Description of the Major Stimulants


Powdered cocaine is a fine, white powder that numbs the tongue if it is tasted. Crack cocaine comes in small off-white, irregularly shaped rocks. Powder cocaine is usually snorted but can be dissolved and injected. It is occasionally ingested but this can lead to serious and even fatal digestive problems. Crack cocaine is smoked for an instantaneous high. You may find tiny spoons or scoops, syringes or small glass pipes that look burnt and are coated with residue. There may be tightly rolled dollar bills or straws used to snort the drugs.

Physical and Mental Effects

  • Rapid onset of effects with a short duration
  • Excitement, stimulation
  • Delusionally amplified senses of confidence and self-worth
  • Unusually increased energy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Awake for long periods
  • Unusually focused
  • Dilated pupils
  • Dry or cracked lips (when smoked)
  • Frequent rubbing of nose (when snorted)
  • High-dose use can result in aggression, panic, suicidal or homicidal tendencies
  • Paranoia and hallucinations may also occur, especially after binges of cocaine use
  • Termination of use may be followed by depression and intense fatigue

The effects of powder cocaine last a very short time, around a half hour or a little longer. People will often binge on this drug if they have enough money, staying up for days until they finally hit a physical crash or run out of the drug.

Crack cocaine lasts an even shorter time, between five to ten minutes. Crack cravings are some of the strongest of any drug. This is what makes this drug so highly and quickly addictive. A person addicted to crack needs more of the drug throughout the day. This often leads to criminal acts to keep the drug coming - assault, prostitution, robbery. A person abusing cocaine will usually disappear every once in a while to restore the high.

Slang terms for cocaine:

Base, bernice, big flake, blow, C, candy cane, coke, girl, lady, line, mojo, nose candy, rock, snort, snow, toot, white lady, yeyo

Crack cocaine:

Apple jacks, ball, base, baseball, bazooka, cat pee, bings, bones, caps, caviar, devil’s dandruff, dip, fish scales, fry, grit, hail, ice cube, kibbles and bits, nuggets, paste, roca, rooster, sleet.



Methamphetamine is one of the most addictive drugs in the world. Some people have become addicted after just one or two uses. It is a very strong stimulant “cooked” using extremely toxic chemicals. The damage to a person’s mind and body can be intense.

When smoked, ingested or injected, methamphetamine provides a euphoria accompanied by high energy and confidence. A methamphetamine high will usually last for several hours, longer than most other stimulants.

If a person has plenty of the drug, he may stay up for days, binging on the drug. He will quit when he runs out of the drug or completely collapses. The meth user usually loses weight, eventually becoming gaunt, haggard and unhealthy looking. They act nervous and anxious and may pick at their skin.

A person’s body temperature goes up while he is high and he may appear hot and sweaty without it being hot in the room. His pupils will be dilated and his heart rate and blood pressure will be elevated. He or she may become sexually excited.

Meth abuse results in the following adverse effects:

  • Degradation of appearance
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Erratic, irrational moods
  • Aggressive or violent behavior
  • Severe paranoia
  • Confusion, disorientation
  • Insomnia
  • Damage to teeth
  • Rough skin with sores
  • Risky lifestyle
  • Neglect of basic needs of self or children

Slang terms for methamphetamine:

Chalk, crank, crystal, ice, speed, white cross, tina, batu, LA glass, LA ice, quartz, junk, no doze, rocket fuel, scooby snax, cotton candy


Very closely related to methamphetamine, amphetamine is another strong stimulant. It is a prescription drug rather than an illicit drug. It used to be used to treat weight problems, depression and even nasal congestion, but is now used for narcolepsy, a condition where people fall asleep suddenly. It has been given to airplane pilots and soldiers to keep them awake for long hours. For many years, they were abused by truck drivers until there were so many accidents, that laws were changed to eliminate long driving hours and mandate drug testing for drivers.

Amphetamine is ingested, injected or snorted. In addition to increased body temperature, euphoria and increased energy, amphetamine use results in:

  • Hostility and aggressiveness
  • Paranoia
  • Cardiovascular system failure
  • Headache
  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Chest pain
  • Convulsions
  • Psychosis

Slang for amphetamine:

Speed, bennies, benz, amp, blacks, browns, christina, dexies, crossroads, pep pills, rippers, black beauties, hearts, truck drivers, uppers, wake ups, whites

Ritalin, Adderall and similar drugs

Teen Stimulant Drug Use

These drugs are stimulants that are prescribed when a student is said to have trouble focusing on study. But in many colleges and even in high school, both prescribing and abuse of these drugs has gotten out of hand. College hospitals and family doctors are finally getting more restrictive about who they recommend this drug for.

Students obtain these pills one way or another and give them out or sell them to each other. In one survey on a college campus, 8% of students said they had abused this drug. But a university doctor in Oregon placed his estimate at 25% of his student body, a number echoed by other schools.

When the competition is fierce and final papers or test come due, many students utilize these drugs to help them study more intently or stay up long hours. But that focus comes with a price.

These are all prescription drugs, so this list includes the most common brand name followed by the generic name.

  • Ritalin (methylphenidate)
  • Concerta (extended release methylphenidate)
  • Adderall (amphetamine)
  • Strattera (atomoxitine hcl)
  • Vyvase (lisdexamfetamine - related to dextroamphetamine)
  • Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine)

Adverse effects of abusing these drugs are included on the list that follows. While the side effects of these drugs will vary slightly from one to the next, the symptoms on this list are common to many of these pills.

  • Panic attacks
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pains
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Vertigo
  • Loss of appetite
  • Anxiety and nervousness
  • Delusions
  • Irregular sleep

Slang terms for Ritalin and Concerta:

Vitamin R, west coast, ritz, R-ball, study buddies, kiddy coke, kibbles and bits, skippy, smarties

Slang terms for Adderall:

Ralls, A-bomb, amps, bennies, the A-Train, jollies, smurphs, diet coke, study buddies, addies

Slang terms for Dexedrine:

Dex, dexie, oranges


Ecstasy Pills

Ecstasy (popular nickname for MDMA) is a popular drug at music venues. So nightclubs, bars, parties, music festivals, raves and concerts are likely to be distribution points for this drug. Ecstasy is often sold as a small colored pill, often sold in a blister pack labeled with images of people dancing, or it may be distributed as a liquid. It has long been known that few of the pills sold as Ecstasy are composed of pure MDMA (short for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine). The pills may actually contain ketamine, methamphetamine, amphetamine, cocaine, pseudoephedrine, dextromethorphan, or whatever synthetic drug the pill manufacturer had on hand.

Ecstasy is referred to as an empathogen or entactogen. These terms mean that a drug causes a person to feel empathy for another person when no such feeling would logically exist. One young woman who was addicted to Ecstasy said that a man would give her Ecstasy at a nightclub and she would “fall in love” with him and be sure “he was the one.” She would have sexual relations with him and then go home and later not be able to understand why she took the drug or felt so strongly about the man. But the next night, she would be back at the club and taking the drug again.

Ecstasy effects:

  • Greater enjoyment of dancing
  • Distortions of perceptions, particularly light, music and touch
  • Artificial feelings of empathy and emotional warmth
  • Euphoria
  • Increased body temperature, blood pressure and heart rate
  • Threat of dehydration
  • Increased energy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lack of fatigue
  • Jaw clenching and teeth grinding
  • Chills
  • Muscle cramping

After Ecstasy’s immediate effects have worn off, some people, especially heavy users, complain of:

  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Sadness
  • Lack of appetite
  • Less interest in or pleasure from sex
  • Problems sleeping
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Poor memory
  • Drug cravings
  • Paranoia

When a person is partying with Ecstasy, he may take more of the drug every three to six hours to keep the high going as the effects begin to wear off.

Emergency Room Visit

The tendency for a person to overheat after using Ecstasy can be dangerous or even fatal. Some nightclubs have cool rooms where cold water is sold, enabling a person to reduce their danger. A habitual Ecstasy user knows he has to keep his body heat under control.

Ecstasy kills by causing the body’s cooling mechanism to break down. Temperatures of 110 degrees Fahrenheit and higher have been seen when a person overdoses on MDMA. These high temperatures kill a person by causing generalized organ breakdown. Combining Ecstasy with other drugs, especially alcohol, can increase the risk of overheating as alcohol tends to dehydrate a person. In addition to overheating, an Ecstasy overdose can cause a person to faint and have seizures.

One of the common effects of Ecstasy is addiction. Some people will begin by using Ecstasy on the weekends, but after they have been using the drug for a while, find themselves deeply depressed after a few days. In fact, among some Ecstasy users, Tuesday is known as “Suicide Tuesday.” Some will struggle through this period until the weekend when they can get more Ecstasy. When a person has to get more of the drug midweek just to lift the depression, he (or she) is starting to be addicted.

Ecstasy nicknames:

Ecstasy, E, X, XTC, the hug drug, love drug, disco biscuit, adam, doves, M&M, rolls, clarity, lover’s speed, rolldogs, E-tarts. Crystalline or powdered Ecstasy is called Molly.

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