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Stimulants

Stimulants are drugs that stimulate the central nervous system and excite bodily activity. Methamphetamine or crank is one of the fastest growing drugs of abuse. These drugs create less intense and less expensive cocaine-like effects in the body.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF USE

  • Mood changes
  • Impaired concentration
  • Impaired mental functioning
  • Swings between apathy and alertness

In addition to the physical effects, users report feeling restless, anxious and moody. Higher doses intensify the effects. Persons who use large amounts of amphetamines over a long period of time can develop an amphetamine psychosis that includes hallucinations, delusions and paranoia. These symptoms usually disappear when drug use ceases.

HEALTH EFFECTS

  • increased heart and respiratory rates
  • elevated blood pressure
  • sweating
  • headaches
  • blurred vision
  • dizziness
  • sleeplessness and anxiety
  • rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • tremors
  • poor coordination
  • physical collapse

Physical exertion while using stimulants can be dangerous because of the drugs’ effects on the body’s temperature-regulating and cardiovascular systems and can cause deaths in otherwise healthy young athletes.

Amphetamines can be swallowed in pills or capsules, smoked as crank and ice or injected. An amphetamine injection creates a sudden increase in blood pressure that can result in stroke, very high fever or heart failure. Also, injection using contaminated needles may result in needle-related diseases such as AIDS and hepatitis.

WORKPLACE ISSUES

  • Employees who fall under Federal guidelines such as the Department of Transportation’s testing regulations are prohibited from using amphetamines without a current prescription.

  • The addictive nature and cost can lead to workplace theft and/or dealing.

  • Work performance is erratic with periods of high performance and periods characterized by forgetfulness, absenteeism and missed assignments.

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