Desoxyn (methamphetamine) is a central nervous system stimulant drug that can be used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It may also be used to treat obesity and problems with sleepiness and lethargy due to neurological issues.

While methamphetamine in its medicinal form is not as dangerous as the street form of methamphetamine, it is still a controlled substance and potentially dangerous.

Misuse of Methamphetamine

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) publishes estimates every year, based on survey data, concerning the number of people who use different medications or drugs of abuse. According to the 2017 data:

  • It was estimated that 14.7 million people had used some form of methamphetamine within their lifetime.
  • The number of people estimated to have used the methamphetamine product in 2017 was 1.6 million.
  • The number of people who reported using a methamphetamine product within the month before the survey was estimated at 774,000.

The figures released by SAMHSA are released under the heading of illicit drug use, and the majority of these individuals are likely not reporting use of the medicinal form of methamphetamine, Desoxyn, but instead reporting the abuse of street methamphetamine.

The Difference between Desoxyn and Crystal Meth

Although Desoxyn and street methamphetamine (crystal meth) contain the same central nervous system stimulant drug (methamphetamine), there is a major difference in the composition of the two drugs.

Desoxyn is designed to be used for medical reasons and produced in professional laboratories without significant added adulterants, whereas the process used to make street forms of methamphetamine (crystal meth) use many different toxic substances.

Crystal meth is produced by combining an amphetamine-like substance or amphetamine (pseudoephedrine or ephedrine products) with other chemicals. These additional substances/chemicals can include:

  • Hydrochloric acid or sulfuric acid
  • Paint thinner
  • Lithium
  • Phosphorus
  • Gasoline or brake fluid
  • Benzene
  • Ammonia
  • Freon

Numerous other potentially toxic substances can be used.

Because many of these products are not fully filtered out of the street forms of crystal meth, methamphetamine produced by private individuals and purchased on the street is associated with significantly more severe and toxic effects than Desoxyn.

Can Desoxyn Be Abused?

Yes.  But if you are abusing methamphetamine, you are most likely not abusing Desoxyn.

Prescription stimulant medications like Adderall, Ritalin, and Desoxyn are potential drugs of abuse. Typically, when these drugs are abused, the pills are ground up and either snorted or mixed with a liquid and injected. Snorting the crushed pills is the most common form of abuse, whereas crystal meth is most commonly smoked or injected.

The majority of people who abuse methamphetamine use the street form of meth. It is cheaper than buying the prescription medication on the street and easier to get.

People who are prescribed stimulant medications to treat ADHD are not prone to abusing them. Organizations like SAMHSA consistently report that a small percentage of people who are prescribed these medications wind up developing substance use disorders to them. Most often, those who abuse prescription medications get the drug from a friend or relative with a prescription for the drug or purchase them illicitly.

Is Desoxyn Dangerous?

Desoxyn, like all forms of methamphetamine, is a controlled substance in the C II (Schedule II) category as designated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This means that these medications are recognized as having legitimate medical uses, but they can also be significant drugs of abuse that are likely to produce physical dependence in people who use them.

Desoxyn is placed at the highest level of control for a drug that can be obtained with a prescription from a physician. While the drug can treat certain conditions, it is also potentially dangerous if not used under medical supervision.

What Are the Dangers Associated with Desoxyn?

If you are taking Desoxyn for ADHD as directed by your physician, the greatest danger is the potential for you to have an allergic reaction to the drug (although this is relatively rare). Allergic reactions can be serious. If you develop an allergic reaction to Desoxyn, stop using it, and immediately contact your physician.

Most of the side effects associated with the medicinal use of Desoxyn are relatively minor, but some can be potentially serious, including the development of motor tics, seizures, appetite loss, insomnia, and even potential psychosis. Physicians can typically address most issues associated with side effects.

The Dangers of Desoxyn Abuse

If you begin abusing Desoxyn, you are more likely to experience side effects, and they are more likely to be severe and prolonged than if you were only using medicinal doses of the drug.

Some other potential dangers associated with abusing Desoxyn include:

  • Cardiovascular damage, including high blood pressure, damage to the veins and arteries as a result of injecting stimulants, and an increased risk of having a heart attack or stroke
  • Complications in the respiratory system due to increased breathing. Respiratory infections are more likely to develop
  • Damage to the liver or kidneys
  • Damaged areas of the brain that can lead to tremors, repetitive behaviors, problems with reasoning and judgment, issues with attention, seizures, and difficulties experiencing pleasure
  • Significant emotional disturbance and the potential to be diagnosed with some other psychiatric disorder like major depression
  • The development of stimulant use disorder
  • Tolerance to and physical dependence (withdrawal) on Desoxyn

If you grind up Desoxyn pills and snort them, you will most likely develop issues with your nasal passages, such as infections and abscesses. If you inject the drug, you are likely to experience significant problems with your veins and arteries, or you may contract blood-borne diseases due to needle sharing. If you smoke the drug, you will be very prone to developing respiratory problems.

If you are diagnosed with stimulant use disorder as a result of abusing Desoxyn, you will experience other ramifications. These can include significant problems in your relationships, financial issues, problems at work or school, and potentially criminal or legal issues.


The most salient dangers associated with Desoxyn occur if you abuse the drug. If you take the drug for a medical condition like ADHD or some other condition as prescribed by a physician, the dangers are relatively mild and can often be addressed by your physician.

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