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Issues With Mixing Adderall And Alcohol

Adderall and alcohol

Adderall is a prescription stimulant medication. It is specifically approved by the FDA for use to treat the symptoms of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has classified Adderall as a Schedule II Substance, which are defined as “drugs with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence.” As is true with any legal or illegal substance, there may be potential drug interactions when mixing with other drugs and/ or alcohol. Hence, mixing certain substances may be ill advised. Adderall and alcohol, for example, is one such combination. Adderall is a stimulant and alcohol is a depressant, and when both substances are present in one’s body they compete with each other, which can lead to severe consequences.

Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder

Teens that are diagnosed with ADHD will often experience difficulty in areas of attention, critical thinking, self-control and impulsivity. ADHD has also been linked to lower levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in one’s brain. These are often referred to as the feel-good neurotransmitters. Stimulant medications, such as Adderall, are typically the first-line treatment for people with ADHD. When taken exactly as prescribed, Adderall can be effective and safe for treating ADHD. Contrary to popular belief, a study published in Pediatrics: Official Journal Of The American Academy Of Pediatrics found that young people diagnosed with ADHD actually reduce their risk of drug and alcohol abuse when taking prescribed Adderall. 

Side Effects

Alcohol and Adderall have their own respective sets of side effects that when abused can impact a young person’s mental state and behavior. Adderall works in one’s system by speeding up the central nervous system functions. Alcohol affects one’s body by slowing down the brain’s electrical activity. When taken simultaneously, Adderall and alcohol can lead to the development of any combination of the following examples, as provided by Medical News Today

  • Tremors
  • Uncontrollable vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Stoke
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Anxiety
  • Malnutrition
  • Psychotic episodes
  • Paranoia 
  • Slurred speech
  • Reduced reaction time
  • Distorted judgment
  • Poor coordination
  • Substance use disorder
  • Overdose 

There are several contributing factors that can influence the type of symptoms that present as well as the severity of symptoms when mixing Adderall with alcohol. A teen’s personal health history, the amount of alcohol and dosage of Adderall abused, the method of ingestion (i.e. snorting the Adderall instead of swallowing), as well as the frequency of abuse will all contribute to the side effects that manifest. Alcohol and Adderall are substances that both have highly addictive qualities. Each substance, individually impacts a person’s cognitive functioning, mood, and behavior, and when taken together can result in a plethora of negative and potentially life-threatening side effects. 

For Information and Support 

Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know is in need of mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person for the long term. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.

Our admissions team is available to answer any general questions regarding mental health issues, treatment, and/or specific questions about the program at Pacific Teen Treatment and how we might be able to help your family. We can be reached by phone 24/7 at 800-531-5769. You can also contact us via email at or through our contact form.

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