Adderall and Alcohol: Can You Mix Them?

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Medically Reviewed By: Diana Vo, LMFT

November 20, 2023

Table of Contents

It is inadvisable to mix Adderall and alcohol. The effects of Adderall can obscure the impact of alcohol, leading to an increased likelihood of excessive drinking, which in turn may contribute to the risk of alcohol poisoning. Additionally, Adderall and alcohol effects may include cardiac complications.

This guide to alcohol and Adderall addresses issues that include:

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  • Can you mix Adderall and alcohol?
  • What happens if you drink on Adderall?
  • Are alcohol and Adderall interactions dangerous?
  • How to detect Adderall and alcohol behavior and how to connect with treatment in California.

Mixing Adderall and Alcohol

Combining alcohol (the most abused addictive substance) and Adderall (a Schedule II ADHD medication) poses a significant risk of serious complications due to their competing effects. In recent years, the simultaneous use of alcohol and Adderall has gained popularity, especially among young adults. On college campuses nationwide, students are increasingly attempting to leverage the stimulant properties of Adderall to prepare for extended nights of drinking. The is grounded on the logic that while Adderall boosts energy and focus, alcohol induces drowsiness and impairs coordination, allowing individuals to consume more alcohol without experiencing fatigue. Nevertheless, the interaction between these drugs is not intended, and their combination can lead to dangerous outcomes.

Adderall and Alcohol Side Effects

Several factors contribute to the potential dangers associated with the combination of Adderall and drinking alcohol.

Adderall and alcohol exert differing effects on the CNS (central nervous system). Adderall contains amphetamine salts that enhance the activity of neurotransmitters, resulting in heightened focus and alertness. Conversely, alcohol diminishes neurotransmitter effects, leading to a slowdown in both physical and cognitive functions. When consumed together, Adderall can obscure the sedative impact of alcohol.

While alcohol typically acts as a CNS depressant, it can induce temporary stimulation in small amounts. Adderall can extend this period of stimulation and delay the sedative effects of higher alcohol doses, potentially prompting people to consume more alcohol than they would otherwise.

Excessive alcohol consumption can overwhelm the liver, potentially leading to alcohol poisoning. Beyond this, both alcohol and Adderall rely on the same liver enzymes for metabolism. Individuals who ingest alcohol after taking Adderall may experience intensified effects of one of the substances, depending on the rate of liver processing.

Combining alcohol and Adderall heightens the likelihood of developing an addiction and mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. The ongoing shortage of Adderall amplifies the risk of severe withdrawal symptoms for individuals already grappling with addiction to the drug.

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Can You Overdose on Alcohol and Adderall?

Combining alcohol and Adderall significantly increases the chance of alcohol poisoning or cardiac complications developing. Adderall’s stimulant effects on the central nervous system can mask the impact of alcohol, potentially leading individuals to continue drinking until blood alcohol concentration levels become dangerously high. Additionally, the combination of Adderall and alcohol can overwork the heart, predisposing individuals to cardiac issues such as heart palpitations or heart attacks.

In the event of an overdose, seek immediate assistance by calling 911. Prompt medical attention is essential if alcohol poisoning is suspected. Waiting for symptoms to manifest is potentially dangerous – alcohol poisoning can sometimes prove fatal.

Common symptoms of alcohol poisoning include:

  • Confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Slow breathing
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Clammy skin
  • Depressed reflexes
  • Hypothermia
  • Bluish or pale skin tone
  • Unconsciousness
  • Seizures

What to Do if You Mix Adderall and Alcohol

If you or someone that you know has combined Adderall and alcohol, take immediate action to ensure safety and well-being by following these steps:

  • Seek medical attention: If there are any signs of severe reactions or adverse effects, such as rapid heartbeat, chest pain, difficulty breathing, confusion, or loss of consciousness, seek immediate medical assistance.
  • Be honest with healthcare providers: Provide accurate information about the substances consumed to healthcare professionals to ensure appropriate and timely treatment.
  • Stay calm and monitor symptoms: Keep a close eye on the person’s condition and monitor any changes in symptoms or behavior. Stay calm and provide reassurance while waiting for medical help.
  • Avoid further substance use: Refrain from consuming any additional substances, including alcohol and Adderall, to prevent exacerbating the situation or causing additional complications.
  • Stay hydrated and rest: Encourage the affected individual to stay hydrated and rest while waiting for medical assistance. Provide a safe and comfortable environment to support their well-being during this time.
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Get Treatment for Adderall and Alcohol Addiction at Renaissance Recovery

If you have been mixing Adderall and alcohol and need help recalibrating your life, reach out to Renaissance Recovery in Huntington Beach, CA.

After a tapered reduction in dosage, you can initiate Adderall addiction treatment in an outpatient setting at our luxury beachside facility. If you require a more structured and immersive recovery experience, choose our IOP (intensive outpatient program) or PHP (partial hospitalization program).

All treatment programs at Renaissance provide access to personalized treatment plans that includes therapies like MAT (medication-assisted treatment), individual and group counseling, psychotherapies, family therapy, and holistic treatments.

When you are ready to address polysubstance abuse issues, call 866.330.9449 for immediate assistance.

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Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.

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