Stimulant Misuse

What are stimulants?

Stimulants are a class of substances that speed up messages traveling between the brain and body. They can make a person feel more awake, alert, confident, or energetic.

Commonly used stimulants include nicotine, caffeine, cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamine, steroids, diet aids, betel nut, khat, and prescription study aids.

What are the risks of stimulant misuse?

Stimulant misuse, including overdose, can also lead to psychosis, anger, paranoia, heart, nerve, and stomach problems. These issues could lead to a heart attack or seizures.

Prescription stimulant misuse can lead to a substance use disorder, which takes the form of addiction in severe cases, even when used as prescribed by a doctor.

Withdrawal symptoms include fatigue, depression, and sleep problems.

How can I get help if I or someone I know have a problem misusing stimulants?

  • Contact 211 Maine – Call, text, or visit 211 online. 211 is a free, confidential services that connects people of all ages across Maine to local services. 211 Maine is staffed by trained specialists and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • The DHHS Office of Behavioral Health provides information about accessing substance use treatment and recovery resources

Preventing Stimulant Misuse

The Maine CDC Tobacco and Substance Use Prevention Program works to reduce the use of stimulant misuse by:

  • Increasing public education about the risks and effects of stimulant use supported by community coalitions, statewide outreach efforts, and ongoing prevention campaigns.
  • Reducing youth and young adult access to stimulants through the promotion of safe prescription storage.
  • Providing trainings and toolkits for employers to promote dialogue about the influence workplace culture can have on substance use for adults and minors alike, using tools like the Healthy US Scorecard and SAMHSA’s Drug-Free Workplace Toolkit.
    • Offering stigma-free education and support services for pregnant people and families about stimulant use and its effects on infants and the home environment. Programs like Prime for Life can help individuals make low-risk choices about health by assessing their current values and lifestyle.
  • Supporting healthy school policies through:
  • The promotion of restorative practices like the Student Intervention Reintegration Program (SIRP) for youth who have violated a school or campus substance use policy
  • The integration of School Substance Use Policy Guides for educators
  • The implementation of Social Emotional Curriculums like Second Step and Sources of Strength.
  • Collaboration with youth groups like the Maine Youth Action Network (MYAN) whose programming addresses substance use, behavioral health challenges, and empowers youth community action

Resources and Outreach Materials

Outreach materials:

  • Maine Prevention Store – Free print materials and digital downloads designed to improve health and help prevent tobacco use, substance use, and suicide in Maine.

Current Campaigns:

  • Bottled Up – Addresses the misuse of prescription stimulants and risks associated with sharing medications.
  • Substance Exposed Infants – Educates on the risk of alcohol and other substance use during pregnancy and infant care.
  • Talk, They Hear You – Focuses on strategies for having difficult conversations about substance use with children and adolescents.
  • Times Have Changed – Describes how substance use has evolved over time for the purpose of keeping parents and caregivers informed of current use trends.


Information about Stimulant Misuse in Maine

About the Maine CDC Tobacco and Substance Use Prevention and Control Program

Program contact:

  • Tobacco and Substance Use Prevention and Control Program
  • Phone: (207) 287-4627
  • E-mail:
  • TTY: Maine relay 711

Prevention partners:

  • AdCare Educational Institute of Maine – AdCare provides continuing education credits to preventionists on an array of public health topics, from substance misuse, gambling, suicide prevention, and evidence-based prevention strategies for communities.
  • New England Prevention Technology Transfer Center (PTTC) -- PTTC provides education for the New England prevention workforce about multiple topics related to substance misuse.
  • Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America -- CADCA offers support for substance use coalitions, provides training resources, evidence-based prevention strategies, and community-level success stories.
  • Maine Methamphetamine Prevention Taskforce -- MMPT is a collaborative that addresses methamphetamine manufacturing, trafficking, use, and prevention efforts in Maine.
  • Substance Exposed Infants Taskforce – SEIT incorporates perspectives from the birthing and substance use disorder fields, as well as those who aid individuals facing homelessness and domestic violence. Together, the taskforce creates recommendations and practical resources for community providers.