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Dangers of Mixing Adderall and Alcohol

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Effects of Mixing Adderall and Alcohol

Mixing Adderall and alcohol is a dangerous practice that can have serious consequences. Both substances are central nervous system stimulants; when taken together, they can lead to nausea, heart palpitations, and headaches. If used over a long period of time, they can also lead to convulsions, irregular heartbeats, and even fatal outcomes.1

In a 2009 survey of over 4000 US students, 46.4% of the students who used a non-medical prescription stimulant such as Adderall reported using Adderall and alcohol simultaneously within the year prior. The prevalence of students in the same study who used a non-medical prescription stimulant was 10.6%.2

People mix alcohol and Adderall because the stimulant effects of Adderall counteract the depressive effects of alcohol. Mixing alcohol and Adderall allows people to party longer and get intoxicated more quickly. Additionally, Adderall can produce a feeling of euphoria and increased energy, which can add to the enjoyment of drinking.1

Why are Adderall And Alcohol Often Abused?

Adderall is a stimulant medication that is used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. It is a combination of two different stimulants, amphetamine, and dextroamphetamine. Adderall works by increasing the amount of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control movement and emotions.3

Adderall can be abused because it causes feelings of euphoria and increased energy. People who abuse Adderall often take it in larger doses than prescribed or take it without a prescription. In some cases, people practice mixing alcohol and Adderall. Adderall abuse can lead to addiction and other health risks.3

Some of the short-term effects of Adderall abuse include:3

  • Increased heart rate.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Restlessness.
  • Anxiety.
  • Aggression.

Adderall abuse can also lead to more serious health problems, such as:3

  • Cardiovascular problems.
  • Kidney damage.
  • Liver damage.
  • Psychotic episodes.

Alcohol abuse is a pattern of drinking that can lead to problems. It can involve drinking more than you intended to, drinking more often than you intended to, or drinking more than is safe. It can also lead people to combine alcohol with other substances, such as using Adderall and alcohol. It can also involve drinking in situations where it’s unsafe, such as driving or operating machinery.4

Alcohol abuse is a serious problem in the United States. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, about 14.1 million people in the U.S. have an alcohol use disorder.4

Alcohol abuse can have serious consequences for your health and your life. It can lead to problems at work or school, legal trouble, and damaged relationships. It can also lead to physical problems such as liver disease, heart disease, and cancer.4

What Are the Side Effects of Mixing Adderall and Alcohol?

Mixing Adderall and alcohol can have serious side effects on a person’s health, both physically and mentally. When these two substances are mixed, they can interact in harmful ways.2

Physically, mixing Adderall and alcohol can lead to dehydration, increased heart rate, and high blood pressure. This combination can also cause nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and heart palpitations.2

If used over a long period of time, the effects of mixing alcohol and Adderall may lead to serious symptoms, including:2,5

  • Convulsions.
  • Irregular heartbeats.
  • Fevers.
  • Stroke.
  • Increased blood pressure.
  • Muscle twitching.
  • Liver damage

Alcohol and Adderall mixing can lead to serious psychological complications, including:2

  • Paranoia, 
  • Anxiety
  • Severe depression. 

The combination of alcohol and Adderall can also lead to impaired judgment and memory problems. In some cases, it can even cause psychotic episodes.2

What Happens When You Mix Adderall and Alcohol?

If someone has been mixing Adderall and alcohol, they might feel dizzy and sleepy. They may also have a hard time concentrating. Adderall is a drug that makes people feel more awake, so if someone mixes it with alcohol, they will get drunk faster. This can be very dangerous and lead to alcohol poisoning.2,5

Both substances affect the central nervous system, and mixing alcohol and Adderall can have a synergistic effect that can be dangerously impairing. Additionally, because Adderall is a stimulant, it can counteract the sedating effects of alcohol, leading to increased levels of intoxication.2,5

The combination of alcohol and Adderall can cause other unusual behaviors in some users. Mixing alcohol and Adderall is known to lower inhibitions and impair judgment. This may cause users to act in an aggressive or irrational manner, lacking any sense of consequence or thoughtfulness.2,5

Why Do People Mix Adderall and Alcohol?

Adderall and alcohol are both CNS stimulants. Taken together, they can produce an effect greater than the sum of their individual effects. This is called synergy. Synergy can occur when two drugs interact in such a way that the combination is more potent than either drug alone.6

There are several reasons why people might mix Adderall and alcohol. Some people use Adderall to counteract the depressant effects of alcohol so that they can drink more without feeling the full effects of the alcohol. Others use Adderall to help them stay awake and party for long periods of time or as a way to get drunk more quickly.1

Therefore, the prevalence of mixing Adderall and alcohol is higher among teens and students. In the aforementioned study, 10.6% of students reported using Adderall unprescribed, while 10.6% reported mixing Adderall and alcohol. Among those who reported using Adderall, nearly 46% reported simultaneously using alcohol.2

The report linked using alcohol and Adderall together led to lower grades, other substance abuse, and an increased risk of alcohol-related incidents. Simultaneous Adderall and alcohol users more significantly experienced negative effects compared to non-prescription stimulant users and concurrent Adderall and alcohol users (who used the substances but not simultaneously). 2

Whatever the reason, it’s important to remember that Adderall and alcohol can be a dangerous combination. When taken together, they can put your health at risk and even lead to a fatal outcome.1

If you or someone you know is mixing Adderall and alcohol, getting help as soon as possible is important. Treatment options can help you overcome your addiction and live a sober, healthy life.

What are the Treatment Options for Those Mixing Alcohol and Adderall?

There are a few different treatment options for those who are mixing alcohol and Adderall. The first option is to get rid of Adderall entirely. This may be difficult for some people because they may have been prescribed the medication for a legitimate reason, such as ADHD. However, it is important to note that Adderall can be extremely dangerous when mixed with alcohol. If you cannot get rid of Adderall entirely, it is important to avoid alcohol and other drugs altogether.1

If you are struggling with quitting either or find yourself relapsing, perhaps you should seek professional help. Inpatient and outpatient treatment programs at addiction treatment centers like the American Addiction Centers can provide a safe and supportive environment for those who are mixing alcohol and Adderall. Inpatient treatment programs require participants to live at the treatment center for the duration of the program, which can last anywhere from 28 to 90 days. This provides participants with 24/7 access to support, safe medical detox to help with the withdrawal, and care from addiction specialists.7 

Outpatient treatment programs allow participants to live at home while attending regular therapy sessions. This program is a good option for those with a strong support system at home. It is important to note that outpatient treatment programs require high commitment and motivation from participants.7

Both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs typically include individual and group therapy, medication management, and other support services. These services can help those who are struggling with alcohol and Adderall mixing learn how to cope with their addiction and avoid relapsing. If you or someone you know is struggling with mixing alcohol and Adderall, please seek help from a professional treatment provider.7

American Addiction Centers (AAC) has numerous treatment centers across the country and accepts most private insurances. This makes it easy for those who are struggling with an AUD or Adderall addiction to get the help they need. AAC provides a variety of services, including individual and group therapy, medication management, and other support services. These services can help participants learn how to cope with their addiction and avoid relapsing.7

What To Do If You Mix Adderall and Alcohol?

If you find yourself in a situation where you have mixed Adderall and alcohol, it is important to take steps to ensure your safety. Here are some things to keep in mind:2,5

  • Adderall can increase the effects of alcohol. This can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. Drink plenty of fluids to compensate.
  • Mixing alcohol and Adderall can lead to dangerous side effects such as increased heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Mixing Adderall and alcohol can put you at risk. If you feel any symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, irregular heartbeats, or dizziness, make sure to seek help immediately.

If you or someone you know has mixed Adderall and alcohol, it is important to seek medical help immediately. It is also important to let your doctor know if you have mixed Adderall and alcohol, as they can help you manage any side effects you may experience.5

If you are struggling with addiction, there are many resources available to help you get on the path to recovery. You can call a helpline or speak to an admissions navigator to get started. They can help verify your insurance coverage, suggest the best treatment options for you and offer alternative methods of payment.

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The editorial staff of Projectknow.com is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed thousands of pages for accuracy and relevance. Our reviewers consistently monitor the latest research from SAMHSA, NIDA, and other reputable sources to provide our readers the most accurate content on the web.
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