Chapter03 - Chapter 3 Uppers CHAPTER OVERVIEW Uppers are...

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Chapter 3 Uppers CHAPTER OVERVIEW Uppers are stimulants that initially increase energy and alertness. These are the world’s most widely used psychoactive drugs. Some give an intense rush while others are only mildly stimulating. These drugs vary from cocaine and amphetamines (strong stimulants) to caffeine and nicotine (weaker ones). Stimulants also include drugs used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, diet pills, and plant stimulants such as khat, betel nut, ephedra, and yohimbe. New illicit stimulants include MDPV, mephedrone and other cathinones sold deceptively as “bath salts”. All stimulants can cause severe health problems when they are abused. It is the rapid development of tolerance and the disrupting effect on brain chemistry that encourage abuse and addiction. This chapter surveys the various stimulants, their history, effects and side effects, and the social context of their use. Cocaine and amphetamines are the strongest stimulants, they release excess neurotransmitters, principally epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine (the catecholamine neurotransmitters). At lower doses, stimulation, confidence, aggressiveness, lack of hunger or thirst, faster heart rates, raised blood pressure, and alertness are the desired effects. At high doses or with prolonged use, neurotransmitter depletion, exhaustion, paranoia, psychosis, dehydration, unhealthy weight loss, and uncontrolled heart rates are common. The method of use can increase the abuse potential; smoking cocaine in its freebase chemical form known as “crack” is more addicting than snorting the drug. Amphetamine congeners are used mainly to treat attention- deficit/hyperactivity disorder and Amphetamine congeners are drugs that are related to amphetamines but are not as strong. The most well known is methylphenidate, used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorders. There is much controversy over their use. Amphetamines such as Adderall are also used to treat ADHD. The other well-known amphetamine congeners are also used as diet pills such as dexfenfluramine, pemoline, and phentermine. Use of a combination of congeners known as fen-phen has diminished due to damaging side effects such as heart problems. Worldwide, plant stimulants such as betel nuts and khat are used recreationally as often as coffee or cigarettes are used in the United States. Khat is popular in eastern Africa, the Middle East, and southern Arabia. Betel nuts have been used for more than two millennia;
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anywhere from 200 to 450 million people use betel nuts. Other plant and synthetic stimulants like ephedra, yohimbe, cathinone and pseudoephedrine have similar effects as methamphetamine. Worldwide, plant stimulants such as betel nuts and khat are used recreationally as often as coffee or cigarettes are used in the United States. Khat is popular in eastern Africa, the Middle East, and southern Arabia. Betel nuts have been used for more than two millennia; anywhere from 200 to 450 million people use betel nuts. Other plant and
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Chapter03 - Chapter 3 Uppers CHAPTER OVERVIEW Uppers are...

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