Updated on February 6, 2024
4 min read

The Dangers of Adderall and Alcohol

Can You Mix Adderall and Alcohol?

Adderall can be dangerous when mixed with alcohol or other drugs. Adderall and alcohol have side effects that affect a person’s behavior and mental state.

Adderall speeds up the central nervous system (CNS). Alcohol, however, slows down the brain’s electrical activity. These effects can lead to physical and mental side effects.

Alcohol can reduce the effects of Adderall, which can lead to an overdose. Adderall can also mask the symptoms of intoxication, which can lead you to drink too much.

What is Adderall?

Adderall is a stimulant medication commonly used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It’s often the first-choice treatment for ADHD because it improves focus and reduces impulsive behaviors.

Because of its effectiveness in boosting daytime wakefulness, it’s also prescribed for narcolepsy. Adderall works by increasing neurotransmitter activities and dopamine in the brain. This allows you to feel the following effects:

  • Boosted confidence
  • Euphoria
  • Concentration
  • Appetite suppression

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The Dangers of Mixing Adderall and Alcohol

Adderall and alcohol are both substances a person can become dependent on. The side effects of the two substances can combine and amplify.

Side effects and symptoms showing the dangers of mixing Adderall and alcohol include:

  • Lowered inhibitions, making users prone to risky behavior
  • Decreased concentration
  • Impulsivity
  • Anxiousness
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Nightmares
  • Decreased appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Pupil dilation
  • Tremors
  • Fast pulse

The combination of Adderall and alcohol can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. These conditions can occur even if a person does not have underlying cardiovascular risk factors.


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Health Risks of Mixing Adderall and Alcohol

Mixing Adderall and alcohol has negative consequences for the brain. Long-term abuse can cause significant damage to the CNS.

Addiction to Adderall or alcohol can increase your craving for the other substance. Adderall allows people to drink more alcohol than they usually would.

By making heavy drinking easier, Adderall can drive alcohol dependence or increase the risk of alcohol poisoning. When combined, the severe health risks of using Adderall and alcohol together include:

  • Mental health disorders, including anxiety and depression
  • Short-term memory problems
  • Problem-solving issues
  • High blood pressure and increased heart rate
  • Heart attack
  • Uncontrollable vomiting
  • Stroke
  • Tremors
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Paranoia
  • Malnutrition
  • Psychotic episodes

As Adderall and alcohol are both addictive drugs, combining the two can significantly increase your risk of substance use disorder (SUD). When you consume Adderall at an unprescribed dose, you will naturally build a tolerance. This tolerance can eventually lead to dependence or addiction.

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Does Mixing Adderal and Alcohol Lead to Substance Abuse?

Adderall can mask the effects of alcohol use. Because of this, people who mix alcohol and Adderall are more likely to develop substance abuse issues.

Adderall abuse can also reduce intoxication and hangover symptoms, allowing you to drink more. This can lead to a dangerous cycle of alcohol and Adderall abuse.

This substance abuse can often sabotage your initial intentions of using Adderall to boost concentration and productivity. In some cases, this behavior turns into drug and alcohol addiction.

Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning

Symptoms and side effects of alcohol poisoning include:

  • Confusion
  • Pale skin
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Slowed or irregular breathing
  • Low body temperature
  • Hypothermia

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Treatment for Substance Abuse

Various treatment programs are available for those battling an addiction to alcohol and Adderall. Available treatment options for substance abuse include:

Can You Abuse Adderall?

Consuming the drug without a prescription or not as directed by a doctor is considered Adderall abuse. This includes snorting Adderall pills or taking large quantities to achieve a stronger effect.

Adderall abuse is most common among college students who want to:

  • Study for longer periods
  • Lose weight
  • Use it for social reasons (peer pressure, confidence, etc.)

Effects of Alcohol on ADHD

ADHD also relates to lower levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. These chemicals are known as the “feel-good” neurotransmitters and are linked to your brain’s reward system.

To manage symptoms better, many people with ADHD drink alcohol or use other substances. In the short-term, alcohol can boost dopamine levels. This may appear to lessen ADHD symptoms.

Over time, alcohol depletes dopamine. This can make ADHD worse in the days following a drinking session. People with ADHD should be careful when consuming alcohol due to this effect.

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Updated on February 6, 2024

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