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Difference Between Adderall and Methamphetamine

Main short and long term adverse physical and mental effects that may appear in methamphetamine use.


Adderall and Metamphetamine are both drugs which have a high potential for abuse. Although used as prescription drugs in some cases, its recreational use can lead to addiction. The article below will help you understand the difference between the two.

What is Adderall and Methamphetamine?

Adderall, also known as amphetamine mixed salts, is a drug used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and Narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological disorder caused by the inability of the brain to regulate sleep-wake cycles. Studies show that long term treatment with amphetamines decreases the abnormality of the structure and function of the brain found in people with ADHD.  Amphetamines have also been proven to reduce disruptive behaviors and hyperactivity in children with ADHD. Children on amphetamines have also shown subsequent improvements in terms of relationships with family members, in terms of attention spans and a slight change in I.Q levels. They become less impulsive.

Amphetamines improve memory and are therefore used as a test taking aid by many students to enhance performance during examinations. It is also used by athletes to increase stamina and performance. Therefore, it’s common knowledge that recreationally, amphetamines are highly misused.

Methamphetamine, in contrast, is a white crystalline drug, also known as crystal meth. It is a psychotic stimulant that is used for the treatment of obesity and to some extent for ADHD. However, it is rarely prescribed because of the high risk involved of being a highly addictive substance. Recreationally, methamphetamine is used to increase sexual desire, elevate mood and increase energy. Unlike amphetamine, methamphetamine is a neurotoxic drug which causes brain damage. People who abuse the drug consume it by inhaling it through the nose, smoking it or injecting it with a needle. Some even take it orally and feel like continuing with it because of the sense of well-being it offers. However, it destroys the life of the user from the very beginning. Crystal meth is used by individuals of all ages, but is most commonly used as a “club drug,” taken while partying in night clubs or at rave parties.

Difference between their SIDE EFFECTS:
The side effects vary on the amount of drug used. Adderall impairs thinking and reactions. The most common side effects include irregular heartbeats, elevated or reduced blood pressure, dry mouth, fast and deep breaths, pain or burning sensation while passing urine, painful erection of the penis which is a rare side effect, talking more than usual, extreme happiness or sadness, alertness, insomnia and mood swings. If you are prescribed Adderall and experience any of these symptoms while on the medication, it is important to consult the prescribing doctor immediately.

Methamphetamine is a dangerous and potent chemical that first acts as a stimulant but then begins to systematically destroy the body. Thus, it is associated with serious conditions, including memory loss, aggression, psychotic behavior and potential heart and brain damage. Loss of appetite, hyperactivity, dilated pupils, flushed skin, irregular heart-beats, hypertension, hypotension, dry skin and dizziness are some of the other side effects. MOre serious effects can include insomnia, confusion, hallucinations, anxiety and paranoia. In some cases, overdose can cause convulsions that lead to death. An important side effect which must be made note of is the “meth-mouth”  The toxic ingredients in methamphetamine lead to severe tooth decay which causes the teeth to become loose abnormally quickly. The teeth become black, stained, and rotten, often to the point where they have to be removed.

Adderall is a salt of amphetamine which is prescribedd for ADHD, narcolepsy and abused recreationally as a performance enhancing drug. Methamphetamine or crystal meth is a highly addictive narcotic drug with more health risks than benefits and is classified illegal worldwide. It absolutely must not be consumed owing to serious threat to life.

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  1. So you un-demonize and then re-demonize Adderall in the same article. I have been taking Adderall for years and have never experienced the things that Meth users take.

    • I take it as well and have never experienced the things Meth users do ( picking their skin, confusion, paranoia, rotting teeth, being up for days, stealing, etc) I have had ADD since childhood and was on Ritalin (which made me a total zombie!) I am now 25 and have been taking Adderall for years . It is the only thing in my life that has ever helped me be able to concentrate, be able to absorb information without having to read it over and over again, and remember something for longer than a day. People need to stop being hypocrites and realize too much of any prescribed drug is a bad thing! Wether it be a controlled substance or not. Some people need the drug in order to function and for them to have normal lives.

      • I agree!!
        I have never been diagnosed with ADHD even though I’ve shown signs of it my whole life, but my folks were old fashioned and did not believe in it.

        My major trigger is a tv.. If the tv is on, my cognitive senses are off, aka, I have no idea what’s going on around me. My other ginormous trigger (I believe this is extremely common with others) is when someone is talking to me-especially when the conversation is “too” full of information or complicating…even if I somehow get bored with whatever they are saying-my mind will drift off into la la land and I don’t hear, nor comprehend what was said… :-/

        I tried adderall for the first time the other day just to see what it would do (fiancé suggested it-not for the high, but for the ADHD portion) and I can focus, I can STAY focused, and most importantly I can continue to multitask without feeling overwhelmed by the workload!

        I am 34yrs old and an ex-drug addict whose been sober from everything (except occasional pot use) for over 8 years! So that being said, I do not like how adderall reminds me of being on meth or some other amphetamine-ie. crack, coke, crank, no-doze..

        I used to love being all twacked out, but now it disgusts me and I feel like a low life drug user…

        Does anyone know of another drug similar to adderall, but without the uppity feeling?! I just want the focussing and concentration benefits w/o the “I’m tweaking” feeling lol

        Jared M.

        • Concerta. Slow time released and doesn’t have the side effects like the others. You could also check into daytrana. It is a transdermal patch that youwear. I used to have a problem with them coming unstuck and falling off so I started cutting them in half and folding them backwards over my teeth where the medicine would absorb under mytongue. Worked great. I say concerta would be best for what you are lookingfor tho. It works and you cant even feel it

        • I have heard of clonidine being used for that purpose. I take it for blood pressure issues but have noticed an improved sense of order. Never been a.d.d. but have had some trouble keeping calm and ordering my thoughts. This has helped tremendously, and I would suggest talking to a doctor about it.

        • If you have ADHD, Adderall or other stimulant meds will not give you that uppy jittery racy feeling. I was recently diagnosed with ADHD at 36 and started on Vyvanse. It makes me calmer, less anxious, less jittery. Which is why I know I’m supposed to be taking it. You’ll only get the stimulant effects if you DON’T need it.

          • I couldn’t agree more!! People that complain about getting high from Adderall. …shouldn’t be on it OR perhaps your dose is too high. I too take 20mg twice a day and It’s a miracle drug for me!! I can focus, calm down, reduces anxiety. Allows me to take one step at a time instead of getting overwhelmed by the simplest things… I feel it’s a great drug if not abused. I can go days without it and feel ok but I am much more functional and relaxed with my meds. Good luck everyone. . All meds are not for everyone. Be Safe!!

          • Agreed, I’m in the same boat at age 38. It has helped me to show major improvements at work and home in my ability to manage and follow multiple work related issue escalations and had helped in my communication skills with my wife.

          • I couldn’t agree more, I work with special needs kids,and have studied all behaviors, and Meds.Its 100 per cent right if you speed off Adderall or its family you do not have Adhd

        • Ask your doctor about Vyvanse!
          It is a much safer alternative to Adderall, but is still very effective for ADHD/ADD.

          • Vyvance made me feel terrible..Adderall made me feel a little less icky, but stillmakes me feel exhausted, My doctor said that is normal, that you shouldn’t get a bunch of energy from it, only if you do not have adhd.It is helping my old ass (43) go back and finish college or I wouldn’t be taking it at all.

      • Have you ever tried CBD?

    • do you also have mexican drug lords with dirty labs as your source? no.

    • I’m going to assume that you most likely have ADHD and have
      A valid reason to be taking it.

      I use to be a very heavy meth user and can tell you that Adderall has some of but not all of the sane side effects that meth does.

      When used correctly Adderall increases concentration, stamina and other mental functions. They same thing that Meth can do. When Adderall is used by someone without ADHD on a recreational base and in high doses you can achieve the same effects as meth.

    • WOW ! That must be why it says “if you experience these side effects, consult with your doctor immediately.” That would mean that not everyone experiences those side effects. So, some people do, some people don’t – guess what group you’re in ?!

    • This article is pure demonization. Meth mouth is caused by the dry mouth and not taking care of your hygiene, not the “chemicals” in it. Making meth is chemistry, thats it. The psychosis, hallucinations, etc are caused by staying up for weeks on end. Responsible meth use is staying up for NO MORE than 2-3 days.

  2. James…uppers effect those with with ADHD differently than those who don’t I believe. I am not a scientist though so I could be mistaken.

    As someone that has had problematic use with both substances, this article is fairly useful. I tried meth first (when I was young and stupid) when a friend took me to a gay club and gave me some after I drank a bit too much. This was decades ago before all the media coverage on it–I only knew it was an upper and that it was popular in the Southwest.

    The highs feel eerily similar. [IMO] Meth is a bit stronger and has more of a euphoria in the first 2-3 hours and strangely has less immediate side effects for me. Adderall gives me a minor headache and cramps in larger doses. The fact it can penetrate the brain deeper was interesting to learn because I do crave Meth slightly more than Adderall.

    For anyone considering trying either of these recreationally….just don’t. I’ve never lost a job or pawned anything for drugs. I am not physically addicted to either. However, the mental addiction to either of this is unlike anything I ever encountered before. At first, you’ll feel like a superhero who can do everything in record time. Keep on using and anytime you feel tired you’ll want some. Later, even the basic chores of daily life seem like climbing Everest when sober. I dropped out of law school because I was trying to get clean and just couldn’t force myself to study and live on 3-4 hours of sleep with the discipline I had when on amphetamines.

    It scares me how widely abused Adderall is now. I think we’re going to see some major cultural ripples in the next decades from stimulants permeating vast segments of our society.

  3. I took Adderall for about two years and currently take vyvanse going on about a year now. Obviously people who do not have add/adhd experience different effects than those of us that do as myself. I’ve never had any of those side effects that I’ve heard about with meth, twitching, tweaking, paranoia, aggressiveness, or any type of ‘high’ so to speak. In fact for the most part Vyvanse calms me down, keeps my brain and my concentration on single tasks rather than a million things like before, I am less fidgety, less negative aggression, more control of my impulses, etc. Amphetamines have been used for a long time and for those of us who benefit from it, in a controlled environment, (under physicians care and safely) it can help a lot. Misuse or abuse it and you will be doomed. Key is, listen to your body, be honest, and never be afraid to ask for help.

  4. So you’re saying that Methamphetamine has adderall in it, except it has additional material… And thus, you conclude it’s basically the same?

    You also mentioned at the beginning that the methyl causes the amphetamine (adderall) to go deeper into the brain… How is it basically the same, when Methamphetamine is like adderall on crack?

    To compare your statement of, “It’s basically the same” is to say beer and rubbing alcohol are basically the same, since they’re both alcohol. Essentially, they’re both alcohol, so basically they’re the same. Seriously…

    I’m going to assume a more detailed explanation is needed; beer has a lot less alcohol than rubbing alcohol (some are around 50% alcohol, while others can be as high as 90%… compared to around 4-5% alcohol in beer). Furthermore, the type of alcohol in beer is Ethanol alcohol, while the type of alcohol in rubbing alcohol is Isopropyl alcohol. If you digest Isopropyl alcohol, it metabolizes into acetone.. Obviously, they’re NOT “basically” the same.

    This is why you never consider non-credible websites with “.com,” “.net,” etc. Especially a “.net” or “.org” for they have agendas. Get your information from .gov, .edu, or from a medical journal. In the process of writing an article, it is best to keep biased opinions out of the information you provide, while sticking to the facts. Otherwise your credibility is depleted.

    Then again, you did say the media demonizes it, and this is a media source…

    Granted, abusers of Adderall, when they don’t have ADHD, can have some side effects and symptoms similar to Methamphetamines; however, I doubt their teeth will rot!

    PS: If it’s basically the same, then how come the symptoms and side effects basically are different?

    PSS: You could also categorize this as fiction, rather than science. Given that certain types of fiction are based on facts and science; it doesn’t mean that it’s 100% true or accurate.

    I apologize for the rambling. I have bias towards bias, ignorance, and misinformation. I personally don’t condone on abusing any drug, and I hate taking medications (I’m an adult version of the dimetapp kid).

  5. Oh yea, and I forgot to mention this tidbit I discovered earlier: There’s some research that suggests Adderall can promote neuron growth (Neurogenesis), and preserve neurons… Ergo, adderall (abused or used properly) causes new neurons to be formed.

    Methamphetamines are known to destroy neurons.

    Basically… the… same?

    Although I found this information on another site, I double checked on a credible site (.gov):


    • Adderall has many adverse health effects, especially when abused long term, that are very similar to Meth. Example? Death. So to imply that abusing adderall is in any way healthy… Is just absolutely ridiculous. One preliminary article on the health effects of adderall on mice is not concrete evidence of how abusing adderall effects humans.


      And those were just on the first page when I searched for adderall health effects….

      Lastly, a high tolerance to adderall is very common among those that abuse adderall (IE. They have to take more and more of the drug to obtain the same effect). The fact that tolerance is evident is proof that brain damage, and neuron damage, is occurring. If adderall didn’t cause neuron damage then tolerance would not be evident.

  6. The meth made by big farma and the hilbily shake and bake meth is like compering appels and peers.

    One is pure meth. A Longlasting version off good old amphetamine a stimmulant nothing realy special abouth it.
    Other one is some meth whit whatever byproducts that i can asure is not vitamine c.

    Did you know..
    Facesofmeth advert evrybody knows is not what hapents when u use meth. 90% off users looks normale like you and me the pict the used ar for shockeffect and are THE worst of the worst THE could find…ther was even a burnvictem used as a after picture fore crist sake?

  7. Haha the burn victim was probably burned from a lab explosion. So it’s still meth related… Lol

  8. How the hell is Meth a ‘Narcotic’??

    • Amphetamines and methamphetamines- though they aren’t medically considered narcotics (depressants)- they are legally- (as in- in the legal system) considered narcotics.

  9. Iv did meth and Iv did aderol. I KNOW FROM EXPERIENCE! Meth and aderol make you feel the EXACT same way. why? DO NOT BE FOOLED BY DOCTORS into thinking your kid needs speed to fix behavior! YOU, AS AN PARENT need to not be lazy and get more involved in your child’s life and fix the behavior issues yourself, don’t be lazy and let the pharmasutical companies turn/program your kid into a for life profit margin drug addict who thinks drugs are the answer.

  10. I used to be on adderall, then used meth and became addicted for a time. See, due to the chemical makeup, meth acts the same way adderall does for me. I didnt get the jitters or go to walmart at 4 am. It calmed me, but i hated who i was as a person. I quit using meth and adderall (since, yes, it is essentially the same thing) now i just medicate with marijuana. Its much safer. It doesnt handle ALL my ADHD symptoms, but it does help most. I started using adderall, aka legal meth, at 15 years old, i started smoking marijuana at 16. Which is the gateway drug again? If marijuana werent medically available, i would be force to again resort to adderall, however, today, i feel cleaner and better than ever.

  11. I lost my best friend of 50 years to adderall April 25, 2016 Flat Rock, NC. Kay Campbell look it up.. Years of adderall use came to a stop for her and she chose death by cop over living without it!!!! She had everything the world had to offer, but without adderall she couldnt even brush her teeth, get out of bed, take a shower or even eat. This beautiful lady decided that life without adderall was not worth living and when she was high on it no one could be around her.. She was jailed, insitutionalized and now dead.. I am sure when she began the adderall road she expected it would end this way… She was not your average junky either, she graduated college and had a nursing degree… This chemical changes your thought process and thus changes you… If you like who you are, leave chemicals alone!!!!!!

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