How Similar Is Meth to Some ADD Medicines

Adderall VS Meth

Adderall and Vyvanse have become two of the most over-prescribed medications on the market. They are prescribed to help treat people who are suffering from ADHD. ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder—a so-called condition with symptoms such as inattentiveness, impulsivity, and hyperactivity.

The majority of the people who are diagnosed with ADHD were diagnosed as children. Most children diagnosed with ADHD are boys who are bouncing off the walls, interrupting in class, and fidgeting.

According to the DSM-V, six of the following symptoms must be present to warrant a diagnosis:

  • Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat
  • Leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected
  • Runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which is it inappropriate; feelings of restlessness in teens and adults
  • Has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly
  • Appears “on the go” or acts as if “driven by a motor”
  • Talks excessively
  • Blurts out answers
  • Has difficulty waiting for their turn
  • Interrupts or intrudes on others

The picture below depicts the molecular structures of Ritalin (a commonly used narcotic to treat ADHA), Adderall and Meth. As you can see, there is not much difference between the stimulants, especially when it comes to Adderall and Crystal Meth.

Adderall and Meth Composition

The CDC concluded that the number of children diagnosed with ADHD jumped 42 percent in the last eight years. The report reveals that 6.5 million children have been diagnosed, and 3.5 million are medicated. That’s a 28 percent increase in the last four years. Now, between 11 and 15 percent of all children are diagnosed. Unfocused kids have been around forever, but ADHD didn’t show up in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual until 1980. Back in the 80’s, psychiatrists saw the behavior as more of a situational condition than a disease, and doctors were reluctant to medicate it with stimulants.

Now kids and college students alike are taking Adderall to either help stay focused or give them that extra boost to get all their school work done. Adderall and Meth affect the brain in the same manner. The only difference is that Meth crosses the blood-brain barrier quicker than Adderall, causing a faster and more euphoric sensation.

It is important that society understands this information because Meth addiction is on the rise (Methamphetamine has long been known as one of the most addictive, and devastating illicit street drugs in the world. It grips people and changes them into something that they never thought possible). One of the most common denominators I hear among people who come to our treatment center and have struggled with Meth is that they were diagnosed with ADHD as a child, and prescribed Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta or Vyvanse. Given the state of society, we have to ensure doctors are treating the problem, not just giving a solution which winds up being a worse problem that what the person started with. If a false diagnosis goes unchecked, a child’s ability to function in the world is permanently compromised. This is a tragedy that no pill can fix. If you or anyone you know needs help, please call us.



Aaron has been writing drug education articles and documenting the success of the Narconon program for over two years.