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Stimulants are compounds which act on the central nervous system to increase wakefulness, enhance cognitive function, cause alertness, and euphoria in higher doses. Many of them are addictive due their actions on the dopaminergic system.
Phenethylamine (phenyl-ethylamine) is the basic structure on which a huge number of drugs are based. These compounds typically exert a stimulating (and sometimes psychedelic) effect.
2C-x chemical family
Amphetamines are molecules which are direct descendants of amphetamine (α-methyl-phenethylamine). They are some of the oldest and most effective stimulants.
Drugs whose design was inspired by amphetamine and/or which may bear some structural resemblance to the original, but which are not members of that family. These drugs have too little in common to be divided into their own categories.
Cathinones are based on cathinone, which is amphetamine with a double-bonded oxygen attached to its ethyl chain's beta position (β-ketones). They have recently become both popular and notorious as legally ambiguous replacements for amphetamines.
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