Modafinil vs. Adderall: Differences and Similarities That Shouldn’t Be Overlooked
A good majority of prescription amphetamine drugs are designed to correct for brain chemical imbalances brought on by conditions like ADHD. The chemical make up of these drugs has a therapeutic effect in terms of helping ADHD suffers live normal, productive lives.
That being so, not all prescription amphetamine drugs are formulated to produce these types of effects. Likewise, Modafinil and Adderall both belong to the amphetamine class of drugs, but produce different types of effects.
While considerable differences between Modafinil vs. Adderall do exist, their classification as prescription amphetamines means both drugs can be harmful in their own ways when abused on a regular basis.
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According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, amphetamines produce stimulant-type effects in terms of their ability to speed up chemical activities in the brain. A good majority of these drugs act on dopamine production rates in particular.
Any drug capable of increasing or stimulating dopamine levels automatically taps into the areas of the brain most affected by addiction. In effect, dopamine influences a range of bodily processes, including:
- Movement and coordination
- Pain perception
- Pleasure perception
The combined effects of these changes can have a considerable bearing on how a person thinks, behaves and perceives his or her surrounding environment. All of these factors come into play with addiction.
Modafinil vs. Adderall – Differences
Effects in the Brain
Differences between Modafinil vs. Adderall lie in how they interact with the brain’s chemical processes.
Modafinil stimulates dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin and histamine chemical activities, according to the journal of Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience. Adderall not only stimulates dopamine and norepinephrine production, but impacts dopamine levels in three ways:
- By forcing cells to produce more dopamine
- By preventing the brain from recycling excess neurotransmitter supplies
- Depleting dopmaine levels over time
Modafinil’s ability to stimulate multiple chemical processes at once is intended to produce different types of effects than Adderall.
As one of the most commonly used treatments for ADHD, Adderall’s effects enable ADHD sufferers to experience improved focus, concentration while settling hyperactive tendencies. While effective, it’s especially important to take Adderall as prescribed or else the more harmful effects of the drug will take shape.
In terms of Modafinil vs. Adderall, Modafinil is used as a treatment for sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy and shift work sleep disorder. This difference in therapeutic effects has a considerable bearing on each drug’s abuse and addiction potential.
Modafinil vs. Adderall – Similarities
Changes in Neurotransmitter Processes
When considering Modafinil vs. Adderall, the fact that both drugs work to alter the brain’s neurotransmitter processes speaks to a very real potential for problems to develop down the road in cases of frequent or long-term drug use. While one drug may treat ADHD and the other sleep disorders, the overall impact of drug abuse practices works towards the same ends.
Overall, Modafinil’s addiction potential runs considerably lower than Adderall. That being so, someone who abuses Modafinil on a long-term basis will likely develop an addiction to the drug.
As far as Adderall goes, it doesn’t take very long at all before drug abuse practices bring on a full-blown addiction problem.