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NOPE Task Force – Narcotics Overdose Prevention & Education


  • Stimulants reverse the effects of fatigue on both mental and physical tasks.
  • Two commonly used stimulants are nicotine and caffeine.
  • A number of stimulants are under regulatory control of the CSA and are available by prescription for legitimate medical use.
  • As drugs of abuse, stimulants are frequently taken to produce a sense of exhilaration, enhance self esteem, improve mental and physical performance, increase activity, reduce appetite and to "get high". They are among the most potent agents of reward and reinforcement that underlie the problem of dependence.
  • They are taken orally, sniffed, smoked and injected.
  • During periods of heavy use all other interests become secondary to recreating the initial euphoric rush.
  • Tolerance can develop rapidly and both physical and psychological dependence occur.
  • Abrupt cessation is commonly followed by depression, anxiety, drug craving and extreme fatigue known as a "crash".
  • Risks: chest pain with palpitations, hostility, aggression, suicidal or homicidal tendencies, paranoia, hallucinations, convulsions, cardiovascular collapse, death.


  • Amphetamine, Dextroamphetamine and methamphetamine are collectively referred to as amphetamines. In fact, their chemical properties and actions are so similar that even experiences users have difficulty knowing which drug they have taken.
  • Amphetamine was first marketed in 1930 by prescription in tablet form and was used in the treatment of the sleeping disorder, narcolepsy and the behavioral syndrome called minimal brain dysfunction, which today is called attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Drugs are abused for the stimulant effects they produce, including appetite suppression, wakefulness euphoria and increased focus and attentiveness.
  • Drugs are taken orally or injected. Individuals of all ages abuse Amphetamines.
  • Effects of amphetamines, especially methamphetamine are similar to cocaine but their onset is slower and duration is longer.
  • Meth remains in the blood stream longer and the drug remains unchanged in the body producing prolonged stimulant effects.
  • Chronic abuse produces a psychosis that resembles schizophrenia and is characterized by paranoia.


  • Ritalin is a trade name for the prescription drug methylphenidate.
  • Abuse of Ritalin typically is associated with teenagers, and young adults.
  • Tablet is crushed, and powder is snorted or injected.
  • Effects include: Loss of appetite, fevers, convulsions & severe headaches, risk of exposure to HIV, hepatitis, Irregular heartbeat and respiration, paranoia, hallucinations, delusions, excessive repetition of movements and meaningless tasks, tremors.
  • Risks include severe psychological addiction, psychotic episodes, cardiovascular complications.


  • Smoking, chewing and dipping all involve the use of nicotine.
  • The nicotine in tobacco is one of the most addictive of drugs.
  • Long-term use of tobacco often results in high blood pressure, heart attack, chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, emphysema and or cancer of the lungs, throat and mouth.

Crack Cocaine

  • Crack cocaine is a highly addictive and powerful stimulant that is derived from powdered cocaine.
  • Crack typically is available as rocks, white or off white and varies in size.
  • Crack is almost always smoked. Individuals of all ages use crack.
  • May lead to aggressive and paranoid behavior.
  • Users may experience respiratory problems lung trauma and bleeding, seizure and cardiac arrest.


  • Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant that appears as a fine white, crystalline powder.
  • Cocaine is typically inhaled through the nose, or dissolved and injected.
  • Individuals of all ages use cocaine. Use among high school students is a particular concern.
  • Individuals become restless, irritable and anxious.
  • Use can result in increase temperature, heart rate. Heart attack respiratory failure stroke and seizure.
  • Risk of sudden death when used with alcohol.


  • Ecstasy is a synthetic drug that causes both hallucinogenic and stimulant effects.
  • MDMA generally is sold as a tablet which is taken orally.
  • The tablets are available in various colors and shapes and generally are imprinted with a logo - smiley faces, clover leaves, cartoon characters and symbols.
  • Most MDMA users are teenagers or young adults.
  • It is called a club drug because it often is used at all-night dance parties (called raves) and at night clubs.
  • Risks include confusion, depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, craving for the drug, and paranoia. Muscle tension involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, tremors dehydration, heart or kidney failure.
  • Users may consume too much of the drug, which can result in overdose death.