Technische Universität München

The Entrepreneurial University

The most popular stimulants are: cocaine, amphetamine, ecstasy, nicotine and caffeine.
Cocaine acts by blocking the re-uptake of dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin. This mechanism brings  euphoria (from dopamine), feelings of confidence (from serotonin), and energy (from noradrenalin). Amphetamines act mainly by an increase in the concentration of dopamine in the synaptic gap, by reducing the re-uptake of dopamine, and by excitation of dopamine sensitive neurons. Amphetamines allow to combat fatigue enabling sustaining attention over prolonged periods of time.  Ecstasy (MDMA) acts simultaneously as a stimulant and as a hallucinogen. The person may experience increased energy and euphoria. The stimulation of nicotine receptors enhances dopamine secretion. The high concentration of dopamine contributes to the development of nicotine dependency. Nicotine produces feelings of pleasure, like cocaine and is highly addictive, like heroin. Stimulatory effect of caffeine comes from its action on adenosine receptors and on the pituitary gland to secrete hormones enabling the release of more adrenalin and driving up the level of alertness. The strong adverse effects of excessive use of stimulants is manifested by paranoia, restlessness, irritability and aggressiveness. Quick addiction to stimulants may develop. Nicotine and caffeine are not prohibited in sport.