A group of young adults talking about adderall and alcohol

Adderall, Alcohol and (almost) Adulthood

For an individual struggling with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or bipolar disorder, Adderall is a common prescription. It can be an effective solution for alleviating and managing the symptoms related to such conditions. However, people—especially college-age individuals and those on the verge of adulthood—should keep in mind that using Adderall for nonmedical reasons and taking it with substances like alcohol can put them at high risk for harmful side effects.

While Adderall is a stimulant, alcohol is a depressant. This difference can ultimately explain why these substances may typically work against one another in the body when people consume them at the same time. The mixture of these substances can contribute to and cause a wide range of devastating side effects and heighten the risk of developing a substance abuse disorder, specifically an Adderall or alcohol addiction, impairing your health. An overdose on Adderall or alcohol could cause additional complications to your health condition. 

Before you begin taking Adderall, or if you already take this medication, you should learn more about this substance and reach out to your doctor to discuss this prescription’s possible adverse health effects, especially if you drink alcohol. If you’ve already noticed some unfortunate side effects of consuming the two simultaneously, you can also reach out to us at Washburn House for the recommendations of our clinicians and treatment specialists and for information and guidance regarding overcoming excessive substance use and misuse.


What is Adderall?

A combination of the two active ingredients, amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, Adderall is a prescription stimulant. Together, these ingredients can increase the activity of chemicals in the brain, such as neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine. These ingredients help individuals control their hyperactivity and psychological impulses, making Adderall effective for managing the symptoms of ADHD. Additionally, the therapeutic use of Adderall can help individuals who are easily distracted or have a short attention span due to their condition.

Taking this prescription can have a positive impact on an individual’s brain. Still, it could also result in adverse short-term and long-term effects, especially for those to whom it is not prescribed, which is why it is crucial to use this medication carefully.


Statistics: Adderall Use in the United States

While many people may use Adderall for medical reasons, data reveals that many others, particularly those approaching adulthood and the college-age population, engage in nonmedical uses of Adderall. As Adderall is a potent stimulant of the central nervous system (CNS), many people use it solely to get high. This medication is now commonly referred to as a “study drug” because an increasing number of college students turn to Adderall for its ability to make them feel euphoric and energetic.

The added common side effects of a suppressed appetite and increased confidence and concentration have allowed many college students to become dependent on the substance to aid in their studies.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse—referred to as NIDA, the leading federal agency in conducting scientific research on drug use and addiction—reported that in 2018, 11.1% of young adults in college students misused Adderall, compared to 8.1% of young adults who were not in college. At 14.6%, Adderall usage is highest among college males compared to non-college females (10.1%), college females (8.8%), and non-college males (5.3%).


Adderall, Alcohol & (almost) Adulthood

Culturally, given the pressure that many young adults feel to perform well and find success, it is not difficult to see why they may be compelled to try something that will give them an edge over their competition. Given the other proclivities that those in this age group are often prone to—alcohol and binge drinking—it’s not difficult to see how someone could manage to mix these two powerful psychoactive substances.

The desire to engage in either substance can be traced back to someone’s self-esteem, whether they believe in their ability to succeed in academic or social situations, and how likely they are to turn to an external aid to help them with either goal. Unfortunately, both substances can quickly become a crutch and convince you of your inability to succeed without them. 


How Does Taking Adderall and Drinking Alcohol Affect the Body?

The effects Adderall produces on the body generally oppose those produced by alcohol, which can negatively impact your mental state or behavior. Combining Adderall with alcohol or other substances can diminish its effects as well as generate unpleasant side effects. For this reason, you should be careful and consider refraining from drinking alcohol while you take Adderall.

Side effects of using Adderall and alcohol together include but are not limited to:

  • Distraction and restlessness
  • Increase in heart rate
  • Increase in body temperature
  • High blood pressure
  • Aggression
  • Convulsions
  • Palpitations
  • Muscle twitching and tremors


Additional Ways the Combination of Adderall and Alcohol Can Affect Your Health

Contrary to popular belief, the effects of Adderall do not entirely negate the effects of alcohol and vice versa. The stimulant properties of Adderall and depressant properties of alcohol ultimately cause the two substances to engage in competition within your body. Taking Adderall and simultaneously consuming alcoholic beverages can dull symptoms of drunkenness, causing some people to lose awareness of the amount of alcohol they have consumed. Unfortunately, this can contribute to drinking excessively, alcohol poisoning and risky behaviors. 

Adderall, as well as other stimulants, can contribute to the risk of heart problems. The consumption of alcoholic beverages while taking Adderall can exacerbate such heart problems. Ultimately, taking Adderall and drinking alcohol together for extended periods can cause disorientation, prolonged heart problems and long-term behavioral issues.


Steps to Take if You Have an Addiction

As with other substances, there is the possibility of developing an addiction to either Adderall or alcohol. An addiction can complicate your health by increasing your risk for behavioral, emotional, and mental issues. If you become dependent on Adderall, addicted to alcohol, or experience mild or severe side effects caused by these substances, you should consult professionals for help. 

Acknowledging that there is a problem and deciding to seek help and treatment for substance abuse disorders, behavioral health issues or mental health disorders is a bold step that can be complex for anyone, but especially for young adults.

 It can be difficult for some people to recognize or understand why they are battling addiction, get past their addiction, and learn how to overcome their struggles and live a sober life, highlighting the importance of seeking professional help.

When seeking treatment, young adults will need someone they can trust, in a safe environment, to support them and take care of them every step of the way as they work toward overcoming addiction. 

Treatment centers are ideal and effective for young adults who want to get the help they need and deserve without any judgment. Many treatment centers consist of teams of skilled, compassionate, professional counselors, psychologists and psychiatrists who have expert knowledge of substance abuse, addiction and psychological disorders. 

Experts at a treatment center can provide effective treatment options via a comprehensive substance abuse treatment plan and guide and support you on your journey to recovery.


Finding the Right Treatment Center for You

Regardless of how long you have experienced and struggled with an Adderall dependency or alcohol addiction, the opportunity to be treated and overcome your substance abuse is still there. After identifying the treatment center that best meets your needs, don’t hesitate to reach out to the professionals at the center to discuss your situation with Adderall and alcohol, enabling them to determine the type of treatment that could be most beneficial to you.


Washburn House Can Guide You to Recovery

A treatment center like Washburn House can be conducive to helping young adults overcome a dependency or addiction to Adderall and alcohol because of the top-notch treatment programs and plans implemented by its clinicians and medical team. The experienced clinicians at Washburn House recognize that two people can be battling the same issue or have the same diagnosis but have entirely different experiences.

 Understanding that what works for one person may not work for another person and that treatment is not one-size-fits-all enables the master’s level clinicians, health care providers, case managers and other medical team members and professionals at our treatment center to provide clients with the attention and individualized care they deserve.

At Washburn House, multiple treatment options are available because various addictions and forms of drug misuse require different treatments. The medical team at this treatment center understands that the type of substance a person uses makes a difference in how they detox and heal in the long run and considers this while evaluating clients during the Washburn House admissions process

They use client information to create a personalized, effective treatment plan for your recovery. Treatment programs offered by Washburn House, designed for use in treating all types of drug and alcohol dependencies and addiction, include inpatient rehab treatment and an intensive outpatient rehab program.

If you need professional help for a dependency or addiction to Adderall and alcohol, contact Washburn House today to benefit from a comprehensive treatment plan for overcoming Adderall addiction and abuse. Call the center at 855.298.3104 to find out more and get started on the road to recovery with the help of knowledgeable and compassionate professionals.

Scroll to Top