Are effects of Adderall and methamphetamine similar?

Are effects of Adderall and methamphetamine similar?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved both Adderall and crystal meth for medical purposes. Adderall is a combination of amphetamine and d-amphetamine mixed salts and often prescribed in case of attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, a neurological disorder caused by unregulated sleep-wake cycles. Methamphetamine is a white crystalline drug, also known as crystal meth. It is a psychotic stimulant used to treat obesity and to some extent even ADHD.

Adderall is mostly available through prescription. Meth has been classified as a Schedule II drug and due to its high potency for addiction, it is rarely prescribed by doctors, or in limited quantity. The widespread belief is that methamphetamine is more dangerous than Adderall but according to Dr. Carl Hart, a professor of psychology and psychiatry at Columbia University, the dangers of meth are exaggerated.

The similar chemical composition of the two drugs and similar effects has led researchers, health authorities and public to believe that crystal meth is a highly addictive substance. Adderall increases energy, improves attention span and enhances memory. Meth has similar effects except that it produces greater repercussions on mood and cardiovascular activity. The euphoria caused is also greater compared to Adderall. Therefore, the doctors take precaution while prescribing meth.

Scientific and medical literature have established how meth impacts cognitive abilities, psychological makeup and organ functioning. Hart is of a different opinion believing that public perception of meth has been blown out of proportion because of media campaigns.

Effects of Adderall and meth are similar

Known for his research in areas of drug abuse and addiction, Hart argues that public educational campaigns and media propagate false stories to discourage meth use. The only difference between the two drugs, as the professor believes, is the negativity of using meth floating around everywhere. According to him, the biasness of the media contradicts what he observed in his study.

In 2012, Hart studied 13 men who regularly used meth. The study documented the immediate and short-term effects of the drug. The men were given a hit of methamphetamine and of d-amphetamine or placebo on separate days, a process repeated for several days. The doses were also gradually increased. The participants experienced euphoria, improved concentration, reduced cognitive disruptions and higher energy. Both the drugs increased blood pressure and heart rate.

The participants were then asked to choose either drugs or cash of $5 as a reward. With a low monetary value, 41 percent participants chose self-administration dose. When the cash amount was increased to $20, the choice for drugs dropped to 17 percent. This proved that meth is not so addictive and it may not impair rational judgement. The study also observed that methamphetamine users could not distinguish between the two drugs due to similar positive effects.

The research indicates that the problems associated with crystal meth are perhaps overstated. Hart himself has believed for almost 20 years that meth is a more potent drug. However, awareness is the key to better health and safety.

Road to recovery

More research is needed to further our understanding on drugs such as meth and Adderall.  A more informed population will benefit from such studies and understand the complexity arising from regular use of these drugs.

If know someone who is suffering from addiction to any drug and is looking for the finest drug rehabilitation centers in California, contact the California Drug Addiction Helpline or call us on 855-980-1946. You can chat online with our representatives to know more about drug rehab centers in California that offer personalized detoxification programs to remove the toxins from the body and boost recovery.