CNS Stimulants: Core Concepts

Course Description:
This course is part of our Core Concepts Series, which reviews potentially impairing drug classes from three scientific perspectives: Pharmacology, Forensic Toxicology, and Clinical Toxicology.

Central nervous system (CNS) stimulants encompass a range of drugs, both therapeutic and illicit, used to increase alertness and activation of the central and autonomic nervous systems. Pharmaceutical stimulants, such as those prescribed for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), can be misused for their euphoric and perceived performance-enhancing effects. Illicit preparations of cocaine and methamphetamine are well-known stimulants of abuse, joined in contemporary times by synthetic cathinones and a number of other designer drugs.

This course explores the mechanisms of action of various stimulants, their history and trends, pharmacokinetics, clinical effects, long-term impact, analytical challenges, and more.

Note: This course discusses a broad spectrum of drugs with sympathomimetic properties—those that mimic the actions of the sympathetic nervous system. While some of these may also be classified as hallucinogens or other categories in specific contexts, this course groups them based on their general pharmacological effects and mechanisms of action.

Recommended Learners:
Toxicologist
DRE
LEO
CNS Stims Cover
Helen Chang, MS

Helen Chang, MS

Helen Chang is currently a Forensic Scientist III for the Toxicology Section of the Orange County Crime Lab, CA. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry with a minor in Forensic Science and a Master of Science in Criminalistics from California State University, Los Angeles....See full bio. 

Dr. Dayne Laskey

Dr. Dayne Laskey

Dr. Laskey is an associate professor at the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, CT. He received a PharmD from the University of Connecticut, completed his pharmacy practice residency at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, and his clinical toxicology fellowship from the Georgia Poison Center. See full bio. 

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CNS Stimulants: Core Concepts

Course Description:
This course is part of our Core Concepts Series, which reviews potentially impairing drug classes from three scientific perspectives: Pharmacology, Forensic Toxicology, and Clinical Toxicology.

Central nervous system (CNS) stimulants encompass a range of drugs, both therapeutic and illicit, used to increase alertness and activation of the central and autonomic nervous systems. Pharmaceutical stimulants, such as those prescribed for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), can be misused for their euphoric and perceived performance-enhancing effects. Illicit preparations of cocaine and methamphetamine are well-known stimulants of abuse, joined in contemporary times by synthetic cathinones and a number of other designer drugs.

This course explores the mechanisms of action of various stimulants, their history and trends, pharmacokinetics, clinical effects, long-term impact, analytical challenges, and more.

Note: This course discusses a broad spectrum of drugs with sympathomimetic properties—those that mimic the actions of the sympathetic nervous system. While some of these may also be classified as hallucinogens or other categories in specific contexts, this course groups them based on their general pharmacological effects and mechanisms of action.

Recommended Learners:
Toxicologist
DRE
LEO
CNS Stims Cover
Helen Chang, MS

Helen Chang, MS

Helen Chang is currently a Forensic Scientist III for the Toxicology Section of the Orange County Crime Lab, CA. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry with a minor in Forensic Science and a Master of Science in Criminalistics from California State University, Los Angeles....See full bio. 

Dr. Dayne Laskey

Dr. Dayne Laskey

Dr. Laskey is an associate professor at the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, CT. He received a PharmD from the University of Connecticut, completed his pharmacy practice residency at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, and his clinical toxicology fellowship from the Georgia Poison Center. See full bio. 

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