What Do Stimulants Look Like?

Stimulants is the umbrella term for drugs that activate the Central Nervous System (CNS), making the brain and the body much alert than its previous state. Since the properties of stimulants are invigorating, some individuals are prone to abusing the drug.

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Stimulants come in many kinds and forms. They are drugs often prescribed to people who are in need of increased mental function, alertness, and improved physical performance. Since these drugs are known to boost energy, many people also experience feelings of euphoria under their influence, making the substance a culprit for habit-forming behaviors.

If you or a loved one are showing signs of stimulant abuse, one of the first steps is to identify the drug. Below, you will find a comprehensive guide of the most well-known stimulants’ physical appearance plus how to get help for substance use disorder.

What Do Stimulants Look Like?

Stimulants can vary in their physical appearance although their effects can be quite similar. There are four main types of stimulants that are commonly abused, namely:

  • Cocaine
  • Amphetamines
  • Ecstasy (MDMA)
  • Methamphetamine

These top stimulants both are found as street or prescribed drugs. Some street drugs also appear as combinations of these stimulants and other substances such as depressants, hallucinogens, etc.

What mg Are Stimulants (Different Colors/Types):


The most common appearance of cocaine is a white crystal-like powder that can be as fine as confectioners sugar or flour, or coarse like rock salt. Except for topical cocaine, this drug is not typically prescribed as a substance for ingestion due to its high risk for abuse.

Aside from white, these stimulant colors also include off-white, beige, pink, or brown. This all depends on the purity of the substance and the other chemicals used to combine with the drug.

Some clues that can also help you identify cocaine are the materials used to administer the drug. Usually, cocaine comes in small batches of plastic bags which also regulates the dosage amount. Those who snorts or smokes cocaine can have any of these materials: Razor blades, straws, a flat surface to lay out the powder, aluminum foil, lighter, or a metal pipe.

Those who inject cocaine may have a set of syringes, torniquets, bent spoons, and lighters.


Amphetamines is a subclass of stimulants commonly used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. The drug is given to people in order to boost mental alertness, energy, and mood.

The most popular prescribed amphetamines include:

Dyanavel XR

  • 2.5 mg/mL, oral suspension, comes in a dark brown bottle with label, and a light beige syrup

Evekeo Oral

  • Evekeo 5mg tablet: White, round, with an imprint of EVK 5
  • Evekeo 10mg tablet: Blue, round, with an imprint of EVK 10

Learning what colors are stimulants also helps you distinguish the brand as well as the dosage of the drug. What do generic stimulants look like? Below are the common variants of generic amphetamines:

  • Amphetamine 5mg: White, round, with an imprint of AS 5
  • Amphetamine 10mg: Blue, round, with an imprint of “1  0”
  • Amphetamine 10mg (other variant): Blue, round, with an imprint of AS 10

Ecstasy (MDMA)

At present, Ecstasy or MDMA are illicit drugs only sold in parties or other social gatherings. It is also known as an “experience enhancer” that boosts brain chemicals bringing feelings of euphoria. Ecstasy is quite unique as it can come in different shapes, colors are sizes, appearing to look like candies.

Some variants of this drug are triangular in shape, colored white, with an X imprint. In other instances, it can also look like pastel-colored candy tablets with different shapes and logos. Ecstasy powder is colored white or gray, and has a similar texture to cocaine.


Methamphetamine can both be prescribed or an illicit drug. The common brand name for the drug is Desoxyn, which comes in this form:

  • Desoxyn 5mg: White, round, with an imprint of R 12

This stimulant is also known to treat symptoms of ADHD and narcolepsy. As for its generic variant, there are two common types:

  • Methamphetamine 5mg: White, round, with an imprint of 54 681
  • Methamphetamine 5mg (other variant): White, round, with an imprint of 115

Street methamphetamine looks very similar to cocaine, but can be much coarser, bitter to the taste, and have no odor. Crystal meth can look like ice chunks or rock salt in its appearance.

Signs of Stimulant Abuse

Now that we are more familiar with the common stimulants as well as their physical appearance, it is also ideal to be educated on the signs of stimulant abuse. This is critical to know as stimulant abuse can lead to a host of health problems as well as a life-threatening overdose.

Having any or all of these signs along with finding stimulants in the individual’s possessions are potential signs of substance use disorder.

Seek expert help as soon as possible when you notice any of these signs:

  • Changes in physical appearance
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle tremors
  • Rapid heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Secretive behavior
  • Drug paraphernalia
  • Increased sweating
  • Easily agitated
  • Hallucinations

How to Get Help for Stimulant Abuse

Finding help for stimulant abuse can seem challenging at first, but getting in contact with addiction professionals can make the process less overwhelming. Here are some steps to get started:

Contacting a high-quality rehab for stimulant addiction

Treatment centers that specialize in stimulant addiction can help you get the personalized care that you need. Experts understand the right kind of detox, addiction intervention, and aftercare strategies that suit individuals suffering from stimulant abuse. You can contact treatment centers to verify your insurance or ask about how to get started.

Letting trusted people know

Having a supportive team also improves chances of addiction recovery. You may want to share your decision to get sober with a family member, friend, or a trusted professional so you can receive emotional or any other kind of support along the way. Trusted people can also help you modify changes in your routine to help you maintain sobriety.

Get educated with stimulant abuse

Aside from identifying stimulants, you can also educate yourself with high-quality resources such as blogs, online support groups, or authority websites regarding substance use disorder. These resources can help you prevent the health dangers of stimulant addiction as well as overdose.

Identifying Stimulants: Appearance, Signs of Abuse, and Road to Recovery

Taking initiative to identify stimulants is a great first step to solving the problem of addiction. By learning about the signs of abuse as well as steps to recovery, you can save yourself or your loved one from the traps of addiction.


Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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