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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 = Amphetamines (including 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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Abusing Adderall as well as amphetamines chronically can take its toll on your health, relationships, and financial stability. However, addiction to both of these substances can be managed safely and successfully in controlled medical conditions. You can find out more about the treatment process and available rehab program options in our comprehensive outline of Speed Addiction Treatment Programs & Help.

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

Hi,
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.

Thanks!

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?

Taylor
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%

Joe
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?

Jonathan
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.

Billy
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

michael
10:47 pm February 24th, 2017

I have a history of Leukemia (AML) and BMT 12 years ago – I have suffered from chronic fatigue for many years. Over the past 6 months I have become increasingly lightheaded and dizzy and fatigued to the point I am unable to work or really do much of anything. Initially thought it was due to microcytic anemia purposely induced by doctor to correct a surplus of iron in my blood due to blood transfusions received during treatment for leukemia, however, I am no longer anemic and the condition continues to worsen (timing appears to be coincidental). Doctor checked for low testosterone and thyroid and tests were in normal range, and all other tests I have had over the years (~10 years) ranging from cardiovascular to sleep studies all failed to find any cause. I was prescribed Adderall XR 20mg by a new doctor (general practitioner) after 2 short visits and very brief explanation of medical history and am concerned about the safety of the drug – addiction runs in my family and my father (alcohol) and brother (meth) have both struggled with addiction. I know that I am easily addicted to things and am very aware of this and careful to stop or avoid addictive behaviors/substances as soon as I recognize the dependence. How long does it take for someone to become addicted to Adderall? I am mostly just taking it to humor the doctor and see if the medications effect on my condition can garner any new information and want to make sure I don’t accidentally open Pandora’s box here – I have never really liked anything that altered my state of mind so I don’t think I will have any issues stopping, but after seeing what meth did to my brother and how much he liked the drug (took more than a decade of his life and took many attempts to quit including incarceration and is still very susceptible to recidivism) I am very wary over this drug becoming habit forming. Is there any average amount of time it takes someone to develop a dependence on Adderall? (1 week, month, year???) I am also puzzled why I was prescribed Adderall as I do not have ADD – I am a very detail oriented, analytical person and have absolutely no issues focusing – my body is just tired.

Daniel
3:17 pm April 8th, 2017

”And a course of greater than six weeks is not recommended when taking stimulants”.
I’m sorry but that is an absurd and terribly ignorant statement. Any doctor who prescribes stimulants for ADD or ADHD sees stimulants as possibly a life long medication. To try a stimulant for 6 weeks or less defeats the purpose. Many have benefited from low therapeutic doses of Adderall, Ritalin or others. These medicines are abused so naturally they do have a stigma. However they are indeed extremely safe and have helped many, myself included, lead healthy and productive lives while dealing with the hell that is ADHD.

Additionally, I appreciate sites like this for advocating awareness and safety with drugs and addiction. But fear mongering is tinged here. Very few normal members of the population have dropped dead via cardiac arrest while taking Aderall or other stimulants. If that was the case statistically, it would be banned. The numbers show that it is extremely safe. Those few who have died have had pre-existing heart conditions or severely compromised cardiovascular health.
Doctors WILL NOT prescribe these stimulants to individuals with pre-existing heart conditions or high blood pressure/at risk people. The co-morbidity ratio would be off the charts.
Please Addiction Blog, be mindful when presenting ”facts”. Please be sure to emphasize that when taken under a doctor’s care and discretion, these medicines are extremely beneficial. They are MEDICINES after all. They were created with the intention of lessening the suffering of individuals who suffer from ADHD or Narcolepsy and in that regard, they are one of many tools that can be helpful.

RONALD
5:51 pm May 7th, 2017

VERY INTERESTING. GOOD TO READ AND LEARN

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
1:59 pm May 8th, 2017

Hi Ronald. Thank you for the lovely words! We are glad that you like the article.

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