"Uppers", as they are commonly known, are stimulants that fasten up the functioning of the nervous system (e.g., causing the heart rate to pace up or the brain to be hyperactive, or both). These psychoactive drugs open a shortcut to experiencing altered states of consciousness. Such drugs may alter perception, thinking, memory, or amalgamate all these capabilities in a person. This piece discusses a particular type of neurotransmitters known as stimulants, what they do to our brain and consciousness.


Found in the leaves of the coca plant, cocaine is a natural drug that prompts feelings of euphoria. Cocaine muffles pain and spurs feelings of power and pleasure. Interestingly, unbeknownst to its deadly qualities, several health drinks and toothache medications used it in the 1800s. At present, with rigorous research on the drug (thanks to laboratory animals), it is considered as one of the dangerous drugs. It can have fatal effects on children born to cocaine addicts. Studies identified an association with usage of cocaine in pregnant mothers with the child at higher risk of developing disabilities. Due to the chemical changes induced by this drug, the brain produces a craving. Although the withdrawal effect of cocaine may not be as strong as heroin, users go through severe mood fluctuation resulting in depression, among other symptoms such as paranoia, nervousness, fatigue, and failure to feel pleasure. There are several versions of cocaine available illegally in the streets, including crack cocaine, an adulterated and cheaper version.


Almost everyone, almost every day, uses this stimulant. Caffeine, like cocaine, is also a natural drug, originates in cocoanuts, tea leaves, coffee beans, 60 other types of known plants. Unlike other stimulants, caffeine has milder effects. Predominantly it induces alertness. It is also used as one of the critical ingredients in pain-relieving medications. In popular trends, coffee is generally a refuge while studying or doing a highly intensive task that requires more attention. Although it may help in alertness when needed while working but may exacerbate sleep deprivation.


Nicotine is also a form of a mild stimulant but somewhat toxic. This drug stimulates the discharge of adrenalin by postulating a rush of sugar in the bloodstream and upsurges dopamine levels in our brain's reward pathway. Like other drugs, it produces a relaxing effect and gives a feeling of stress reduction to most people. Cigarettes are the most common form of nicotine intake in society among other tobacco products. The physical and psychological symptoms of nicotine can be as bad as heroin or cocaine. Therefore, people often find it difficult to quit. Just because nicotine is easily obtainable and legal, people misjudge its highly addictive power, higher than heroin or alcohol.


These stimulants are laboratory-produced. Methedrine, Benzedrine, and Dexedrine are amphetamines. A compound related to amphetamines is methamphetamine which is more commonly used to treat attention deficit disorder. For 'recreational' purposes, a crystalline form of amphetamines is used widely known as "crystal meth." This form of the drug is responsible for creating an overdrive in the sympathetic nervous system. Often, truck drivers use amphetamines to drive for long hours without falling asleep. Important to note that this stimulant does not give any extra energy to people but rather burn up the energy reserves in the body. Since they reduce the appetite, amphetamines are also prescribed by doctors as diet pills. Consequently, an energy crash is inevitable after the stimulants wear off, resulting in the tendency to take it one more time to stay back up. Taking it without control may result in "amphetamine psychosis," a state resulting in high blood pressure, strokes, nausea, vomiting, etc. The psychosis state is complex as it may make addicts delusional of reality. Violence is one of the most common symptoms seen in addicts.

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