Mixing Adderall With Alcohol [Dangerous or Safe?]

Adderall is a prescription stimulant that is used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder as well as narcolepsy. Potential dangers arise when mixing alcohol with medications, but what about Adderall?

You have probably seen the warning label on a medicine bottle. Where it says, “Do not mix with alcohol.” If this is a warning label that you find on your prescription bottle, you should follow it!

But what’s so bad about mixing Adderall and alcohol? Can it be done safely? Read on to learn more.

Table of Contents

About Adderall: Prescribed and Abused

Adderall is a prescription stimulant, so it is commonly used to treat ADHD. It is also used to treat narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is uncontrollable episodes of deep sleep. Adderall helps to increase alertness, attention, and energy. This medication can be prescribed as a tablet, capsule, or liquid form. And it is taken by mouth. If you are misusing a prescription stimulant, then it means the following. You are taking medicine in a way or dosage other than what is prescribed. Or you are taking someone else’s medicine or only taking medicine to get high. If misusing drugs, people can take them in various ways. People can swallow it like normal, or they can crush it. A capsule can be opened and the powder dissolved into a liquid if it is a capsule. Finally, people can inject it into a vein or be snorted or smoked.

This drug is typically taken to help improve mental performance. Teenagers and college students may misuse the drug to get better grades. In contrast, older adults may use them to improve their memory. But, taking Adderall or other prescription stimulants for anything other than ADHD or narcolepsy can lead to harmful effects. These effects include addiction, heart problems, or psychosis. This type of drug increases the activity in the brain. It makes certain chemicals come out more. Specifically, the ones that reinforce rewarding behaviors. Like dopamine, which is more often called the happy chemical. Another high chemical affects blood vessels, blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar, and breathing. This chemical is called norepinephrine. Both chemicals are present in the brain at all times, but this drug increases the amount sent to your brain.


The Adderall Rush

Usually, those that take prescription stimulants feel a feeling of euphoria- also known as “the rush.” However, with the rush also comes other symptoms. Such as increased blood pressure and heart rate, increased breathing, increased blood sugar, more open breathing passages, and decreased blood flow. If taken in high doses, these drugs can also cause a dangerously high body temperature, an irregular heartbeat, heart failure, and seizures.

If there is repeated misuse of the drug, even in a short time, it can cause even more symptoms. Symptoms like psychosis, anger, or paranoia. It is also important to keep in mind that you should not share drug injection tools and equipment if it is injected. This is because having impaired judgment while on the drug can increase the risk of getting infectious diseases. Common diseases that users can contract by sharing injection equipment are HIV and hepatitis.

The Dangers of Introducing Alcohol to the Body


Drinking alcohol causes special effects on the brain. It interferes with the communication pathways in the brain. Which affects how the brain looks and works. This interference with the pathways can change your mood and behavior, making it hard to think clearly and offering a lack of coordination.


Drinking a lot over a long time or too much on a single occasion can damage the heart, causing problems including:

  • Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of the heart muscle
  • Arrhythmias – Irregular heartbeat
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure


Heavy drinking takes a toll on the liver and can lead to a variety of problems and liver inflammations, including:

  • Steatosis, or fatty liver
  • Alcoholic hepatitis
  • Fibrosis
  • Cirrhosis


Alcohol causes the pancreas to produce toxic substances that can eventually lead to pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.”

Cancer and Alcohol Consumption

There have been several extensive research studies linking cancer to alcohol consumption. Thus, there be a strong link between alcohol and many different types of cancer. This is because alcohol is a known human carcinogen.

A carcinogen is a substance that causes a form of cancer. Research shows that the more alcohol a person drinks over time, the higher their risk of developing alcohol-associated cancer becomes.

This is especially for those that begin to drink alcohol regularly. There have been clear patterns found between alcohol drinking and the development of specific kinds of cancer.

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Types of Cancer-Associated With Drinking Alcohol

  • Head and neck cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Liver cancer:
  • Breast cancer:
  • Colorectal cancer

Alcohol Weakens Your Immune System

Drinking large amounts or just drinking too much can weaken your immune system. Which leaves your body open and an easier target for diseases. Those that drink chronically can contract diseases such as pneumonia and tuberculosis much easier than those who don’t drink very much. Even if it is for one occasion, drinking a lot slows your body’s ability to fight off infections. This ability is still slowed up to 24 hours after drinking.

Mixing Alcohol and Prescription Drugs

A warning label on most medication bottles often says, “don’t mix with alcohol.” That is put there because alcohol typically reacts poorly with other medications.

Mixing alcohol with certain medicines can cause vomiting, nausea, headaches, drowsiness, loss of coordination, and fainting.

Mixing these two drugs also puts you at a higher risk for internal bleeding, heart problems, and difficulties in breathing. But, it can also decrease the effectiveness of the medication taken.

For certain medicines, it could make it completely useless. Or it may make the medication harmful and toxic to your body to ingest. This includes not just mixing alcohol with Adderall but also over-the-counter drugs.

Then, mixing can also make it difficult to concentrate or perform mechanical skills. Even small amounts of alcohol with medicine can make driving dangerous. When you mix alcohol with medication, you are putting yourself at a greater risk. Specifically, the alcohol and Adderall combination can cause dizziness, drowsiness, impaired concentration, possible increased risk for heart problems and liver damage.

Adderall and Alcohol: Avoid or Use Caution

The use of prescription stimulant medication with alcohol has become a growing concern. It is common for adults to take their medicine with alcohol. They do this to want the psychoactive effects that It causes.

Using alcohol can increase the effects and make you high. This increase in effects causes them to continue to abuse the drug with alcohol. So, to help with this for medications that are known to be mixed with alcohol.

Prescribers will tell the patient, in addition to being on the bottle, of the adverse side effects that can happen if mixed. Abusing Adderall or other prescription stimulants is mostly a growing problem in undergraduates.

Abuse typically happens in the age range of 18-25. Students take Adderall because it helps them stay focused and alert to get better grades. They may also mix it with alcohol so that they can feel “the rush.”

This young age group has a high potential for abuse. When Adderall is being prescribed to someone in the age group, they are given a lot of warnings. Recently, the FDA required that there must also be a black box label for these drugs.

A black box label informs the patient that it has a risk of sudden death and serious cardiovascular issues. It also includes that the drug has a high potential for abuse.


Finally, mixing your medication with alcohol is not something you should do. Whether it’s to increase the effects of the drug, to get high, or to be able to focus on studies, it can cause such negative effects on your body and brain for misusing them, especially using them together.

The warning label on the bottle is one you should follow.

If you have any questions or concerns or are seeking help for yourself or a loved one, please get in touch with us. We are available to you 24/7 and happy to help inform and educate you on treatment options. Call (888) 906-0952!


[1] Harmful Interactions: Mixing Alcohol and Medications




Our writers are experienced in everything related to addiction, mental health, rehab and recovery.

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