Adderall is a common prescription medication used primarily to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is a mixture of amphetamine salts and acts as a stimulant on the central nervous system (CNS). Alternatively, alcohol is a depressant. Therefore, taking Adderall and alcohol together may send mixed signals to the body. But is it dangerous?

Simply put, Adderall and alcohol are not a good mix. Ultimately, the same can be said for most stimulant/depressant combinations. This is due to the opposing mechanisms of action that each drug inflicts on the body. When one substance tells the body to speed up and another tells it to slow down, there is a conflict of interest occurring within a person’s system that can cause elevated strain.

What Happens When You Drink on Adderall?

Adderall and Alcohol

When taken alone, Adderall is known to reduce the symptoms of ADHD and promote focus among those who suffer from attention disorders. It does this by increasing certain chemicals in the brain, namely norepinephrine and dopamine. While this medication can be an effective tool for those in need of attention aids, this increase of the brain’s feel-good chemicals translates to a drug with high addiction potential. In fact, Adderall is a highly addictive drug that is often misused by people without a legitimate need for the medication. For example, Adderall use is popular among college students who are cramming for exams.

Alcohol, on the other hand, works to slow the body’s responses. Therefore, when Adderall and alcohol are combined, they are competing to manage how the body functions (this is also true for other ADHD medication combinations like Vyvanse and alcohol). Ultimately, consuming one drink on the same day as taking Adderall will not likely cause any problems. However, if drinking in excess, the result is a often dulled response to both substances. This means that the effects of alcohol may not be felt as strongly, and a person could unintentionally consume too much.

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Other side effects of drinking on Adderall include:

  • Alcohol poisoning from increased intake
  • Dehydration
  • Impaired decision making
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Vision disturbances
  • Dual addictions

Chronic conditions that can arise as a result of habitually mixing prescription stimulants with alcohol include heart disease and mental health disorders like depression. In fact, depression, anxiety, and other mental health disturbances may surface due to the changes in the brain that mixing Adderall and alcohol cause. These conditions could be a result of substance abuse alone, or the substances could act as triggers to reveal previously existing mental health conditions. 

Increased Risk of Veteran Addiction

Veteran Substance Abuse

Both Adderall and alcohol are highly addictive substances. When taken over time, a person could develop a dual addiction, or addiction to more than one substance. It is well documented that veterans and active military personnel are at a heightened risk for substance abuse disorders. This is due in part to the physical and mental health conditions that must be managed on the fly during military employment.

For instance, military missions are important and require unique skillsets. Due to this, military members are often asked to push beyond physical limitations, and they may be given prescriptions to assist in staying comfortable. Usually, opioid pain pills are the type of medication distributed to the military in an effort to treat injuries. However, Adderall is also given to counteract conditions like fatigue. Once discharged, these prescriptions usually follow servicemembers into their lives as veterans and contribute to the elevated rates of veteran substance abuse. Fortunately, veteran substance abuse programs offer effective drug and alcohol rehab to those in need of addiction help.

Veteran Substance Abuse Programs in Central Florida

Substance use during military service is not always the cause of veteran addiction. Another cause is the mental trauma resultant from military service or deployment. In addition, the stress of rejoining civilian society is also known to cause mental strain. This pressure can lead to the development of coping mechanisms that can include substance abuse. Substances most commonly used by veterans include:

  • Prescription drugs (opioids, stimulants, benzos, etc.)
  • Alcohol
  • Illegal drugs (for example, marijuana, cocaine, heroin)

To treat multiple addictions among veterans, like Adderall and alcohol or opioids and alcohol, addiction treatment should come from the perspective of the life experience of those in the military. At Heroes’ Mile in Deland, Florida, our facility was created for veterans, by veterans to promote recovery through common ground.

Heroes’ Mile Deland Addiction Treatment Options

At Hero’s Mile addiction treatment center, our veteran substance abuse program incorporates a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses all of the unique needs of each individual. Hero’s Mile addiction treatment options include:

You do not have to suffer from Adderall and alcohol addiction. Our veteran rehab center is dedicated to helping people just like you. If you’re ready to talk about your options, call our admissions specialists at 1-888-VET-NOW2 or ask your questions online with our confidential contact form.

Adderall and Alcohol FAQ

Having one drink later in the same day as Adderall will not likely cause a problem. However, if you’re planning to have a few drinks, they shouldn’t be taken around the same time as stimulant medications. This is due to the opposing effects that each drug has on the body.

Adderall and alcohol should not be taken at the same time. It is advised to wait until a minimum of 4-6 hours after taking regular release Adderall before drinking alcohol. For extended release, more than 8 hours should pass.

Due to the counteractive effects of a stimulant (Adderall) combined with a depressant (alcohol), Adderall and alcohol should not be taken together.

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