Stimulants are a diverse group of legal and illegal substances that have the common effect of increasing (i.e., stimulating) the baseline rate of activity inside the brain and spinal cord. When used by a person consuming alcohol, these substances can potentially mask that person’s awareness of his or her level of alcohol intoxication. In a study scheduled for publication in 2014 in the journal Addiction, researchers from several Australian institutions sought to determine if people out for a night of drinking experience an increase in their alcohol intake and blood-alcohol levels when they also consume either illegal/illicit stimulant drugs or high-caffeine beverages known as energy drinks.
Amphetamines are a group of stimulant drugs and medications capable of creating serious changes in the normal function of both the brain and body. Habitual users of these substances can get addicted to their effects over time. Through a funding partnership with the National Institute on Drug Abuse, researchers from the University of Michigan track the rate of amphetamine abuse among U.S. teens each year. In 2013, the rates for amphetamine abuse stopped falling among younger teenagers and rose slightly among older teenagers.