Are There Similarities Between Meth and Adderall?

Published On: March 19, 2024|Categories: Addiction|
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Stimulant drugs are often prescribed to individuals battling neurodivergent disorders like ADHD to help them stabilize their restless thought patterns and improve concentration and focus. Most commonly, prescriptions like Adderall are offered to these patients; less commonly will someone receive a prescription for methamphetamine. 

Believe it or not, methamphetamine is also an FDA-approved medication for treating ADHD. So which is better? Which has fewer negative side effects? Adderall or meth?

What is meth?

People commonly know methamphetamine as an addictive, illicit street drug. And while that is commonly the meth referred to, there are methamphetamine prescriptions approved by the FDA to treat ADHD. 

The brand name for prescription methamphetamine is called Desoxyn, and while it does have the same abuse potential, there are key differences between Desoxyn and illegal meth. 

Desoxyn production occurs in a lab that closely follows FDA regulations. This means nothing unwanted is included in the medication. With illicit meth, however, there is no way to know for certain what is in your drugs. It may contain fillers like baking flour, other drugs and talc – this adulteration often occurs to make batches larger for the sake of accumulating more money. 

For this reason, Desoxyn is ultimately safer, not to mention the fact that its administration is closely watched by your medical doctor. So while the risk for abuse is still present, it is ultimately lower. 

What is Adderall? 

Not as many individuals are familiar with methamphetamine as an option for ADHD treatment medication as they are with Adderall. Adderall is a stimulant that works on the central nervous system to modify particular chemical activities in the brain. It is a tested and proven method for effectively treating ADHD and narcolepsy as well. 

When taken as prescribed, Adderall helps to improve concentration and focus and create a sense of stillness in an individual. It is meant to be taken within the parameters of prescription instructions, as abuse potential for Adderall does exist. 

Adderall vs meth 

So if Adderall and methamphetamine are both used to treat ADHD, are they the same? Is one safer than the other? What should you look out for if you’re considering prescription medication to help treat ADHD symptoms?

First and foremost, Adderall and meth are not the same but are often referred to as cousins in the drug family. They are both amphetamines and stimulant drugs, but crucial differences in their chemical makeup result in a fundamental variation between the two substances. This slight chemical difference is the leading factor for why meth is more likely to be the cause of addiction and abuse than Adderall. 

Even so, Adderall and meth are both classified as Schedule II drugs by the DEA. “Schedule II drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. These drugs are also considered dangerous.”

So while they do both have legitimate medical potential, their use must be closely monitored due to their high potential for abuse. 

Are the effects of meth and the effects of Adderall the same?

When used inappropriately, both Adderall and meth have the effect of eliciting a euphoric high. People may abuse Adderall for this and other effects, including appetite suppression and weight loss, increased alertness and heightened concentration. And while prescription doses do help improve concentration, they do not cause the same sensation of euphoria.

Illicit meth use has a plethora of dangerous side effects, including changing brain chemistry, increasing paranoia, leading users to become violent or aggressive and even causing memory loss in severe cases. Because of its potency, meth’s effects can be more damaging long term than Adderall’s effects (although abuse of either is damaging).

On the other hand, when used appropriately, meth and Adderall prescriptions can provide those battling ADHD relief and long-term management of challenging symptoms.

Recovery from stimulant addiction

Whether or not you battle ADHD and need mental health counseling services, or have been struggling with stimulant medication misuse/abuse, Pyramid Healthcare is here to help. With a wide range of mental health and addiction treatment programs, recovery for you is possible.

To learn more, contact us today by calling 888-694-9996 or contact us online for additional information anytime. 

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