Many struggling with substance use disorder and their loved ones need to know the difference between methamphetamine and amphetamine. In terms of chemistry, these two drugs are very similar. Both are controlled substances, can be abused, and are addictive. But while both of these drugs can have serious consequences when abused, one is much worse than the other. At The Ranch PA, our expert staff is experienced in dealing with the subtleties between the two. We can get you or a loved one the help they need.
Difference Between Methamphetamine and Amphetamines
There are distinctions between methamphetamine and amphetamines. Knowing them can help both individuals struggling with substance use disorder, and their friends and family find the necessary treatment. Often, we call methamphetamine ‘meth.’ Amphetamines refers to a class of related drugs. Both meth and amphetamines are stimulants. This means that when you take them, they cause your blood pressure and heart rate to increase. They speed up the body’s metabolism and raise body temperature. A pleasant feeling of euphoria accompanies these effects. Individuals experience increased energy, focus, and desire to be active. However, the withdrawal symptoms from meth can be severe:
- Hallucinations and delusions
- Intense cravings
Chemically, methamphetamine and amphetamines have very similar structures. There is one small structural difference that allows meth to enter your brain more quickly than an amphetamine can. This means that for anyone abusing meth, the rush or the high comes on more quickly and more intensely. This makes meth more susceptible to abuse, more addictive, and more dangerous.
Medication vs. Substance Use and Abuse
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) categorizes both meth and amphetamines as Schedule II controlled substances. This definition means these drugs have accepted medical uses and can be prescribed, but that they are also highly addictive. Amphetamines as prescription medication are very common. They make up the main class of drugs used to treat kids with ADHD. Meth can also be used for ADHD but is less common. Also, it treats obesity. But compared to amphetamines, meth is not prescribed very often. Abusing either drug is harmful and risky. Side effects are similar and include increased heart rate and blood pressure, loss of appetite, and excessive sweating. Meth additionally causes headaches, teeth grinding, tremors, blurred vision, dizziness, and constipation. The side effects become more severe and dangerous when a person abuses one of these drugs as opposed to following a doctor’s orders. Overdose, addiction, and death are possible with each drug. Long-term effects of abusing meth are particularly bad and can include psychosis, rotting teeth, skin infections, and permanent brain damage. There are many negatives to recreational drugs. Both meth and amphetamines have medical uses. Both are often abused. But individuals abuse meth is most often for a high. By contrast, abusers of amphetamines look to lose weight, to focus, or stay up late for studying. There is no good reason to abuse either of these drugs, and both of them can cause serious and lasting damage. If anyone you know is abusing meth or amphetamines, it is important to intervene and make sure that person gets help before addiction sets in or permanent harm is done.
Finding Treatment at The Ranch PA
At The Ranch PA, we understand that knowing what you’re up against is one of the best tools to confront addiction and abuse. If you or a loved one is struggling with meth or amphetamine abuse or addiction, we can help. Our facilities offer a full range of therapeutic services such as:
While these are just a few of the therapies we provide, we also treat the gamut of addictions. Our compassionate staff and expert therapists and counselors can address:
- Dual Diagnosis: When individuals suffer from both addiction and mental health issues, we offer a program to deal with both simultaneously.
- 12 Step and Non-12 Step Programs: Recovery looks different for every person. Thus, we offer both 12-step groups and alternatives.
- Aftercare: Once a client completes treatment, we stay in touch, giving them the additional support they may need.
No matter your need, The Ranch PA can accommodate. Contact us today at 717.969.9126 to explore your options and learn how you or a loved one can begin healing and recovery.