What is the Difference Between Stimulants and Depressants?

Stimulant drugs accelerate your body and mental functions, while depressants decelerate them. This is because of the way these drugs change the operations of your central nervous system (CNS).While the former results in the user’s heart, blood, breathing, and temperature rates to increase, the latter makes them fall.

Both types of drugs are vastly abused in a way which causes dependence, withdrawal, tolerance, overdose and addiction. Using these substances together causes a massive load on your body’s respiratory and cardiovascular systems. This polydrug misuse can cause severe cardiac complications, overdose, coma, and even death. Let’s look at the two and the difference between stimulants and depressants separately.

H2:What Are Stimulants?

These drugs cause various systems in your brain and body to work quicker. As a result, as described by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), addicts experience :


  • Need for sleep
  • Appetite


  • Energy
  • Physical activity
  • Wakefulness
  • Alertness
  • Attention


  • Respiration
  • Sense of well-being
  • Blood pressure
  • Heart rate
  • Mood
  • Temperature

They also alter the levels of dopamine in your brain, which is why an individual gets a sense of pleasure and compensation from abuse.

Consuming these drugs for lengthy periods of time can generate a sense of hostility and paranoia in users, as well as insomnia, delusions, and radical mood swings.

H2:What Kinds of Stimulants Do Individuals Abuse?

Illegal stimulants comprise:

  • Illicitly manufactured methamphetamine
  • MDMA (ecstasy, “Molly”)
  • Cocaine
  • Crack cocaine

Frequently abused prescription stimulants comprise:

  • Lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse)
  • Methamphetamine (Desoxyn)
  • Methylphenidate (Concerta, Ritalin)
  • Amphetamine (Adderall, Benzedrine)
  • Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine)

H2:Severe and Life-threatening Risks of Overdose from Stimulants

Overdosing on stimulants can cause

  • Stroke
  • Kidney damage and/or failure
  • Heart attack
  • Seizures

H2:What Are Depressants?

Those medicines which cause tranquilizing and sedative effects, both mentally and physically. This action mechanism comes from the way these substances change your brain’s capacity to transmit action, precisely that it’s decelerated. It’s these aspects which gives this class of drugs their elementary use within the medicinal field, as sleep and anti-anxiety medications.

There are three classes of CNS depressant medicines, according to NIDA, as follows:

  • Phenobarbital (Luminal)
  • Benzodiazepines (Benzos)
  • Barbiturates
  • Pentobarbital
  • Non-Benzodiazepine Sleep Medications

H2:Why Do People Use Stimulants And Depressants Together?

Despite the difference between stimulants and depressants Individuals abuse them concurrently for some of the below reasons:

  • Make it happen quicker
  • Make it last longer
  • Intensify it

Other abusers may consume a drug from the stimulant class to rage the high or come down with a drug from the depressant class, or the other way around.

Most people consume a drug from both classes together so that they can relish the effects of one longer. An example is when individuals take alcohol and start to feel its depressant effect. They might want to stay full of energy and keep partying , so they consume cocaine to lessen the fatigue, and intoxication which go together with alcohol.

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