Big Pharma’s Adderall Is Basically Crystal Meth, Says Dr. Carl Hart


By John Vibes at


Dr. Carl Hart, an associate professor of psychology and psychiatry at Columbia University who specializes in drug abuse and drug addiction, is also an outspoken critic of the drug war, and made comments in the media recently about how the popular big pharma drug Adderall is pretty much the same thing as crystal meth.

When appearing on All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC, Hart spoke about the crack epidemic and how it allowed the media and the politicians to overlook many of the issues with poverty and violence that existed in poor areas of America’s cities and instead use crack as a scapegoat. Hart admitted that crack is dangerous, but that it has been used as a scapegoat by the government, and like many drugs, there is a lot of misinformation out there about it.

Hart went on to discuss crystal meth and made a statement that would surprise many of the mainstream viewers who were tuned into the show, that it is basically the same thing as Adderall, something that is entirely legal and is prescribed to millions. When Hayes replied back that this couldn’t have been true, Hart mentioned a number of studies where the drugs were actually compared and found to be nearly identical.

One thing that was not discussed in the quick interview was the fact that harsh and highly synthetic street drugs would actually not exist if it were not for prohibition. In environments where drugs are legal, there is no incentive for people to create these dangerous synthetics because pure and safe drugs are available to them at low costs.

This is not a perspective that is encouraging drug use, but rather an understanding that prohibition does not work, and that people are going to use illegal substances one way or another if that is what they want to do. In addition to not working, prohibition also makes life more dangerous for everyone because the drugs are dirtier, and a violent black market develops which impacts the lives of everyone.

John Vibes is an author and researcher who organizes a number of large events including the Free Your Mind Conference.

This article (Big Pharma’s Adderall Is Basically Crystal Meth, Says Dr. Carl Hart) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and

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  1. So a doc comes out of the blue with no backup information just his own idea and that makes it worthy enough for you guys to repost it? K

  2. How is this huge new? If you have ever look at the actual name(s) of adderall they are amphetamine and or dextroamphetamine….. the full name for Meth is Methampetamine…. they come from the same family of drugs… Which often means that the chemical make up is pretty much identical!!! at one point I was perscribed adderall for sleep issues and my doc said and I quote “adderall is basically legal meth… your going to get high”…. and if the point of the piece and its content is something other then the admission that adderall is basically legal meth choose another headline…

    • Chlorine and Sodium are incredibly dangerous when ingested. Sodium-Chloride, also known as Table Salt, is not. This is a common theme in chemistry.

      • Right on Atom. There are toms of compounds following the same idea. Water for example, H2O, becomes poison with tiny changes to is composition. Hydroxide (OH) is a strong base, ozone (H3O) isnt something you want to breath, and you certainly wouldn’t want to drink Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2)

    • From Wikipedia: Bupropion or bupropion hydrochloride, also known formerly as amfebutamone, is a medication primarily used as an antidepressant and smoking cessation aid. It is marketed as Wellbutrin and Zyban among other trade names.

      I have heard they put bupropion to veins…bad bad bad…but it is amfetamine derivative. And very good treatment of depression.

    • The citizens of this country are so damn ignorant.Ridalin is from the same chemical family as coke, any amphetamine is related to meth. They think there is a difference between over the counter medication and drugs. CHEMICALS ARE CHEMICALS PEOPLE. DXM is a dissacioative. Benadryl, a deleriant. This system is set up to use these chemicals at a controlled amount not because of the chemical itself, but mainly from the family it comes from. My favorite is, “Ketamine is horse tranquilizer”. No derp it is a very powerful dissacioative anasthetic, that doesn’t mean it is fucking poison Lol. I took MXE (dissociative anasthetic psychedelic) and I am perfectly fine. Smh at dumb ass America.

  3. Interesting. I wish I had time to read Dr. Hart’s findings. My main question is that if Adderall is the same as crystal meth, are we talking chemically the same, or the same in use outcome?

    • Using adderall (and amphetamines) properly is the difference between nursing a glass of wine over dinner vs mainlining everclear. Just a matter of scale and time-frame. I’ve got a prescription for amphet, low dose, time delayed, and it’s enormously helpful with my fatigue problems.

    • Methamphetamines (crystal meth) and amphetamines (Adderal or speed) are the same class of drugs. They both have a half-life close to 11 hours… but Amphetamines last longer 11-14 hours. That means that the average human ingesting or smoking the drug will still have half the dose in his body 11 hours after taking it.

      The big thing to understand is that most Adderal drugs are around 5-20 mg while recreational users will take much more than that to get the rush or the “buzz”. Slurred and faster speech, increased heart rate, dilated pupils, constricted (smaller) blood vessels. It’s all about dosage…..if you take too much it’s a drug, if it’s used for your concentration or fatigue symptoms it’s called medication.

      Hope that helps.

  4. I have been following your articles for about 18 months now and I have to say that this is the first time I have read something so rubbish on your page that I am actually calling BS here. I am someone who has been on Adderall for the past 10 years, before I was officially diagnosed with ADHD I was let go from a number of jobs for performance reasons. And since I have been taking the medication (that I desperately need to function as a normal person) I have had 0 problems in my career. So while I will concede that to a person that is not ADD or ADHD Adderall may be like Crystal Meth to those of us on the other side it is anything but that.

    So publishing an article quoting someone who at 49 is still an Associate Professor (which goes to prove how respected they are in their field and how much actual knowledge they have) is just propaganda, and I base this on my brother in law who was an associate professor from 25 when he got his masters degree in his field to 28 when the university made him a professor to 31 when he became the dean of his department because of his knowledge. In other words you might as well have published an article on immigration quoting Donald Trump….

    • I feel like your logic is flawed here. Just because it helps you to function doesnt mean that its not still an amphetamine. You have a chemical imbalance that this helps to regulate. The point of this article was not to deny that. The point of this article is to demonstrate that the difference between a legal high and an illegal high is only a matter of paperwork.

      As far as calling into question the intelligence and respect another person has in regards to thier level of promotion or thier age, again I feel youve missed the mark. Just because someone is in a lower position than someone else doesnt mean they are any less intelligent or respected. Id like to refer you to Mike Rowes excellent series “Dirty Jobs”. While this may not be a down ‘n dirty job, it is entirely possible that the gentleman is simply content with where he is in life. At 49, I would much rather putter around doing my own thing with fewer responsibilities and more personal time to spend spoiling grand babies.

    • It still makes people who don’t need it to help their brain chemistry high. Your logic is like saying that morphine from the doctor is different from getting a morphine derivative off the street because God doctor prescribed it and it takes your chronic pain away.

      It still makes it a morphine family drug (which will still leave me tripping balls and trying to claw my skin off because allergies)

    • Aside from what you know about your brother-in-law’s title as a Professor of Law, you know very little about the status of professors at universities. Associate Prof is a great title – it means you are on a tenure track and have a long-term contract with the university. It is much higher than “Assistant Professor”, for example. A prof who makes “Associate” or is hired in as an Associate is in excellent standing. Highly respected universities, like Columbia, the other Ivy League schools and MIT, Stanford, etc have many Associate Professors who might stay at Associate level for a long period of time. Each department has its own written and unwritten rules and tradition. Some depts have a fixed number of Professors or “Full Professors” and promote an Associate only when one leaves. Associate Prof at Columbia before age 50 is prestigious.

  5. Make is Legal and problems go away also people do what they have to in the world to survive in this world they are not bugging anyone just leave them alone no one is perfect people have thing they have to deal with every single day of there life’s everyone deals with things differently

  6. How about we ask someone that has experienced getting high from both drugs. I’ll make it easy for you. Ask me. My answer is this: when crystal method wasn’t available, I took adderall. Both very similar highs. When I quit meth, I was an adderall junkie. Legal meth…absolutley. It was actually harder on me to quit adderall then Meth. Why? Because MY DOCTOR PRESCRIBED IT AND IT WAS EASILY AVAILABLE.
    Fact is doctors are just drug dealers with an education.

  7. I know my street aphetamines better then most. Tried adderall for a substitute a few times. Indistinguishable effects, physically and mentaly . I was amazed at the similarities between homemade, and prescription.

  8. I dont care what drugs people willingly take but, its wrong that doctors give this to improperly evaluated and overly-misdiagnosed children.

  9. So I have had ADHD ALL my life and I am now 36 years old. I am still on adderal and coincidentally I have self medicated with meth in the past . I can tell you one thing… adderal is nothing like meth. It is a amphetamine but not methamphetamine. Totally different sensitation.

  10. Yes it’s amfetamins in almost every medication there is for people with ADHD,ADD but who gives a fuck we that lives with this needs Afetamin’s to function like normal people,So why even bother to post shit like this anyway?
    Do you take these pills if so congratz you’re a junkie if you smoke weed it’s not rely the same thou i rather go with my Speed ⌒.⌒
    If you mix them together that is glorious!!=P

  11. Is there some other drug you can take? I believe my ADHD is from bad food, bad water, bad air..etc. poisons in them, toxins, plastics actual drugs found in fish. And the fish weren’t smuggling the drugs it was in there unnaturally natural, with mercury. I don’t like taking meds AT ALL. But society doesn’t like me, NOT being on meds.. Catch 22. Kids are way too often put on meds for profit. Schools profit as well as BIG pharm. I do know that, ADHD meds are as addictive as cocaine and if you snort it. It’s called the poor mans meth.

  12. This article contradicts itself, to a small degree. If “prohibition” is the reason for dangerous street drugs, then how does meth and adderal exist at the same time? Adderal is not banned. So meth is not used to replace it.

  13. Meth is commonly manufactured in illegal, hidden laboratories, mixing various forms of ((amphetamine)) (another stimulant drug) or derivatives with other chemicals to boost its potency. THE TRUTH ABOUT CRYSTAL METH: “What is Meth Made From” (2006–2017), Foundation for a Drug-Free

    Now guess what Adderall is made from?

    Sherzada, Awista states Adderall is derived from amphetamine,
    The brand name Adderall is a chemical compound that is made up of powerful blends of the ((amphetamine)) salts dextroamphetamine and levoamphetamine, which are isomers of the original amphetamine molecule and come in a 3:1 ratio. (Sherzada, Awista. (2012) “An Analysis of ADHD Drugs: Ritalin and Adderall,” JCCC Honors Journal: Vol.3: Iss. 1, Art.2

  14. Big Pharma makes alot of money with providing addictive drugs to the population. My advise to anyone is to research first what you are actually putting in your body, and what exactly you are paying all this money for.


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