Adderall and Alcohol

Jump to a section
Table of contents
Expand list

Mixing Adderall and alcohol is a dangerous combination that can lead to severe health risks and potentially life-threatening situations. It is crucial to understand the dangers associated with this mixture and avoid engaging in this risky behavior. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction to Adderall and alcohol, reach out to a healthcare professional before it is too late.

What is Adderall?

Adderall is a prescription medication that contains a combination of two stimulant drugs: amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. It is primarily prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. The active ingredients in Adderall work by affecting the levels of certain chemicals in the brain and central nervous system. These chemicals, such as dopamine and norepinephrine, play a role in regulating attention, focus, and impulse control. For people with ADHD, Adderall can help improve their ability to concentrate, reduce impulsivity, and manage hyperactivity. Although Adderall has many benefits, misusing it has become very popular, making Adderall a dangerous prescription drug. In 2021, almost 4 million people misused prescription stimulants, Adderall included. Misusing Adderall can lead to Adderall addiction as well as other consequences.

Dangers of Mixing Adderall and Alcohol

The dangers of mixing Adderall and alcohol are numerous and should not be taken lightly. Below are some points to be aware of regarding drinking while on Adderall: 

Health Risks of Drinking on Adderall

Both substances can increase heart rate and blood pressure. 

When combined, this can lead to:

  • irregular heartbeat 
  • heart palpitations
  • heart failure. 

Additionally, the mixture can put significant stress on the liver, potentially leading to liver damage or failure.

Risky Behaviors From Mixing Adderall With Alcohol

Adderall can mask the sedative effects of alcohol, making individuals unaware of their level of intoxication. This can lead to a false sense of confidence and encourage risky behaviors, such as driving under the influence.

Furthermore, the stimulant properties of Adderall masking the sedative effects of alcohol can lead to an increased risk of alcohol poisoning. This occurs because individuals may consume larger quantities of alcohol than they would generally perceive due to their decreased awareness of intoxication.

Impaired Cognitive Functions

Cognitive impairment is another significant concern when combining Adderall and alcohol. Adderall is often prescribed to enhance focus and concentration, but when paired with alcohol, it can impair cognitive functions such as decision-making, judgment, and reaction time. This can have serious consequences, especially in situations where quick thinking and coordination are essential, such as driving or operating machinery.

Back to top

Exaggerated Side Effects When Combining Alcohol and Adderall

Drinking on Adderall can exacerbate the negative side effects of each substance. Alcohol can increase the likelihood of experiencing Adderall's side effects, such as:

  • dizziness 
  • nausea
  • headaches

On the other hand, Adderall can intensify the dehydrating effects of alcohol, potentially leading to severe dehydration.


Irregular Sleep Patterns

Combining Adderall and alcohol can also disrupt normal sleep patterns. Adderall is known to cause insomnia [1], while alcohol is a depressant that can make you drowsy. Mixing the two can result in a confusing and exhausting cycle of wakefulness and drowsiness, leading to sleep disturbances and fatigue.

Increased Risk of Developing Substance Use Disorder When Using Alcohol and Adderall Together

Long-term consequences of mixing both substances together could include an increased risk of developing substance use disorders. The combination of these substances can create a reinforcing cycle where individuals rely on the effects of both substances to function or cope with daily life. This can lead to addiction and dependency, requiring professional treatment to overcome.

Why Do People Mix Alcohol and Adderall?

There are various rationales as to why people mix Adderall and alcohol despite the dangerous consequences. Below are some of the reasons.

  • Increased Energy and Alertness: People think that combining Adderall (a stimulant) with alcohol (a depressant) will provide them with increased energy, alertness, and a heightened sense of euphoria. They may think that Adderall can counteract the sedative effects of alcohol, allowing them to party longer or stay awake.
  • Masking the Effects of Alcohol: By taking Adderall, individuals may hope to offset the sedative and impairing effects of alcohol. They might believe that it will help them feel less intoxicated, maintain control, and avoid the drowsiness commonly associated with alcohol consumption.
  • Social Pressure and Expectations: Peer pressure and societal norms can influence people to mix Adderall and alcohol. In social settings where drinking is prevalent, people may mix Adderall and alcohol to look cool or fit in with a certain crowd.
  • Improving Performance: Some people, especially students or professionals facing demanding tasks or exams, may incorrectly believe that mixing Adderall and alcohol can boost their cognitive abilities and productivity. They may think it will give them a competitive edge or help them to concentrate for longer periods.
  • Ignorance of Risks: Lack of awareness about the potential dangers and health risks associated with combining Adderall and alcohol can lead some individuals to experiment or engage in this behavior unknowingly. They may not fully understand the adverse effects on their physical health, mental well-being, and overall safety.

Key Takeaway: Can You Drink on Adderall?

Drinking on Adderall is not recommended. Adderall is specifically prescribed to help manage symptoms of ADHD, and drinking alcohol can interfere with its effectiveness. Combining the two substances can put a significant strain on your body, potentially leading to adverse and dangerous health effects.

It is crucial to note that alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, while Adderall is a stimulant. Drinking when on an Adderall prescription can place undue stress on your cardiovascular system, liver, and overall well-being.

How Long After Taking Adderall Can You Drink Alcohol?

If you have been prescribed Adderall, it is essential to follow your doctor's advice and avoid consuming alcohol while taking the medication. How long Adderall remains in a person’s system is dependent on various factors such as the individual’s weight, age, dosage etc. Therefore, one should consult their doctor with regard to how long after taking Adderall can alcohol be consumed. 

Treatment for Adderall and Alcohol Addiction

Treatment options for alcohol and Adderall addiction typically involve a comprehensive approach. The treatment may involve detox in an inpatient or outpatient setting, incorporating:

Therapy and counseling sessions can help address the underlying causes of addiction, develop coping mechanisms, and provide support during the recovery journey. Support groups can offer a sense of community and shared experiences.

In addition to professional help, it's important to establish a strong support system in recovery consisting of friends and family who can provide encouragement and understanding. Communicating openly about your struggles and seeking their support can make a significant difference in your recovery process.

Recover From Your Addiction at Avenues Recovery

Recognizing the signs of addiction to Adderall and alcohol is essential in seeking appropriate help. If you or someone you know is struggling with this dual addiction, it's crucial to reach out for help. Avenues Centers for Addiction Recovery is equipped to handle dual diagnosis, as well as other substance abuse-related disorders. Our treatment programs and extensive resources are here to help you on your journey to a full recovery. Don’t hesitate, protect your health and reach out to Avenues Centers today.

Back to top



Check your insurance

We received your insurance request!

We will get back to you shortly. While you wait... you may find our resource blog helpful. Take a look below: