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Analysis of CNS Stimulants: Histoy and Effects

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Chemistry
Wordcount: 5162 words Published: 23rd Sep 2019

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Substance Analysis Paper

 Select one of the substance listed and complete an analysis on that specific category of drugs.  Students are asked to use a minimum of three Scholarly references from the last 4 to 6 years to answer the questions.  Citations must follow each answer to credit the source, and must be referenced at the end of the paper.  Please follow APA format (6th edition) to cite and reference all sources used in the paper.  The paper may also utilize books and academic or governmental acknowledged web sites, but these will be in addition to the three journal articles.


Identify the substance being analyzed: CNS Stimulants


Required Content

Answer should be followed by citation in this box

Example: The drug was__________. (Smith, 2017).



Placement in the drug classification system (chapter 2)

Name of drugs in this category. 

(4 points)

In 2017 alone, more than 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses. (drugabuse.gov, 2018). That is 72,000 people that should have never died. The drug epidemic is a serious problem in every continent, every country, every state, and in every city. We have tried over and over to beat the war on drugs, but yet here we are. People are still dying from illegal drug use. Drugs can range from CNS depressants to anabolic steroids, but my focus is going to be on CNS stimulants. Central nervous system stimulants, otherwise known simply as CNS stimulants, are drugs that increase energy and stimulant the brain by making it more alert and able to concentrate. Respiratory rate and heart rate also increase. Common drugs in the CNS stimulant category is: cocaine, amphetamines, bath salts, and nicotine. An example of an amphetamine would be methamphetamine. Caffeine is also a CNS stimulant. That may sound odd that caffeine is a drug since we use it on a day to day basis, from drinking coffee to having a piece of chocolate. Caffeine is safe until we cannot live without it. Some caffeine products that are abused a lot are NoDoz and Dexatrim.

Placement in the regulatory federal schedule & rationale

(3 points)

In 1970, Nixon signed a very important act that combined all prior existing federal drug laws into one single statute. This act is well known as the Controlled Substances Act. The act classified drugs into five schedules depending on the drug’s acceptable medical use and the drug’s dependency potential. Schedule 1 drugs have a high potential for abuse and the potential to create severe psychological and physical dependence. Schedule 1 drugs have no medical use. As the schedules increase, the level of abuse and accepted medical use changes. Since Schedule 1 is the most severe, that means Schedule 5 is the least potential for abuse and has the most accepted medical use. CNS stimulants are a Schedule 2 drug. (dea.gov). This means that they have a high potential for abuse/dependence and that there is accepted medical use but with severe restrictions. Doctors use CNS stimulants for legitimate medical uses, such as an anesthetic for some eye, ear, and throat surgeries. CNS stimulants are also used for medical purposes for people who have ADHD, narcolepsy, and depression. (Campbell & Young, 2018). Since CNS stimulants can be used for medical reasoning, they are abused by many patients.

History of the drug

(5 points)

Many of these drugs have been used for thousands of years. Amazon Rainforest and Andes Mountain’s people have chewed coca leaves to get a high for as long as they can remember. In 1551, the Catholic Church proclaimed that the use of coca leaf was undermining the spread of Christianity. As a result, restrictions were put on the amount of land used for cocoa production. It was not until the 1850s European scientists first isolated cocaine from coca leaves. Shortly later, cocaine was experimented with for medical usage. Carl Koller found that if you soak an eye in cocaine solution, the patients will no longer flinch when the scalpel would touch their eye. Pharmaceutical companies everywhere started marketing cocaine. In 1886, the popular drink Coca-Cola was founded. This was a beverage concoction of cocaine and sugary syrup. In 1903 though, the cocaine was removed from the drink because of public pressure. Finally, in 1914, the Harrison Narcotics Act outlawed the sale and use of coca and opium products. That did not stop drug dealers from selling though. In the 1980s, there was a huge crack epidemic. The Federal Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 set harsher punishments on crack and cocaine offenses. (history.com). Amphetamine was first made in 1887 in Germany. Meth was developed in 1919 in Japan. Meth was used during World War II. Both sides used the drug to keep troops awake. After the war, meth sky rocketed because it became available to the public. In the 1950s, it was easily available and was used as a diet aid and to fight depression. In 1970, the U.S. government finally made it illegal for most uses. (drugfreeworld.com) The tobacco plant has been used for at least 2,000 years. In 1880, the tobacco industry exploded when a machine was first patented to mass-produce paper cigarettes. By the end of the 19th century, people had finally begun to realize the harmful side effects of nicotine. In 1890, selling nicotine to minors was illegal in 26 states. It was not until 1964 that smoking was linked with heart disease and lung cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recognized nicotine as a drug that produced dependency in 1994. That does not sound to long ago! Even in 2009, we have been moving forward on setting regulations for nicotine. The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act can now regulate the production and advertisement of tobacco products. (Felman, 2018). Caffeine has been a part of history for thousands of years. Each country has its own story as to how caffeine was found. What we know for sure though is that caffeine was first extracted from cocoa beans in its purest form in the 1820s by a German scientist. Supposedly coffee has been banned in some countries at various times. (May, 2012). Currently in the United States, the FDA allows beverages containing less than 0.02% caffeine. Caffeine powder though, like dietary supplement, is not being regulated. (FDA, 2018). Bath Salts are a newer drug. They were first synthesized in France in 1928 and 1929. Abuse of these drugs were started in the former Soviet Union in the 1930s, where they were used as antidepressants. In the 1990s, they became popular in the U.S. In 2012, two of the key drugs used in bath salts were made illegal in the U.S. However, that did not stop the production of bath salts. Underground chemists created new variations with slightly different chemical formulas. (drugfreeworld.org).

Production country and method

 (5 points)

Drugs comes from everywhere. The process of making drugs and what goes in them varies from place to place. Cocaine is produced from the leaves of the coca plant. The plant mainly grows in northern and southern South America. The main countries that produce cocaine is Columbia, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. Cocaine laboratories are scattered throughout these countries. At these laboratories, the hand-picked coca leaves are soaked in gasoline and other chemicals to extract the coca base from the leaves. The base is then poured into brick molds. The water gets pressed out, leaving a 50 percent brick of cocaine. These bricks then are shipped to other countries. (deamuseum.org). Meth is different than cocaine in the fact that it is man-made. Meth is produced by using a variety of store-bought chemicals. The United States gets its meth mostly from super labs in Mexico and here. The drug is also made in small laboratories. Meth has many key ingredients that are very toxic. These include: acetone, lithium, toluene, hydrochloric acid, pseudoephedrine, red phosphorus, sodium hydroxide, sulfuric acid, and anhydrous ammonia. (methproject.org). Bath salts are also human-made stimulants that are related to cathinone, which is a substance that is found in the khat plants. Khat is grown in East Africa and southern Arabia. (drugabuse.gov). Human-made versions are much stronger and are made in laboratories. There are many laboratories in the United States. Ingredients in bath salts are always changing so it is hard to keep track of what is in them. Nicotine is derived from tobacco plants. There are many farms in the United States that are producing tobacco. With tobacco plants, it is the leaves that are the most economically important. The leaves are the plant part that contains the nicotine. Nicotine is removed from tobacco by dry distillation, by water or hydrocarbon solvents, and by steam distillation. (Beinhart, n.d.). Nicotine is then placed in cigarettes, chew, and other products. Last but not least, caffeine is present in the seeds, nuts, and leaves of more than 60 plant species. These plants are native to Africa, Asia, and South America. (Caballero, Finglas, & Toldra, 2015). A lot of caffeine products are produced in factories in China and then shipped around the world. (NPR, 2014).

Forms for selling the drug (powder, liquid, edible, etc.)

(4 points)

Drugs can be sold in many different ways. Cocaine, for example, is most commonly sold as powder. Meth usually comes in the form of a crystalline white powder. It can also be compressed into pill form. (drugfreeworld.com). Crystal meth obviously comes in chunky crystals that is most commonly smoked. Bath salts take the form of white or brown crystal-like powder that are sold in small packets. (drugabuse.gov). Nicotine is sold in cigarettes, cigars, chew, patches, and gum. Nicotine can also be sold in liquid form for juuls and vape pens. Caffeine on the other hand can be sold in many ways. It can be sold in powder, liquid, edible, and pill form.

Administration routes  (5 points)

There are many different ways drugs can be administered into one’s body. The goal is to always deliver drugs from outside of the body into the bloodstream and to the brain in the most efficient way possible. The fastest administration route is smoking. The slowest administration route is by oral, which is the most common. Any method of administration is possible and used with CNS stimulants. The main routes of administration of CNS stimulants though is snorting, smoking, injecting, or drinking. (Fisher & Harrison, 2018). Users administer cocaine orally, intranasally, intravenously, or by inhalation. (drugabuse.gov). For meth, it can be used and abused in many different ways. It can be snorted, injected, smoked, or even swallowed in pill form. (Buddy, 2018). Nicotine is most obviously smoked and chewed. You can also put a nicotine skin patch on yourself. Bath salts are commonly administered by snorting, injecting, smoking, swallowing, or even by rectally. (Anderson, 2018). Caffeine is usually in beverage form, but other administration routes include swallowing a pill. For example, NoDoz and Dexatrim are pills that are swallowed. A user always wants to get the high as fast as possible, so that is when different administration routes come into play. 

Sale price (2 points)

Prices of drugs are always fluctuating. A drug may cost a certain amount in Kearney but could be totally different in another city. The sale price of drugs varies by location and can also vary on the purity of the product. Many sources claim the average price of cocaine in the United States range from $60 to $80, while other sources report that cocaine costs $120 per gram. (addictionresource.com). If you wanted to buy cocaine in Grand Island, Nebraska, you could get it for $50 to $750 depending on the purity. Omaha is $100 per gram. (narcoticnews.com) For meth, the sale price for a fourth of a gram ranges from $20 to $50. If you wanted a whole gram of meth, it would cost you around $140 per gram, and if that is not enough, you can get an ounce of meth for $2000. (gardencitypolice.com) For nicotine, the average cost of a pack of cigarettes is $6.28. This means a pack-a-day habit sets you back $188 per month or $2,292 per year. (Linton, 2018). A can of chew costs an average of $2.57 in Nebraska. (Strabley, 2018). A new nicotine product people are using is the juul pods. Juul smokers spend an average of $180 per month on juul pods. (Brown, 2018). Bath salts range in price from $25 to $50 for a 50-milligram packet. (ongov.net). Caffeine products include NoDoz and Dexatrim. At your local Wal-Mart, you can buy NoDoz for $7.47 and Dexatrim for $41.08. (Walmart.com). As you can tell, drug cost varies according to several factors, including the purity of the drug, the region in which it is sold, the source of the drug, and the availability of the drug.

 Current use/scope of usage/relevance

(7 points)

CNS stimulants are being used and abused every single day by many people in this world. Based on data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2014 to 2015, 1.7 million people older than 12 years-old used cocaine in the United States. This is 0.6 percent of the population. The age group who has the highest current cocaine usage is adults aged 18 to 25 years old. One out of every twenty young adults have used cocaine in the past year. Cocaine usage is predominately in the northeast, with New Hampshire having the highest percentage of cocaine users. When we take a look at Nebraska usage in 2014 to 2015, we had a percentage of 3.99 percent of cocaine users. In 2016, approximately 10,000 people died from cocaine overdose. (Hughes, Williams, Lipari, & Horn, 2016). For meth, the most current year I could get statistics on was 2012. In 2012, according to NSDUH, 1.2 million people used meth. This is 0.4 percent of the population. 2,262 people died from overdose of meth in 2012. There has actually been a decrease in the usage of meth. The majority of the people who use meth are male and white. The prevalence of meth is affecting the west coast the most, especially California. (drugabuse.gov). In 2016, the NSDUH estimated that 63.4 million people aged 12 or older used a tobacco product, including 51.3 million cigarette smokers. The rates of smoking cigarettes have been declining though, but more and more people are starting to use the vape pen and the juul pod. The question comes down to, are people smoking less or are they smoking the same amount but using different nicotine products? Smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per in the U.S. This means one out of five people will die from smoking. Males make up the majority of nicotine abusers. People who smoke are more likely to die ten years earlier than nonsmokers. (cdc.gov). Caffeine is the most used and most popular drug of choice. About 90 percent people in the world consume caffeine at some point every single day. 54 percent of Americans over 18 consume caffeine on a daily basis. The city that consumes the most caffeine in the U.S. is Seattle. Caffeine may not sound deadly, but in 2011, more than 20,000 people visited the emergency room due to health problems related with caffeine. (brandongaille.com).

Physical impact/potential for addiction (7 points)

Each one of these stimulants have slightly different effects to the body, but they all physically impact the body in one way or another. Common physical impacts are increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, increased breathing rate, and an increase in body temperature. One can even experience shaking of the muscles and tremors. Physical effects can even include extreme weight loss, strokes, seizures, and exhaustion. (Parrott, 2015). CNS stimulants have a very high potential for addiction because of the addictive properties. Stimulants target the reward center of the brain. As a result, users continue to use so they can get that desired high over and over. They keep using and abusing, until they cannot live without it. This makes withdrawal extremely miserable and overdose becomes fairly common.

Psychological impact & addiction potential

(7 points)

The physical impacts may sound bad enough, but the psychological impacts are always worse because they last much longer and is one of the primary reasons for relapse. Psychological dependence is when an abuser cannot function without the continued use of the drug. Psychological impact from CNS stimulants may include: paranoid behavior, hallucinations, depression, anxiety, and loss of interest. (Parrott, 2015). Since the potential for addiction is high, that leads to the building up of one’s tolerance. A person’s tolerance continues to build up when someone continues to use over and over again to get that high. As an outcome, it takes more drugs to be put in the body to get that feeling of euphoria. Feelings of pleasure decrease but they continue to use because they do not want to feel the agony of withdrawal. Feelings of withdrawal for CNS stimulants usually contain drug craving, restlessness, and headaches. These can last for several months. 

Impact on social  relationships & work

(4 points)

If one is addicted to CNS stimulants, these drugs can dominate all aspects of an addict’s life. At the beginning use of a stimulant, a person will have increased energy and will be more social, but as they continue to use, the person is most likely to only focus on one thing: obtaining and using the substance. Relationships will be become more difficult to maintain because it cannot compete with the feelings the substance gives to users. The addict will lose touch with reality and lose interest in family, friends, work, hobbies, and other activities. Instead of spending time with loved ones or at work, they will spend the majority of their time buying and using the drug. That is the only thing they care about in their life. Since they are missing work and drugs are expensive, they will have economic issues. They need money to obtain the drug, but they do not want to work because they just want to be high.

Impact on family

(5 points)

Many family issues can come out as a result due to drug addiction. Someone who is using stimulants but is not open about their use may lie straight to the faces of their family. They will become extremely secretive about where they were, why money is missing, and why their behavior is different. This leads to trust issues among the family. The addict and the family will become distanced. In some family atmospheres, verbal, physical, and emotional abuse may take part due to the addiction. There is an increase of stress in the household and a child may have to act as a caretaker to a parent. The kid may be subjected to using even. So much can go wrong if someone is using in a family. It negatively impacts the family and others way more than one may think.

Most effective treatment

(5 points)

Each person’s addiction is unique. Treatment is different for every addict. Treatment needs to be tailored to address the challenges and needs of that one person. An effective treatment needs to be one that is readily available, is appropriate, and attends to not only the drug abuse, but the needs of that individual. The most effective treatment for CNS stimulants is behavioral therapy. Behavioral therapy, for example cognitive-behavioral therapy, addresses a patient’s motivation to change, provides incentives for abstinence, and builds skills to resist drug use. Behavioral therapy is so effective because it modifies the patient’s attitudes and behaviors related to drug use. It helps them recognize, avoid, and cope with the situations in which they are most likely to use drugs. (King & Boswell, 2019).

Reference Section (7 points)

Include all the references utilized in the paper using APA format. (Minimum 3 scholarly references). 

2 Pack – Dexatrim Max Complex 7 Capsules 60 Each. (2019). Walmart.com. Retrieved from https://www.walmart.com/ip/2-Pack-Dexatrim-Max-Complex-7-Capsules-60-ea/998002181

51 Dramatic Caffeine Consumption Statistics. (2017). Brandongaille.com. Retrieved from https://brandongaille.com/50-dramatic-caffeine-consumption-statistics/

8 Ball of Coke – What is the Real Cost of Getting High? (2018). Addiction Resource. Retrieved from https://addictionresource.com/drugs/cocaine-and-crack/8-ball-of-coke/

Anderson, L. (2018). Bath Salts Drug. Drugs.com. Retrieved from https://www.drugs.com/illicit/bath-salts.html

Bath Salts: A Short History. (2019). Drugfreeworld.org. Retrieved from https://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/synthetic/bath-salts-history.html

Bath Salts: Synthetic Stimulants. (n.d.). ongov.net. Retrieved from http://www.ongov.net/health/documents/BathSaltsFactSheet.pdf

Beinhart, E.G. (n.d.). Production and Use of Nicotine. Retrieved from https://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/IND43894162/PDF

Brown, M. (2018). The Cost of JUUL: Is This Product Saving Smokers Money? LendEDU.  Retrieved from https://lendedu.com/blog/financial-cost-of-juul/

Buddy, T. (2018). How is Methamphetamine Used? Verywell Mind. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/how-is-methamphetamine-used-63459

Caballero, B., Finglas, P., & Toldra, F. (Eds.). (2015). Encyclopedia of Food and Health (1st ed., pp. 561-562). Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?id=Ot9BAAAQBAJ&pg=PA561#v=onepage&q&f=false

Campbell, R., & Young, S. P. (2018). Pharmacology: Central Nervous System Stimulants: Basic Pharmacology and Relevance to Anaesthesia and Critical Care. Anaesthesia & Intensive Care Medicine, 19, 20–24. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mpaic.2017.10.008

CDC. (2018). Smoking and Tobacco Use: Fast Facts. cdc.gov. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fast_facts/index.htm

DEA. (2019). Coca: Production and Distribution. Deamuseum.org. Retrieved from https://www.deamuseum.org/ccp/coca/production-distribution.html

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FDA. (2018). CFR – Code of Federal Regulations Title 21. Accessdata.fda.gov.

Felman, A. (2018). Everything You Need to Know About Nicotine. Medicalnewstoday.com. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/240820.php

Garden City MO Police Dept. (2019). Gardencitypolice.com. Retrieved from http://www.gardencitypolice.com/content/section3domestic/default1.htm

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History.com editors. (2018). Cocaine. History.com. Retrieved from https://www.history.com/topics/crime/history-of-cocaine

How is cocaine used? (2019). Drugabuse.gov. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/cocaine/how-cocaine-abused

Hughes, A., Williams, M.R., Lipari, R.N., & Horn, S.V. (2016). States Estimates of Past Year Cocaine Use Among Young Adults: 2014 and 2015. The CBHSQ Report. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/report_2736/ShortReport-2736.html

King, B. R., & Boswell, J. F. (2019). Therapeutic Strategies and Techniques in Early Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. Psychotherapy, 1-7. https://doi.org/10.1037/pst0000202

Linton, A. (2018). How Much Money Does Smoking Cost You? The Balance. Retrieved from https://www.thebalance.com/how-much-money-does-smoking-cost-you-4143324

May, S. (2012). Caffeine: History and Background. Caffeineandyou.com. Retrieved from https://caffeineandyou.wordpress.com/historyandbackground/

NIDA. (2013). Methamphetamine. Drugabuse.gov. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/methamphetamine/what-scope-methamphetamine-abuse-in-united-states

NIDA. (2018). Synthetic Cathinones (“Bath Salts”). Drugabuse.gov. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/synthetic-cathinones-bath-salts

NoDoz Alertness Aid Caplets, 60 Count. (2019). Walmart.com. Retrieved from https://www.walmart.com/ip/NoDoz-Alertness-Aid-Caplets-60-Ct/265438462

NPR. (2014). Wake Up and Smell the Caffeine: It’s a Powerful Drug. Npr.org. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/03/13/289750754/wake-up-and-smell-the-caffeine-its-a-powerful-drug

Overdose Death Rates. (2018). Drugabuse.gov. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates

Parrott, A. C. (2015). Why All Stimulant Drugs Are Damaging to Recreational Users: An Empirical Overview and Psychobiological Explanation. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, 30(4), 213–224. https://doi.org/10.1002/hup.2468

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Strabley, B. (2018). Chewing Tobacco Prices. Dipstop.com. Retrieved from https://dipstop.com/chewing-tobacco-prices/

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What’s in Meth? (2019). Methproject.org. Retrieved from http://www.methproject.org/answers/whats-meth-made-of.html#Whats-in-Meth

Presentation in class




Smith, J. (2017).  The supply and demand of drugs in the United States.  Journal of Science, 4(2), 550-595.



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