Before getting into the technicalities of whether a drug test can distinctly differentiate between an amphetamine and a methamphetamine, it is important to know what both of these substances are. Both drugs are essentially part of a family of stimulant drugs that are collectively known as amphetamines. Also known as glass, meth or ice, methamphetamines are known to substantially stimulate the brain as well as nerves and cells in the central nervous system.
Methamphetamines have been commonly used in the past by athletes and students because of the sudden burst of energy and potency of physical performance – thereby giving them an advantage, until drug testing become a very prominent part of any sport. The classification of amphetamines has the same effect as the methamphetamines but is less toxic and the effects do not last as long. Going into further details, the methamphetamines have less peripheral nervous system and cardiovascular activity than normal amphetamines.
The major difference in the chemical reaction of the two substances is that the amphetamines stimulate the central nervous system indirectly by activating a release of catecholamines and inhibit their breakdown as well as storage. Methamphetamine resembles a crystal like powdery substance but may also be in the form of a chunky rock. The substance is usually either swallowed or snorted up through the nasal passage – but this method could cause significant damage to the nose. When the substance is shaved off the rock form and smoked, it is known to have a higher potency of addiction. The most instant feelings that the user would experience include a sudden burst of energy, alertness as well as feeling of pleasure. Moreover, both amphetamines and methamphetamines are known to suppress ones appetite significantly.
The primary problem with both forms of the substance, methamphetamines as well as amphetamines is the fact that both are highly addictive and cause the individual to depend heavily on them in a physical as well as psychological state. When the substance is not available or an addict wants to break the habit, he or she will suffer from very strong and prominent withdrawal symptoms.
Drug tests will be able to show up the potency of the substance taken and, as a result, any experienced analysis of the test results will identify the type of drug consumed. What many people choose to do is, for a period of 48 hours before the test, dilute their bodies with exorbitant amounts of water – which will invalidate the test and make it harder for the test to show the exact type of drug taken.
Submitted by M T on January 28, 2010 at 02:52