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Difference Between Adderall and Methamphetamine

Adderall Vs Methamphetamine

People often question what Adderall is. Often, they are led to the assumption that it is just the same as methamphetamine, when in reality, it isn’t.

Methamphetamine and Adderall are nonetheless close relatives in terms of their chemical structure. As ‘meth,’ street term for methamphetamine is an amphetamine having meth (for methyl) while Adderall is one of the popular brand names of drugs classified as amphetamines.

Chemically, methyl is connected to the nitrogen group of the amphetamine molecule making it methamphetamine. Methyl is a simple atomic group having one carbon atom and 3 hydrogen atoms in most cases. Hence, ‘meth’ in many other drug preparations (usually seen in many psychoactive medications) really tells the presence of a methyl group in the structure. In the case of methamphetamine, the methyl serves to hasten fat solubility of amphetamine which enables the drug to plunge deeper into one’s brain. Thus, methamphetamine has an augmenting action on amphetamines like Adderall making Adderall’s effects last longer, that is if both drugs are used concomitantly.

The problem with the media, the school and even the culture in the government is that they tend to sensationalize the nature of both methamphetamines and amphetamines like Adderall. More so for the former since it is much more ‘demonized’ or attached with a negative connotation. Although amphetamines are also ‘demonized’ but in a lesser sense, these drugs are actually used for therapeutic purposes like for ADHD patients (usually kids at the age of 3). But along with other amphetamines like Dexedrine, Adderall can have an addictive potential. The prolonged uncontrolled intake of such may lead to habits that are too difficult to stop.

Ironically, what the parent’s children may be taking is actually the same type of drug (same drug class) that most street drug users are taking. At least, the pharmaceutical companies are taking the extra effort to make their products appear ‘clothed’ in a white coat.

Also take note that when one ingests methamphetamine it will actually be broken down into simpler molecules (i.e. amphetamine) once the drug has been metabolized and then biotransformed within the system. So it’s basically the same after all.

1. Methamphetamine has a methyl group in its structure while Adderall doesn’t have any.

2. Methamphetamine is a drug group while Adderall is a brand name of a drug classified under the group amphetamine.

3. Because of the methyl content, methampehtamines are able to penetrate into the brain faster and deeper than other stimulants including Adderall

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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.

    • 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.

  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):


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