Amphetamines and Cocaine

Amphetamines and cocaine are stimulants. Stimulants are drugs that speed up the messages travelling between the brain and the body [26504]. They can increase energy and concentration and reduce hunger and the need to sleep [23510]. Some commonly used stimulants are cocaine, speed, ecstasy and dexamphetamine (Ritalin). The strongest and most addictive stimulant drug is crystal methamphetamine or ‘ice’.

What are the effects of stimulants?

The more stimulants are taken and the longer they are taken for, the more likely a person will develop physical or mental health problems [23510].

Physical harms include:

  • risk of stroke
  • fits (seizures)
  • dental problems
  • risks of blood-borne viruses from injecting amphetamines.

Psychological and social harms include:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • paranoia
  • aggression and violence
  • trouble with the law.

How does it affect communities?

The regular use of stimulants can also lead to social problems –  individual, community and family problems [23510]. These can include:

  • community disruption because of increased aggression or violence
  • increased contact with the criminal justice system
  • problems with money and finances.

References

Key resources

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Bush Potato Dreaming by Rene Dixon

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