Originally published: August 7, 2019
Updated on: June 20, 2022
Using Adderall isn’t in itself a bad thing. People use the medication to aid with symptoms of different disorders such as ADHD. Sadly, people will misuse Adderall without realizing the deadly consequences.
In 2018, an annual report revealed that 5 million Americans had misused prescription stimulants. It’s essential to understand the risks of combining Adderall, an already highly addictive drug, with an easily accessible and common substance like alcohol.
In this blog, we will look at:
- What is Adderall?
- Why is Adderall prescribed?
- Why do people take Adderall with alcohol?
- The dangers of mixing Adderall and alcohol
- Treatment for Adderall and alcohol addiction
What is Adderall?
Adderall is a prescription medication belonging to the stimulant medication class. It contains two drugs: amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Adderall is a highly addictive drug and therefore has a high potential for drug misuse, also called drug abuse.
Why is Adderall Prescribed?
Adderall is most commonly used to treat the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The drug stimulates the central nervous system and can treat ADHD by improving focus and concentration. Adderall is also used to treat narcolepsy by medically offsetting drowsiness and sleep attacks.
Why Do People Take Adderall with Alcohol?
Before looking at the effects of mixing Adderall and alcohol, it’s essential to understand why this occurs. There’s a common misconception when it comes to drinking on Adderall. Many think that taking Adderall before drinking will help you keep up your energy. If Adderall picks you up and alcohol makes you tired, they should balance each other out, right? This is not the case. Drinking on Adderall leads to various dangerous side effects, such as being more susceptible to alcohol poisoning.
Unfortunately, college students are a typical demographic that abuse these two substances, sometimes by accident. Students will use Adderall to aid in studying and simultaneously attend gatherings where alcohol is present, sometimes unaware of the dangerous combination.
The Dangers of Mixing Adderall and Alcohol
Taking a stimulant like Adderall makes it harder for your body to recognize how much you drink. That simple fact significantly increases your risk of alcohol poisoning.
What’s unique about taking Adderall with alcohol is that an addiction to one fuels the other. For example, Adderall gives people the ability to go past their normal rate of drinking. By making excessive drinking easier, Adderall can also drive alcohol dependence.
Combining the two substances leads to harmful results and goes against medical advice. When you drink alcohol and take Adderall concurrently, it leads to:
- Lowering your inhibitions and making you more prone to risky behavior
- Inability to focus on your surroundings
- Decreased impulse control
Side Effects of Mixing Adderall and Alcohol
By itself, Adderall carries an increased risk for heart problems, such as high blood pressure and a rapid heart rate. Throw alcohol into the equation, and the risk factor for these side effects skyrockets. The bottom line? Taking Adderall with alcohol can cause long-term damage to your heart.
While alcohol increases the risks of Adderall, it also lowers its effectiveness. Due to not feeling the effects of the drug, people will take more than the recommended amount, increasing the risk of overdose. Continued use of Adderall and alcohol can develop polysubstance abuse or a co-occurring substance use disorder.
Looking at the Cognitive Impact
Taking Adderall with alcohol is destructive to the mind. Long-term abuse can damage the central nervous system—specifically, a noticeable decline in your short-term memory and problem-solving ability.
Taking Adderall and alcohol together can also lead to behavioral issues and damage mental health by increasing anxiety and depression. Even if you take prescription stimulants or ADHD medication as instructed but consume alcohol alongside treatment, ADHD symptoms can worsen, increasing the risks of cognitive and heart problems.
Treatment for Adderall and Alcohol Addiction
There are plenty of resources available for you or a loved one suffering from addiction. Joining a support group or attending therapy once a week might sound adequate, but recovery requires more than a bit of support. Search for rehabilitation programs that offer:
- Medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
- Medical detox
- Addiction counseling
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Therapy options
The first step in rehabilitation is detoxing from the substances. Medical detoxes done by a medical team can minimize withdrawal symptoms and make the entire process more manageable.
Common Withdrawal Symptoms
- Increased appetite
- Difficulty concentrating
- Suicidal thoughts
Break Free From Addiction at Fountain Hills Recovery
Fountain Hills Recovery is one of Arizona’s top luxury drug rehab facilities. We use an individualized approach to help you find lasting recovery for drug and alcohol addiction and dual diagnosis disorders.
Your journey to recovery is waiting to begin. Together, we can find the best treatment options for the unique challenges you’re facing.