, physical stamina, motor performance, restlessness, panic, aggressiveness, psychosis and anti-social behaviour.

Physical effects: often increases heart rate, blood pressure, skin rashes, muscle tremors, weakened heart, seizures, strokes, burst blood vessels, malnutrition.  Also, emotionally cold and aloof at times,

Withdrawal Symptoms: anxiety, depression, tension, nervousness, irritability, paranoia, apathy, confusion, increased appetite, need to sleep.

Cocaine

AKA: Crack, free base, rock, powder, upper, snow, blow, C, line.

Psychological Effects: alertness, euphoria, increased energy, physical stamina, concentration, focus, control, emotional coldness, sense of aloofness, irritability, restlessness, panic.  High doses can cause psychosis, drug-induced schizophrenia, paranoia, aggressiveness, mood changes, depression, antisocial behaviours and formication hallucinations.

Physical effects: high blood pressure, pulse, respiration, sneezing, dilated pupils, edginess, increased risk for seizures, strokes, heart attacks, skin and membrane irritations, even deterioration, decreased appetite and weight loss.

Withdrawal Symptoms: suicidal ideation, intense physical cravings, irritability, depression, paranoia, hallucinations.

 

Amphetamine

AKA: uppers, bennies; d-amphetamine (Dexedrine, dexies), methamphetamine (Methedrine, Desoxyn) meth, speed, crank, ice, crystal, jib, Tina, chrissie. Also Ritalin and Adderall.

Psychological Effects: alertness, euphoria, increased energy, physical stamina, concentration, focus, invincibility, irritability, restlessness.  High doses can induce panic, compulsive fixations (flailing, teching), psychosis, paranoia, intense mood swings, drug-induced schizophrenia, aggressiveness and proliferation of antisocial behaviours.

Physical effects: ready for fight or flight (norepinephrine), faster breathing, heart rate, hyperthermia, elevated blood pressure, strokes, heart attack, kidney failure, dyskenesia (jerky movements), formication hallucinations leading to skin rashes, abscesses from IV use, tooth decay from increased sugar intake.

Withdrawal Symptoms: confusion, apathy, irritability, intense depression, hunger, agitation, increased appetite, long, but disturbed sleep, anxiety and anhedonia.

Khat

AKA: cathinone, Qat, Kat, Chat, Kus-es-Salahin, Mirra, Tohai, Tschat, Catha, Quat, Abyssinian Tea, African Tea, and African Salad

Psychological Effects: grandiose delusions, insomnia, loss of appetite and loss of weight. alleviation of fatigue, reduction of depression, euphoria, excitation, increased alertness, ability to concentrate, confidence, friendliness, contentment.

Physical effects: constipation, increased motor activity, positive sexual effects, dispel feeling of hunger, claims eases symptoms of diabetes, asthma, stomach/intestinal tract disorders, increase blood pressure, heart rate, stomach irritation, breathing difficulties, affects liver if plant treated chemically, interferes with absorption of iron.

Withdrawal Symptoms: generates mild lapses of depression similar to those observed among cocaine users.

Cannabis

AKA: Marijuana, hash, hash oil, weed, Mary Jane, pot, skunk, BC bud, doobie, joint, blunt, 420, bhang, THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol)

Psychological Effects: mild euphoria and relaxation, feelings of letting go of social stress, passive nature, tuning in to emotions, sense of overall well-being, sharpened senses, everything can be funny, ability to traverse thought deeply, time passes more slowly.  Some risks are impaired motor control, short term memory loss, sometimes panic and paranoia, apathy, amotivation, decreased personal hygiene and self-care,

Physical effects: higher blood pressure and pulse, increased appetite (munchies), dry mouth, dizziness and nausea, low sperm counts, bloodshot eyes, enhanced sexual response, but possible impotence with high THC dosage.

Withdrawal Symptoms: with high THC: insomnia, irritability, hot flashes and restlessness.  Otherwise little or no symptoms.

Nicotine

AKA: Cigarettes, cigars, pipe and chewing tobacco

Psychological Effects: induces relaxation, reduces anxiety (good way to take a break), enhances focus and concentration, reduces psychotic symptoms

Physical effects: all sorts of cancers and tumors throughout the body.  Liver diseases, respiratory, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, coronary heart disease, lung cancer, strokes, cardiovascular diseases.  Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) contains at least 60 cancer-causing substances, as well as 4700 other chemicals such as cyanide, arsenic, formaldehyde, ammonia, etc)

Withdrawal Symptoms: intense cravings sometimes years after stopping use.

Caffeine

AKA: Coffee, tea, soft drinks, over the counter meds

Psychological Effects: alertness, awake, increased concentration, focus, increased blood pressure and pulse, faster mental processing.

Physical effects: ward off sleep, improve performance, jitteriness, increased heart and blood pressure.

Withdrawal Symptoms: poor concentration, irritability, drowsiness, headaches, muscle aches, flu like symptoms,

Anabolic Steroids

AKA: Dianabol (oral), Virilon (intramuscular IV), Testoderm (testosterone transdermal patch).

Psychological Effects: ‘Roid Rage’: increased aggressiveness, mood swings, violence and depression.

Physical effects: rapid increase in strength and/or body size.  Disfiguring acne on shoulders, upper back, arms and face, increase in appetite, premature baldness, breast enlargement, aggressive sexual tendencies, cramps, liver and kidney problems, risk of heart problems, premature cessation of bone growth, testicles shrink, lower sperm count and painful penile erections.

Withdrawal Symptoms: loss of body mass, mood swings, lethargy, loss of confidence and depression.

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