Mixing Adderall and Alcohol: Why Is It a Bad Idea?

October 25, 2021
Symptoms of Alcoholism


Adderall is a popular stimulant of the central nervous system. As a result, it is a potent medication used to manage attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD). It is also effective in the treatment of severe sleep disorders. However, Adderall is a schedule 2 controlled drug with the potential for addiction and abuse if taken in large doses. This article takes an in-depth look into Adderall abuse and the hazardous effects of mixing Adderall and alcohol.

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Why Alcohol and ADHD Medications Should Not Be Mixed?

According to US Drug Enforcement Administration, Adderall falls among category two controlled substances. Drugs in this category have high medicinal value that makes them available for prescription by a qualified physician. 

Adderall boosts the production and action of two essential neuro-chemicals. They include Norepinephrine and Dopamine. As a stimulant, Adderall increases neurotransmitters activity that improves physical activity, focus, and alertness. As a result, it helps ADHD patients maintain their focus.

However, alcohol is a central nervous depressant that inhibits the functions of active neurotransmitters. It can cause reduced body functions and slow down your alertness. When you induce a stimulant and a depressant in your body, they compete against each other. This, in turn, affects the effectiveness of Adderall on your body. In addition, it can lead to serious side effects in the body.


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Is There a Safe Way to Drink Alcohol?

Stimulant drugs used for the treatment of ADHD come in various forms. The long-acting type (extended-release) takes about 12 hours to clear up. The short-acting type (immediate-release) lasts up to 4-6 hours. 

So, if you want to take alcohol while on ADHD medication, it is advisable to wait until the effect of the ADHD drugs wears out. However, you may opt to skip alcohol for better results. Be sure to talk to your doctor for advice on how to drink safely.

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Why Are People Taking Adderall with Alcohol? 

Alcohol is one of the most abused substances in the United States of America. In a 2015 national survey on drug use and health, 138.3 million Americans aged 12 years or more reported alcohol use. Shockingly, 1.3 million people admitted to heavy drinking of alcohol. Unfortunately, many people who abuse alcohol also take Adderall.

According to the Alcohol Rehab Guide, many people deliberately combine alcohol and Adderall. They aim to drink a lot of alcohol and party for a long time.

The false idea is that Adderall is a stimulant with the effect of increasing alertness and focus. On the other hand, alcohol is a depressant that causes drowsiness and loss of coordination. Therefore, they believe that taking Adderall before drinking alcohol enables them to drink much alcohol without getting exhausted.


Adderall and Alcohol
Side Effects of Taking Adderall and Alcohol


What Happens When You Drink on Adderall?

The US Food and Drug Administration has stringent guidelines against the mixing of drugs. A deliberate combination of various medications can lead to serious drug interactions and deadly side effects. Addictive drinking of alcohol while on Adderall makes a toxic, life-threatening combination. 

You may experience the following side effects:

Alcohol Poisoning

Adderall can weaken the symptoms of drunkenness in your body. Thus, it will hinder your ability to judge how much alcohol you consume. This increases your chances of overdrinking and alcohol poisoning.

Behavioral Disorders

Behavioral disorders such as aggression and impulsive behavior are common effects of extreme alcoholism. Additionally, it may lower the level of brain neurotransmitters, leading to forgetfulness, impatience, disorganization, and restlessness.

Heart Complications

A combination of stimulants and depressants can lead to heart-related complications. The risk is higher if you take an overdose of alcohol, Adderall, or both. This can increase your heart rate, blood pressure, and unexpected cardiac arrest.

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Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking ADHD Medication?

Most prescriptions have warning instructions against combined alcohol use, and ADHD medication is no exception. Doctors also advise against taking alcohol and ADHD medication.

First, alcohol addiction can worsen ADHD disorders in your body. Notably, you’ll have a strong impulsion and difficulty in maintaining your focus. Secondly, long-term use of alcohol can affect your memory, speech, decision-making, and cognition.


Precautions About Adderall


What Should I Avoid While Taking Adderall?

Foods Rich in Vitamin C and Ascorbic Acid

Both ascorbic acid and vitamin C can raise the level of acidity in your body. As a result, it can affect the absorption rate of Adderall XR and IR compounds. Several hours before or after taking Adderall, do not consume soda, fruit juices, vinegar, citrus fruits, and pineapple. Such foods also include those containing preservatives.

Caffeinated Drinks

When taking Adderall, you should limit the use of caffeinated drinks. These include sodas, tea, coffee, and chocolate. Caffeine content increases stimulant action like rapid heart rate.

Alkaline Drugs

High acidity or PH level in the gastrointestinal system can cause excessive absorption of Adderall compounds which hampers its effectiveness. Therefore, avoid taking anti-acid medications, aspirin, and sodium bicarbonate while on Adderall medication.

What Reduces the Effects of Adderall?

Like other drugs, frequent use of Adderall can have side effects on your body. You may experience dizziness, dry mouth, loss of appetite, irritability, and trouble sleeping. However, if you follow your doctor’s advice, there should be no reason for an alarm. These side effects are mild and will not last long. 

Below are tips to reduce the effects of Adderall:

  • Frequent body exercise and physical activities
  • Reduce the level of nicotine, caffeine, and other stimulants intake
  • Maintain a regular sleeping pattern
  • Practice self-care activities such as yoga
  • Drink plenty of water for rehydration
  • Maintain a healthy balanced diet
  • Consult your doctor in case of any complications

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Are you struggling with attention deficit hyperactive disorder? Doctors recommend Adderall for the treatment of mental complications, including ADHD and sleep disorders. At Mango Clinic, we offer a timely diagnosis and treatment for ADHD symptoms. Do not hesitate to contact us for a specialized appointment.


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