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Difference between amphetamines and methamphetamine

On Behalf of | Dec 22, 2021 | Criminal Defense

From the names, it may seem that there is a relationship between amphetamine drugs and methamphetamine, and there is. According to WebMD, both are stimulant drugs that work the same way on the body, increasing nerve signals between the brain and the body and inducing feelings of euphoria.

Despite the relationship between the two, they are not the same. There are some significant differences between them.


Chemically, methamphetamine is similar to amphetamine drugs. The main difference is potency. Methamphetamine is much stronger than amphetamine drugs, meaning that a small dose can produce greater effects on the body.


It is tempting to say that amphetamine drugs are legal with a prescription, while methamphetamine is illegal, but that is not entirely accurate. Amphetamine drugs are Schedule II controlled substances, meaning that they have abuse potential but also accepted medical uses. It is common for doctors to prescribe amphetamines such as Adderall or Vyvanse for conditions such as narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Methamphetamine is also a Schedule II controlled substance, and there is a prescription version manufactured legally on a limited basis for the treatment of obesity or ADHD. However, methamphetamine has few accepted medical uses. It is very rare for doctors to prescribe it because there are other, safer medications that treat the same conditions more effectively. As a result, most of the methamphetamine comes from illegal manufacturing operations for illicit recreational use.

Diversion of legally obtained prescription amphetamines is common, and not everyone realizes that it is illegal. Please contact our law firm for more information about criminal defense against drug charges.