Drugs:Fact and Fiction/Stimulants
Stimulants create a fast rush of euphoria and energy, causing a general feeling of well being, by the increase in the level of neurotransmitters available for use (i.e. Seretonin and Dopamine). This speeds up cognitive processing and the central nervous system. Although generally lacking in visual effects, by their own nature stimulants increase metabolic functions and may also increase in breathing and heart rate (due to increased movement, voluntary or involuntary leading to an increase in consumption of energy and oxygen) and may alter mental perception, focus, especially in relation to time or speed (it may seem faster or slower, outside reality and thoughts) that to some may be perceived as to allow for greater enjoyment of surroundings, or any other sensory perceptions, including music. Because of the increase in breathing an heart rate, most stimulants become quite dangerous at excessive doses and may lead do faster dehydration. Once their effects wear down however, the user experiences a depressive crash because of the sudden reversal of effects. This often leads to re-dosing, which can quickly become habitual and very addicting.
In general and in an increasing trend most stimulants are used as a tool to increased productivity, attention and stamina, from a cup of coffee at morning to a pill that helps one complete a long drive at night or helps keep attention while studying for an approaching exam.
A good number of stimulants are derived from plants. The plants or natural sources themselves have a stimulant effect and in general in their natural form, without specific selection or alteration have a long, historic and safe relation with human consumption, activities and cultures.
Methylzanthines are a group of 3 mild stimulants based upon the Xanthine molecule. Best known amongst them is Caffeine, which is the only Xanthine to have recreational value. The remaining two are found naturally in chocolate and tea and have high toxicity if attempted to be used recreationally. All Xanthines are diuretic (that is, they increase frequency of urination).
Sympathomimetic drugs include the common stimulants that everyone has heard so much about in the media. From Cocaine, to Ecstacy, to Amphetamines, to Crystal Meth. Almost every recreational stimulant is a part of this subclass.
Amphetamines (derived from Alpha-Methyl-PHen-EThyl-AMINESs) are not a true class of drug, but rather a way of a grouping several drugs with similar effects together. Amphetamines work primarily by releasing stored dopamine, norepinephrine and seretonin in the brain, as well as blocking the re-uptake of dopamine and norepinephrine. This combines a feeling of pleasure (Seretonin) with a speedy rush of energy (Norepinephrine is very similar to adrenaline).
See Psychedelic Empathogens - These are the same drugs.