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Many people aren’t even aware of what amphetamine is or how it works. While the former is used in numerous prescription medications, the latter is an illicit street drug with a horrible potential for addiction and abuse. But what’s the difference? Our Stuart rehab compares amphetamine vs methamphetamine ourselves to see what we find.
Amphetamines are central nervous system (CNS) stimulants. Amphetamines speed up activity and messages that travel between the brain and body. Doctors prescribe certain amphetamines to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Common amphetamine medications include Adderall, Ritalin, and Vyvanse. Some amphetamines can also be used to treat Parkinson’s disease. Other types, like Speed, are sold illegally on the streets. Due to their ability to increase concentration, energy, alertness, and sociability, amphetamines, like Speed and crystal methamphetamine, are often abused. However, because these substances are highly addictive, most people who abuse them require medical detox and withdrawal treatment to regain their sobriety.
Methamphetamine is also an addictive CNS stimulant that takes the form of a white crystal-like powder that can be snorted, injected, smoked, or swallowed. Crystal meth was derived from its parent drug, amphetamine, in the early 20th century and was originally used in bronchial inhalers and nasal decongestants. However, despite their similarities, these two stimulants are very different. Like amphetamine, methamphetamine increases activity and talkativeness. Methamphetamine decreases appetite and provides a pleasurable sense of well-being and euphoria.
The main difference between amphetamine and methamphetamine is that greater amounts of meth get into the brain than amphetamine, meaning meth is more potent. The side effects of meth also last longer than those of amphetamine, making it a stronger and highly addictive drug. Additionally, meth is a street drug that contains a variety of harmful chemicals. Unlike amphetamine, which is more controlled in terms of creation and production, meth is made of random substances, from anhydrous ammonia to acetone to fentanyl. Amphetamine, unless sold as Speed or Meth, doesn’t contain these chemicals, making it suitable for medical practice and use with a prescription.
Regardless of their differences, one thing is for sure: both amphetamine and methamphetamine are addictive and dangerous. Many have especially suffered the repercussions of crystal meth abuse, which can lead to tooth loss and decay (meth mouth), skin picking and skin diseases (meth mites), kidney damage, liver damage, cardiovascular disease, and more.