In recent years, more children and adults are being prescribed Adderall to treat ADHD symptoms. With more people being prescribed this drug, the risk of improper use and Adderall addiction has increased. Adderall is a combination drug made from amphetamine, which is the parent drug of methamphetamine. Because of this, adderall and meth are commonly associated with each other. Adderall vs meth is becoming the content of focus and this has led to studies being conducted that compare Adderall with its counterpart, Methamphetamine.
These studies have shown a number of similarities as well as a few differences between the two drugs. This had led many to question if Adderall is a safe treatment for ADHD in children and adults or if the drug is being over-prescribed with little to no proof of the diagnosis. Adults are beginning to claim to exhibit signs of ADHD simply to gain a prescription to take this highly addictive stimulant legally.
Amphetamine VS Methamphetamine
Adderall is a combination drug that contains four salts (a chemical compound) of amphetamine. Amphetamine is often used to treat ADHD, obesity, and narcolepsy. It is the parent drug of methamphetamine, which was developed in the early 20th century. Thus, amphetamine and methamphetamine share many similarities.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, greater amounts of the drug get into the brain as well as having “longer-lasting and more harmful effects on the central nervous system.” Meth is significantly more toxic, causing severe neurological damage. Methamphetamine is rarely prescribed and in very low doses compared to what is used in abuse of the substance.
Similarities Between Adderall and Meth
There are several similarities between Adderall and Meth. The most noticeable similarity is the effects the drugs have on the person taking them. Both drugs are stimulants that increase attention and focus as well as energy. This reaction is often the reason people begin using either drug. High school and college students may begin using either Adderall when studying for finals and athletes may use them to increase performance and stamina on the field. This usage will often lead to Adderall dependency when used over time. It is also common for teenagers and adults to begin using Meth as a way to lose weight quickly. In fact, Meth has been previously prescribed to help people to lose weight. Both Adderall and Meth cause a lack of appetite, increased blood pressure and heart rate, and elevated energy levels.
Differences Between Adderall vs Meth
One of the primary differences is in the chemical compound used to create each drug. Adderall is a mix of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine salts. Methamphetamine is double methylated phenylethylamine. The double methylation of the chemical process when creating methamphetamines allows the drug to be lipid soluble. This term means that the chemicals used in methamphetamines are able to cross what is called the blood brain barrier. This cross of the barrier allows the chemicals to negatively affect the brain cells and tissue of the individual who is using the substance.
Adderall studies have shown improved social and cognitive abilities in those who are prescribed the drug. Students with ADHD who take Adderall as prescribed by their physician have be seen to have more self-control, focus, exhibit a slight increase in IQ, and improved relationships with family and friends. Methamphetamines, on the other hand, showed a decrease in these areas after prolonged use.
Is Adderall Addictive?
While Adderall may not cross the blood brain barrier and may show improvement in symptoms of ADHD when used as prescribed, there are many people who take the drug without a prescription. Recent studies have shown that approximately 30% of all Adderall Prescribed is sold or given away illegally. As with any narcotic drug, the prolonged use without medical monitoring can increase the risk of addiction.
Risks of Adderall Addiction
One of the biggest risks for those who illegally use Adderall is that when they are unable to afford or find a supply of Adderall, the closest drug to it is methamphetamines. The most common methamphetamine used illegally is Crystal Meth. This drug is typically manufactured by the person selling it. It can cause teeth to become loose and rotten until you have what is referred to as “Meth Mouth”.
One of the other risks of Adderall addiction is the risk of heart attack or stroke with prolonged or excessive use of the drug. Both Adderall and Methamphetamines increase your blood pressure and heart rate. Having and elevated blood pressure or heart rate without proper medical monitoring for long periods of time increases this risk.
Like with other substances, snorting adderall has become a common thing. With most substances, people do this attempting to absorb the substance faster and feel a stronger high. Long-term use of amphetamines can result in: damage to the brain, psychosis, malnutrition, weakened immune system, and heart problems among other issues. Snorting adderall, and other amphetamines, can amplify these issues.
Are Adderall and Meth the Same?
Adderall and meth are not the exact same drug. However, adderall is amphetamine and amphetamine is a parent drug of methamphetamine. When looking at Adderall compared to meth, the similarities are clear. However, many people defend the legal use of Adderall because doctors can prescribe it unlike Crystal Meth which is sold only on the streets. The side effects are the same for both drugs and the risk of addiction for each drug is high. Another similarity between the two drugs is the addiction recovery and detox process.
Signs of Adderall Addiction
There are a number of Adderall and Methamphetamine addiction symptoms including:
- Sleeping for long periods of time
- Loss of appetite
- Social withdrawal
- Unusual excitability
- Financial troubles
- Being overly talkative
- Secretive behavior
Your loved one may exhibit all or only a few of these symptoms, but it is important to be in tune with these symptoms and know how and where to get them the help they need.
Detox and Recovery
Before you say, “I can’t quit Adderall”, remember that there have been many people in your situation that have successfully completed an Adderall detox program and gone on to live successful and healthy lives. Our Adderall addiction treatment program is designed to help you succeed in your recovery. When we look at adderall vs meth, we realize the treatment can be meted in a similar process.
During the detox and recovery program, our staff will work to support you through proper nutrition, group and individual counseling as well as outdoor and relaxation activities. We are also here to support you as you work to rebuild the relationships in your life whether it be family or friends.
If you or a loved one is suffering from Adderall addiction, know that you are not alone. With the recent heroin and crystal meth epidemics across the nation, many people have forgotten the dangers of prescription stimulants. However, there are prescription drug rehab programs for ADHD medication and Reflections Recovery Center is one such place.
Our addiction recovery program is a men’s only program that focuses on holistic treatment of addiction. When looking at adderall vs meth addiction, we recommending reviewing some of our resources. We will treat the physical symptoms of your addiction as well as the mental and emotional causes of the addiction. Many people who are suffering from addiction also suffer from mental health issues as well. Adderall and Methamphetamine addictions can often cause emotional and mental symptoms that may surface after the detox process has started. Our staff will be there to support you throughout the entire process.