A lot of people mix up amphetamine and methamphetamine, no surprises there, as both drugs are similar in several ways. Even if they may sound alike there are huge differences between the two. It is important to understand they the two are not the same drug. Each one affects the body differently and produces different side effects.
As a central nervous system stimulant, amphetamine affects the brain chemicals and nerves which control hyperactivity and impulse control. The drug has been around for a long time. Doctors prescribed amphetamine to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The drug is also used to treat Narcolepsy, a chronic sleep disorder.
Meanwhile, methamphetamine or meth is derived from amphetamine. Over the past years, methamphetamine gained popularity as a recreational drug because of its highly addictive properties and addiction rates.
The origin of both drugs can people in understanding the difference of amphetamine and methamphetamine.
The drug was developed during the 1900s but was not used until 1920s. During the early days of discovery, doctors use amphetamines to treat several illnesses like:
During the World War II, officials gave the drug to soldiers to help them stay awake in their post. They also believed that the drug increases energy in the battlefield. Soon after, it made its way into the market as a readily available legal drug because it can suppress appetite and increased energy. It targeted housewives who wanted to lose weight. Today, doctors can only prescribe the controlled drug as to treat ADHD and narcolepsy.
Methamphetamine comes from amphetamine and was discovered in the 1950s. Before reports of its highly addictive properties, doctors used to prescribe the drug as a medical treatment for:
Eventually, people began to use meth heavily particularly those working in the trucking business to stay alert. It also became a popular weight loss medication. However, the drug can cause more harm than to treat those health problems.
Both drugs are central nervous system stimulants, increasing the user’s ability to stay awake and energy levels. Also, they affect the brain chemicals and functions, resulting in a production of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain. This can cause to more psychological problems compared to other drugs.
Methamphetamine can affect the user quicker and the effects are stronger compared to amphetamine. Meth can also easily induced addiction than amphetamine. However, both drugs can produce withdrawal symptoms if users choose to stop abruptly.
In chemistry, Amphetamine is chemically known as phenylethylamine. While methamphetamine referred to as N-methylamphetamine. When the body metabolized methamphetamine breaks down into amphetamine. This means meth turns into and excreted as amphetamine.
In summary, the differences of both drugs are as follows:
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