Stimulants such as cocaine, methamphetamine, methylphenidate, nicotine and ‘Ecstasy’ are just some of the drugs on the market which affect the brain and body, creating feelings of euphoria. Learn more about how stimulants interact with the body system and impact functioning of the brain and body.


How Stimulants Work

A small dose of stimulants may create a sense of energy, euphoria, talkativeness and mental alertness. Sight, sound and touch sensations are heightened for a time and the body forgets to feel hunger or fatigue. As the body temperature rises, the heart pumps more quickly to keep blood flowing through the veins. In larger doses, stimulants can cause a person to act erratically or violently, causing harm to oneself or others.


Brain and Body

The brain experiences changes when stimulants enter the system. Nerve cell communication changes as a buildup of dopamine occurs in the brain. People who take stimulants will feel intense pleasure and increased energy while others may feel anxious and paranoid. Every person experiences stimulants differently. Stimulants can also interfere with serotonin and block nerve impulses. Repeated use of stimulants can disrupt the functioning of the brain’s dopamine system. People may try to compensate by taking more of the drug to experience the same pleasurable feelings, leading to tolerance and even addiction (needing more stimulants to experience the effects) causing a dangerous buildup of toxic substances in the brain and body which can lead to overdose or even death.


Absorption of Stimulants

Stimulants are absorbed relatively quickly when smoked, snorted or used intravenously. The faster the absorption of stimulants, the more intense and rapid the high. Injection of stimulants produces an effect within 15-30 seconds. One hit of crack, when smoked, may produce an almost immediate effect and intense experience but ends within 5-15 minutes. If snorted, stimulants create an effect in the body almost immediately but a person will feel the high for approximately 15 to 30 minutes.



Single, low doses of stimulants may improve mental and motor control performance in people who experience lethargy. Stimulants do not necessarily enhance an average person’s daily work or ability in completing complex tasks such as driving. Most studies conducted on the use of stimulants focus on low dosage amounts. The dosing requirements result in better attention span but have shown no effect on cognitive processes such as learning. Stimulants can provide powerful psycho-active effects for individuals who take the drugs but also have addictive properties. Most stimulants are sold on the streets and are injected with other substances which can change the purity and safety of the product.


Stimulants have addictive properties which can have devastating consequences on an individual’s mental and physical wellbeing. If you or a loved one are struggling to quit using stimulants, contact Hired Power for information and resources on recovery.


Most Recent Blog Posts

5 Ways To Forgive Yourself In Recovery

    Sometimes, in active addiction, we do things we aren’t proud of. We may have hurt the ones we love, do things we are ashamed of, and caused harm to ourselves. We may feel guilty, embarrassed, and angry. Although you may have gotten substance abuse treatment and are...

    Read More

    Recognizing A Problem With Alcohol

      It can be fun and relaxing to go out for drinks with your friends on Friday nights after a long work week or have a cocktail before bed. Many people drink alcohol and do so regularly, but how do you know when your drinking has become a problem? When many of us think...

      Read More

      Which 12-Step Program Is Right For Me?

        12-Step programs are a common part of addiction recovery. Many treatment programs utilize a 12-Step approach, and many of those recovering choose to attend meetings after they complete their treatment. Attending meetings can help individuals maintain their recovery...

        Read More


        21062 Brookhurst St. #201, Huntington Beach, CA 92646

        ©2021 All Rights Reserved. Design & Development by Goldman Marketing Group | Sitemap | Privacy Policy The information available on this web site is provided for informational purposes only. This information is not intended to replace a medical consultation where a physician's judgment may advise you about specific disorders, conditions and or treatment options. We hope the information will be useful for you to become more educated about your health care decisions. If you are vision-impaired or have some other impairment covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to using this website, please contact us at