It is a widely known fact that mixing alcohol with prescription medications is extremely dangerous. Despite this, mixing alcohol and Adderall has become increasingly common. For people who abuse their ADHD medication or take it illegally and recreationally, adding alcohol into the mix may not seem like a big deal. However, these two substances can cause dangerous side-effects that become amplified when combined.
While using Adderall by prescription or drinking alcohol on occasion is not necessarily lethal, mixing the two can cause life-threatening complications. This is due to Adderall reducing the user’s ability to feel the effects of alcohol, leading them to consume large amounts. One of the main concerns associated with this would be developing alcohol poisoning. However, there is an array of dangers and side-effects to be wary of.
What is Adderall?
Adderall is a prescription stimulant known for treating the symptoms of ADHD in children and adults. If used under a doctor’s supervision, Adderall and similar medications can be beneficial. However, this medication is a Schedule 2 drug, meaning it is a controlled substance with high potential for abuse and addiction. Therefore, using Adderall comes with many risks – especially when abused.
Adderall as Prescribed
Adderall, a blend of several different amphetamine salts, is the leading medication in regards to ADHD treatment. This medication works by increasing the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in your brain. As a result, people taking this medication will receive improved concentration and reduced impulsivity and hyperactivity.
Many people do not endorse the medicinal use of stimulants like Adderall because of its potential for abuse and addiction. However, in reality, people who have ADHD and take stimulant medications may be reducing their risk of drug and alcohol abuse. In fact, a recent study has shown that people treated with stimulants for ADHD had an 85 percent reduction in risk for substance use disorders. Additionally, this study found that leaving ADHD untreated will significantly increase an individual’s risk for substance abuse disorder. Therefore, taking Adderall can be effective and safe for the treatment of ADHD, as long as you take the medication as prescribed.
While Adderall can be beneficial when used properly, this prescription medication is commonly abused. In fact, recent studies have found that more than 7 percent of adults ages 18 to 49 years abused ADHD medication. Even more concerning, over half of those people reported using ADHD medications in combination with alcohol.
While many different types of people abuse Adderall, a large portion of people misusing this stimulant are college students. This is due to students using this drug in order to stay awake and study for long hours. According to NSDUH, almost 90 percent of students who abuse Adderall have mixed it with alcohol. Therefore, there seems to be a dangerous trend in regards to combining alcohol with Adderall. As a result, it is vital for people to understand the risks and dangers of this combination of substances.
The Dangers of Mixing Adderall with Alcohol
Many people are aware that Adderall is a stimulant, while alcohol is a depressant. However, there is a common misconception that when an individual mixes the two substances, their effects cancel each other out. Instead, the two substances compete with each other in the body, ultimately causing dangerous side-effects and serious health issues.
Adderall can dull the intoxicating effects of alcohol. Therefore, when people combine the two substances, they are often unaware of how much alcohol they have consumed. As a result, people will often drink too much, leading to consequences such as alcohol poisoning and risky behavior.
Symptoms of alcohol poisoning include:
- Pale skin
- Nausea and vomiting
- Slowed or irregular breathing
- Low body temperature
Adderall, like many stimulant drugs, carries a level of risk for potential heart problems. This risk begins to increase once you mix Adderall with other substances, especially alcohol.
When used together, Adderall and alcohol can cause:
- Raised body temperature
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Irregular heart rate
- Heart attack
When people abuse any drug, they often experience a significant change in behavior. Sometimes, drinking alcohol can cause feelings of rage, aggressive behavior, and reduced inhibitions. When a person drinks alcohol and takes Adderall simultaneously, these behavior changes become amplified. As a result, many people partake in impulsive and risky activities that they would never do while sober.
Treatment for Adderall and Alcohol Abuse
Because alcohol and Adderall are both substances that people can become physically dependent on, stopping use will cause withdrawal symptoms. These withdrawal symptoms have the potential to be moderate, or severe and life-threatening. Therefore, individuals attempting to quit using alcohol, Adderall, or a combination of the two, should seek help through the aid of a medical detox facility. Symptoms of withdrawal may include anxiousness, tiredness, irritability, depression, headaches, nightmares, decreased appetite, vomiting, pupil dilation, tremors, and a fast pulse.
Additionally, for those experiencing an addiction to mixing Adderall and alcohol, detox may not be sufficient enough for long-term recovery. As a result, attending a residential treatment center may provide recovering individuals with the tools and support needed in order to build a strong foundation of sobriety. Treatment centers like PAX Riverbend understand the struggles associated with battling addiction on your own. Because of that, we ensure that each patient’s needs are met through comprehensive and individualized treatment plans. If you or a loved one are ready to stop using Adderall and alcohol, give us a call today.