Stimulants: Understanding Use, Impact, and Responses Reading List

Stimulants are a class of drugs that act on the central nervous system, increasing alertness, energy, and attention while elevating mood. They achieve these effects by enhancing the activity of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain.

Many stimulant-related hazards are linked to intensive, high-dose, or long-term usage. The mode of administration plays a significant moderating role; injecting stimulants and smoking crack cocaine or methamphetamine have been specifically associated with more problematic use behaviours. Even people who use stimulants sporadically or for experimental purposes, nevertheless, may experience acute issues.

Here are some resources to learn more about stimulants and their impact:

1. Synthetic Stimulants – The Current Situation in Europe (European Drug Report 2023)

  • The European Drug Report 2023 by EMCDDA provides the latest analysis of the drug situation for synthetic stimulants in Europe, including prevalence of use, treatment demand, seizures and purity, harms, and more. It is part of the European Drug Report 2023, which offers an annual overview of the drug situation in Europe.

2. Stimulants: Health and Social Responses

  • The stimulants health and social responses miniguide from EMCDDA is part of a larger set, providing an overview of health and social responses to stimulant-related problems. It reviews available interventions, their effectiveness, and implications for policy and practice.

3. UNODC Booklet 4 - Drug Market Trends of Cocaine, Amphetamine-type Stimulants and New Psychoactive Substances

  • The UNODC booklet, part of the World Drug Report 2022, focuses on market dynamics of various stimulants including cocaine, amphetamines, and "ecstasy," as well as New Psychoactive Substances. It provides analysis on global market trends, supply, demand, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

4. Stimulant Use Webinar Series:

This ISSUP webinar series, hosted by ISSUP Indonesia, ISSUP Malaysia, and ISSUP Philippines in collaboration with ITTC, focuses on amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) in the Asia-Pacific region. It covers prevalence of use, associated harms, mechanisms of action, modes of use, and recommendations for management and prevention.

The webinar series can be accessed here:

Stimulant Use Webinar Series. Part I: About Amphetamine Type Stimulants and Stimulant Use Disorder

Stimulant Use Webinar Series. Part II: Risky Behaviour and Chem Sex Associated with Stimulant Use

Stimulant Use Webinar Series. Part III: Examples of Stimulant Use Treatment Programmes.

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