Why Do People Mix Adderall And Alcohol?

People may drink alcohol while taking Adderall, a prescription stimulant, for a variety of reasons. Some people may intentionally consume alcohol and Adderall to experience the combined effects, often referred to as polysubstance use. Others may regularly take Adderall as prescribed and don’t think about how alcohol may interact with their prescription. However, whether or not a person intends to mix Adderall and alcohol, the risks remain the same.

Can You Drink While Taking Prescription Adderall?

Drinking alcohol while taking Adderall as prescribed could have dangerous, unintended results. This is particularly true if you have an alcohol addiction or other substance use disorder (SUD). Polysubstance use is never safe, even if using a prescription medication. Talk to your prescribing doctor about your alcohol consumption or desire to drink while taking Adderall.

Symptoms Of Mixing Adderall And Alcohol

Any time a person combines two substances, the results can be unpredictable and harmful. Even though Adderall is a prescription medication, it may not be safe when misused or combined with alcohol. Symptoms of mixing the two can vary depending on many factors, including how much of each substance was taken, personal health, and if other substances or food were consumed.

A person may experience the typical side effects of using either substance alone, but some symptoms may be masked or enhanced, making it easier to overdose. These include but are not limited to:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increase in heart rate
  • Increase in alertness or motivation
  • Psychotic episodes

  • Increased rate of breathing
  • Euphoria
  • Masking of alcohol intoxication
  • Poor judgment

The result of taking Adderall with alcohol can vary widely from person to person. This unpredictability increases the risk of experiencing the dangerous or life-threatening side effects of taking them together.

Common dangers of mixing alcohol with Adderall include:

If you start to recognize these signs or symptoms while using Adderall and alcohol, it may be time to seek treatment, as further misuse can lead to:

  • Overdose
  • Injury
  • Violence
  • Risky sexual behaviors
  • Chronic diseases
  • Substance use disorders

Can Mixing Adderall With Alcohol Kill You?

Though uncommon, people can die when taking Adderall and alcohol together, as many of the symptoms can contribute to death while engaging in other daily activities. For example, impaired concentration, dizziness, or drowsiness increase your risk of motor vehicle accidents, falls, or serious injuries. Similarly, heart problems can include heart attack or sudden death, and liver damage can be permanent.

Because the symptoms of alcohol use may be masked while taking Adderall, alcohol poisoning and overdose can easily occur. Alcohol overdose can cause life-threatening symptoms such as seizures, extremely slowed breathing, slowed heart rate, loss of gag reflex with vomiting, extremely low body temperature, and difficulty remaining conscious.

If a person does not receive emergency medical help, alcohol overdose can be deadly.

Can Adderall Make You Want To Drink?

Adderall is not intended to increase a person’s desire to drink alcohol, and it does not directly cause a person to want to drink. The motivation to drink alcohol varies widely from person to person, and the adverse side effects of Adderall use may be a motivator for alcohol in some people.

Adverse effects of Adderall use can include restlessness, irritability, depression, feelings of being overstimulated, or anger. Though some people may turn to alcohol for relief when they experience such negative psychiatric symptoms, Adderall does not directly make a person want to drink alcohol. However, a study from the BMC Psychiatry journal found that people were more likely to consume more alcohol when using ADHD medications, like Adderall, than when using alcohol alone.

Treatment For Adderall And Alcohol Addiction

Treatment for SUDs, including alcohol or Adderall addiction, is provided at a variety of treatment levels. Typical starting places for addiction treatment are:

Medical Detox

Depending on whether a person is struggling with both alcohol and Adderall misuse or is only struggling with alcohol misuse while taking Adderall as prescribed, detox may look different.

Detoxing from prescription stimulants such as Adderall is not life-threatening. During Adderall detox, a person may experience increased fatigue, depressive symptoms, and sleep difficulties. Treatment during detoxification is usually centered on patient care and comfort. Engaging with professional support through medical detox can help manage these symptoms to achieve a successful detox and transition into treatment.

Detoxing from alcohol can involve life-threatening symptoms. To ensure safety from seizures, dangerous changes in heart function, delirium, or other serious symptoms, medical professionals may prescribe medications like benzodiazepines and monitor the patient regularly.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient programs provide 24/7 care and a very structured environment for healing. They may occur in hospital or residential settings, with variations in their rules, and are helpful when serious withdrawal symptoms occur. Withdrawal syndrome from alcohol or Adderall has overlapping symptoms, and the treatments can be done together, making inpatient treatment a beneficial choice for those needing help battling polysubstance abuse.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment encompasses a variety of treatment types and schedules. Intensive outpatient treatment may require several hours per day, multiple days per week, for treatment services, while traditional outpatient could be 1–2 hours per week of meetings. These are typically more flexible for those who have commitments at home or work, but they may or may not provide adequate structure for those with severe SUDs.

Find Help Today

Where you begin your healing journey depends on the severity of your addiction, health, personal needs, social and job situations, and other factors. Whatever level of treatment you engage with, evidence-based treatment programs will provide social, behavioral health, and medical services (including medication) according to your needs.

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol, Adderall, or polysubstance abuse, know that help is available. Contact a treatment provider today to explore your rehab options and start living a life free of addiction.