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Is Adderall speed?

No. And yes. Adderall is not technically the same thing as speed.

1. Adderall = Amphetamine-dextroamphetamine combination

2. Speed = Methamphetamine

However, both Adderall and speed are stimulants. And once in the brain, the main ingredients in Adderall and speed (methamphetamine and amphetamine) are indistinguishable. Here, we review what makes speed and Adderall different. And invite you questions about Adderall use or taking speed at the end.

How are Adderall and speed similar?

Both Adderall and speed are in the same class of stimulant drugs called amphetamines. They are DEA Scheduled medications, which means that although both Adderall and speed come with a high potential for abuse and are available only through a prescription. This is because amphetamines can seriously alter brain and body functions. In fact, Adderall and speed can often have similar effects on the body.  Speed and Adderall side effects in adults include:

  • decreased appetite
  • euphoric mood
  • increased alertness
  • increased arousal
  • increased blood pressure
  • increased heart rate

Additionally, both stimulants are highly addictive and have similar health liabilities (How addictive is Adderall?). Because of their common mechanisms of action, medications that may be used to treat methamphetamine addiction may also be applied to amphetamine and Adderall addiction.

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How are Adderall and speed different?

Simply put, speed is stronger than Adderall. Methamphetamine differs from amphetamines because at comparable doses, much higher levels of methamphetamine get into the brain, making it a more potent stimulant than amphetamine. In addition, methamphetamine has a longer duration of action. Furthermore, compared to amphetamine, methamphetamine has greater effects on the central nervous system than on the sympathetic nervous system. As a result, speed carries with it a greater potential for harm to the brain, including misuse, abuse and addiction potential.

Speed and Adderall use questions

Are you wondering more about whether or not you are taking Adderall correctly? Are you worried about methamphetamine use? Please leave us your questions here. We answer all legitimate queries with a personal response. We are here to help and to point you to local resources that can get you help if you are ready and need it. All you need to do is ask.

Reference sources: NIDA Congressional Report: Medications Development Research for Treatment of Amphetamine and Methamphetamine Addiction
SAMHSA Substance Abuse Treatment Advisory: Prescription Medications: Misuse, Abuse, Dependence, and Addiction

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8 Responses to “Is Adderall speed?
10:49 am December 6th, 2011

I am 18 years old and I have been heavily abusing adderall and other prescription ADHD meds for three years. I take around 350 mg per day although I am slowing down. Each day I have heart pain and find it hard to breathe, my hands and feet go numb, I don’t eat much nor sleep. I would like to know if I have an issue with this medication, and what my possible health issues may be.


11:38 am December 6th, 2011

Hi Johanna. Thanks for writing to us. Typical doses of amphetamines like Adderall are 10 mg/day or up to 40 mg daily. And a course of greater than six weeks is not recommended when taking stimulants. As you see, your lack of appetite and difficulty sleeping are great examples of the short and long term effects of taking too much Adderall. Additionally, other common side effects following abuse of amphetamines include abscesses, collapsed blood vessels, and malnutrition. Chronic abuse can produce psychosis that resembles schizophrenia. Plus, violent and erratic behavior is frequently seen among chronic abusers.

If you’re ready to stop taking Adderall, there is help out there for you. But you’ll have to see a doctor, and be willing to make some major life changes.

Does this help?

9:54 am May 23rd, 2012

Yo johanna if you heart hurts thats incredibly dangerous because if you could end up tearing your aorta (part of heart) and youll bleed to death. People with a torn aorta generally die before they gettothe hospital, the mortality rate is80%

3:01 am October 24th, 2012

Hey, i was thinking of taking adderall to help me focus more in when i study for college course… i dont plan on taking it everyday but maybe once or twice a month. would this hurt me more than help me why?

7:24 am October 24th, 2012

Hi Joe. Thanks for your question – it’s real, honest and I think that a lot of other students can relate to the same interest in Adderall.

To be honest, Adderall can be highly effective as a study aid, as it helps the brain adjust and focus on a single task. But this doesn’t mean that I endorse illegal and non-medical use of Adderall. Too much can (and does) go wrong. As a stimulant, the amphetamines contained in Adderall can be habit forming. Sometimes Adderall is just “too much of a good thing”, and you can get hooked. Other times, the side effects of Adderall can affect your cardiovascular system adversely. Keep in mind that sudden death has occured in cases of even therapeutic Adderall doses.

I’m not really in a position to advise you on what to do – just to inform. I’d suggest that you also talk openly with a school nurse or doctor about your interest in Adderall. You can make an anonymous phone call to the school medical center, for example or check out drug hotlines in your area. Get enough feedback to make an informed decision. And all of the best to you in your studies!

Ronnie Lewis
4:02 am January 23rd, 2015

if im taking adderall just for the speed difference. what else can my doctor prescribe me thats safer and also works?

6:10 pm January 12th, 2016

To be honest, this article is garbage. Speed IS NOT methamphetamine! Who the hell wrote this article. Some ppl cut speed with meth or mix it, but its a completely different substance. Nobody buying speed wants meth. Speed *amphetaminesulfate* is racematic wich means there are two versions of it. Adderall is THE SAME substance with a higher amount of the rightsided version, therefore dextroamphetamine. speed is 50 50 and often cut -usually NOT meth- with stuff like milksugar and caffeine.
Simple differences. Speed lasts hours, meth minutes. Speed is usually taken orally or snorted, meth is smoked. Speed will enhance focus, meth will make you loose your fucking mind.

7:38 pm February 19th, 2016

Speed is not the same as meth speed=amphetamine a drug that meth was based on, the mixed amphetamine salts in adderal are prodrugs of amphetamine. Which meajs adderal=speed. Some people call meth soeed but soeed usually refers to amphetamine or any related drug

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