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NIDA

Stimulants

Prescription Drug Abuse

Examines the non-medical use of prescription drugs—opioids, central nervous system depressants, and stimulants—describing adverse health effects of their use and the prevention and treatment of addiction.

Published: July 2001
Revised: October 2011

Cocaine

Describes the latest research findings on cocaine, exploring the scope of abuse in the U.S., its potential long- and short-term health effects, maternal cocaine use, and treatment approaches.

Published: May 1999
Revised: September 2010

Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medications

Some medications have psychoactive (mind-altering) properties and, because of that, are sometimes abused—that is, taken for reasons or in ways or amounts not intended by a doctor, or taken by someone other than the person for whom they are prescribed. In fact, prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are, after marijuana (and alcohol), the most commonly abused substances by Americans 14 and older.

Stimulant ADHD Medications - Methylphenidate and Amphetamines

Stimulant medications including amphetamines (e.g., Adderall) and methylphenidate (e.g., Ritalin and Concerta) are often prescribed to treat children, adolescents, or adults diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

National RX Drug Abuse Summit

Abuse of prescription opioids, stimulants, and other psychotherapeutic medications presents unique challenges. On the one hand, these drugs can produce serious harm (even death) when not taken as prescribed; on the other, they are powerful clinical allies that can be life saving.  Thus, the approach we take and the messages we convey to minimize harm need to be nuanced and multipronged.

Prefrontal Cortex Stimulation Stops Compulsive Drug Seeking in Rats

Researchers have shut down laboratory rats’ compulsive cocaine seeking by stimulating an area of the animals’ prefrontal cortex. The finding raises the possibility that stimulating neurons in this brain area may weaken or break cocaine’s grip on the behavior of people who are addicted to the drug.

Principles of Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment: A Research-Based Guide

Presents research-based principles of adolescent substance use disorder treatment; covers treatment for a variety of drugs including, illicit and prescription drugs, alcohol, and tobacco; presents settings and evidence-based approaches unique to treating adolescents.

Published: January 2014
Revised: January 2014

Stimulant-addicted patients can quit smoking without hindering treatment

Smokers who are addicted to cocaine or methamphetamine can quit smoking while being treated for their stimulant addiction, without interfering with stimulant addiction treatment.


Stimulants in “Bath Salts” Produce Effects Similar to MDMA

Mephedrone and methylone, two stimulants commonly found in designer drugs such as “bath salts,” act on the brain much like MDMA (Ecstasy).

Male Rats’ Cocaine Exposure Affects Their Offspring’s Drug Responses

In a surprising finding, male rats who used cocaine sired male offspring who later exhibited blunted responses to the drug. Researchers determined the cause was an epigenetic alteration.

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