Substance Use

Adderall and Alcohol Substance Abuse

TABLE OF CONTENTSTable of Contents

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Mixing Alcohol With Adderall: What Are The Dangers?

Adderall and alcohol are two drugs popular on the party scene, particularly 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. Mixing alcohol and Adderall is extremely dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. Keep reading to learn more about the dangers associated with mixing this popular ADHD drug and alcohol.

Are you struggling to stop mixing Adderall and alcohol together? Zinnia Healing can help. Please get in touch by email or call us at (855) 430-9439.

Adderall: What is it?

Adderall is a combination of two central nervous system stimulants:

  1. Amphetamine
  2. Dextroamphetamine

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. The extended-release form is more commonly prescribed for children, so they can take it at home before school and not have to worry 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.

People diagnosed with ADHD often have problems with the parts of their brain linked to self-control, attention, impulsivity, and critical thinking. ADHD symptoms include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Impulsivity
  • Restlessness
  • Being easily distracted
  • Forgetfulness
  • Being unorganized

When taken as intended, Adderall can have positive impacts on the above-mentioned symptoms of ADHD, by producing side effects such as:

  • Improved mood 
  • Increased heart rate
  • Enhanced ability to concentrate
  • Increased alertness
  • Reduced hyperactivity
  • Heightened sense of ability
  • Decreased exhaustion

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. 

Mixing Alcohol and Adderall: The Dangers

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a long history of issuing warnings about mixing prescription drugs and alcohol, and for good reason.

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, which can increase their chances of the following:

Liver Damage

It’s no secret that alcohol has damaging effects on the liver. But what many people don’t realize is that alcohol and Adderall use the same liver enzymes for digestion, increasing the odds of liver damage when both substances are taken simultaneously.

Risky Behavior and Unpredictable Side Effects

When you mix drugs that produce different effects, you never know what side effects will occur. Sometimes this can lead people to engage in behaviors they otherwise would not participate in as well as an increased likelihood of dangerous side effects, such as seizures and stroke.

Substance Use Disorder

When someone uses alcohol and Adderall together frequently and in large amounts, there’s an increased risk of developing a co-occurring substance use disorder caused by a dependence on both substances.

Are you or a loved one concerned about the dangers of mixing Adderall and alcohol together or some other type of substance abuse? Zinnia Healing can help. Please email us today or call(855) 430-9439.

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.

Long-Term Effects of Mixing Adderall and Alcohol

The dangers of mixing Adderall with alcohol use are not short-lived. Some longer-term side effects of mixing the substances include:

Serious Cognitive Issues

When Adderall and alcohol are abused long-term, the central nervous system can become severely damaged. This can lead to problems with focus, concentration, memory, and problem-solving.

These issues can also manifest emotionally and include depression, loss of motivation, and psychosis.

Other side effects of long-term Adderall and alcohol abuse are:

  • Heart disease
  • Heart palpitations
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Tremors
  • Headaches
  • Weight loss
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Hyperactivity
  • Feeling ”on edge”
  • Uncontrollable vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness 
  • Psychotic episodes

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.

Zinnia Healing Can Help

If you, a loved one, or a family member are struggling with alcohol and Adderall abuse, Zinnia Healing is here to help. Our substance abuse treatment programs include detox, inpatient and outpatient programs, therapy, sober living, and aftercare. Give us a call at (855) 430-9439 or reach out by email to learn about treatment options and how we can help you overcome your addiction and reclaim your life.