What are the Differences Between Adderall and Speed?
Is Adderall speed? This is a question people frequently have, and they also wonder if it’s not, what are the differences between Adderall and speed?
It’s become so culturally acceptable in many ways to use Adderall in the U.S. that people tend to forget the dangers and the similarities it can have to illicit street drugs, but these issues exist.
First, what is Adderall?
Adderall is a prescription drug and a controlled substance. It’s a brand name for the combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. When someone takes Adderall, it acts as a stimulant on the central nervous system, and it affects the presence of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. These neurotransmitters include dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. Adderall is prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD, as well as narcolepsy.
In people who truly have ADHD, the effects of Adderall are somewhat calming, despite the fact that it’s a stimulant. For example, people with ADHD may feel more focused and more controlled when they use Adderall.
The effects in someone without ADHD can be quite a bit different. If someone takes Adderall and they don’t have ADHD, it can cause them to feel high, and that can include euphoria, increased energy and concentration, and increased self-confidence.
So, what is speed?
Speed is methamphetamine, and street names for it include crystal meth, crank, meth, and ice. Speed is also a central nervous system stimulant, and it’s Schedule II in the U.S. meaning it has a high potential for abuse.
Methamphetamine on its own is available in the U.S. as a drug called Desoxyn, but it also comes to the U.S. from illegal labs. Methamphetamine is cheap and easy to produce illicitly, but it’s also dangerous.
Speed can be used in a variety of ways including injecting it, smoking it or taking it orally. One particular kind of methamphetamine is called crystal methamphetamine or crystal meth, which is smoked similarly to crack. Some of the signs of methamphetamine use include wakefulness, talkativeness, concentration, decreased appetite, and a sense of well-being.
So, is Adderall speed? Yes, in a way Adderall is speed, but more on the topic is detailed below.
Methamphetamine isn’t exactly the same as amphetamine, however, and it’s a crystallized psychotic stimulant that can be used to treat obesity, but it usually isn’t because it’s risky and has serious or deadly side effects including addiction, among others.
So, is Adderall like speed? Yes, but with differences.
Methamphetamine’s biggest difference compared to amphetamine is the fact that methamphetamine is considered a neurotoxic drug, meaning it can cause brain damage. While the effects of amphetamine and methamphetamine are similar in many ways, methamphetamine is much more damaging to the systems of the body including vital organs. Using methamphetamine causes systemic damage to the body, and its use is associated with heart and brain damage, aggression and psychotic behavior.
Methamphetamine can also lead to tooth decay, confusion, and paranoia.
While amphetamines are also addictive and have the potential for physical dependence, this risk is higher with methamphetamine. For example, someone could theoretically use Adderall recreationally without becoming addicted, but with meth, many users report being hooked after trying it only once.
Both Adderall and speed do have similarities including the fact that they are both stimulants. Stimulants lead to similar side effects when they’re used such as a euphoric mood and sense of well-being, a decreased appetite, increased blood pressure and heart rate, and high energy levels. Both stimulants do also have the potential for addiction, and they can be harmful. However, amphetamines are less harmful than methamphetamines and also less addictive.
Over time amphetamines can have serious health effects, but with methamphetamine, there is wide-ranging damage done to most of the user’s body including their brain and heart. Speed is stronger than Adderall, to put it in simple terms.
Also, methamphetamine’s effects tend to last longer, and there is a significantly higher risk of addiction with methamphetamine.
Finally, since methamphetamine is primarily taken illicitly after being purchased on the streets, it has risks associated with this as well. If Adderall is taken as prescribed to treat a diagnosed medical condition, it is safer than speed.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.
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