MDMA Vs. Meth | What's The Difference?

MDMA and methamphetamine share a number of properties. With that said, meth is associated with a different kind of high, is far more addictive, and has much higher risk of adverse effects.

MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine) and meth (methamphetamine) are both considered psychostimulants as well as club drugs. According to the National Library of Medicine, club drugs are psychoactive and affect the central nervous system (CNS).

Club drugs may be used frequently by young adults in nightclubs or raves. In addition to meth and MDMA, some of the other types of club drugs include ketamine and LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide, acid).

MDMA and meth are both amphetamines and work by increasing the neurons and monoamine neurotransmitters in the brain. Both drugs also affect dopamine as well. In addition, MDMA acts by increasing the serotonin and norepinephrine neurotransmitters.

MDMA & Meth Differences

Although MDMA and meth share a number of similarities, they are distinct substances.

Controlled Substance Status

According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), meth is considered a Schedule II drug with a high potential for abuse. MDMA, however, is a Schedule I drug meaning it not only has a high potential for abuse, but is also considered to have no accepted medical use.

The Experience & High

Despite their similarities, the “highs” produced from MDMA or meth can be different. As a party drug, MDMA may be known as molly or XTC. It is a hallucinogenic drug that increases sensory awareness.

Those who participate in ecstasy use may experience euphoria and distortions in time. Other hallucinogens such as MDA (3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine) and PMA (paramethoxyamphetamine) are sometimes sold as ecstasy and can cause similar effects.

Meth, on the other hand, has a “high” that starts abruptly and can dissipate quickly. A person may experience an energized sensation as well due to the fact that the drug is used to help treat those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or certain sleeping disorders.

Side Effects Of MDMA & Meth

MDMA is offered in tablet form, known as an ecstasy tablet. The ingestion of MDMA leads to a number of side effects.

MDMA Side Effects

The use of MDMA can produce a number of side effects that may include:

  • nausea
  • reduced inhibitions
  • chills
  • sweating
  • blurred vision
  • muscle cramps
  • cognitive impairment

Those who take high doses of MDMA may experience negative health effects such as a struggle with regulating body temperature. If your body temperature rises too high, it can lead to liver, kidney, or heart failure according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Meth Side Effects

Side effects of meth may include:

  • decrease in appetite
  • increase in physical activity
  • rapid heart rate
  • increase in blood pressure
  • fast breathing
  • hyperthermia

Over time, both MDMA and meth can cause a number of cardiovascular events due to the fluctuation in body temperature. This can lead to life-threatening health concerns.

Withdrawal Symptoms Of MDMA & Meth

Those who take MDMA or meth can experience withdrawal symptoms if the drug is abruptly stopped after long-term or heavy use.

MDMA Withdrawal Symptoms

Those who take MDMA can experience a number of withdrawal symptoms including:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • fatigue
  • loss of appetite
  • difficulty concentrating

Meth Withdrawal Symptoms

Those experiencing meth withdrawal may suffer from the following:

  • extreme drug cravings
  • psychosis
  • anxiety
  • severe depression
  • fatigue

MDMA & Meth Overdose

Taking high doses of MDMA or meth may lead to fatalities due to potential toxicity.

MDMA Overdose

If a person is suffering from an MDMA overdose, they may exhibit these symptoms:

muscle twitching
dizziness
seizures
confusion
vomiting

Meth Overdose

With a meth overdose, a person may experience:

  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • severe stomach cramps
  • stroke
  • heart attack

Find Help For Drug Abuse

If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse, contact Northeast Addictions Treatment Center to overcome unhealthy drug use. We offer a number of outpatient treatment options to assist you on your road to recovery.

Written by
Northeast Addition Editorial Team

Published on

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This page does not provide medical advice.

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