Adderall and Alcohol: Can You Mix Them?

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Mixing alcohol and Adderall has associated risks that may cause dangerous side effects. Combining alcohol and Adderall creates two opposite responses (depressant and stimulant) in the body, creating a potentially fatal situation in some cases that should be avoided. 

For those struggling with alcohol or Adderall abuse, there is a heightened risk of these two substances interacting. In this guide, you will learn more about mixing alcohol and Adderall, including these topics:

  • Can you take Adderall with alcohol?
  • Is Adderall and alcohol safe under any conditions?
  • What are the most common Adderall and alcohol side effects?

If you or a loved one are struggling with Adderall and alcohol abuse, this guide illustrates how to seek out evidence-based treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Getting help for this issue could be the difference between life and death for some people, making reaching out for help a very important choice.

a man looks out at a lake representing the dangers of mixing adderall and alcohol.

Can You Mix Adderall and Alcohol?

Consuming Adderall with alcohol is always discouraged, regardless of whether the stimulant is prescribed or misused. Misuse of Adderall includes using someone else’s medication, altering its form – snorting, smoking, or injecting, for instance – using a prescription for recreational purposes, or exceeding prescribed doses.

The reason for caution lies in the divergent impact that Adderall and alcohol have on the CNS (central nervous system). Adderall contains amphetamine, which enhances the effects of specific neurotransmitters in the brain, potentially leading to improved alertness and focus.

Alcohol, on the other hand, acts as a CNS depressant, diminishing the effects of neurotransmitters and slowing mental and physical functions. However, when mixing Adderall and alcohol, the sedative effects of alcohol can be masked.

Interestingly, despite its depressant properties, alcohol can act as a stimulant in small doses. In the event of Adderall with alcohol consumption, this brief stimulant effect of alcohol can be prolonged. Consequently, individuals may be tempted to consume more alcohol than intended.


The vast majority of prescription medications explicitly advise against their concurrent use with alcohol. This also applies to Adderall and drinking. Beyond this, healthcare professionals strongly discourage the combination of prescription medications with CNS depressants like alcohol.

FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) has issued numerous warnings regarding the hazards associated with the mixing of drugs and medications.

According to Concepts of Chemical Dependency, an Adderall and alcohol mix can trigger many adverse outcomes. IDRs (idiosyncratic drug reactions), which occur infrequently and are influenced more by an individual’s psychological and physiological makeup than by the pharmacological properties of the substances involved, become significantly more likely when alcohol is consumed.

When alcohol is mixed with most medications, the efficacy of the medication diminishes. Combining alcohol with a stimulant like Adderall leads to a reduction in the perceived effects of both substances.

The co-administration of substances with differing effects like Adderall and alcohol increases the likelihood of unpredictable outcomes. These may include potentially life-threatening seizures.

Prolonged use of substantial amounts of alcohol and Adderall can result in complex situations such as co-occurring disorders (alcohol use disorder and anxiety, for instance) or polysubstance abuse (the abuse of multiple addictive substances). These circumstances call for more intricate interventions and dual diagnosis treatment.

Although Adderall mixed with alcohol effects may create the impression that neither the stimulant nor the depressant is working effectively, the chemical actions of the substances themselves remain unaltered. Consequently, it becomes considerably easier to overdose on either alcohol or stimulants when these substances are used in conjunction.

Additionally, the combination of alcohol and Adderall can lead to the following serious complications:

  • Anxiety
  • Psychotic episodes
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Uncontrollable vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Stroke

What Should I Do If I Mixed Alcohol and Adderall?

If you or someone you know has ingested a combination of Adderall and alcohol and experiences any of the above symptoms, contact emergency services immediately. Both alcohol overdose (alcohol poisoning) and Adderall overdose have the potential to be fatal. When these substances are both present in the system, the risks are significantly amplified.

Do not hesitate to seek immediate medical attention if you suspect an overdose or observe severe symptoms. Prompt intervention can be critical in mitigating the potential dangers associated with the concurrent use of Adderall and alcohol.

A man sits on a couch with his hands on his face to represent the question, "What Should I Do If I Mixed Alcohol and Adderall?".

What Happens When You Drink on Adderall?

Combining alcohol with Adderall can have various effects on the body and mind, as the interaction between these substances can be complex. Here are some key factors to consider that should discourage you from combining these substances:

  • Masked intoxication: Adderall is a stimulant that can increase alertness and mask the sedating effects of alcohol. As a result, individuals may not feel as intoxicated as they are. This can lead to a false sense of control and potentially risky behaviors like excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Increased stimulation: While alcohol is a CNS depressant, it can paradoxically act as a stimulant in small doses. When taken alongside Adderall, which is also a stimulant, the combined effect can intensify the stimulating properties of both substances. This can result in heightened energy levels, increased heart rate, and a false sense of invulnerability.
  • Impaired judgment and decision-making: Both alcohol and Adderall can impair cognitive functions such as judgment, decision-making, and impulse control. When used together, these effects can be magnified, potentially leading to poor decision-making, risky behaviors, and an increased likelihood of accidents or injuries.
  • Cardiovascular risks: Adderall can elevate blood pressure and heart rate, while alcohol can have both stimulant and depressant effects on the cardiovascular system. Mixing the two substances can place significant strain on the heart and increase the risk of adverse cardiovascular events, such as heart palpitations, arrhythmias, or even heart attacks.
  • Worsening of side effects: Both alcohol and Adderall can produce side effects on their own. However, combining them can inflame these side effects or introduce new complications. Common side effects of Adderall include anxiety, restlessness, dizziness, nausea, and headaches. Alcohol can further intensify these symptoms, leading to discomfort and increased overall distress.
  • Potential for overdose: Adderall and alcohol have different mechanisms of action in the body. Taking them together can create a false perception that neither the stimulant nor the depressant is working effectively. This can increase the risk of unintentionally consuming excessive amounts of either substance, potentially leading to overdose and its associated complications.

The interaction between Adderall and alcohol is highly individualized, and the effects can vary depending on factors such as dosage, tolerance, metabolism, and overall health. Consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice and strictly follow prescribed medication guidelines.

Remember: the safest approach is to avoid drinking alcohol while taking Adderall or any other prescription medication unless specifically advised otherwise by a qualified healthcare provider. Prioritizing your well-being and making informed choices about substance use is essential for maintaining your health and safety.

Alcohol and Adderall Side Effects

Alcohol and Adderall can both produce a range of side effects individually and when used together, these side effects can be compounded. Here are some commonly reported side effects:

  • Cardiovascular effects: Both alcohol and Adderall can increase heart rate and blood pressure. When combined, these effects can place additional strain on the cardiovascular system, potentially leading to heart palpitations, chest pain, or irregular heart rhythms.
  • Impaired coordination and motor skills: Adderall can enhance focus and alertness, while alcohol impairs coordination and motor skills. Mixing the two substances can result in compromised motor function, making tasks such as driving or operating machinery dangerous and increasing the risk of accidents or injuries.
  • Nervous system disturbances: Adderall stimulates the central nervous system, while alcohol acts as a depressant. Combining these substances can create a conflicting effect on the nervous system, leading to symptoms such as confusion, dizziness, tremors, or even seizures in severe cases.
  • Gastrointestinal issues: Alcohol and Adderall can both cause gastrointestinal disturbances. Alcohol can irritate the stomach lining, leading to nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. Adderall can also contribute to gastrointestinal issues, including loss of appetite, stomach discomfort, and constipation. When used together, these effects can be exacerbated, increasing the risk of digestive problems.
  • Mental health effects: Both alcohol and Adderall can have an impact on mental health. Alcohol is a known depressant and can worsen symptoms of depression, anxiety, or other mood disorders. Adderall, on the other hand, can increase agitation and anxiety, and even induce psychosis in susceptible individuals. Combining these substances can intensify the negative effects on mental health and potentially lead to mood swings, irritability, or other psychiatric symptoms.
  • Dehydration and electrolyte imbalances: Both alcohol and Adderall can contribute to dehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic, increasing urine production and promoting fluid loss. Adderall can suppress appetite and thirst, leading to inadequate fluid intake. When used together, dehydration can be further exacerbated, potentially resulting in electrolyte imbalances, muscle cramps, and fatigue.

Everyone may respond differently to the combination of alcohol and Adderall, and individual reactions can vary. The severity and occurrence of side effects depend on factors such as dosage, frequency of use, personal health history, and tolerance to both substances.

If you are prescribed Adderall or any other medication, it is essential to discuss with your healthcare provider about the potential risks and side effects of combining it with alcohol. They can provide you with tailored advice and guidance based on your specific circumstances. It is safest to avoid consuming alcohol while taking Adderall or any other medication, as it can interfere with the intended effects of the medication and increase the likelihood of experiencing adverse reactions.

A man sits looking out at a mountain landscape to represent alcohol and adderall side effects.

Get Treatment for Alcohol Addiction at Ohio Recovery Centers

At Ohio Community Health, we specialize in providing individualized addiction treatment programs tailored to address addictions to alcohol, prescription medication, or illicit drug dependencies.

Extensive research indicates that both mild and moderate addictions respond effectively to intensive outpatient treatment, offering comparable results to residential rehab. Our outpatient programs offer increased flexibility and affordability without compromising the quality of care you receive. You can choose from a range of programs designed to meet your specific needs:

  • PHPs (partial hospitalization programs)
  • IOPs (intensive outpatient programs)
  • Dual diagnosis treatment programs (for co-occurring disorders)

Our treatment programs at Ohio Community Health incorporate a comprehensive blend of pharmacological, behavioral, and holistic therapies, ensuring a science-backed approach to recovery. By engaging in our programs, you will acquire valuable relapse prevention strategies, effective coping techniques, and benefit from access to ongoing therapy if necessary.

For immediate assistance, please contact our dedicated team online or call us at (877) 679-2132. We are here to provide the support you need on your journey to recovery.

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Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
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Christopher Glover CDCA

My name is Christopher Glover, and I am from Cincinnati, Ohio. I am currently in school and working to grow in competence to better support our community. As a recovering individual I know the struggles that you or a loved one can go through and that there is help for anything you may be struggling with.

The hardest part is asking for help and we are here as a team to best support you and your decision to start your journey towards a better future. Connect with Chris on LinkedIn

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Amanda Kuchenberg PRS CDCA

I recently joined Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers as a Clinical Case Manager. I am originally from Wisconsin but settled in the Cincinnati area in my early 20s.  My career started in the fashion industry but quickly changed as I searched to find my drive and passion through helping others who struggle with addiction. 

As someone who is also in recovery, I wanted to provide hope, share lived experience, and support others on their journey.  I currently have my Peer Recovery Support Supervision Certification along with my CDCA and plan to continue my education with University of Cincinnati so I can continue to aid in the battle against substance addiction. Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn.

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Patrick McCamley LCDC III

 Patrick McCamley (Clinical Therapist) is a Cincinnati native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2019. Patrick received his bachelors degree in psychology from University of Cincinnati in 2021 and received his LCDC III (Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2022. Patrick has worked in Clinical Operations, Clinical Case Management, and Clinical Therapy throughout his career.

Patrick has tremendous empathy and compassion for the recovery community, being in recovery himself since 2018. Patrick is uniquely qualified to be helpful because of the specific combination of his academic background and his own experience in recovery.

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Bill Zimmerman CDCA

Bill Zimmerman is a Greater Cincinnati Area native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2018. Bill received his (Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2020.

Bill has worked in Clinical Operations in both support and supervision, and Program facilitating and 12 step recovery support during his career. Bill has a passion for the recovery community, having been in recovery himself since 1982. Connect with Bill on LinkedIn

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Taylor Lilley CDCA, PRS

Growing up in Louisiana with addiction running rampant on both sides of my family. A life away from drugs and alcohol seemed impossible for someone like me. I remember what it was like sitting across from someone thinking there is no way they could ever understand what I was going through.

Sharing my experience offers a credibility and a certain type of trust with clients that only someone who has walked down this road can illustrate. To immerse myself further into the field of addiction, I am currently studying at Cincinnati State for Human and Social Services.  I hope I never forget where I came from, if I can do it, so can you!

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Thomas Hunter LSW

Hello my name is Thomas Hunter. I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am a licensed social worker.In my scope of practice I have worked in the areas of mental health and recovery for thirty years. The clients I have worked with in my career have ranged in age from seven to seventy.

I strive each day to serve my purpose of helping those in need and I believe I do so by utilizing all of my experiences to accomplish my goal of supporting those who desire to establish their sobriety and maintain it in their recovery. Connect with Thomas on LinkedIn.

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Mary D.Porter,LICDC

 My name is Mary D. Porter. I received my Masters of Social Work in 2008 from The University of Cincinnati. I received My Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor Licensure in 2001. I retired from The Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center on April 14, 2014. Currently, I am the Associate Clinical Director for The Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers in Cincinnati.. Due to the fourth wave of the Opioid Epidemic in 2019,  I decided to enter back into the workforce to assist the addicted population.

The overdoses were astounding and I wanted to help.  I consider myself  to be an advocate for the addicted population. My compassion, resilience, empathy, wisdom, knowledge, experience and  love I have for this forgotten population goes beyond words. I consider what I do for the addicted population as a calling versus a “career,” because I too was once an “addict and alcoholic.” Today I am 45.5 years alcohol and substance free.

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Ben Lemmon LCDC III

Hello, my name is Ben Lemmon, and I’m the Vice President and Clinical Director at Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers. I’ve been working in the addiction and mental health field since 2013 and decided to enter the field after overcoming my own challenges with addiction.

When I first meet a client, I always explain to them that the reason we are meeting is because they are not capable of obtaining or maintaining sobriety, and my goal is to create a person that can maintain sobriety. I believe a person’s personality is made up of their thoughts, feelings and actions and my job is to help clients identify the thoughts, feelings and actions that have them disconnected from recovery and provide them with the tools to live a healthy and happy life. Connect with Ben on LinkedIn