Mental Health Home > What Is Methamphetamine Used For?
People may wonder, "What is methamphetamine used for?" Although many people think of methamphetamine as an illegal street drug, it is also a prescription medication (available under the brand name Desoxyn) used to treat legitimate health problems. Methamphetamine is used for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obesity.
Many people think of methamphetamine as an illegal street drug. However, methamphetamine hydrochloride (Desoxyn®) is also a prescription medicine used to treat certain medical conditions. Specific legitimate methamphetamine uses include:
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) treatment
- Obesity treatment.
ADHD is a condition involving difficulty paying attention, sitting still, and controlling behavior. In children with ADHD, these problems are worse than expected for a typical child of the same age. Usually, the ADHD symptoms must be present before the age of seven to qualify as ADHD. The symptoms must also affect the school, work, or social life in a negative way to qualify as ADHD (see ADHD and School and Relationships and ADHD for more information).
Although ADHD is generally thought of as a problem in children, teenagers and adults can also have ADHD. While methamphetamine has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating ADHD in adults, healthcare providers may prescribe it "off-label" for adults with ADHD.
Any behavioral change involves a well-balanced ADHD treatment plan, including social, educational, and mental therapy (see Behavior Therapy for ADHD). If lifestyle changes alone are not effective in changing ADHD behavior, ADHD medications (such as methamphetamine) may be necessary.
Methamphetamine is a stimulant, although it can have effects that are opposite from what would be expected of a stimulant. While stimulants (like caffeine) can cause hyperactivity, methamphetamine usually has a calming effect when it is taken in doses intended for ADHD treatment. While it is not known exactly how methamphetamine produces a calming effect, it is known that methamphetamine affects chemicals in the brain.