Is Adderall Meth? The Difference Between Adderall And Meth
Adderall and meth have some similarities, but they are not the same drug. While meth is almost always illegally produced and used as a street drug, Adderall is chemically different, has medical uses, and helps people who take it under doctor supervision.
Methamphetamine, or meth, certainly shares some similarities with Adderall.
Both of these drugs are stimulants, which means that they speed up the central nervous system. However, these two drugs are far from the same.
While meth is almost always used illicitly, Adderall has genuine medical uses.
One reason why people mistake Adderall for meth is that “amphetamine,” one of Adderall’s primary ingredients, sounds very similar to “methamphetamine.”
However, these two medications are chemically different, and meth addiction is not the same as taking Adderall for legitimate medical reasons.
How Does Adderall Work?
The FDA has approved Adderall for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.
Adderall is the brand name for a combination of two stimulant drugs: amphetamine and dextroamphetamine.
These two active ingredients increase dopamine and other neurotransmitters.
People with ADHD and narcolepsy don’t have adequate amounts of these neurotransmitters available in their brains.
Because dopamine impacts wakefulness, focus, and motivation, not having enough of it can create negative health consequences.
For people with narcolepsy, this neurotransmitter imbalance can cause overwhelming fatigue and compulsive sleeping during the daytime.
For people with ADHD, the imbalance can cause executive dysfunction, poor focus and attention, hyperactivity, and impaired motivation.
By increasing the brain’s dopamine supply, Adderall provides relief for narcolepsy and ADHD symptoms.
Similarities Between Adderall And Meth
Meth, like Adderall, also increases the brain’s dopamine supply. As a result, these two drugs share some similarities.
Similar Effects When Misused
Some of these side-effects include:
- extreme weight loss
- high blood pressure
- elevated heart rate
- heart attack
- sleep disturbances
- withdrawal symptoms when not using the drug
- dental problems due to dry mouth
- mental health issues such as anxiety and depression
- mood swings
Adderall may cause a few of these side effects, such as high blood pressure and increased heart rate, even when prescribed for legitimate reasons.
Patients should discuss the risks and benefits with their doctor.
Schedule II Drugs
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) divides drugs into five schedules, or categories, based on medical usefulness and potential for abuse.
Adderall and Meth are both Schedule II drugs, which means that they have some medical uses but also carry a high potential for dependence.
Differences Between Adderall And Meth
In spite of their similarities, Adderall and meth have differences as well. These differences impact the safety of these drugs.
Medical Use Vs Misuse
In rare cases, one form of meth is prescribed for legitimate medical uses. However, it is most often used as a street drug. People use meth for its euphoric effects.
Adderall is exclusively a prescription drug. When used correctly, it does not cause a high. Adderall must be abused in high doses to achieve the same euphoria as a meth high.
Street Drug Additives
Because Adderall is a prescription medication, it is made in legitimate medical labs. As a result, it does not contain harmful additives.
These added ingredients can cause additional harm to a person’s health.
Who Is At Risk For Adderall Addiction?
People who misuse Adderall have a high risk of becoming addicted to the drug.
Some types of Adderall misuse include:
- taking medication prescribed to somebody else
- taking Adderall without a medical diagnosis
- using Adderall as a party drug
- using Adderall to gain a competitive advantage
- combining Adderall use with other forms of drug use
- snorting or injecting the drug
- taking larger amounts than prescribed
Adderall is meant to increase dopamine in people whose brains do not have enough of it. When anybody else takes it, their dopamine supply can reach harmful levels.
However, people who use Adderall correctly are far less likely to develop an addiction.
In fact, studies on ADHD and substance abuse show that in people with ADHD, prescription stimulants lower their risk of addiction.
Treatment For Substance Use And Stimulant Addiction
All types of stimulant abuse require effective addiction treatment.
Spring Hill Recovery Center provides evidence-based therapy and care for meth addiction, Adderall addiction, and other drug addictions.
If you or a loved one need help to overcome meth use or Adderall abuse, contact Spring Hill to learn more about our meth addiction treatment program.
Written by Spring Hill Editorial Team
©2023 Spring Hill Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved
This page does not provide medical advice.
- National Library Of Medicine — Dextroamphetamine And Amphetamine https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a601234.html
- United States Drug Enforcement Administration — Drug Scheduling https://www.dea.gov/drug-information/drug-scheduling
- United States Drug Enforcement Administration — Methamphetamine https://www.dea.gov/factsheets/methamphetamine