M.E.T.H. Four letters distinguish the names of two drugs: amphetamines and methamphetamines. But, that’s not all that separates these substances. Students may learn about methamphetamine in their grade school substance abuse prevention program (such as D.A.R.E of GRADE), but amphetamines is a less commonly known term. So, what are the differences between amphetamines vs methamphetamines?

What are Amphetamines?

Amphetamine is a name used to categorize a number of stimulant drugs. For the most part, these drugs are pharmaceutical medications prescribed by physicians to treat conditions like ADHD and Narcolepsy or to assist with weight loss. However, they are also abused by teenagers and young adults as a study aid. Abuse of these substances increases the risk of developing an addiction to them as well as overdosing or experiencing other health consequences. Amphetamines are typically found in a tablet or capsule form and consumed orally, but those abusing these medications may crush and snort them. Common Amphetamines Include:

  • Adderall
  • Dexedrine  
  • Vyvanse

What are Methamphetamines?

Methamphetamines are another type of drug more commonly referred to as “meth” or “crystal meth”. A crystal-like rock or crystalline powdery substance, methods of consumption for meth include smoking, snorting, swallowing, or injecting. Although methamphetamines also fall under the category of stimulants, they contrast from amphetamines in several ways. Meth…

  1. is more commonly illegally manufactured, distributed, and consumed,
  2. is very rarely used for medical purposes,
  3. is more potent than amphetamines,
  4. has effects that are more harmful and longer-lasting than amphetamines.

Meth Vs. Other Stimulants

Although methamphetamines are stimulants and therefore increase the levels of dopamine production, they do differ from other stimulants, such as cocaine. For one, meth increases dopamine production at a drastically greater rate. Another major difference is the speed in which the substance is metabolized. Cocaine is very quickly metabolized, with effects that wear off rapidly. The duration of time that meth will remain active and unchanged in the human body is much longer. It can take 12 hours or longer for 50% of a dose of meth to be metabolized, whereas cocaine’s half-life is only about 1 hour.

Amphetamine & Meth Addiction

When it comes to Amphetamines vs methamphetamines, both have a potential for addiction. Abuse increases the risk of addiction, overdose, and other consequences such as respiratory issues, health problems, and severe dental damage. However, the increased potency of crystal meth also makes addiction to it even more dangerous compared to addiction to prescription amphetamines. Concerning statistics have shown that meth use has increased drastically between 2011 and 2018. Additionally, there is no knowledge just yet of how COVID-19 has affected these numbers or the numbers of prescription amphetamine use as well. Could students who have been forces into 100% online learning be relying on these drugs for focus even more than before? 

What we do know is that anyone who is struggling with stimulant abuse could benefit from professional help. Our stimulant addiction treatment program is designed to help individuals overcoming addiction from cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamines, and any other stimulants. Don’t delay, reach out to get yourself or your loved one enrolled in an effective treatment program today.