Types of Stimulants
CLASSIFICATION & APPLICATIONS
Stimulants kindle the indwelling energy in our neuronal array and make us feel the most unordinary mental experiences. They depersonalize us, bridge the gaps between our sensory systems and increase our energy levels, alertness and interest. Use of stimulants dates back to thousands of years and spans nearly all human races and regions. Though they are mostly used in various recreational activities; they have a lot of mentionable medical uses as well. Stimulants can be classified as below;
These contain the most commonly abused variety of stimulants due to their fire-brand mental stirring effect. In view of their sky-scraping potency, high abuse liability and potential toxic effects, they are illegal to consume. They work by augmenting the levels of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain, which provides boundless fuel to the mental neuronal circuits. Notable examples include Cocaine, Amphetamines, Methylphenidate, Phenmetrazine and Pemoline.
Legal Recreational Drugs
These include the subtle versions of their more potent counterparts and have acquired legal status in view of their health benefits and varied usages. Their abuse potential is low and they are not known to turn the brain into an undisciplined territory of unlimited perceptions. They provide acceptable level of mental stimulation without hampering the person’s insight. These act by blockade of adenosine receptors and stimulation of acetylcholine receptors to exert their actions. You must not be surprised to know that our most adored caffeine and nicotine fall in this category.
These can be termed as atypical stimulants as they inspirit the dull and low mind and have immense use in clinical psychiatry. The hormones related with feelings of pleasure, anger, hatred and other similar emotions are Dopamine, Norepinephrine and Serotonin. These clinical antidepressants work by causing blockade of norepinephrine reuptake, increased norepinephrine level and blockade of serotonin reuptake. Notable examples include Imipramine, Amitriptyline, Tranylcypromine and Fluoxetine.
This is group of compounds that induce visual and auditory hallucinations. Initially the use of psychedelic drugs was mostly limited to religious rites. Later experimentations lead to them being used to enhance perception, expand reality, promote personal awareness, and induce comprehension of spiritual or supernatural. They can be further classified as mentioned;
- Anticholinergic Psychedelic Drugs: Atropine and Scopolamine
- Catecholamine-Like Psychedelic Drugs: Mescaline, DOM (STP), MDA, MMDA, TMA, DMA, MDMA, Myristin, elemicin
- Serotonin-Like Psychedelic Drugs: LSD, Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), Psilocybin, psilocin, bufotenine Ololiuqui (morning glory seeds), Harmine
- Psychedelic Anesthetic Drugs: Phencyclidine (Angel Dust, Sernyl), Ketamine (Ketalar)
To stir the mind and experience the neuronal race: Stimulants make the energy hormones mad and the body experiences a riot of innate sensations; pleasant and paced. The thought process gets animated, the sensory perceptions defy logics and the hullabaloo prevails in the cerebral juices. The person acquires capability to see the sound, to smell the colors and to touch the emotions, as if the powers of God are transferred to the ordinary mind laced with stimulants.
To arouse the ebullience: The mind starts pacing in the dreamland with all the lanes painted fluorescent. Stimulants are known to enhance the aura of sensory awakenings. Once stepped into that territory of mind, the psychic experience and visual metrics can never match to that of the ordinary world. People don’t really feel fatigued under the cover of stimulants; some dance for days, others laugh till the point of gasping. The thrill of de-personalization turns the somnolent mind into a hyperactive factory of thoughts.
To strengthen the sense of mutual bonding: Many a times, people use stimulants in the peer company to share the inner bonding and leverage the level of their relationship. The commonest example is the cigarette breaks taken in an office by the colleagues to vent their spleen against the management. We have been having coffee breaks and tea breaks in our homes and offices ad infinitum; it’s just the mutual bond that we nurture between sips of caffeine laced beverages.
To pacify the troubled mind; escapism wins: A lot of people use stimulants amidst extraordinary depression to give their spirits a much required lift. While looming in the lanes of subconscious mind doesn’t provide a direct solution, it definitely helps them escaping the ugliness of the problem.
Did you mention its party tonight: Rave parties witness a lot of cocaine getting snuffed into dry nostrils, a lot of amphetamines getting infused into the palpable veins and a lot of LSD being used to open the windows of the mind. The patterns of stimulant usage keep on changing and these days Ketamine, primarily an anesthetic agent and Prolintane, an amphetamine-related substance, are doing the rounds. The most widely used club drugs are 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), also known as ecstasy; gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB); flunitrazepam and ketamine. The flickering glow of fluorescent bulbs and the screech of psychedelic trance music aggravate the effects of these stimulants used in rave parties. Scientific data exists that younger women were more likely to be active club drug users. Lesbian and bisexual women reported significantly higher lifetime rates of ecstasy, cocaine, methamphetamine, and LSD use compared to heterosexual women.
The eyelids shall not droop: Stimulants, particularly amphetamines, are used to experience prolonged periods of sleeplessness. These are used by students and professionals who are looking for those extra hours to optimize their study or work related performances. Though the periods of wakefulness increase, the attention span is known to creep down considerably.
Sexual power has no substitute: Many stimulants are focused towards increasing sexual performances. They work as powerful aphrodisiacs and can be a person’s best companion in one of those wild rave parties. Some of them are also known to increase the sexual stamina and the ability to achieve the most incredible orgasm. Most of these stimulants are herbal in nature and include Avena Sative (Wild Oats), Brazilian Catuba Bark, Horny Goat Weed (Epimedium), Longifolia Jack (Tongkat Ali), Maca, Mucana Pruriens Extract, Muira Puama, Tribulus Terrestris and Yohimbe.
Slay off the fatigue: Some stimulants e.g. caffeine, nicotine have been in use since ancient times in view of their properties to thwart off the fatigue and replenish the body with fresh bouts of energy. It is now scientifically proved that these stimulants have a major role in limiting the realization of fatigue. How clearly your thoughts begin to race after you gulp down few sips of coffee with those drowsy eyes.
To attain the spiritual trance: Many yogis and sages have used stimulants as a method to connect their soul with the super power. Used in attaining transcendental state of mind, stimulants have been frequently used to achieve the state of suspended animation by religious gurus. It is said that use of stimulants makes the mind free of its boundaries, which makes it able to skyrocket its trajectory to the realms of superpower and supernatural.
Okayed by the US FDA for narcolepsy, sleepiness in sleep apnea, shift work cycle disorder, and in some cases for extreme daytime sleepiness, modafinil has been studied for official FDA indications on ADD, jet lag, and depression.
Yohimbine has been used primarily in the treatment of erectile dysfunction, weight (body fat) loss, and xerostomia (dry mouth). It has also been used in studies investigating autonomic failure, posttraumatic stress disorder, cancer and orthostatic hypotension.
Cocaine is used to temporarily anesthetize the lining of the mouth, nose, skin and throat (mucous membranes) before certain medical procedures (e.g., biopsy, stitches, wound cleaning). In various regions, coca is taken for toothache, ulcers, rheumatism, asthma, and even malaria.
Methylphenidate is used to treat attention disorders (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD), Narcolepsy (a disorder of sleep regulation) and Autism.
The possible therapeutic potential of MDMA is being tested in treating those diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or anxiety related to cancer. There have long been suggestions that MDMA might be useful in psychotherapy, facilitating self-examination with reduced fear.
Amphetamine are used to treat Narcolepsy (a form of sleep disorder), obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression (particularly in patients who are medically ill or recovering from surgery and therefore unable to tolerate the side effects of tricyclic antidepressants) and hyperactivity.
Cannabis (& Synthetic Cannabis Derivatives)
Cannabis is used as an effective analgesic in a vast variety of painful conditions e.g. posts surgery pain, headache, migraine, menstrual cramps, and so on. It also reduces muscle spasms and tremors and THC (cannabis derivatives) has a bronchodilator effect that cab ease symptoms of bronchial asthma. Treatment of glaucoma, prevention of chemotherapy related nausea and vomiting and stimulation of appetite remain some of the other uses of cannabis.
It is an anesthetizing agent and is used to produce ‘dissociative analgesia. It is a favored agent for inducing short term anesthesia in a vast variety of surgical procedures.
Studies are on the way to prove their good results in anxieties associated with terminal cancers and in prevention of migraine. Previously they were thought to be helpful in psychosis, but the long term results were discouraging.
It is also known as diacetylmorphine and works as a very potent pain killer. The medical use of heroin is in acute pain conditions such as due to severe physical trauma/injury, post surgical pain, myocardial infarction (commonly known as heart attack) and chronic painful conditions such as pains associated with end stage cancer.
It is a decongestant used to treat sinus and nasal congestion.
It is used in intractable dry cough, to control increased frequency of loose stools and in moderate to severe painful conditions.