ADDICTION & RECOVERY

Adderall and Suboxone

Jump to a section
Table of contents
Expand list

Part of the complete guide to understanding addiction

Combining Adderall and Suboxone is not recommended unless specifically prescribed by a doctor. In this article we will compare Adderall and Suboxone, and answer the question ‘can you take Adderall with Suboxone?’. We will also explore why people take Suboxone and Adderall together, and the side effects of combining the two drugs.

What Is Adderall?

Categorized as a stimulant, Adderall raises dopamine and norepinephrine levels within the brain. This results in improved focus, attention, and impulse control, which is particularly beneficial for individuals grappling with ADHD. Adderall is also helpful for people who suffer from narcolepsy by helping them manage daytime sleepiness and improve wakefulness. It is generally misused in high school and college, when students seek an extra boost in focus during exam season. Adderall is also misused by people who work in high-pressure jobs with few breaks, like the food industry.

What Is Suboxone? 

Suboxone is prescribed to address addiction to prescription or illicit opioids, and contains two key ingredients: buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine helps to diminish cravings and withdrawal symptoms, while Naloxone blocks opioid effects, serving to deter Suboxone misuse and reverse opioid overdose effects. Suboxone is generally part of a larger treatment plan for opioid addiction, which may include counseling and therapy. If you or a loved one struggle with Adderall or Suboxone addiction, contact Avenues Recovery for guidance on the journey to recovery.

Can You Take Adderall and Suboxone? 

Combining Suboxone and Adderall is generally discouraged. Typically, Adderall would be considered only after a person has successfully tapered off Suboxone. Buprenorphine, a component of Suboxone, induces central nervous system depression, while Adderall prompts central nervous system stimulation. Mixing these substances may lead to a situation where the effect of each drug is lessened, potentially causing a person to take more and increasing the risk of overdose.

If someone is recovering from Opiate Use Disorder and they also suffer from narcolepsy or ADHD, their doctor may prescribe Adderall and Suboxone at the same time. When used under the careful supervision of a doctor, these two medicines may be taken together safely. 

Suboxone and ADHD Treatment 

Suboxone is not approved or recommended for the treatment of ADHD; rather it is a medication used for the treatment of opioid dependence. It contains buprenorphine, which is a partial opioid agonist, and naloxone, an opioid antagonist. These two components are intended to help individuals manage opioid withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings during addiction treatment, but not to manage ADHD.

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder, and its treatment typically involves medications that affect neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. Common medications used for ADHD include stimulants (such as Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta) and non-stimulants (such as atomoxetine and guanfacine).

Does Suboxone Block Adderall? 

While Suboxone blocks the effects of opioids like hydrocodone, heroin, fentanyl and oxycodone, it does not block the effects of Adderall. Both Suboxone and Adderall have central nervous system (CNS) depressant effects, and using them together may increase the risk of severe breathing difficulties (respiratory depression) and other side effects.

Combining medications without proper medical supervision can be risky. If you are prescribed both Suboxone and Adderall, it is vital to follow your doctor’s instructions exactly and never increase or decrease your prescription on your own.

Side Effects of Taking Adderall and Suboxone Together 

Potential side effects of Mixing Adderall and Suboxone may include: 

  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Nervousness and anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Drug interactions

Adderall vs. Suboxone 

Feature

Adderall

Suboxone

Primary Use

Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy

Treatment of opioid dependence and addiction

Active Ingredients

Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine salts

Buprenorphine and naloxone

Class

Stimulant

Opioid partial agonist/antagonist

Mechanism of Action

Increases levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, enhancing focus and alertness

Buprenorphine binds to opioid receptors, reducing opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms; naloxone prevents misuse by injection

Abuse Potential

Has a high potential for abuse and dependence

Lower abuse potential compared to full opioid agonists, but still has some potential for misuse

Addiction Treatment

Not used for addiction treatment

Specifically used for opioid addiction treatment

Side Effects

Insomnia, loss of appetite, increased heart rate, anxiety          

Nausea, headache, constipation, withdrawal symptoms in opioid-dependent individuals

Dependency and Withdrawal

Can lead to dependence and withdrawal symptoms if misused or abruptly stopped

Used to manage opioid dependence and may cause withdrawal symptoms if stopped abruptly

Prescription Regulation

Controlled substance with strict regulations

Also a controlled substance with regulations, but less restrictive than stimulants like Adderall

Interactions with Other Drugs

Can interact with certain medications and increase the risk of side effects

Interactions may occur, especially with other opioids or medications affecting opioid receptors

Availability

Prescribed for ADHD and narcolepsy; tightly regulated

Prescribed for opioid addiction treatment; regulated but more accessible than some other controlled substances

 

Treatment for Suboxone and Adderall Abuse

Below is an outline of the general treatment for Suboxone and Adderall abuse: 

  • Medical Detoxification: For Suboxone and Adderall abuse, a medical detoxification program may be necessary. This involves supervised withdrawal in a controlled medical setting, where healthcare professionals can manage withdrawal symptoms and provide support.
  • Behavioral Therapy: Behavioral therapy is often a key component of substance abuse treatment. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), contingency management, and motivational enhancement therapy are examples of approaches that may be effective in addressing the underlying issues contributing to substance abuse.
  • Support Groups: Support groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or SMART Recovery, can provide a sense of community and understanding. Sharing experiences with others who have gone through similar struggles can be beneficial.
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT): MAT may be considered, especially for opioid addiction. Suboxone itself is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone and is sometimes used in MAT to help manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
  • Individual Counseling: Individual counseling sessions with a therapist or counselor can help individuals explore the root causes of their substance abuse, develop coping strategies, and set goals for recovery.
  • Medical Monitoring: Regular medical check-ups and monitoring are essential to ensure the individual's overall health and address any physical or mental health issues that may arise during the recovery process.
  • Comprehensive Treatment Plan: A comprehensive treatment plan should address both the opioid (Suboxone) and stimulant (Adderall) components of the abuse. It may involve a combination of therapeutic interventions and pharmacological approaches. 

Conclusion:

If you or a loved one struggle with Adderall or Suboxone addiction, contact Avenues Recovery Center for guidance on addiction recovery. Addiction may feel overwhelming, but with the right help and direction, you can and will recover. Avenues Recovery is committed to delivering the highest level of care and support. Our dedicated staff are experts in the field of addiction and have successfully helped thousands of people reach sobriety. We use a mix of traditional and holistic therapies as well as personalized treatment plans to facilitate optimal success. If you would like to begin the journey to recovery, contact us today! We will be at your side every step of the way!

Check your insurance

Thanks,
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:

VIEW ALL ADDICTION RESOURCES