What is Adderall?

Adderall is a prescription stimulant. It stimulates the central nervous system to improve the symptoms of conditions like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. But it is not limited to prescription use. 

And even when it is, Adderall is considered a high-risk prescription. There is the potential for abuse and addiction if you are not cautious.

This is one reason why medical professionals urge us all to only take medications that have been prescribed to us. 

Stealing or buying prescription drugs from others are two common abuse methods that rarely end well.

Another is mixing prescription medications with other substances, including alcohol.  

Adderall Abuse Potential

Adderall Abuse PotentialPrescription stimulants, Adderall included, are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating ADHD.

But where things get confusing is that they are also classified by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as Schedule II medications. 

Drugs in this category are labeled this way for their high potential for abuse and dependence.

But this classification has not prevented the misuse of prescription stimulants, particularly among young adults, across the country. 

Many people, particularly students on college campuses, might find nothing wrong with Adderall in the morning, alcohol at night.

Individuals under high amounts of strain often take it to stay awake or improve their focus. 

However, studies show that long-term Adderall abuse often worsens the problem.

The same applies to overnight shift workers or those with high-pressure jobs who take Adderall to achieve the same goals.   

Can You Take Adderall with Alcohol?

Adderall can cause a wide range of side effects. Some of the most common include weight loss due to decreased appetite, headaches, dizziness, insomnia, and abdominal pains.

But on the more severe side of things, Adderall can also cause psychosis, seizures, and cardiac events. 

When taken as prescribed, doctors maintain that prescription stimulants don’t pose significant health risks.

Following prescriptions and other medical instructions are crucial to maintaining our health. Unfortunately, that is not always as easy as it sounds. 

The Problem with Potent Prescription Medications

Prescription medications can be addictive, and their side effects can be worsened by alcohol and other drugs.

One example of this is Adderall and alcohol. But ADHD medication and alcohol do not mix well, whatever the combination may be. 

This rule applies to other common prescription stimulants, too. One should not mix: 

  • Adderall and alcohol
  • Ritalin and alcohol 
  • Concerta and alcohol 
  • Focalin and alcohol 
  • Strattera and alcohol 

Alcohol is at the top of the list of what not to take with Adderall or other prescription stimulants. 

How Long After Taking Adderall Can I Drink Alcohol?

How Long After Taking Adderall Can I Drink AlcoholThe labels on ADHD medications advise against drinking. But when you see a primary care doctor for your condition, they often give you more specific instructions.

Depending on your weight, medical history, dose, and other individual factors, you may hear otherwise. 

Some doctors believe that a glass of wine or a beer while on ADHD medication is acceptable.

But because there are so many different factors at play here, most also suggest that it is safer to wait until your meds wear off before you have a drink. 

Adderall and other ADH medications D stimulate the central nervous system. Alcohol depresses it.

With these opposing forces at play at once, several things can go wrong.  

Adderall Mixed with Alcohol Side Effects

Most drinkers drink because an alcohol buzz makes you feel relaxed.

Adding Adderall to this buzz will not enhance it but will often blunt your buzz instead, leading you to drink more and making negative side effects more likely. 

One of these potential negative side effects is alcohol poisoning.

While the ADHD medications work to improve your focus and concentration, the alcohol slows your vital functions and reaction times, making it difficult to remain clear and make good judgments. 

Other Possible Side Effects of Mixing Adderall and Alcohol

Mixing alcohol and Adderall can also cause: 

  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Dehydration 
  • Impaired reactions, coordination, and vision 
  • Increased blood pressure 
  • Increased or irregular heartbeats
  • Insomnia 
  • Anxiety and depression 

In more severe cases, strokes, seizures, and heart disease are other potentially long-term or fatal possible side effects.

But even in the average case, long-term Adderall and alcohol abuse can cause long-term consequences. 

Both physical and mental health impairments are possible and become more likely over time.

It may be difficult to understand this clearly in the beginning, but it will become clearer as time goes on. This is an easy trap to fall into. 

Nothing good can come from waiting and continuing the cycle of abuse until the more serious problems present themselves. 

Adderall Abuse and Your Mental Health

We mentioned before that abusing Adderall by mixing it with alcohol can lead to anxiety and depression.

This is true of several different prescription medications, even ones that are meant to improve our mental health

Addiction and mental illness are intrinsically linked because both alter your brain chemistry. And both conditions can worsen the other. Someone with a pre-existing mental health disorder may develop an addiction from using alcohol or drugs to cope with its symptoms. 

Alternatively, someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol may later develop a mental health disorder.

When addiction co-exists with a mental health disorder, we call this a dual diagnosis.

We offer a specialized program to help treat these co-occurring conditions simultaneously.    

Adderall and Alcohol: Danger of Liver Damage

Many Adderall users wonder: is Adderall bad for your liver? The short answer is yes.

In addition to the potentially life-threatening alcohol poisoning, liver damage is possible when you mix Adderall and alcohol.  

Several other organs may become damaged by long-term Adderall abuse, including the brain, heart, lungs, and kidneys.

The impacts of drug abuse can be far-reaching, impairing every aspect of your life, from your health to your relationships and financial status. 

We know how difficult it can be to overcome addiction, and we want you to know that you are not alone.

The path to recovery looks different for everyone. But we will walk it alongside you until you get where you need to be. 

Getting Help for a Teen or Young Adult

Getting Help for a Teen or Young AdultIf you are here to seek help for a child, neighbor, or friend, you have come to the right place.

We urge you to compassionately share what you have learned here with your loved one.

We also think that it is important to understand how addictions in adolescents often begin. 

In studies of nonmedical Adderall use, along with other prescription stimulants, approximately 60% of adolescents and young adults say that they bought or received drugs from a friend or relative.

A happier, healthier life often starts at home. 

Amphetamine Addiction Treatment Options

Whether you are seeking help for a loved one or yourself, Pathfinders Recovery Center offers a wide range of treatment options.

And these treatment options are not limited to Adderall. We also offer programs for other amphetamines and other common prescription drugs.  

These options include: 

  • Detox programs 
  • Residential or inpatient programs  
  • Partial hospitalization programs
  • Intensive outpatient programs 
  • Long-term rehab 

By enrolling in a treatment program, you are giving yourself a leg up in building sobriety.

Our programs and teams can help you reduce the risk of relapse, better understand the problem, detox safely, and overcome the root of your addiction rather than its side effects. 

Call us today at (866) 263-1820.


  • 7580 E Gray Rd Suite 201 Scottsdale, AZ 85260
  • (877) 224-0761
  • Mon-Sun: 24x7
  • Mon-Fri: 8:00AM – 4:00PM

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