The idea of comparing Adderall vs meth seems absolutely absurd to most people. One is a medication widely prescribed to treat ADHD in adults and children, whereas the other is an illicit substance associated with the worst kind of drug addiction. No, the substances are not exactly the same, but the reality is that these 2 substances may have more in common than you think. Take a deep dive with us to understand what these substances are, and what they do and do not have in common.
What is Adderall?
Adderall is the brand name for Amphetamine/dextroamphetamine, an FDA-approved pharmaceutical drug most commonly prescribed to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. It is classified as a stimulant drug that has been shown to improve focus, attention, organization, listening skills, and behavioral problems. As examined in a study published in 2018, rates of ADHD diagnosis have risen drastically in the 21st century, as have prescriptions filled for Adderall and similar amphetamine drugs.
What is Methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine is a stimulant drug that was developed in the 1900s. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it “was used originally in nasal decongestants and bronchial inhalers”. It was later learned that methamphetamine has much higher efficacy than amphetamines, meaning it is highly potent and carries greater risks compared to many other stimulants. Today, methamphetamine is recognized by the FDA as a Schedule II substance only legally available via nonrefillable prescriptions. Crystal methamphetamine is a street drug that is illicitly manufactured and distributed as a crystalline substance. As it is created in unregulated labs, it is often impure, highly potent, and downright dangerous.
Now Let’s Break down the Similarities and Differences of Adderall vs Meth
- Same drug class – Both stimulant drugs
- Effects – Active ingredients cause similar effects
- Abuse – Abused to achieve an energetic “high” or to avoid withdrawal symptoms
- Addiction – Carry a risk of possible addiction or substance use disorder
- Dependence – Can lead to physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms
- Legality – Methamphetamine and amphetamines are schedule II substances regulated by the FDA. Manufacturing, distribution, and possession of these substances are illicit if done outside of the outlined regulations.
- Form – Adderall is manufactured into a tablet or capsule form whereas meth is a crystalline, rock-like substance.
- Method of Use – Adderall is usually consumed orally or via crushing and snorting. Meth is typically heated and smoked.
- Addictive Nature – While both substances carry a risk of addiction, methamphetamine is considered much more addictive than Adderall.
Getting Help for Stimulant Addiction
Whether it be prescription stimulants like Adderall or illicit stimulants like crystal meth, addiction and dependence are possible. Overcoming addiction to these substances can be challenging due to the potential of side effects and intense cravings. An amphetamine addiction treatment program can help to get over the hump, as well as provide tools and support for long-term recovery.