Green’s Dictionary of Slang

upper n.2

also up, uppie, ups

1. (drugs) amphetamine or a similar form of drug, e.g. Methedrine; often in pl.

[US]Current Sl. III–IV (Cumulation Issue) 133: Upper, n. Stimulant.
‘Groupie Gloss.’ on A. Lorber Groupies [album] Ups: opposite effect of downs.
[US]Current Sl. III:3 11: Uppie, n. Stimulant.
[US]Time 16 Feb. 36: In Hollywood, a boy of eleven [...] has been pushing ‘ups’ (amphetamine and methedrine pills) and ‘downs’ (barbiturates, tranquilizers) since he was nine.
[US]E.E. Landy Underground Dict. (1972) 192: uppie [...] Amphetamine.
[Can]R. Caron Go-Boy! 286: She was heavily dependent on ‘uppers.’.
[US]L. Kramer Faggots 297: Why don’t any of the rest of you fuckers donate your own Ups to keeping this one going.
[US]J. Ellroy Brown’s Requiem 96: I was depressed so I drank and popped uppers to kill the depression.
[US]D. Woodrell Muscle for the Wing 56: You got any ups, How?
[UK]Guardian Sport 18 Sept. 16: The true inside story [...] the ups, the downs, or in my case the uppers and downers.
[US]M. Baker Bad Guys 32: It didn’t matter if it was ups, downs, psychedelics, I was into it.
[UK]Indep. Rev. 19 Feb. 8: Uppers, downers, leapers, acid, coke and flirtations with heroin.
[US]ONDCP Street Terms 22: Uppies — Amphetamine.
[US]J. Ellroy Hilliker Curse 30: I smoked weed and scored uppers.
[UK]K. Richards Life 258: They’re giving us all these pure ups [...] selling off their coke.
[Aus] L. Jose ‘Underhooks’ in Crime Factory: Hard Labour [ebook] One of the cut men [...] popped Sammy with some more uppers.
[US]D. Winslow The Force [ebook] Denny Malone pops two go-pills [...] He just got up after a midnight-to-eight and needs the uppers to get him going.

2. (US) a state of optimistic excitement (poss. the result of ingesting amphetamines).

[US]Reynolds & McClure Freewheelin Frank 56: Geezin crystal is an amphetamine trip. It is a good trip because it is a waker — an upper rather than a downer like heroin.
[US]Time 1 Jan. K2: It is certainly a relief to know that State 2 is an upper; but by that time, who cares?
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Airtight Willie and Me 97: For an upper, she remembered how she got in the wind to whip her master plan on Red.