Experimentation with psychoactive drugs is often initiated in the peri-adolescent period, but knowledge of differences in the outcomes of peri-adolescent- vs adult-initiated exposure is incomplete. We consider the existing animal research in this area for (meth)amphetamines. Established for a number of phenotypes, is lower sensitivity of peri-adolescents than adults to acute effects of (meth)amphetamines, including neurotoxic effects of binge-level exposure. More variable are data for long-term consequences of peri-adolescent exposure on motivational and cognitive traits. Moreover, investigations often exclude an adult-initiated exposure group critical for answering questions about outcomes unique to peri-adolescent initiation. Despite this, it is clear from the animal research that (meth)amphetamine exposure during the peri-adolescent period, whether self- or other-administered, impacts brain motivational circuitry and cognitive function, and alters adult sensitivity to other drugs and natural rewards. Such consequences occurring in humans have the potential to predispose toward unfortunate and potentially disastrous family, social and livelihood outcomes.