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Is Meth an Amphetamine?

a person sits with their hands beneath their chin wondering is meth an amphetamine?

Is meth an amphetamine? While the name “meth” derives directly from the drug’s formal name, methamphetamine, answering this question fully requires an understanding of what an amphetamine is, as well as how meth differs in a major way.

The essential point is that every drug in the amphetamine family has a higher-than-average abuse potential. Pharmacists specifically prescribe small, short doses to mitigate the risk of forming an addiction. Those who suffer from an amphetamine addiction often lose control over finances, health, and relationships. If you or someone you know is battling an amphetamine addiction, there is a path forward. California Centers for Recovery allows for guided, personalized treatment. Have inquiries about our process? Call out specialists at 877.328.5682 to learn more about our crystal meth detox.

What Are Amphetamines?

Amphetamines act on the central nervous system (CNS). Many amphetamines have some form of medical application, most commonly in the treatment of ADHD, narcolepsy, and obesity. Individuals with ADHD tend to have reduced neurotransmitter activity compared to their non-ADHD peers. Amphetamines have an incredibly potent effect that heightens neurotransmitter activity and, if prescribed properly, can address that gap correctly.

However, when amphetamines are used by individuals with average neurotransmission, the results may throw the brain’s chemistry off balance. Similar to how taller waves leave deeper troughs, the creation and distribution of dopamine in the brain aren’t cost-free—it means emotional highs will be higher, and lows will be much lower.

Back to the central question: is meth an amphetamine? Meth and amphetamines are chemically similar, but meth is not “an” amphetamine. Instead, both methamphetamine and amphetamine fall into a category of drugs called stimulants. Stimulants both work to stimulate the CNS by means of upping the contents of neurotransmitters like dopamine, but meth differs in that it’s considerably more powerful. If amphetamines are like a fine-tipped paintbrush, then meth is comparable to a paint roller.

The Dangers of Meth Abuse

Methamphetamines are designed to maximize the effects of amphetamines with no regard for long-term health or even survival. What meth succeeds in doing, above all else, is creating the conditions to form an addiction. While most drug addictions result from the chemical imbalance caused by routine use, meth addictions can form within a matter of single-digit uses.

Meth begins with a sharp, instant burst of energy. After a few seconds or minutes, though, meth users often become deeply paranoid, untrustful, and violent. A meth high will run for about six to 14 hours, with the peak in the first ten to fifteen minutes. After that, the crash can be devastating. Typical symptoms following a meth crash include:

  • Paranoia
  • Irritability
  • Violent or impulsive behavior
  • Skin sores
  • Severe dental decay
  • Hallucinations
  • Insomnia
  • Sudden loss in weight

Like any drug, persistent use allows the body to adapt to its effects, lessening each subsequent high unless the dosage increases in proportion. Meth is a relatively expensive drug to manufacture, so most dealers will cut the substance with cheap drugs with a high kick, like fentanyl. Fentanyl is cheap, fast-acting, and significantly deadlier than meth. Most meth users don’t have the means or legal clearance to check the composition of their drug, and thousands die annually as a result.

Leave Meth Behind at California Centers for Recovery

Now that the “is meth an amphetamine” question is settled, it’s time to put that information into practice. A meth addiction can set life on a dangerous trajectory, one that worsens with each use. The challenge of quitting crystal meth is, even among other stimulants, notoriously hard on one’s own.

Fortunately, nobody has to do it alone. At California Centers for Recovery, we provide the care and support required to overcome meth addiction. Our specialists are here to work one-on-one to create a plan that suits your individual needs. Our care is available around the clock, so don’t hesitate to reach out by calling 877.328.5682 today to learn about our crystal meth detox program.