Adderall is a stimulant combination drug of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. Prescribed primarily for the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Adderall changes the amount of substances in the brain. Specifically, Adderall increases the availability of neurotransmitters in the brain including norepinephrine and dopamine. As a result, brain activity speeds up.
While Adderall is a prescription medication with therapeutic benefits, it can also be misused. People, commonly college students, abuse Adderall for certain, desirable effects. These effects include euphoria, a sense of well-being, increased confidence and sociability. When someone abuses Adderall, they may also experience increased energy and wakefulness, the ability to focus and concentrate for long periods and appetite loss. Potential adverse side effects of Adderall include:
- Dry mouth
- Weight loss
- Increased heart rate
- Changes in heart rhythm
Unfortunately, due to the common occurrence of Adderall abuse, there is also the potential to combine Adderall with other substances. Combining substances can be done to increase the effects of Adderall, to attempt to counteract the effects of the drug or inadvertently among people unaware of the risks. One risky combination is Adderall and alcohol.
Can I Take Adderall with Alcohol?
If you’re wondering if you can drink alcohol with Adderall: the answer is you should not mix the two. Unfortunately, people may think it’s alright to combine the two because Adderall is a stimulant and alcohol is a depressant. The belief is that they cancel one another out, but that’s not the case.
Why Is It Dangerous?
What are the dangers of Adderall and alcohol? Each substance has dangers of their own, but when combined, the risks increase substantially. The dangers of Adderall and alcohol can include:
- An inability to gauge physical awareness. When you drink alcohol and take Adderall, you may not feel intoxicated, so it’s difficult to realize how much alcohol you consume. This lack of awareness increases the risk of alcohol poisoning and engaging in dangerous behaviors.
- Increased likelihood of dangerous physical developments. Stimulants like Adderall have the risk of creating heart problems and that risk is higher when it’s combined with alcohol.
- Increased likelihood of psychosocial conditions developing. The combination of Adderall and alcohol increases the risk of psychological symptoms such as paranoia, aggression and psychosis occurring.
Mixing Alcohol and Adderall: What Happens in the Body?
When someone mixes Adderall and alcohol, the two compete against one another, rather than canceling each other out. Adderall increases the effects of neurotransmitters in the brain, while alcohol decreases them.
When someone uses alcohol and Adderall together, the combination increases the effects of both substances. This effect is because both Adderall and alcohol require the same enzymes in the liver for digestion. The effects of combining alcohol and Adderall can lead someone to drink too much alcohol, take too much Adderall or consume too much of both, which can lead to serious complications including death.
For example, Adderall and alcohol side effects include the delayed onset of the symptoms of sedation that come with alcohol use, or an altered perception regarding how intoxicated someone is. Adderall and alcohol side effects also include exaggerated symptoms of alcohol use, such as changes in heart rate.
Find Help for Adderall Addiction
Adderall addiction can develop for some people after only a short period of using it. If you’re struggling with Adderall addiction, there are resources that can help you. Contact The Recovery Village Ridgefield, and speak with a representative who can help you explore Adderall addiction treatment programs. You deserve a healthier future, call today.
WebMD. “Adderall.” Accessed March 25, 2019.
Morris, Susan York. “Adderall vs. Ritalin: What’s the Difference?” Healthline, July 14, 2016. Accessed March 25, 2019.
Huizen, Jennifer. “Is It Safe to Drink Alcohol While Taking Adderall?” Medical News Today, April 19, 2018. Accessed March 25, 2019.