Amphetamine vs. Methamphetamine: What’s the Difference?
Amphetamine and methamphetamine belong to the same class of stimulants, and their similar effects on the body have led many people to confuse them with each other. Despite their similarities, there are key differences between the two substances that make them distinct from one another.
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What Are Amphetamines?
Amphetamines are a type of stimulant drug that affects the central nervous system. They are prescribed to treat conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, but they can also be used illegally as recreational drugs.
Amphetamines stimulate the production of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, which increases alertness, focus, and energy. This can lead to feelings of euphoria, heightened confidence, and decreased appetite.
While amphetamines may have some medical benefits when used as prescribed by a doctor, they can also be highly addictive and have negative side effects. These can include increased heart rate and blood pressure, insomnia, anxiety, paranoia, weight loss, and even overdose.
It’s crucial to use amphetamines only under the supervision of a doctor and to follow dosage instructions carefully. Learn how our partial hospitalization program (PHP) in Kokomo, IN can help you or a loved one seeking treatment.
What Medications Contain Amphetamines?
Some common medications that contain amphetamines include Adderall, Ritalin, Vyvanse, Dexedrine, and Concerta. These medications are typically prescribed for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Amphetamines also treat other conditions, such as depression and obesity.
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What is Methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, is a highly addictive and powerful stimulant drug that affects the central nervous system. It is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) due to its high potential for abuse and dependence.
Also known as crystal meth, ice, or chalk, methamphetamine is typically produced in illegal laboratories using various toxic chemicals such as battery acid, drain cleaner, and antifreeze. The final product usually comes in the form of a crystalline white powder or small chunks resembling glass fragments.
Methamphetamine can be ingested orally, smoked, snorted, or injected intravenously. It produces an intense rush of euphoria and energy by increasing dopamine levels in the brain. However, this rush is short-lived and followed by a crash that can lead to severe depression and fatigue.
Meth addiction can cause long-term damage to both physical and mental health. It can lead to cardiovascular problems, respiratory issues, dental decay (known as “meth mouth”), memory loss, hallucinations, paranoia, violent behavior, and even death.
The production and distribution of methamphetamine have become a significant problem worldwide due to its low cost and high profitability. Education about the risks associated with using this drug is crucial in preventing its widespread use and protecting individuals from its harmful effects.
Amphetamine vs Methamphetamine: What Are the Differences?
A significant difference between amphetamine and methamphetamine is their potency and duration of effects. Methamphetamine is considered to be more potent and longer lasting compared to amphetamine. This can be attributed to its higher lipid solubility and ability to cross the blood-brain barrier more easily. As a result, methamphetamine has a stronger impact on the central nervous system and can produce more intense effects.
The metabolism of amphetamine and methamphetamine also differs. Enzymes in the liver primarily metabolize Amphetamine, while methamphetamine undergoes both hepatic and renal metabolism. This means that methamphetamine may have a slower elimination rate from the body compared to amphetamine.
In terms of medical use, amphetamine is commonly prescribed for conditions such as ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and narcolepsy. Methamphetamine is only approved for use in cases of severe obesity.
Recreationally, both drugs are often abused for their euphoric effects and are classified as stimulants. However, due to its potency and potential for addiction, methamphetamine is considered a more dangerous substance than amphetamine.
Amphetamine vs Methamphetamine: What Are the Similarities?
Amphetamine and methamphetamine are both stimulant drugs that affect the central nervous system. They are both chemically similar, with methamphetamine being a more potent and longer-lasting version of amphetamine. Both drugs increase levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in the brain, leading to feelings of euphoria and increased energy.
Additionally, both drugs have similar side effects such as increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, decreased appetite, and insomnia. They also share a high potential for addiction and abuse.
Both amphetamine and methamphetamine are commonly used as prescription medications for conditions such as ADHD and narcolepsy. However, they are also produced illegally and sold on the street as recreational drugs. If you or a loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, our inpatient rehab in Indiana may be right for you.
What Are the Uses of Amphetamine and Methamphetamine?
Amphetamine and methamphetamine are stimulant drugs that have a variety of uses in both medical and non-medical settings. Some of the most common uses of these drugs include:
- Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Amphetamine and methamphetamine are commonly prescribed to individuals with ADHD as they can increase focus, attention, and concentration.
- Narcolepsy: These drugs can also be used to treat narcolepsy, a sleep disorder that causes excessive daytime sleepiness and sudden episodes of falling asleep.
- Weight Loss: Amphetamine and methamphetamine are appetite suppressants and have been used for weight loss purposes in the past. However, this use is now highly regulated due to the potential for abuse and addiction.
- Asthma: In some cases, amphetamine and methamphetamine may be prescribed as bronchodilators to help open up airways and improve breathing in individuals with asthma.
- Recreationally: Unfortunately, these drugs are often abused for their euphoric effects, leading to feelings of increased energy, confidence, and decreased inhibitions.
- Performance Enhancement: Athletes have been known to misuse amphetamine and methamphetamine to improve performance as these drugs can increase alertness, endurance, and motivation.
- Cognitive Enhancement: Students may abuse these drugs off-label for studying or taking exams due to their ability to enhance focus and concentration.
- Military Use: During World War II, amphetamine was widely used by soldiers to fight fatigue and increase alertness during long missions. It is still used by some military forces today for similar purposes.
While amphetamine and methamphetamine have legitimate medical uses, it is important to use them under the guidance of a healthcare professional as they can be highly addictive and potentially harmful when misused or abused. Our methamphetamine detox in Indiana can help take the first steps toward recovery.
What Are the Risks of Amphetamine vs Methamphetamine?
Both amphetamine and methamphetamine are classified as stimulant drugs, meaning they increase the activity of the central nervous system. While these drugs can have some therapeutic uses, they also carry serious risks for those who misuse them.
- Addiction: Both amphetamine and methamphetamine are highly addictive substances. Repeated use of these drugs can lead to physical and psychological dependence, making it difficult for individuals to stop using them even when they want to.
- Health complications: The use of amphetamine and methamphetamine can have a range of negative effects on physical health. These include increased heart rate and blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, reduced appetite leading to weight loss, insomnia, and seizures.
- Mental health issues: Stimulant drugs like amphetamine and methamphetamine can also have an impact on mental health. Prolonged use can lead to paranoia, anxiety, aggression, and even psychosis in some cases.
- Overdose: Taking large doses of amphetamine or methamphetamine can result in an overdose which can be fatal. Symptoms of overdose may include chest pain, difficulty breathing, panic attacks, seizures, or coma.
- Harmful drug interactions: Mixing stimulants with other substances, such as alcohol or prescription medications, can have dangerous consequences. For example, combining stimulants with depressants like alcohol can put excessive strain on the heart and respiratory system.
- Legal consequences: Amphetamine and methamphetamine are controlled substances that are illegal to possess without a valid prescription. Possessing or selling these drugs can lead to criminal charges and potential jail time.
- Contaminated products: Street versions of amphetamines and methamphetamines may contain dangerous additives or impurities that can increase the risk of adverse reactions or overdose.
It is essential to understand the risks associated with amphetamine and methamphetamine use and seek help if you or someone you know is struggling with addiction to these substances. Our rehab programs at First City Recovery Center can help reduce these risks and improve overall well-being.
Receive Treatment at First City Recovery
First City Recovery in Indiana offers addiction treatment services to individuals struggling with substance abuse. Our treatment center provides a safe and supportive environment where clients can focus on their recovery journey.
Upon arrival at our facility, clients will undergo a thorough assessment to determine the extent of their addiction and any co-occurring mental health issues. Based on this assessment, our professional staff will create a personalized treatment plan that addresses each client’s specific needs.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, don’t hesitate to reach out to First City Recovery in Indiana. Contact us today to begin your journey towards a sober life.
Dr. Vahid Osman, MD is a psychiatry specialist in Indianapolis, IN.
Dr. Osman completed a residency at Austin State Hospital. He has over 32 years of experience in Psychiatry & Behavioral Health. He is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.