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Abusing Adderall And Alcohol – Dangers And Effects

Jennifer Cousineau MSCP, LPCI, NCC

Medically reviewed by

Jennifer Cousineau, MSCP, LPCI, NCC

Abusing either alcohol or Adderall on their own can be dangerous, but pairing the two can lead to a number of negative side effects and consequences. Treatment for alcohol and Adderall addiction can help you get on the path to recovery and end the cycle of abuse and addiction.

Adderall is a prescription drug used in the treatment of ADHD and narcolepsy. It is a combination of the medications amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Because of its high potential for abuse, Adderall is considered a Schedule II drug and is highly regulated.

While certainly effective for treating ADHD and narcolepsy, many people abuse the drug to get high or for other reasons. Effects of Adderall include increased energy and focus, making it attractive to students cramming for a test or writing a last-minute paper.

Adderall is also an appetite suppressant, and many people take this drug in an effort to lose weight. Others may abuse Adderall to pull an all-nighter, get ahead at work, or to be able to drink alcohol without feeling its intoxicating effects.

Abusing Adderall and alcohol together can be dangerous and comes with the risk of a number of consequences. We explore those here.

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What Are The Dangers Of Abusing Adderall And Alcohol?

Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant, while alcohol is a depressant. Rather than canceling each other out, these two substances can emphasize one another. This means that their effects can be more pronounced in some cases.

For example, Adderall can diminish the intoxicating effects of alcohol. This means that many people can drink more alcohol without feeling drunk like they normally would without Adderall.

Combining these two substances can come with many dangers. These may include:

Heart Issues —

Stimulants like Adderall can cause the heart to work over time. Blood pressure and heart rate may increase as a result of use. This is especially true when larger doses of the drug are taken. Alcohol can worsen these heart symptoms and put people at risk for dangers such as heart attack and irregular heartbeat.

Alcohol Poisoning —

Because Adderall can diminish the feelings of being drunk, many people will continue to drink alcohol. While they may not feel overly intoxicated, alcohol poisoning is still a real possibility when large quantities of alcohol are being ingested.

Risky Behaviors —

Alcohol can make people more likely to do things they wouldn’t normally do. Adderall can exacerbate these risky behaviors in some people.

What Are The Side Effects Of Abusing Alcohol And Adderall?

Abusing both alcohol and Adderall together can also come with a number of adverse side effects. Often, these two drugs will exacerbate the side effects of one another, making them worse. The more a person abuses Adderall and alcohol, the more likely he or she is to experience these side effects.

Side effects of abusing alcohol and Adderall may include:

  • heart problems including heart attack
  • insomnia
  • headaches
  • stomach pain
  • loss of appetite and malnutrition
  • low electrolytes
  • vomiting and diarrhea
  • aggression
  • anxiety
  • psychosis
  • alcohol poisoning
  • coma
  • death

People are also at risk for overdosing on either Adderall or alcohol while abusing these substances. If you believe someone has overdosed, seek medical help immediately.

Getting Help For Alcohol And Adderall Abuse And Addiction

The longer a person abuses these substances, the more likely he or she is to become addicted to them. Quitting alcohol and Adderall can feel impossible, but it’s important to know that you don’t have to do it alone.

Many people have found great success with formal treatment options like an inpatient treatment program. An inpatient treatment program often provides customized treatment that is centered on what each individual patient requires. This form of treatment also provides intensive daily treatment that is very beneficial in helping someone overcome addiction.

To learn more about the dangers and effects of abusing Adderall and alcohol, contact our treatment specialists today.

Medical News Today - Is it safe to drink alcohol while taking Adderall?

Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy - The nonmedical use of prescription ADHD medications: results from a national Internet panel

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism - Neurobiology of Alcohol Dependence

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