Mixing Alcohol With Amphetamines: What Are the Dangers?
Common amphetamines include Adderall, Ritalin, and Vyvanse. Amphetamines are stimulant medications commonly used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Amphetamines work by increasing levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, which can improve focus, concentration, and motivation.
While amphetamines are generally safe and effective when used as directed, they can be dangerous when taken with alcohol. College students and young adults are especially at risk for abusing amphetamines in an attempt to cancel out the negative effects of alcohol.
Can You Drink on Amphetamines?
Amphetamines are stimulants that can help produce feelings of euphoria and energy, which can appeal to someone who is feeling down. However, mixing alcohol and amphetamines can be extremely dangerous, especially with alcohol consumption.
Drinking alcohol may intensify the effects of amphetamines, leading to increased side effects or even serious health complications. The combination may also reduce the efficacy of the medication, making it less effective at treating the underlying condition. In rare cases, the combination may lead to a completely unexpected reaction.
How Long After Taking Amphetamines Can You Drink Alcohol?
Before taking your medication with alcohol, ask your healthcare provider. Amphetamines like Adderall and Ritalin are prescription stimulants, and they can potentially increase the effects of alcohol if you take them together. This means that drinking while taking these medications could make you feel more intoxicated than you would usually feel.
To be safe, avoid alcohol for 24 hours after your last dose. If you are regularly taking amphetamines, you should abstain from drinking unless you’re given clearance by your healthcare provider.
Why Do People Mix Alcohol with Amphetamines?
One reason amphetamines and alcohol are so commonly mixed is that they are both legal and widely available.
People with ADHD may struggle in school or work, often feeling restless or irritable. While there is no cure for ADHD, medications like Adderall and Ritalin can help improve symptoms. However, these medications can also be abused. Most people who misuse amphetamines do not have a prescription and use them recreationally.
People who mix alcohol and amphetamines typically do so to offset the depressant effects of alcohol, believing that they will cancel one another out. However, the combination can lead to dehydration, increased heart rate, and vomiting. In extreme cases, it can even be fatal. Because of the risks, it’s important to avoid mixing alcohol and amphetamines.
Why Is It Dangerous to Mix Amphetamines with Alcohol?
The effects of combining amphetamines and alcohol can be unpredictable and potentially life-threatening. Alcohol depresses the central nervous system, while amphetamines stimulate it.
Mixing alcohol and amphetamines can be especially dangerous for people with underlying mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression. If you mix amphetamines and alcohol, you’re more likely to engage in risky behaviors, such as intoxicated driving.
While both have pleasant effects when used in small amounts, these effects quickly wear off with continued use, leading people to take more and more of the substance in an attempt to maintain the initial high. This can lead to addiction, which can have devastating consequences on one’s health, relationships, and finances.
If you or someone you know is struggling with amphetamine or alcohol abuse, it is crucial to seek professional help as soon as possible. Treatment options for stimulant drugs and excessive alcohol use include detox and counseling. For support, call Zinnia Health at (855) 430-9439.
What Can Happen If You Drink on Amphetamines?
Drinking while on amphetamines can cause blackouts and memory loss and increase the risk of seizures. Amphetamines can also make it difficult to stay hydrated.
When taken in large doses or without a prescription, amphetamines can cause many dangerous side effects, including overdose. Symptoms of an overdose may include:
- Aggressive behavior
- Fast breathing
- Uncontrolled shaking
If you believe someone has overdosed on amphetamines, it is vital to seek medical help as soon as possible. An amphetamine overdose can be life-threatening.
What Are the Symptoms From Drinking Alcohol With Amphetamines?
Amphetamines and alcohol alter brain chemistry in a way that makes them highly rewarding. When abused, amphetamines increase levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine, which results in a pleasure-inducing “high.”
Similarly, alcohol releases dopamine in the brain’s reward center, causing feelings of pleasure and relaxation and intensifying the effects of amphetamine abuse. Of course, the brain quickly adapts to the changes caused by drug use, which can lead to tolerance, dependence, and addiction over time.
There are warning signs that someone is mixing amphetamines and alcohol. These include:
- Drinking more alcohol than usual
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Agitated or aggressive behavior
- Mood swings
- Developing a mental health disorder such as paranoia or psychosis
If you notice any of these signs in yourself or a loved one, it’s important to learn more about substance use disorders before things get worse. Confidential addiction treatment is available, and it may be covered by your insurance. All you need to do is find the right facility to reach out to.
How to Get Help for an Amphetamine Addiction
Amphetamines and alcohol are both substances that can be easily addictive. Amphetamines increase dopamine levels in the brain, creating a feeling of euphoria. Over time, users may need higher and higher doses to get the same effects, which can lead to addiction. Alcohol works similarly, increasing dopamine levels and resulting in pleasurable feelings.
However, alcohol also has a depressant effect, making it difficult to stop drinking once someone starts. The combination of these two effects makes it easy to become addicted to amphetamines and alcohol. If you or a family member is struggling with alcohol addiction, amphetamine use, or concurrent substance abuse, resources are available to help. You are not alone.
Are you looking for a confidential treatment program that can help you overcome prescription drug addiction or get your alcohol consumption in check? Zinnia Health can help. Call our team today at (855) 430-9439 to learn more about our treatment options.