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Adderall is used as a stimulant to treat ADHD and a sleep disorder, narcolepsy however, it is often used for various off-label reasons such as to improve school grades and to enhance performance before a test. It is even used to reduce weight and for treating depression. 

Due to the euphoric effect and the high that accompanies the use of this drug, many people use it for recreational reasons. To enhance the ecstatic effect of Adderall many people mix it with alcohol. Some may even take alcohol casually after taking Adderall oblivious to the negative outcomes that result from such a combination. 

ADHD Medication and Alcohol

According to a study conducted in 2014, 48.7% of high school students who had used stimulant drugs such as Adderall for recreational reasons had used alcohol at least once in the past year. Another study done in 2019 on college students who were preparing for a college entry test revealed that those students who had taken a prescription stimulant were three times more likely to consume alcohol than those students who had not consumed any stimulant medication during that dedicated period of study. 

No, you cannot mix Adderall and Alcohol as they both act through different mechanisms in the central nervous system. This should not make one assume that these drugs cancel out each other’s effect rather Adderall and Alcohol are known to cause potential side effects. 

Adderall is a prescription stimulant medicine and a class II scheduled drug. It should not be mixed with Alcohol because Adderall is a stimulant. It acts on the central nervous system by increasing the transmission of nerve impulses and thereby causing alertness and increased concentration. 

Adderall Addiction Symptoms

Alcohol, on the contrary, is a central nervous system depressant and it acts on the GABA receptors and decreases the excitability of neurons (nerve cells), and decreases the signal transmission across them. Alcohol causes a temporary uplift in the mood but majorly it inhibits and slows the functioning of the body such that it causes slurring of speech, disorientation, etc. 

Mixing the two substances can lead to potential side effects that can even be life-threatening as Adderall can mask the effect of Alcohol and a person goes on consuming more and more of the drug up to the level of intoxication. 

Individuals use alcohol and Adderall together for several reasons. Some individuals may use alcohol with Adderall to dampen the hyperactive state that results after taking Adderall. Other individuals mix Adderall and alcohol to stay high for a longer time. People also presume that Adderall blunts the depressive effect of alcohol though this is partly true because Adderall masks the effects of alcohol only to lead to more damaging consequences hence concomitantly using the two substances is not advised. 

There are a plethora of side effects associated with mixing Adderall and Alcohol. They are as follows:

  • Stroke
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Uncontrollable vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Paranoia 
  • Malnutrition 
  • Anxiety 
  • Psychotic episodes

Since alcohol is metabolized in the liver so taking increased doses of Alcohol can profoundly damage the liver and this can lead to an alcohol overdose. This is very likely to happen because as mentioned above, Adderall masks the effects of alcohol and makes the person continue taking the drink to an alarming degree that can lead to alcohol intoxication. 

Moreover, Alcohol and Adderall are metabolized by the same enzymes in the liver, and hence when people drink alcohol after taking Adderall, one of the substances is not completely metabolized and builds up in the system leading to various side effects. 

The rate of Adderall metabolism varies from person to person depending upon various factors such as the age of the person, weight of the person, the dosage a person takes, and the form of Adderall a person consumes. 

Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms and Timeline

Adderall comes in two formulations- an immediate-release formulation that has its effects lasting for 4 to 6 hours. An extended-release formulation stays for a day in the body so you can take a drink after the drug has left your body. It is best to consult your doctor before getting a drink of alcohol to prevent the negative outcomes caused by mixing Adderall and Alcohol. 

If you are concerned that you or your loved ones have intentionally or unintentionally mixed Adderall and Alcohol and if you can notice the side effects that result after combining both the substances, then you should get in touch with emergency services promptly. If someone is facing an Adderall overdose but is reluctant to seek medical help you someone else should arrange emergency help for them as it is crucial for their life.  


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