Can a drug test differentiate between methamphetamine and amphetamines?

January 28, 2010

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

Amphetamines are what is known as a psychostimulant – it increases alertness and focus, and at the same time decreases fatigue and hunger. The drug is sold under numerous brand names and is used to treat several medical conditions, including chronic fatigue syndrome, narcolepsy, and the symptoms that occur when trauma to the skull affects the brain. Of course, in addition to all these uses, amphetamine is also a very popular recreational drug. Almost since its creation, amphetamine’s presence has been quite prominent in music, literature, and film, and among various subcultures. Even in mainstream society, while the drug might not have been particularly prominent, it still was quite popular for many years. Students, athletes, and other people who need to maintain high levels of alertness and energy for long periods of time have also often resorted to amphetamine usage.

Amphetamine is related to methamphetamine and other similar drugs. In fact, methamphetamine is what is known as the parent drug with relation to amphetamine. As far as drug tests are concerned therefore, there is no real difference between amphetamine and methamphetamine. When methamphetamine enters the body, it is converted into amphetamine. Drug tests can be quite subtle, and can differentiate between most drugs that are chemically similar – for example, methamphetamine and ecstasy. However, since methamphetamine is actually converted into amphetamine in the body, the final effect, at least as far as a drug test is concerned, is the same. The only possible difference is that amphetamines can be detected in urine for up to 3 days and in blood for up to 12 hours after consumption, while methamphetamine takes much longer to be excreted. Methamphetamine can be detected in the urine for up to 5 days and in blood for up to 3 days. However, there is no record of any drug test using this fact to differentiate between methamphetamine and amphetamine, and it is probably not a reliable indicator of which drug is being used.

In any case, both amphetamine and methamphetamine can be used either legally or illegally. Depending on the culture, one usually has more of a reputation as a “drug” than the other. However, as mentioned earlier, both the drugs have legitimate medical uses but are also frequently abused. If you have a prescription for amphetamine or methamphetamine, you have no need to worry about whether a drug test will detect either drug or whether it will differentiate between the two.

Submitted by M T on January 27, 2010 at 04:03

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