Stimulant drugs

How common is stimulant drug abuse?

The United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (2017) released a report regarding people
suffering from drug use disorders globally. The findings suggested that stimulant use disorders
are the second most severe in terms of impact globally (United Nations Office on Drug and
Crime, 2017).

In Vancouver, stimulant use has increased significantly. St Paul’s Hospital
reported a 400% increase in presentations related to crystal meth use between 1996 and
2011 (Urban Health Research Initiative, 2013).

What are some examples of stimulant drugs?

The most commonly abused stimulants are amphetamines, methamphetamine, and cocaine. Stimulants can be synthetic (such as amphetamines and crystal methamphetamines) or can be plant-derived (such as cocaine). They are usually taken orally, snorted, or intravenously.

What are the some of the potential health effects of stimulant drugs?

Stimulants increase alertness, attention, and energy, as well as elevate blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration. They include a wide range of drugs that have historically been used to treat conditions, such as obesity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and, occasionally, depression.

Many people who use stimulants also experience serious mental  illnesses. As well, regular stimulant use has also been strongly associated with mental illnesses such as psychosis, anxiety disorders, depression, and sleep disorders. As a result, there is a need to integrate evidence-based mental health and substance dependence services for this vulnerable population.

Important note:

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