What are Stimulants?

Stimulants are drugs that increase—or "stimulate"—activities and processes in the body. This increased activity can boost alertness, attention, and energy. It also can raise your blood pressure and make your heart beat faster.

Stimulant misuse can mean using illicit stimulants (such as cocaine or methamphetamine). It may also mean using prescription medication in higher amounts, more often, or for longer than prescribed, using for recreational purposes, or using prescription medication prescribed to someone else. Stimulant misuse can cause serious health effects, addiction, and death. 

The most common stimulants are:

  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Prescription stimulants like those prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Examples include dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine®), dextroamphetamine/amphetamine combination product (Adderall®) and methylphenidate (Ritalin®, Concerta®)

What are the health risks of stimulant use?

Health-related information about stimulants can be found from:

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How can you reduce the health risks of stimulant use?

Stimulants that have been prescribed to you:

  1. Don't drink alcohol while using stimulants
  2. Take only as prescribed by your doctor
  3. Never share your prescription stimulants
  4. Store your prescription stimulants in a secure place and safely get rid of unused medication
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What to do if you suspect methamphetamine production?

Methamphetamine production is extremely dangerous. If you suspect methamphetamine production in your neighborhood - call 9-1-1 immediately. Do not go inside and stay away from the location. Methamphetamine production uses toxic chemicals than can explode. For more information visit the Vermont State Police Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement Team.

Help is available

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VT Helplink alcohol and drug support center provides information, support and referrals for substance use treatment, recovery and harm-reduction services in Vermont. 



Parent Up provides tips for parents and caregivers about talking with their kids about alcohol and cannabis. 

Contact Us
Substance Use Programs (DSU)

Vermont Department of Health
280 State Street
Waterbury, VT 05671-8340


More Info
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Vermont Opioid and Stimulant Response Initiatives
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Stimulant Misuse in Vermont
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National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
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