Call Now! 866-415-6313

4.8 Rating | 5,000+ Clients Treated Since 2016

Table of Contents

Difference Between Amphetamine and Methamphetamine

At California Prime Recovery, an addiction treatment center in Fountain Valley, CA, we understand the importance of providing valuable and accurate information to our readers. The comparison between amphetamine and methamphetamine is critical in understanding their impact on the central nervous system and the potential for drug abuse. Both substances share similar chemical structures and are powerful stimulants, but they differ significantly in their effects and uses. Amphetamines, such as those found in prescription medications like Adderall and Ritalin, are commonly prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. These medications, when taken in low doses, can improve academic performance and increase energy levels. However, larger doses and misuse can lead to amphetamine use disorder, increased heart rate, and high blood pressure. On the other hand, methamphetamine, known by street names like “crystal meth,” is highly addictive and abused for its euphoric effects. Methamphetamine abuse can cause severe health issues, including increased body temperature, heart failure, and psychosis. Understanding the differences between these substances is crucial for recognizing the risks and seeking appropriate treatment.

  • Methamphetamine has harmful effects on the human body, including the difficulty in processing its toxic ingredients, harsh psychological and physical effects, addiction, and long-term health consequences such as dental decay, premature aging, and cardiac arrest.
  • Amphetamine and methamphetamine are both stimulant drugs that affect the central nervous system. They are commonly known as “uppers” and have similar effects, leading to confusion among some people. However, despite their similarities, they have distinct properties and uses, which are important to understand to make informed decisions regarding their usage and potential risks.

 

What is Amphetamine?

Amphetamine is a potent drug in ADHD therapy because it includes d-amphetamine and l-amphetamine salts that are combined in a ratio of 3:1, respectively. The drug is best suited for children above the age of three. It also includes various binders, guaranteeing that the body can function properly.

Amphetamine is available as a tablet or capsule. The medication triggers the production of more dopamine and norepinephrine, thus exciting the nerve cells, making the individual feel more at ease, and assisting in alleviating their anxiety. Some over-the-counter medications contain amphetamines for weight loss, and it is important to follow doctor’s orders to avoid misuse and the associated negative consequences.

The mental effects of amphetamine use can be compared to the high that is gotten from the intake of cocaine, except that the effects of cocaine only last around one hour. In contrast, the effects of amphetamine consumption might last from a few minutes to many hours. Using other drugs or alcohol together with amphetamine may intensify the euphoria, but you may be endangering your life.

Amphetamine Types

For the treatment of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), healthcare professionals may prescribe different types of amphetamines. These medications are stimulants that work by increasing the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, helping to improve attention and reduce hyperactivity. Common types of amphetamines used for ADHD treatment include:

  1. Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine): This is a pure form of amphetamine and includes only the dextroamphetamine enantiomer. It is available in both immediate-release and extended-release formulations.

  2. Mixed Amphetamine Salts (Adderall): Adderall is a combination of dextroamphetamine and levoamphetamine, which are the two enantiomers of amphetamine. It comes in both immediate-release and extended-release forms.

  3. Lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse): Unlike other amphetamines, Vyvanse is a prodrug, meaning it is inactive until it is metabolized in the body. After ingestion, it is converted to dextroamphetamine, which then exerts its therapeutic effects. Vyvanse is an extended-release medication.

It’s important to note that while amphetamines are commonly prescribed for ADHD, individual responses to medications can vary. Other non-amphetamine medications, such as methylphenidate-based drugs (e.g., Ritalin, Concerta), are also frequently used to treat ADHD.

Amphetamine Dosages

Dosages of amphetamines vary depending on the specific medication, the formulation (immediate-release or extended-release), and the individual’s age, weight, and response to the medication. It is crucial to follow the prescribed dosage and administration instructions provided by a healthcare professional. Here are general dosage guidelines for some common amphetamine medications:

  1. Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine):

    • Immediate-release tablets: Typically, the starting dose for adults is 5 mg once or twice daily. The dose may be adjusted based on the individual’s response.
    • Extended-release capsules: The usual starting dose for adults is 10 mg once daily in the morning.
  2. Mixed Amphetamine Salts (Adderall):

    • Immediate-release tablets: The starting dose for adults is often 5 mg once or twice daily. The dose may be adjusted based on individual response.
    • Extended-release capsules: The usual starting dose for adults is 20 mg once daily in the morning.
  3. Lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse):

    • Vyvanse is typically taken once daily in the morning. The recommended starting dose for adults is often 30 mg, with adjustments made based on individual response.

It’s important to note that dosages for children and adolescents are generally lower and are determined based on factors such as age, weight, and the severity of symptoms. Dosages may need to be adjusted over time to achieve the desired therapeutic effect with the fewest side effects.

Amphetamine Uses for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

The use of amphetamines varies based on the specific formulation and purpose of the medication. Here are some common uses:

  1. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Amphetamines, such as dextroamphetamine (e.g., Dexedrine), mixed amphetamine salts (e.g., Adderall), and lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse), are often prescribed to individuals with ADHD to improve focus, attention, and reduce hyperactivity.

  2. Narcolepsy: Amphetamines can be used to treat narcolepsy, a neurological disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness, sudden muscle weakness (cataplexy), and sleep attacks. Stimulants help manage daytime sleepiness in individuals with narcolepsy.

  3. Obesity: In some cases, amphetamines have been used to assist with weight loss. However, their use for this purpose has decreased due to concerns about potential side effects and abuse.

It’s crucial to note that the use of amphetamines should be strictly supervised and prescribed by qualified healthcare professionals. Despite this, amphetamines such as Adderall are sometimes used as a ‘study drug’ by students to enhance concentration and study for longer hours, despite the risks associated with unprescribed use.


Amphetamine Onset and Duration

The onset and duration of action of amphetamines can vary depending on factors such as the specific drug formulation, dosage, individual metabolism, and route of administration. Here are approximate onset and duration times for some common amphetamines:

  1. Dextroamphetamine:

    • Onset: The onset of action for oral dextroamphetamine is typically around 30 minutes to 1 hour after ingestion. However, it can vary depending on individual factors.
    • Duration: The duration of action for oral dextroamphetamine is usually around 4 to 6 hours. Extended-release formulations may have a longer duration of action, lasting up to 10 to 12 hours.
  2. Lisdexamfetamine:

    • Onset: Lisdexamfetamine is a prodrug that is converted into dextroamphetamine in the body. The onset of action for lisdexamfetamine is typically similar to that of dextroamphetamine, occurring within 30 minutes to 1 hour after ingestion.
    • Duration: The duration of action for lisdexamfetamine is similar to that of dextroamphetamine, lasting around 10 to 12 hours.
  3. Methamphetamine:

    • Onset: The onset of action for oral methamphetamine is similar to that of dextroamphetamine, typically occurring within 30 minutes to 1 hour after ingestion.
    • Duration: The duration of action for oral methamphetamine is similar to that of dextroamphetamine, lasting around 4 to 6 hours. However, methamphetamine is often associated with a more rapid onset and shorter duration when administered by other routes, such as smoking or intravenous injection.

It’s important to note that these are general estimates, and individual responses to amphetamines can vary. Factors such as the presence of food in the stomach, concurrent medications, and individual differences in metabolism can influence the onset and duration of action. Additionally, extended-release formulations of amphetamines may have different onset and duration profiles compared to immediate-release formulations.

How Long Does Amphetamine Stay in Your System?

The half-life of amphetamines can vary depending on factors such as the specific drug formulation, individual metabolism, and other physiological factors. However, here are approximate half-lives for some common amphetamines:

  1. Dextroamphetamine: The half-life of dextroamphetamine, a commonly prescribed amphetamine, is typically around 10-12 hours in adults. This means that it takes approximately 10-12 hours for half of the drug to be eliminated from the body.

  2. Lisdexamfetamine: Lisdexamfetamine is a prodrug of dextroamphetamine, meaning it is converted into dextroamphetamine in the body. Its half-life is slightly longer, ranging from 10 to 13 hours.

  3. Methamphetamine: Methamphetamine, a more potent form of amphetamine often associated with illicit use, has a longer half-life compared to dextroamphetamine. Its half-life can range from 10 to 12 hours in adults.

It’s important to note that these are general estimates, and individual variability can affect how quickly or slowly amphetamines are metabolized and eliminated from the body. Factors such as age, liver function, kidney function, and the presence of other medications or substances can influence drug metabolism and elimination.

How Long is Amphetamine Detectable in Your System?

The detectability of amphetamines in the body depends on various factors, including the specific drug being used, the dosage, frequency of use, individual metabolism, and the type of drug test being conducted. Here are some general guidelines for the detectability of amphetamines in different types of drug tests:

  1. Urine Test: Amphetamines are typically detectable in urine for approximately 1 to 3 days after use. However, in chronic or heavy users, detection may extend up to 7 days or longer.

  2. Blood Test: Amphetamines can be detected in blood for a shorter period compared to urine, typically within 12 to 24 hours after use. In chronic users or cases of high-dose ingestion, detection may be extended slightly.

  3. Saliva Test: Amphetamines are detectable in saliva for a shorter duration compared to urine, typically within 1 to 3 days after use.

  4. Hair Test: Amphetamines can be detected in hair follicles for a longer period compared to other types of drug tests. They may be detectable in hair for up to 90 days or longer after use, depending on factors such as the length of hair and frequency of use.

It’s important to note that these are general estimates, and individual variability can influence the detectability of amphetamines. Factors such as hydration levels, body mass index (BMI), and liver function can affect drug metabolism and elimination, potentially altering detection times.

Amphetamine Efficacy

The efficacy of amphetamines depends on various factors, including the specific condition being treated, individual response to the medication, dosage, and adherence to treatment. Here are some common conditions for which amphetamines are prescribed, along with their efficacy:

  1. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Amphetamines, such as Adderall and Vyvanse, are often prescribed to manage symptoms of ADHD, including inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Research shows that amphetamines can be effective in improving attention, focus, and impulse control in individuals with ADHD. However, efficacy may vary among individuals, and it’s essential to work closely with a healthcare provider to find the most effective treatment regimen.

  2. Narcolepsy: Amphetamines are also used to treat narcolepsy, a chronic sleep disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness, sudden muscle weakness (cataplexy), and other symptoms. Amphetamines can help improve wakefulness and reduce episodes of cataplexy in individuals with narcolepsy, although they may not be effective for all symptoms or in all cases.

  3. Obesity (Off-label): In some cases, healthcare providers may prescribe amphetamines off-label to help with weight loss. Amphetamines can suppress appetite and increase metabolism, which may lead to short-term weight loss in some individuals. However, the long-term efficacy and safety of using amphetamines for weight loss are not well-established, and they are not recommended as a primary treatment for obesity.

How Does Amphetamine Work in the Brain and Body?

Amphetamines exert their effects primarily by increasing the activity of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, particularly dopamine and norepinephrine. Here’s how they work in the brain and body:

  1. Neurotransmitter Release: Amphetamines stimulate the release of dopamine and norepinephrine from nerve terminals into the synaptic cleft, the space between neurons.

  2. Reuptake Inhibition: They also block the reuptake of dopamine and norepinephrine back into the presynaptic neuron, leading to increased levels of these neurotransmitters in the synaptic cleft.

  3. Neurotransmitter Effects: Elevated levels of dopamine and norepinephrine enhance signaling between neurons in various brain regions, resulting in several physiological and behavioral effects:

    • Increased Alertness and Wakefulness: By enhancing the activity of norepinephrine, amphetamines promote wakefulness and alertness, making them useful in treating conditions like narcolepsy.

    • Improved Focus and Attention: The increased availability of dopamine and norepinephrine in certain brain regions, such as the prefrontal cortex, can enhance cognitive functions like focus, attention, and concentration. This effect is particularly beneficial for individuals with ADHD.

    • Elevated Mood and Pleasure: Dopamine is involved in the brain’s reward pathway, and increased dopamine levels can produce feelings of pleasure and euphoria. This effect contributes to the potential for abuse and addiction associated with amphetamines.

    • Suppressed Appetite: Amphetamines can reduce appetite by affecting brain regions involved in hunger regulation, which is why they have been used off-label for weight loss.

    • Increased Heart Rate and Blood Pressure: Amphetamines also have peripheral effects, such as increasing heart rate and blood pressure, which can be beneficial in medical contexts but can also pose risks, especially at higher doses or in individuals with cardiovascular conditions.

  4. Long-Term Effects: With chronic use, the brain may adapt to the presence of amphetamines, leading to tolerance, where higher doses are required to achieve the same effects, and dependence, where individuals may experience withdrawal symptoms when discontinuing use.

Overall, amphetamines exert their effects by altering neurotransmitter levels and signaling in the brain, leading to a range of physiological and behavioral changes. While they can be beneficial when used as prescribed for medical purposes, they also carry significant risks, including addiction and adverse effects, particularly when misused or abused. Therefore, it’s essential to use amphetamines under the guidance of a healthcare professional and to follow prescribed dosages closely.

 

Amphetamine Side Effects and Use Disorder

Amphetamines can have both short-term and long-term side effects. It’s important to note that the severity and prevalence of these side effects can vary among individuals. Always follow the prescribed dosage and guidelines provided by a healthcare professional. Here are some short-term and long-term side effects associated with amphetamine use:

Short-Term Side Effects:

  1. Insomnia: Difficulty falling or staying asleep is a common short-term side effect of amphetamines.

  2. Increased Heart Rate and Blood Pressure: Amphetamines are stimulants and can temporarily elevate heart rate and blood pressure.

  3. Decreased Appetite: Many individuals experience a reduction in appetite, leading to potential weight loss.

  4. Nervousness and Restlessness: Amphetamines can increase feelings of nervousness or restlessness.

  5. Dry Mouth: Reduced saliva production may result in dry mouth.

  6. Headache: Some individuals may experience headaches as a short-term side effect.

Long-Term Side Effects:

  1. Tolerance: With prolonged use, the body may develop tolerance to the effects of amphetamines, requiring higher doses for the same therapeutic response.

  2. Dependence and Addiction: Long-term use of amphetamines can lead to physical and psychological dependence, and in some cases, addiction.

  3. Cardiovascular Issues: Chronic use may contribute to increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and a higher risk of cardiovascular problems.

  4. Psychiatric Effects: Extended use may be associated with mood swings, anxiety, or other psychiatric symptoms.

  5. Gastrointestinal Issues: Long-term use may contribute to gastrointestinal problems such as stomach upset or constipation.

  6. Sleep Disturbances: Prolonged use can impact sleep patterns, leading to ongoing insomnia or other sleep disturbances.

  7. Weight Loss: Persistent appetite suppression may result in continued weight loss over time.

It’s essential for individuals prescribed amphetamines to have regular check-ups with their healthcare provider to monitor for both short-term and long-term side effects. Abruptly stopping medication or changing the dosage without medical supervision can lead to withdrawal symptoms.

Amphetamine Controlled Substance Classification

Amphetamines are typically classified as Schedule II controlled substances under the CSA. Schedule II substances are considered to have a high potential for abuse, with severe psychological or physical dependence liability, but they also have accepted medical uses in the United States. This classification means that while amphetamines can be prescribed by healthcare professionals for legitimate medical purposes, their use is tightly regulated to minimize the risk of abuse and diversion.

Amphetamine Storage and Disposal

Storage:

  • Store amphetamines in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
  • Keep the medication in its original container with the lid tightly closed.
  • Store out of reach of children and pets to prevent accidental ingestion.

Disposal:

  • Do not flush amphetamines down the toilet or sink.
  • Use local drug take-back programs for safe disposal.
  • If no take-back programs are available, mix the medication with an unappealing substance (like coffee grounds or cat litter) and place it in a sealed plastic bag before disposing of it in the trash.

Always follow local regulations and guidelines for medication disposal to ensure safety and environmental protection.

 

What Is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine is an extremely addictive stimulant drug that is estimated to affect at least 1 million lives in the U.S. It can be consumed in several different ways such as snorting, swallowing, injecting and smoking the substance, which makes it more accessible to substance users and abusers. Illicitly produced amphetamines often appear in pill or powder form, which can be smoked, inhaled, injected, or swallowed. The effects of the drug can vary depending on the method of consumption. Common street names include meth, speed, crystal meth, ice, and glass, as it resembles shards of glass crystals. Methamphetamine addiction, also known as methamphetamine use disorder, is a serious and chronic condition characterized by the compulsive use of methamphetamine, a powerful and highly addictive stimulant. Methamphetamine is a synthetic drug that affects the central nervous system, leading to increased energy, alertness, and a sense of euphoria.

Types of Meth

Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, exists in various forms, including medical and non-medical (illicit) types. Here are the primary types:

  1. Medical Methamphetamine:

    • Desoxyn: Desoxyn is a prescription medication containing methamphetamine hydrochloride. It is FDA-approved for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and, less commonly, for the short-term treatment of obesity. Desoxyn is available in tablet form and is intended for oral administration under medical supervision. When used as prescribed, Desoxyn can help improve focus, attention, and impulse control in individuals with ADHD.
  2. Illicit Methamphetamine:

    • Crystal Meth: Crystal meth, also known as crystal, ice, or glass, is a highly potent and pure form of methamphetamine. It appears as crystalline rocks or fragments, often resembling clear or bluish-white shards. Crystal meth is typically produced in illegal laboratories using chemical precursors and is commonly smoked, snorted, or injected for its euphoric and stimulant effects. Illicit use of crystal meth is associated with significant risks, including addiction, overdose, and adverse physical and mental health effects.

    • Powder Meth: Powder methamphetamine, also known as speed, is another form of illicit methamphetamine. It usually appears as a white or off-white powder and may be less pure than crystal meth. Powder meth can be ingested orally, snorted, or dissolved in water and injected. Like crystal meth, illicit powder methamphetamine is associated with various health risks and legal consequences.

    • Meth Tablets: Illicit methamphetamine tablets, also known as meth pills or yaba (especially in Southeast Asia), are another form of non-medical methamphetamine. These tablets often contain a mixture of methamphetamine and other substances, such as caffeine or other stimulants, and are commonly used recreationally. Meth tablets may vary in appearance, color, and dosage strength, and are typically ingested orally.

It’s important to note that while medical methamphetamine (Desoxyn) is FDA-approved and prescribed for specific medical conditions under strict medical supervision, non-medical methamphetamine use is illegal

Meth Uses

Methamphetamine, commonly referred to as meth, is a powerful central nervous system stimulant that can have both medical and non-medical uses. Here are some of the primary uses of methamphetamine:

  1. Medical Uses:

    • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): Methamphetamine is sometimes prescribed by healthcare professionals in low doses for the treatment of ADHD in individuals who have not responded well to other medications. However, its use for ADHD is less common compared to other stimulant medications due to its high potential for abuse and addiction.
    • Obesity: Methamphetamine was historically used as an appetite suppressant for the short-term treatment of obesity. However, its use for this purpose has declined significantly due to concerns about its safety and potential for abuse.
    • Narcolepsy: In some cases, methamphetamine may be prescribed to treat narcolepsy, a sleep disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and sudden attacks of sleep.
  2. Non-Medical Uses:

    • Recreational Use: Methamphetamine is commonly abused for its stimulant effects, including increased energy, alertness, euphoria, and enhanced mood. Individuals may use methamphetamine recreationally to stay awake for long periods, boost productivity, or experience a “high.”
    • Weight Loss: Due to its appetite-suppressing effects, methamphetamine is sometimes used illicitly as a weight loss aid. However, this use is highly dangerous and can lead to severe physical and psychological health consequences.
    • Performance Enhancement: Some individuals may misuse methamphetamine to enhance cognitive performance, concentration, or physical endurance, particularly in competitive or demanding environments.
    • Coping Mechanism: Methamphetamine may be used as a coping mechanism to self-medicate for underlying mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, or trauma. However, this can lead to dependence, addiction, and worsening mental health symptoms over time.

Meth Statistics

  1. Global Production and Trafficking: Methamphetamine is produced and trafficked globally. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), significant meth production occurs in regions such as Asia and North America. Mexico, in particular, has been a major source of methamphetamine.

  2. Global Consumption: Methamphetamine is used worldwide, with varying levels of prevalence in different regions. The Global Drug Survey and national health agencies conduct surveys to estimate the prevalence and patterns of methamphetamine use.

  3. Treatment Admissions: Individuals seeking treatment for methamphetamine addiction contribute to statistics on substance use disorder admissions. Health agencies and treatment centers provide data on the number of people seeking help for methamphetamine-related issues.

  4. Law Enforcement Seizures: Law enforcement agencies report on the seizure of illegal drugs, including methamphetamine. These statistics can provide insights into trends in trafficking and availability.

  5. Meth-Related Deaths: Methamphetamine use can have severe health consequences, including overdose. National health agencies and the World Health Organization (WHO) may provide data on drug-related deaths, including those related to methamphetamine.

  6. Prevalence of Methamphetamine Use Disorder: Similar to cocaine, the DSM-5 outlines criteria for diagnosing substance use disorders, including methamphetamine use disorder. Health organizations conduct surveys and research studies to estimate the prevalence of methamphetamine use disorder.

Meth Street Names

Here are some common street names for meth:

  1. Meth
  2. Crystal
  3. Crystal meth
  4. Ice
  5. Glass
  6. Tina
  7. Crank
  8. Speed
  9. Chalk
  10. Go fast
  11. Shards
  12. Fire
  13. Blade
  14. Rocket fuel
  15. Scooby snacks

Meth Efficacy

When discussing the efficacy of methamphetamine, it’s important to differentiate between its intended medical uses and its non-medical or illicit uses.

Medical Efficacy:

  1. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): Methamphetamine has been used in the treatment of ADHD, particularly in cases where other medications have not been effective. It can help improve attention, focus, and impulse control in some individuals with ADHD.

  2. Narcolepsy: Methamphetamine has been prescribed to treat narcolepsy, a sleep disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and sudden attacks of sleep. It can help promote wakefulness and reduce episodes of uncontrollable sleep.

Non-Medical Efficacy (Illicit Use):

  1. Euphoria and Increased Energy: Methamphetamine is highly effective at producing feelings of euphoria, increased energy, and a sense of well-being. These effects contribute to its high potential for abuse and addiction.

  2. Appetite Suppression: Methamphetamine is known for its appetite-suppressing effects, which can lead to significant weight loss, particularly in individuals who misuse the drug for non-medical purposes.

  3. Enhanced Alertness and Focus: Methamphetamine can improve alertness, concentration, and productivity in the short term, making it appealing to some individuals seeking to enhance cognitive performance.

Meth Onset and Duration

Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, is a powerful stimulant drug that affects the central nervous system. The onset and duration of its effects can vary depending on factors such as the method of administration, dose, purity of the drug, and individual metabolism. Here’s a general overview:

  1. Onset of Effects:

    • Smoking or Intravenous Injection: When meth is smoked or injected intravenously, its effects are typically felt almost immediately, often within seconds to a few minutes after administration. This rapid onset of action contributes to its high potential for abuse and addiction.
    • Snorting or Oral Ingestion: If meth is snorted (inhaled through the nose) or taken orally, the onset of effects is slower compared to smoking or injection. It may take around 15 to 30 minutes for the effects to be felt, as the drug must be absorbed through the mucous membranes or gastrointestinal tract.
  2. Duration of Effects:

    • Smoking or Intravenous Injection: The effects of methamphetamine when smoked or injected typically peak within a few minutes after administration and can last for 4 to 8 hours. However, residual effects such as decreased appetite, increased alertness, and insomnia may persist for much longer.
    • Snorting or Oral Ingestion: When meth is snorted or ingested orally, the duration of effects is usually longer compared to smoking or injection. The peak effects may occur within 1 to 2 hours after administration, and the overall duration of effects can last for 8 to 12 hours or more.
  3. Factors Affecting Duration:

    • Purity and Potency: The purity and potency of the methamphetamine can significantly affect the duration of its effects. Higher-purity methamphetamine may have a longer duration of action compared to impure or diluted forms.
    • Individual Factors: Individual differences in metabolism, tolerance, and sensitivity to the drug can influence how long the effects of methamphetamine last for each person.
    • Chronic Use: With chronic or repeated use of methamphetamine, tolerance can develop, leading to diminished effects and shorter durations of action over time. This can contribute to a cycle of escalating use and dependence.

How Long Does Meth Stay in Your System?

Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, is a powerful stimulant drug that affects the central nervous system. The onset and duration of its effects can vary depending on factors such as the method of administration, dose, purity of the drug, and individual metabolism. Here’s a general overview:

  1. Onset of Effects:

    • Smoking or Intravenous Injection: When meth is smoked or injected intravenously, its effects are typically felt almost immediately, often within seconds to a few minutes after administration. This rapid onset of action contributes to its high potential for abuse and addiction.
    • Snorting or Oral Ingestion: If meth is snorted (inhaled through the nose) or taken orally, the onset of effects is slower compared to smoking or injection. It may take around 15 to 30 minutes for the effects to be felt, as the drug must be absorbed through the mucous membranes or gastrointestinal tract.
  2. Duration of Effects:

    • Smoking or Intravenous Injection: The effects of methamphetamine when smoked or injected typically peak within a few minutes after administration and can last for 4 to 8 hours. However, residual effects such as decreased appetite, increased alertness, and insomnia may persist for much longer.
    • Snorting or Oral Ingestion: When meth is snorted or ingested orally, the duration of effects is usually longer compared to smoking or injection. The peak effects may occur within 1 to 2 hours after administration, and the overall duration of effects can last for 8 to 12 hours or more.
  3. Factors Affecting Duration:

    • Purity and Potency: The purity and potency of the methamphetamine can significantly affect the duration of its effects. Higher-purity methamphetamine may have a longer duration of action compared to impure or diluted forms.
    • Individual Factors: Individual differences in metabolism, tolerance, and sensitivity to the drug can influence how long the effects of methamphetamine last for each person.
    • Chronic Use: With chronic or repeated use of methamphetamine, tolerance can develop, leading to diminished effects and shorter durations of action over time. This can contribute to a cycle of escalating use and dependence.

How Long is Meth Detectable in Your System?

The detectability of methamphetamine in your system can vary depending on several factors, including the type of drug test used, the frequency and amount of methamphetamine use, individual metabolism, and other factors. Here’s a general overview of how long methamphetamine may be detectable in different types of drug tests:

  1. Urine: Methamphetamine can typically be detected in urine for up to 1 to 4 days after last use. However, in heavy or chronic users, methamphetamine may be detectable in urine for longer periods, up to a week or more.

  2. Blood: Methamphetamine can generally be detected in blood for a shorter period compared to urine, typically up to 1 to 3 days after last use. Blood tests are less commonly used for detecting methamphetamine compared to urine tests.

  3. Saliva: Methamphetamine can be detected in saliva for a shorter period compared to urine, usually up to 1 to 2 days after last use. Saliva tests are less invasive than urine or blood tests and may be used in certain settings, such as roadside drug testing.

  4. Hair: Methamphetamine can be detected in hair follicles for a much longer period compared to other types of drug tests. Methamphetamine may be detectable in hair follicles for up to 90 days or even longer after last use, depending on the length of the hair sample taken.

It’s important to note that these are general estimates, and individual factors can affect how long methamphetamine remains detectable in your system. Factors such as hydration, body mass, liver function, and metabolism can influence drug clearance rates.

How Does Meth Work in the Brain and Body?

Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, exerts its effects primarily by increasing the release and blocking the reuptake of certain neurotransmitters, particularly dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, in the brain. Here’s a simplified explanation of how meth works in the brain and body:

  1. Dopamine Release: Methamphetamine stimulates the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure, reward, and motivation, from nerve cells in the brain’s reward system, particularly in areas such as the nucleus accumbens. This surge in dopamine levels creates intense feelings of euphoria and pleasure.

  2. Norepinephrine Release: Methamphetamine also stimulates the release of norepinephrine, another neurotransmitter involved in the body’s “fight or flight” response. Increased norepinephrine levels lead to heightened arousal, alertness, and energy.

  3. Serotonin Release: Additionally, methamphetamine increases the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in mood regulation, from nerve cells. This contributes to feelings of well-being and happiness.

  4. Blockade of Dopamine Reuptake: Methamphetamine blocks the reuptake of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin by nerve cells, prolonging their effects and increasing their concentrations in the brain’s synapses. This amplifies the rewarding and stimulating effects of the drug.

  5. Neurotoxicity: Prolonged methamphetamine use can lead to neurotoxicity, causing damage to nerve cells in the brain, particularly in regions rich in dopamine, such as the striatum. This can result in cognitive impairment, memory problems, and other neurological deficits.

  6. Peripheral Effects: In addition to its effects on the brain, methamphetamine can also stimulate the release of norepinephrine from nerve endings in the peripheral nervous system, leading to increased heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature.

Overall, methamphetamine exerts powerful effects on the brain and body, leading to intense euphoria, increased energy, and heightened arousal

 

Meth Controlled Substance Classification

Methamphetamine is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance in the United States under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). This classification is based on the potential for abuse and dependence, as well as its recognized medical uses.

Meth Storage and Disposal

Storing methamphetamine should be approached with utmost caution due to its illegal nature and associated risks. It should be stored securely out of reach of children, away from pets, and in a location inaccessible to unauthorized individuals. Proper disposal of methamphetamine involves contacting local law enforcement or drug enforcement agencies for guidance on safe disposal procedures to avoid potential harm to yourself, others, and the environment. Never attempt to dispose of methamphetamine by flushing it down the toilet or throwing it in the trash, as this can lead to environmental contamination and legal repercussions.

Side Effects and Risks of Methamphetamine Abuse

Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, is a potent stimulant drug that can have a range of short-term and long-term side effects, both physical and psychological. Here are some of the short-term and long-term effects associated with methamphetamine use:

Short-Term Effects:

  1. Euphoria: Methamphetamine can produce intense feelings of euphoria, increased energy, and a sense of well-being.
  2. Increased Alertness: Users may experience heightened alertness, improved concentration, and increased motivation.
  3. Decreased Appetite: Methamphetamine is known to suppress appetite, leading to decreased hunger and potential weight loss.
  4. Increased Heart Rate and Blood Pressure: Methamphetamine can cause a rapid heart rate (tachycardia) and elevated blood pressure, which may increase the risk of cardiovascular complications.
  5. Dilated Pupils: Methamphetamine use can cause dilated pupils (mydriasis), which may persist for several hours.
  6. Insomnia: Many users experience difficulty sleeping or insomnia, which can lead to sleep disturbances and fatigue.
  7. Hyperactivity: Some individuals may exhibit hyperactive behavior, restlessness, or repetitive movements while under the influence of methamphetamine.
  8. Paranoia and Anxiety: Methamphetamine use can induce feelings of paranoia, anxiety, or agitation, particularly at higher doses or with chronic use.
  9. Increased Body Temperature: Methamphetamine can raise body temperature (hyperthermia), leading to sweating, dehydration, and an increased risk of heat-related illness.

Long-Term Effects:

  1. Addiction and Dependence: Long-term methamphetamine use can lead to addiction, characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior despite negative consequences. Dependence on methamphetamine can also develop, leading to withdrawal symptoms when drug use is discontinued.
  2. Cognitive Impairment: Chronic methamphetamine use has been associated with cognitive deficits, including impaired memory, attention, and decision-making abilities.
  3. Psychiatric Symptoms: Long-term methamphetamine use can exacerbate or contribute to psychiatric disorders such as depression, psychosis, hallucinations, and paranoia.
  4. Dental Problems: Methamphetamine use is notorious for causing severe dental issues, often referred to as “meth mouth,” characterized by tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss.
  5. Skin Problems: Methamphetamine users may experience skin problems such as acne, sores, or severe itching, often due to compulsive skin picking or scratching.
  6. Weight Loss and Malnutrition: Chronic methamphetamine use can lead to significant weight loss and malnutrition due to appetite suppression and poor dietary habits.
  7. Cardiovascular Complications: Long-term methamphetamine use can increase the risk of cardiovascular complications such as heart attack, stroke, hypertension, and cardiomyopathy.
  8. Liver and Kidney Damage: Methamphetamine use can damage the liver and kidneys, leading to conditions such as hepatitis, liver fibrosis, and kidney failure.
  9. Social and Occupational Dysfunction: Methamphetamine addiction can have profound social, occupational, and financial consequences, leading to relationship problems, job loss, legal issues, and social isolation.

Is Meth Addictive?

Yes, methamphetamine is highly addictive. Methamphetamine use can lead to the rapid development of tolerance, where individuals require increasing doses of the drug to achieve the desired effects. This tolerance can quickly escalate into dependence, where individuals experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using methamphetamine.

The euphoric effects produced by methamphetamine, along with the surge of dopamine in the brain’s reward pathway, contribute to its addictive potential. Individuals may become psychologically and physically dependent on methamphetamine, experiencing cravings and compulsions to use the drug despite knowing the negative consequences.

 

Chemical Structure Comparison

Amphetamine and methamphetamine have a similar chemical structure, with slight differences in the molecular arrangement. These differences account for the contrasting effects and potency of the two substances.

Amphetamine Vs. Methamphetamine

Amphetamine and methamphetamine are both stimulant drugs that affect the central nervous system, but they have key differences in their chemical structures, pharmacology, and medical uses. Here are the main distinctions between amphetamine and methamphetamine:

Chemical Structure:

  1. Amphetamine:

    • Amphetamine is a generic term that refers to a class of compounds with a basic chemical structure containing a phenethylamine core. It includes both amphetamine itself and its various derivatives.
    • The chemical formula for amphetamine is C9H13N.
  2. Methamphetamine:

    • Methamphetamine is a specific derivative of amphetamine with a methyl group (CH3) attached to the amine nitrogen. This addition enhances its potency and alters its pharmacological effects.
    • The chemical formula for methamphetamine is C10H15N.

Pharmacology:

  1. Amphetamine:

    • Amphetamines, including amphetamine itself and its derivatives, work by increasing the release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in the brain.
    • Amphetamines are used for medical purposes, such as treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.
  2. Methamphetamine:

    • Methamphetamine has a more potent effect on the central nervous system compared to amphetamine. It not only increases the release of neurotransmitters but also inhibits their reuptake and has additional effects on intracellular signaling.
    • Methamphetamine has a higher potential for abuse and is associated with more intense stimulant effects compared to amphetamine.

Medical Uses:

  1. Amphetamine:

    • Amphetamines, in various forms and formulations, are used medically to treat conditions such as ADHD, narcolepsy, and, in some cases, obesity.
  2. Methamphetamine:

    • Desoxyn is a prescription medication that contains methamphetamine and is approved for the treatment of ADHD and, in some cases, obesity. However, its use is rare due to concerns about abuse potential.

Illicit Use:

  1. Amphetamine:

    • Illicit use of amphetamine, especially in its street form, is less common compared to methamphetamine. However, misuse of prescription amphetamines does occur.
  2. Methamphetamine:

    • Methamphetamine is widely known for its illicit use and is associated with the production and use of crystal meth. Illicit methamphetamine is a potent and highly addictive street drug.

Potency and Effects:

  1. Amphetamine:

    • Amphetamine is generally less potent than methamphetamine and has a milder stimulant effect on the central nervous system.
  2. Methamphetamine:

    • Methamphetamine is more potent and has a more pronounced stimulant effect. It is associated with intense feelings of euphoria, increased energy, and heightened alertness.

It’s crucial to emphasize that both amphetamine and methamphetamine, when used inappropriately or without medical supervision, can lead to serious health risks, including addiction, cardiovascular issues, psychiatric symptoms, and other adverse effects. If prescribed, these medications should be taken as directed by a healthcare professional. Misuse of these substances, especially in illicit forms, is strongly discouraged due to the associated health and legal risks.

The Onset

The onset of action refers to the time it takes for a drug to start producing its therapeutic effects after administration. The onset can vary depending on factors such as the route of administration, the specific drug formulation, and individual variations in metabolism. Here are general considerations for the onset of action for amphetamine and methamphetamine:

Amphetamine:

  • Route of Administration: The onset of action can vary based on how amphetamine is administered.
    • Oral (Tablet/Capsule): Onset typically ranges from 30 minutes to 2 hours after oral ingestion.
    • Intranasal (Snorting): Onset is faster compared to oral administration but may vary.
    • Intravenous (Injection): Onset is rapid when the drug is injected directly into the bloodstream.

Methamphetamine:

  • Route of Administration: Similar to amphetamine, the onset of action for methamphetamine can vary based on the route of administration.
    • Smoking or Inhalation: Onset is rapid, typically within seconds to a few minutes, as the drug quickly reaches the bloodstream through the lungs.
    • Injection (Intravenous or Intramuscular): Onset is rapid, similar to smoking.
    • Oral Ingestion: Onset is slower compared to smoking or injection, typically ranging from 15 minutes to an hour.

It’s important to note that while onset times provide a general idea, individual responses can vary. Additionally, illicit forms of methamphetamine, such as crystal meth, are often associated with rapid onset due to methods like smoking or injection, contributing to their high abuse potential.

Risks of Stimulant Addiction for Amphetamine and Methamphetamine

Stimulant addiction risks vary depending on the specific substance and individual factors, but both amphetamine and methamphetamine carry a potential for addiction and other adverse effects. Here’s a comparison of the addiction risks associated with amphetamine versus methamphetamine:

  1. Amphetamine:

    • Amphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant commonly prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy, and obesity.
    • While therapeutic doses of amphetamine can be effective and relatively safe when used as prescribed under medical supervision, misuse or overuse of the medication can lead to tolerance, dependence, and addiction.
    • The risk of addiction to amphetamine is generally considered lower compared to methamphetamine, especially when the medication is taken as directed. However, individuals who misuse amphetamine for its euphoric effects or as a performance-enhancing drug may be at increased risk of addiction.
  2. Methamphetamine:

    • Methamphetamine is a highly potent and addictive central nervous system stimulant that produces intense euphoria, increased energy, and heightened alertness.
    • Illicit use of methamphetamine, particularly in the form of crystal meth, is associated with a high risk of addiction, dependence, and compulsive drug-seeking behavior.
    • Methamphetamine has a more pronounced effect on the brain’s dopamine system compared to amphetamine, leading to a rapid development of tolerance and dependence with repeated use.
    • Chronic methamphetamine use can cause significant structural and functional changes in the brain, contributing to long-term addiction and withdrawal symptoms.

In summary, while both amphetamine and methamphetamine carry a risk of addiction, methamphetamine is generally considered to be more addictive due to its higher potency, rapid onset of action, and more profound effects on the brain’s reward system. However, it’s essential to recognize that any stimulant medication or illicit substance has the potential for misuse, dependence, and addiction. Seeking help from healthcare professionals and addiction specialists is crucial for individuals struggling with stimulant addiction to access appropriate treatment, support, and recovery resources.

Treatment Options for Stimulant Addiction

Addressing stimulant addiction involves comprehensive strategies tailored to individual needs. Here are various treatment options to help individuals overcome stimulant addiction:

  1. Detoxification (Detox):
    • Purpose: Remove stimulants from the body.
    • Duration: Typically lasts 3-7 days.
    • Medical Supervision: Often necessary due to severe withdrawal symptoms.
    • Goal: Stabilize the individual physically.
  2. Withdrawal Management:
    • Addressing Symptoms: Managing severe withdrawal symptoms like depression, insomnia, and intense cravings.
    • Medication: In some cases, medications may be used to alleviate specific withdrawal symptoms.
  3. Inpatient Rehabilitation:
    • Setting: Residential treatment facility.
    • Duration: Intensive treatment lasting 30, 60, or 90 days.
    • Benefits: 24/7 support, counseling, and medical care.
    • Structure: Highly structured environment to promote recovery.
  4. Outpatient Programs:
    • Flexibility: Allows individuals to live at home while attending scheduled treatment sessions.
    • Suitability: Suitable for those with a stable home environment and lower risk of severe withdrawal.
  5. Individual Counseling:
    • Focus: One-on-one sessions addressing underlying causes of addiction.
    • Goals: Develop coping strategies, set recovery goals.
  6. Group Therapy:
    • Benefits: Provides a supportive environment where individuals share experiences.
    • Therapist-Led Discussions: Led by trained therapists to address common struggles.
  7. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT):
    • Approach: Focuses on changing negative thought patterns and behaviors associated with addiction.
    • Goals: Develop healthier coping mechanisms, address triggers.
  8. Holistic Therapies:
    • Approach: Addresses overall well-being, including physical, mental, and emotional aspects.
    • Activities: Yoga, meditation, art therapy, and mindfulness.
  9. Family Therapy:
    • Involvement: Engages family members in the treatment process.
    • Goals: Improve communication, address family dynamics, provide support.
  10. Aftercare and Continuing Support:
    • Post-Treatment Support: Ongoing counseling, support groups, and alumni programs.
    • Relapse Prevention: Tools and resources to maintain sobriety.
  11. Peer Support Groups:
    • Community Support: Groups like Narcotics Anonymous (NA) provide encouragement and shared experiences.
    • Relapse Prevention: A sense of community to navigate challenges together.
  12. Educational Programs:
    • Understanding Addiction: Learn about the nature of addiction and relapse prevention.
    • Life Skills: Develop skills to cope with stress and challenges without resorting to stimulant use.

Individualized Treatment Plans:

  • Assessment: Consider severity of addiction, mental health status, and support system.
  • Tailored Approach: Develop a customized treatment plan based on individual needs and goals.

Does Insurance Cover Stimulant Addiction Treatment?

Typically, yes. Insurance coverage for stimulant addiction treatment can vary based on the specific insurance plan and its policies. While many insurance plans provide coverage for substance use disorder treatment, including addiction to stimulants, the extent of coverage may differ. Here are some key considerations:

  1. Type of Insurance Plan:
    • Different types of insurance plans, such as private insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare, may have varying levels of coverage for stimulant addiction treatment.
  2. In-Network vs. Out-of-Network Providers:
    • Insurance plans often have a network of preferred providers. In-network stimulant addiction treatment facilities or providers are generally covered at a higher rate than out-of-network providers.
  3. Verification of Benefits:
    • It is crucial to contact the insurance provider and verify the specific terms of coverage for stimulant addiction treatment. This includes checking details such as copayments, deductibles, and any out-of-pocket expenses.
  4. Medical Necessity and Preauthorization:
    • Insurance coverage for stimulant addiction treatment may be contingent on a determination of medical necessity. Preauthorization or approval from the insurance company may be required before entering a treatment program.
  5. Level of Care:
    • Different levels of addiction treatment, such as inpatient, outpatient, or detoxification services, may have different coverage considerations. Some insurance plans may cover certain levels of care more comprehensively.
  6. Length of Treatment:
    • Insurance coverage may be influenced by the length of the stimulant addiction treatment program. Some plans may have limitations on the number of days covered, while others may provide more extensive coverage for longer durations.
  7. Parity Laws:
    • Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) in the United States requires insurance plans to offer coverage for substance use disorder services, including stimulant addiction treatment, at levels comparable to medical and surgical coverage.
  8. Crisis or Emergency Situations:
    • In cases of immediate need or crisis, insurance plans may cover stimulant addiction treatment as part of emergency services. However, it is essential to follow up with the insurance provider for ongoing coverage considerations.
  9. Appeals Process:
    • If an insurance claim for stimulant addiction treatment is denied, individuals have the right to appeal the decision. The appeals process allows for a review of the denial, and successful appeals can result in coverage being granted.
  10. Out-of-Pocket Expenses:
    • Even with insurance coverage, individuals may still have out-of-pocket expenses, such as copayments or coinsurance. Understanding these costs is essential for financial planning.

It is advisable for individuals seeking stimulant addiction treatment to work closely with their insurance provider and the treatment facility’s admissions team to understand the specific terms of coverage. This collaboration helps individuals make informed decisions about treatment options and navigate the financial aspects of addiction care. Additionally, seeking assistance from the treatment facility’s insurance coordinator can provide valuable support in verifying benefits and understanding the insurance process.

Common Insurance Plans Used for Addiction and Mental Health Treatment

Common types of insurance plans used for addiction and mental health treatment include:

  1. Preferred Provider Organization (PPO):

    • PPO plans offer flexibility in choosing healthcare providers, allowing individuals to visit both in-network and out-of-network providers without a referral. PPO plans typically cover a portion of the cost for addiction and mental health rehab services, but out-of-pocket expenses may be higher when using out-of-network providers.
  2. Health Maintenance Organization (HMO):

    • HMO plans require individuals to choose a primary care physician (PCP) who coordinates their care and provides referrals to specialists, including addiction and mental health treatment providers. HMO plans often have lower out-of-pocket costs but may limit coverage to in-network providers, except in emergencies.
  3. Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO):

    • EPO plans combine aspects of both PPO and HMO plans, offering a network of preferred providers for individuals to choose from. While EPO plans do not require a PCP or referrals for specialists, coverage is typically limited to in-network providers, except in emergencies.
  4. Point of Service (POS):

    • POS plans offer individuals the option to receive care from both in-network and out-of-network providers. However, using out-of-network providers may result in higher out-of-pocket costs, and individuals may need a referral from their PCP to see specialists, including addiction and mental health treatment providers.

These insurance plans may vary in terms of coverage, network providers, cost-sharing requirements (e.g., copayments, coinsurance, deductibles), and authorization requirements for addiction and mental health rehab services. It’s essential for individuals to review their insurance plan documents, understand their coverage details, and verify network providers before seeking treatment. Additionally, individuals may need to obtain preauthorization or prior approval for certain rehab services to ensure coverage and minimize out-of-pocket expenses.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while both amphetamine and methamphetamine are potent central nervous system stimulants, their uses and potential for abuse differ markedly. Prescription amphetamines are used under medical supervision to treat ADHD and other disorders, but they carry risks of addiction and adverse health effects if misused. Methamphetamine, with its longer duration and more intense effects, poses even greater dangers, including severe psychological and physical health issues. Awareness and education about the differences between these substances, their effects on the brain and body, and the signs of abuse are essential. Organizations like the National Institute on Drug Abuse provide valuable resources for understanding these drugs and their impact. For those struggling with addiction, professional treatment and support are crucial for recovery and preventing the devastating consequences associated with stimulant abuse.

 

Seeking Treatment? We Can Help!

At California Prime Recovery, as an in-network provider we work with most insurance plans, such as:

If you or a loved one are struggling with mental health challenges or substance abuse, reach out to California Prime Recovery today. Our team of compassionate professionals is here to support your journey towards lasting well-being. Give us a call at 866-208-2390

FAQs

Yes, methamphetamine is considered more dangerous due to its higher potency and potential for addiction.

While amphetamines can suppress appetite, they are not recommended for weight loss as they can lead to serious health risks.

Signs of addiction may include increased drug-seeking behavior, neglecting responsibilities, and withdrawal symptoms when not using the drug.

In rare cases, methamphetamine may be prescribed for medical conditions like obesity and ADHD, but its use is highly regulated due to its potential for abuse.

Yes, with the right treatment and support, individuals can recover from amphetamine or methamphetamine addiction and lead fulfilling lives.

Come work with us

Get Help Now

Admission Coordinators are available 24/7.
Take Control Of Your Life and Call Now.