Mixing Adderall and alcohol is a dangerous combination.
Adderall is a stimulant medication that is actually a combination of two amphetamine drugs. Used to treat attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or sleep disorders such as narcolepsy, the medication helps a person stay attentive and minimizes non-goal oriented behaviors. Adderall does this by aiding the presence and performance of neurotransmitters in the brain. Essentially, the drug helps your brain communicate more efficiently.
Whenever a person is using prescription medication it is important to discuss potential interactions with the prescribing physician. This includes talking to the doctor about how Adderall and alcohol may interact. Interestingly, Adderall is usually not prescribed to a person with a history of alcohol or drug abuse. However, many patients report that once they began taking Adderall their desire for alcohol or drugs waned dramatically. A Harvard-based study showed an 84% drop in illegal drug use among patients taking Adderall.
If it is the case that Adderall may actually reduce drug and alcohol cravings, why do some people insist on mixing the two? A couple of explanations present themselves. First of all, Adderall is often abused by 20 something university students who really do not have ADHD. They may have faked symptoms to get a prescription or they may have purchased them from someone else, but many college kids are using Adderall to boost their study skills and school performance. They also foolishly use the drug to help them stay alert at drinking parties.
The person who uses Adderall because it helps him/her stay alert and therefore drink longer can unknowingly drink a dangerous amount of alcohol. Because all of the body’s normal warning systems are being circumvented the person can easily drink to the point of alcohol poisoning. In some cases, young healthy kids have experienced heart attack from unwisely mixing alcohol and Adderall.
Another reason a person may be mixing Adderall with alcohol is that they have gotten into a dangerous habit of using substances to help them function. If a person is living with ADHD, Adderall can be a tremendous help to them in overcoming scattered thoughts and undirected movements. The medication can make the difference between getting work done and repeated failure. However, if the person then turns to alcohol to help them get to sleep at night the way Adderall helps them to stay going during the day, they are creating a potentially dangerous chemical brew within them. Not only that, but studies show that alcohol may help a person fall off to sleep, but it actually interrupts slept through the rest of the night.
The wisest course is to talk with a doctor about mixing the two. If you are taking Adderall, even under a doctor’s care, the bottom line is that mixing stimulants and depressants doesn’t come out as a wash. It is a dangerous combination.