The Difference Between Adderall and Cocaine

According to the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 9.2 million people aged 12 or older in the United States misused stimulant substances in the past year, with over one-third (or 3.4 million) of those individuals solely misusing cocaine. A reported 3.7 million of these individuals misused prescription stimulants like Adderall.1

This article will go into more depth regarding the differences between Adderall and cocaine, help to answer the question, “Is Adderall similar to cocaine?”, and explore Adderall addiction treatment options.

Cocaine vs Adderall

Adderall is a well-known prescription stimulant used to manage attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).2 Cocaine is primarily used illicitly in an attempt to achieve the drug’s effects.

Below is a discussion of some of the similarities and differences between Adderall and cocaine.

Adderall vs Coke Similarities

Both cocaine (“coke”) and Adderall are central nervous system stimulants, which means they take similar actions on the brain, resulting in some similar effects such as:3

  • Increased alertness.
  • Increased energy.
  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate.

Another similarity between Adderall and cocaine is the motivation behind why individuals may choose to misuse the drugs. Often, these 2 distinct drugs are misused for similar purposes, to achieve similar outcomes, such as increased energy or alertness.

Both Adderall and cocaine are classified as Schedule II controlled substances because they both have a high potential for misuse that can lead to dependence.3

Differences Between Adderall and Cocaine

One difference between Adderall and cocaine is that while Adderall is a prescription medication effectively used by many to help treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, cocaine is mainly used illegally to achieve a high.

Even though both can be misused, there is a prevalent need for Adderall in the mental health field. When taken as prescribed, it can be extremely beneficial in reducing the symptoms associated with ADHD.

It is important to note that misusing illicit Adderall creates an additional danger than misusing a prescription from a pharmacy. This is because illicit Adderall may be cut with other potent illegal substances, such as fentanyl, which can increase one’s risk of overdose.

However, the risk of overdose is not eliminated when misusing prescription Adderall, as using too much or in combination with other substances can prove fatal, too.

Which Is More Addictive: Adderall or Cocaine?

Both Adderall and cocaine are potentially addictive substances. The misuse of either one of these substances can lead to the development of tolerance followed by dependence, and finally the development of drug addiction.

However, cocaine is a much more potent substance, meaning that it can be easier to get addicted to it faster. Adderall is not as potent as cocaine, but again, that does not absolve it from being habit-forming and ultimately dangerous to misuse.

Treatment for Adderall and Cocaine Addiction

If you or someone you care about are struggling with an Adderall or cocaine addiction, our inpatient rehab in New Jersey can help you get the treatment needed to put an end to active addiction and begin a life of recovery.

Call to speak with one of our kind rehab admissions navigators and learn more about the different levels of addiction treatment we offer, ways to pay for rehab, and using insurance to pay for rehab.

Get started on your recovery now by verifying your insurance with us using our

Please don’t wait another day. Reach out to us now and get the help you deserve.

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