Adderall and methamphetamine are both amphetamine derivatives that are used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). They are used in the same way to treat ADHD, which is by increasing focus and reducing impulsiveness. However, amphetamines are different than meth. They are chemically similar, so they have similar effects on the body. While both drugs are stimulants and are used to treat ADHD, they have different side effects and effects on the body. Read on to learn more about the difference between Adderall and meth.

What is Adderall?

Adderall is the brand name for amphetamine, the active ingredient found in both Adderall and Ritalin. It’s prescribed to treat ADHD, narcolepsy, and obesity. It’s also used to treat narcolepsy, depression, and fatigue.  Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant. It works by increasing the amount of dopamine released in the brain, which improves the way people feel when they’re in a positive mood. This encourages people to feel happier, feel less stressed, and feel less tired. The drug also increases focus and concentration. People who take Adderall can experience a sense of euphoria and increased energy, which is why it’s often used for ADD/ADHD treatment.


What is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant drug that’s similar to Adderall. It’s a central nervous system stimulant that’s primarily used to treat ADHD. Like Adderall, it increases focus and concentration, and it also increases happiness, energy, and a feeling of euphoria.  However, meth is much more potent than Adderall. It’s also much more harmful. When meth is taken, it reaches the brain quickly and causes an intense rush that can be extremely pleasurable. This rush is part of what makes meth addictive.  Meth is also more likely to cause side effects than Adderall.


Side Effects of Methamphetamine

  • Methamphetamine causes sleep deprivation in a number of different ways. It reduces the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep, and it keeps you up longer than normal if you do manage to drift off. In addition, the drug can induce sleep paralysis, which is a terrifying scenario for many people who suffer from night terrors, sleep apnea, or both. Night terrors are a particularly terrifying experience for someone who’s suffering from methamphetamine addiction.
  • Methamphetamine interferes with several parts of your brain that are involved in regulating your appetite and metabolism, including the hypothalamus and the thalamus. This can cause you to lose weight unexpectedly, despite a constant, strong desire to eat. This is often because your body is fighting the symptoms of methamphetamine addiction, which makes you feel full even though you’re starving.
  • Methamphetamine can raise your blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart disease. It also increases your risk of suffering a stroke, which is a more serious type of neurological damage. This can be a significant threat to the safety of someone who is driving under the influence of meth, but it can also be a serious problem for anyone who is experiencing cognitive impairment and confusion due to meth use.
  • When someone abuses meth, they’re also at a high risk of experiencing a fatal overdose.

Side Effects of Adderall 

  • Insomnia – This happens when a person is tired or fatigued when they should be sleeping. This can be a sign of an underlying medical condition.
  • Decreased Appetite – This is a common side effect of many medications. Try to eat a balanced and healthy diet.
  • Dry Mouth – This happens because the drug blocks the reabsorption of salt and water in the mouth, which can cause the mouth to feel dry.


Methamphetamine is one of the most dangerous drugs on the market. It can cause severe psychological and physical damage. Like other types of amphetamines, it stimulates nerve endings and makes users feel euphoric. However, this substance can also cause severe long-term effects such as addiction. Meth and Adderall are both Schedule II substances that are central nervous system stimulants. Both increase levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain.

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Asheville Recovery Center

Fortunately, there are ways to prevent unhealthy behaviors and help those who are already struggling. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction or mental health, it is important to get treatment. At Asheville Recovery Center treatment specialists utilize a 12-step program and practice holistic rehabilitation. 

Services at the center include:

 Partial Hospitalization Program – At Asheville Recovery Center we offer a partial hospitalization program for clients who need post-residential treatment as well as for clients who need primary treatment but are unable to enroll in inpatient programs. Our PHP track offers a variety of therapeutic services and benefits to individuals in early recovery from substance addiction.  

Outpatient Rehabilitation – During intensive outpatient treatment (IOP), clients live at home or in a sober living residence while completing an addiction treatment program. IOP is a place where clients can process their experiences in twelve-step fellowships and support one another in those individual journeys.

Addiction is difficult to overcome alone. If you feel that you or a loved one is struggling, our specialists are on standby and ready to help. Call and speak with an addiction expert today.

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