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What Are Amphetamines?

They’re a type of stimulant drugs that doctors may prescribe to treat certain conditions:

  • ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Narcolepsy, a condition that makes you sleepy during the day
  • Weight loss (in rare cases)

Some of the common prescription amphetamines:

  • Adderall
  • Dexedrine
  • Vyvanse

Amphetamines can be legally taken when prescribed by your doctor. They’re not legal if you take them without a prescription. Misusing them as a study aid or to get high can lead to addiction, an overdose, and other health problems.

What are Methamphetamines?

This drug’s is similar to amphetamines if you look at the chemical structure. Doctors can prescribe legally-made methamphetamine to help treat ADHD and obesity, but this is pretty rare.

But it’s far more common for people to take illegal street versions of this stimulant. “Meth” is a dangerous drug that you can smoke, snort, swallow, or inject. It can hurt your health in a number of ways soon after you take it. And if you keep using it, you’ll be more likely to have long-term problems.

T he National Institute on Drug Abuse says, methamphetamine is more potent than amphetamines. This is because at similar doses, much more of it gets into your brain, and this can seriously damage your central nervous system.

Do You Know Someone Struggling with Drugs?

SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.

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