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Meth vs Adderall

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Is Adderall Meth?
Picture of Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Mohsin Ali, MD

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Mohsin Ali, MD

Dr. Mohsin Ali MD is board certified in Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Trained in Syracuse NY, he has worked in Tennessee for the last sixteen years.

Table of Contents

Adderall and methamphetamine are stimulants that share the potential for abuse and addiction due to their euphoric and focus-enhancing effects. Although both drugs stimulate the central nervous system by altering brain chemicals, they are chemically distinct and differ in their intensity, usage, side effects, and potency. Each carries its own set of risks, highlighting the importance of understanding their differences despite their related nature.

Is Adderall Meth?

Adderall is classified as an amphetamine, distinct from its chemical cousin methamphetamine, commonly known as meth. Both function as stimulants and are recognized as Schedule II controlled substances, approved by the FDA to manage ADHD. Despite their similarities, key chemical differences set them apart. Methamphetamine, often trafficked illegally into the United States, is noted for its higher potency in dopamine release, enhancing its potential for abuse compared to Adderall. These differences underline the importance of distinguishing between the two when considering their effects and risks.

What is Adderall?

Adderall is a medically prescribed stimulant designed to treat conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy, and certain forms of depression. It enhances brain neurotransmitter activity, aiding those with ADHD in maintaining focus and reducing narcolepsy-related fatigue. Despite its therapeutic uses, Adderall carries a risk of dependency and is subject to misuse and abuse if consumed without proper medical supervision.

What is Meth?

Meth, short for methamphetamine, stands as a potent psychostimulant known for its capacity to boost alertness, focus, and energy, occasionally inducing feelings of euphoria. Recognized as an illicit substance, meth lacks sanctioned medical applications, presenting a high addiction risk. Its illegal status underscores the dangers and addictive potential associated with its abuse.

Meth vs Adderall

Adderall and methamphetamine, both stimulants, share chemical similarities but differ significantly in their impact. Meth outpaces Adderall in potency as it delivers a greater amount of the substance to the brain, leading to more pronounced effects and a heightened risk for harmful side effects, abuse, and addiction.

Meth addiction involves various consumption methods, including smoking, snorting, injecting, or swallowing, producing an intense, fleeting euphoria that prompts users to seek repeated highs. This cycle can escalate into a relentless pursuit of the drug’s effects, necessitating increasingly larger doses to overcome tolerance. The scourge of meth addiction wreaks havoc on communities, contributing to elevated crime rates, unemployment, and neglect. Chronic abuse can induce lasting psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations of insects crawling beneath the skin, and can significantly alter brain functions tied to emotion, decision-making, and memory.

Beyond the psychological ramifications, meth abuse inflicts severe physical damage, notably extreme weight loss and “meth mouth” – severe dental decay – attributed to nutritional neglect. Long-term users often exhibit open sores from compulsively scratching at non-existent bugs, further exemplifying the drug’s devastating physical and mental toll.

Meth vs Adderall

Adderall vs Meth Side Effects

Adderall Side Effects

Adderall use is typically associated with minor side effects such as restlessness, headaches, and a dry mouth. However, it can also lead to more severe concerns like difficulty in breathing, chest pains, uncontrollable body movements, and irregular heartbeats.

Meth Side Effects

Meth usage brings about a range of effects, from immediate to enduring consequences. In the short term, users may experience an accelerated heart rate, heightened body temperature, excessive sweating, nausea, and a rise in blood pressure. The prolonged use of meth poses severe health risks including cognitive decline, heightened anxiety levels, psychosis, depressive states, paranoid thoughts, aggressive behaviors, significant weight loss due to malnutrition, and extensive dental issues.

Chemical Structure: Meth vs. Adderall

Meth and Adderall share a core structure but differ slightly in their chemical makeup. Methamphetamine is distinguished by an added methyl group—a structure composed of one carbon bonded to three hydrogen atoms—earning its full name and setting it apart from Adderall.

Ingredients: Meth vs. Adderall

Medically prescribed methamphetamine for ADHD includes not only the active compound but also benign additives such as corn starch and sodium aminobenzoate. In contrast, illicitly produced meth may be mixed with hazardous substances, as traffickers often add various adulterants to the drug.

Adderall comprises a blend of amphetamine variants, including dextroamphetamine saccharate, amphetamine aspartate monohydrate, dextroamphetamine sulfate, and amphetamine sulfate. Alongside these active elements, Adderall contains non-active components, including food colorings, colloidal silicon dioxide, compressible sugar, corn starch, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, and saccharin sodium, contributing to its effectiveness and safety for prescribed users.

Are There Similarities Between Meth and Adderall?

Despite notable differences, methamphetamine and Adderall share several common features:

  • Classification: Both are classified as Schedule II controlled substances, acknowledging their legitimate medical applications but also recognizing their high potential for abuse.
  • Addiction Potential: As Schedule II drugs, they carry significant risks for abuse, leading to potential addiction and dependence.
  • Medical Applications: The FDA approves both medications for the treatment of ADHD, highlighting their therapeutic value.
  • Side Effects: Shared side effects between the two include irritability and cardiovascular concerns, along with the risk of excessive weight loss. In cases of meth abuse, additional side effects may encompass addiction, aggression, depression, and paranoia.

Drug Addiction Treatment in Chattanooga, TN

The opioid crisis might dominate news cycles, but meth remains a persistent challenge in the U.S. Overcoming an addiction to stimulants, including meth, is a daunting task that often requires external support. At Iris Wellness Group, we provide a range of proven treatment methods for battling drug addiction, starting with medically supervised detox. Contact to us today at 423-441-4650 discover how our tailored programs can assist you on your journey to recovery.

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