Since many drugs are often referred to by their street names, you might not know the difference between a hit of Tina and a gram of Amy. When drugs slide under the radar by pseudonyms, they are able to penetrate both deep crevices and unassuming social hotspots in a wave of destruction. Though they are often lumped together as if they were the same, methamphetamine and amphetamine are not the same drug.

Amphetamines are a class of drugs, whereas methamphetamine, or meth, is a specific drug within that classification. Whether it’s Tina or Amy, both meth and amphetamines are highly dangerous, addictive drugs that can have catastrophic side-effects and long-term damage to physical and mental health.

What Are Amphetamines?

Amphetamines, namely meth, are stimulants. They work by over-activating the heart and central nervous system to control attention deficiency, obesity, and focus. The DEA recognizes the classification of amphetamines as Schedule II controlled substances, which means they are considered to have some medical value. This would explain how, despite their addictive nature, amphetamines have been used in several prescription medicines.

The Difference Between Amphetamine and Methamphetamine

The primary difference between meth and its greater amphetamine classification is that meth’s chemical structure allows it to pass through the blood-brain barrier more quickly. This kind of access ignites a fast, intense high that leaves many users aching to reach the same level of euphoria again.


There are a lot of dangerous side-effects that come along with amphetamine use, especially meth. The most common side-effects include increased heart rate and blood pressure, heavy breathing, sweating, nausea, headache, dry mouth, blurry vision, teeth grinding, tremors, and dizziness.

what are amphetamines

The Dangerous Offspring

If meth is the offspring of amphetamine, it is surely the most insidious.

Methamphetamine is most commonly known by its dirty street derivative, crystal meth. Also referred to as ice, crank, and rocket fuel, crystal meth is a dangerously potent combination that shoots a user into the stratosphere and then rips them down with diabolic force.

Crystal meth produces a rapid high that alters the body into a state of euphoric frenzy. When using the drug, a person will experience a burst of energy and increased heart rate and blood pressure. They will also experience a comedown, the likes of which have been known to spark addiction.

Tweaking on the Comedown

A comedown is a period after getting high, where the body attempts to reestablish equilibrium. For meth users, this phase can be so painful that it leads to relapse. This is most especially true for users of crystal meth.

The side effects of a comedown include but are not limited to: depression, fatigue, muscle pain, anxiety, and headache. In an attempt to avoid these excruciating symptoms, crystal meth users will often repeat use of the drug several times, even to the point where a high can no longer be achieved. This leads to a period of powerful sleep deprivation, known as tweaking.

Tweaking is characterized as not sleeping for 3-15 days. What follows is paranoia and psychosis. A person is, more or less, trapped in their body, forced to experience the comedown, which has become amplified in duration and strength.

The Takeaway

Bottom line is, whether they are prescribed as a medication, snorted, or smoked through a crack pipe, meth and amphetamines are highly addictive drugs. They can quickly alter a person’s perception of focus and happiness, and they have been known to cause catastrophic effects on physical and mental health. The high is never worth the pain that follows.

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