Providing straightforward information pertaining to drugs, drug use & drug policy. The Grey Pages promotes drug-related literacy and advocates a system of viable and tolerant drug policies. This is my personal collection of commentaries, essays, tid-bits, and other such writings on everything ranging from drug use, drug policy and drug-myths, to drug-science, addiction, human behavior, and the workings of the human brain. I started this blog with a particular focus on opioids, and over the past year have found my interest gravitate toward the intriguing, ever-changing world of designer intoxicants (i.e. "research chemicals" or "designer drugs").

Friday, March 18, 2011

How Do Psychostimulants Work?

Basic Pharmacology of the Prototypic Psychostimulant:

Most psychostimulants serve as exogenous ligands for the catecholamine transporters - in laymans terms, the presynaptic pumps which vaccum any leftover dopamine or norepinephrine within the synaptic cleft back into storage. The prototypic stimulant in this case binds to the catecholamine transporter, serving two functions:

1) inhibit its reuptake of neurotransmitters.

2) causes the transporter to function in reverse by pumping catecholamines outward into the synaptic cleft. 

The overall increased concentrations of synaptic catecholamines leads to a major increase in catecholamine signaling, inducing arousal of the sympathetic nervous system and increased mesolimbic "reward" activity.

Many psychostimulants (including amphetamine and cocaine) also act as ligands at the serotonin transporter; serving the same function of inhibiting reuptake, and/or reversing transporter flow. In fact, there is an entire family of atypical psychostimulant compounds (which includes most notably MDMA/ecstasy), that exhibit a unique set of empathogenic and psychedelic properties. This has been linked to their relatively potent serotonergic properties.


  1. Opiods- 1 point
    Abstinence- 0 points

  2. For many people, agreed. Abstinence is a choice, just as narcotic use should be a choice.

    Too much utter bullsh** information out there, most of it based on fear & emotional appeal - Destigmatizing one of the most valuable developments of nature/medicine is a step in the right direction I suppose.