Adderall and Alcohol Substance Abuse
Although Adderall and alcohol are two drugs popular on the party scene, drinking alcohol and taking Adderall at the same time can be harmful. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Adderall is particularly popular among college students looking to increase their buzz and stay up late partying.
Some college students also misuse Adderall to help them focus when studying and doing homework for long hours.
What Are The Dangers of Mixing Alcohol With Adderall?
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) warns that you should refrain from consuming alcohol or using any illicit drugs while taking Adderall, as alcohol or illicit drugs may diminish its efficacy and heighten side effects such as sedation.
Additionally, using large amounts of Adderall to counteract the effects of alcohol can lead to addiction or substance abuse. Be aware of the risks and don’t mix these two drugs.
Can You Drink on Adderall?
No, you can’t drink on Adderall. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a long history of issuing warnings about mixing certain prescription drugs and alcohol.
When people mix alcohol with stimulants like Adderall, they typically don’t notice the effects of either substance as much as when one is used alone. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to life-threatening conditions such as alcohol poisoning. When taken in large doses, prescription stimulants can also cause life-threatening conditions.
How Long After Taking Adderall Can You Drink Alcohol?
Within a half hour of taking Adderall, you will begin to experience its effects, which typically last for about an hour. However, if the extended-release formulation is taken (Adderall XR), this can remain active in your system for up to 12 hours.
While the exact duration to wait after taking Adderall before consuming alcohol varies based on individual factors such as metabolism, dosage, or tolerance, waiting at least 24 hours to allow Adderall to wear off before consuming alcohol seems wise.
You should always consult your doctor if you are considering drinking alcohol while taking prescription Adderall.
Why Do People Mix Alcohol and Adderall?
Adderall abuse does not discriminate and is abused by people of all ages and backgrounds. According to research from the National Library of Medicine, males between 15 and 30 most commonly abuse ADHD medication, and Adderall abuse occurs more frequently on college campuses than anywhere else.
As many as 90% of college students who use Adderall without a prescription also engage in binge drinking, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
Some of the most common reasons people abuse Adderall and alcohol are:
- They drink alcohol to blunt the more undesirable effects of Adderall, like anxiety.
- College students cramming for exams or who have heavy course loads abuse Adderall to improve their concentration and get their work done. Since taking large amounts of Adderall can cause jitters and hyperactivity, students may drink to counter these effects.
- Young adults and college students may take Adderall while drinking so they can party longer while countering some of the depressant effects of alcohol.
- Some people believe that since Adderall is a prescription medication, it’s safer to take with alcohol than other drugs.
Why Is It Dangerous to Mix Adderall with Alcohol?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that combining stimulants and depressants won’t even out their effects. In fact, it can create entirely new consequences or mask the impacts of either drug. This false sense of safety could lead you to wrongly assume that neither medicine is having any impact on your body, which significantly raises the risk for overdosing.
Mixing Adderall with alcohol also increases the risk of:
1. Liver Damage
It’s no secret that alcohol has damaging effects on the liver, and a study published in the National Library of Medicine mentions several cases of liver damage in people after they consumed both Adderall and alcohol.
2. Risky Behavior and Unpredictable Side Effects
When you mix drugs that produce different effects, the outcome can vary. Sometimes this can lead to impulsivity and an increased risk of people participating in actions they otherwise would not participate in, as well as an increased likelihood of dangerous side effects, such as seizures and stroke.
3. Heart Problems
Adderall usage carries a risk of heart problems, which worsens as you take higher doses and mix alcohol with Adderall.
Using Adderall and alcohol together can:
- Raise your body temperature
- Raise your blood pressure
- Increase your heart rate
- Cause an irregular heartbeat
4. Over-Consumption of Alcohol
The University of Michigan notes that, as a stimulant, Adderall can mask the effects of alcohol, making it difficult for individuals to accurately assess their level of intoxication. This deceptive combination increases the risk of over-consumption, which can lead to a host of potential problems.
Some of these issues include a significant impairment of coordination and judgment, as well as the possibility of experiencing blackouts or even passing out entirely. In extreme cases, excessive consumption of alcohol while under the influence of Adderall can even be lethal.
What Are the Symptoms From Drinking Alcohol with Adderall?
Adderall is a combination of two central nervous system stimulants:
As a central nervous system stimulant, it’s intended to improve concentration and focus for people diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It’s also approved by the FDA to treat narcolepsy.
Adderall is available in two common forms: immediate-release and extended-release. A study published in the National Library of Medicine notes that the extended-release form is more commonly prescribed for children, so they can take it at home before school without worrying about their teacher or school nurse administering the medication in the middle of the school day.
The effects of Adderall’s extended-release version can last up to 12 hours. The immediate-release effects can be felt for four to six hours.
Its stimulant effects become more damaging, dangerous, and even life-threatening when taken without a prescription, at higher doses, and when mixed with alcohol and other substances.
Both alcohol and Adderall are dehydrating, which can lead to:
- Feelings of dizziness
- Dry mouth
- Excessive thirst
How to Get Help For an Adderall Addiction
Addiction is a serious and life-threatening chronic disease that needs to be addressed immediately. If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to Adderall, please reach out for help today.
If you, a loved one, or a family member are struggling with alcohol abuse or Adderall abuse, Zinnia Health is here to help. Our substance abuse treatment programs include detox, inpatient and outpatient programs, therapy, sober living, and aftercare. Call us at (855) 430-9439 to learn about treatment options for stimulant medication or alcohol addiction.