Medical Disclaimer
The medications listed on this website are provided for informational purposes only. Their inclusion does not guarantee that they will be prescribed to any individual, as treatment decisions are ultimately at the discretion of healthcare providers. This list is not exhaustive, and healthcare providers may prescribe other medications, including non-stimulant options, based on the patient's unique health circumstances and needs.

Alcohol is known to slow down a subject’s vital functions. This results in issues related to slurred speech plus other concerns like slow reaction time.

But what do we know about the interaction of alcohol and ADHD meds?

First, you need to note that alcohol is a depressant while Adderall is a stimulant. This means that they’re constantly competing for body control. Most patients struggling with ADHD rely on stimulant drugs such as Adderall to help them focus. 

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Since the stimulant effects of Adderall tend to counter alcohol’s sedating effects, some people might recreationally use this prescription stimulant with alcohol to enable them to drink more.

But keep in mind that a combination of both Adderall and alcohol might cause severe heart-related complications in the long term.

Here’s how the combination of Adderall and alcohol can influence your health and behavior. 

What Is Adderall?

As mentioned earlier, Adderall is a prescription stimulant used to treat (ADHD) patients. It’s also effective in narcolepsy treatment.

This drug combines dextroamphetamine and amphetamine, which function together in treating the nerves and brain, controlling hyperactivity impulses.

If you consume it with the correct prescription, it increases dopamine and neurotransmitter activities within the brain. This, in turn, helps you concentrate on your daily activities even better.

But when abused, It excites neurotransmitter activities in your brain past the average level, thereby damaging the neurotransmitter receptors. With receptor damage, comes addiction—leading to other harmful effects.

Why ADHD Meds and Alcohol Don’t Mix?

You’ve probably heard about the risks of mixing medicine and alcoholic drinks many times before, and ADHD meds and alcohol aren’t exceptions. ADHD meds like Adderall and alcohol can’t mix because they don’t balance out in the body.

Both ADHD drugs and alcohol [1*] have chemicals that influence your central nervous system differently. Mixing stimulant meds like Adderall and alcohol can cause a broad range of dangerous effects.

Mix Adderall and Alcohol

Side Effects of Taking Adderall With Alcohol

Is There a Safe Way to Drink Alcohol?

The safest way to drink alcohol while on treatment is to avoid it altogether. That way, you don’t have to worry about any complications arising from combining alcohol and Adderall. 

What if you can’t keep off?

Stimulants for treating ADHD come in different forms, i.e. the short and long-acting versions. The short-acting kind wears off after 4 hours from when you take it, and the long-acting kind wears off after 12 hours.

So, if you’re in the mood to celebrate with a bottle of wine or vodka, you’ll have to wait till the ADHD med wears off.

Note that this time dramatically varies, depending on your:

  • Age
  • Weight
  • Dosage

So, it’s best to consult your doctor to help you pin down how long you should wait before drinking alcohol. 

Dangers of Mixing Adderall and Alcohol

Most ADHD meds contain amphetamine salts that enhance the effect of neurotransmitters in your brain to improve focus and alertness.

On the other side, alcohol slows down your body activity, leading to occurrences such as impaired judgment and slurred speech.

Besides these dangers, mixing Adderall and alcohol can make your medication less effective or even render it useless.

Below is a list outlining the effects of mixing Adderall and alcohol:

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Can I Take Adderall With Alcohol?

Taking Adderall and alcohol might prove detrimental to your health. Since both alcohol and Adderall require the same liver enzyme to be processed, it might overwhelm your liver. 

You might feel the effect of either drug more than usual, depending on the medication your liver processes first. Small doses of alcohol can act as a stimulant.

This gives Adderall a window period of elongation to stimulate the brain and the nerves. Adderall then delays the sedation period causing you to think more than usual and feel hyperactive.

Mix Adderall and Alcohol

Drinks to Avoid With Adderall

Effects of Alcohol on ADHD

The frontal lobe of your brain is responsible for high-order functions like:

  • Organization
  • Concentration
  • Cognitive capabilities
  • Recall

The prefrontal cortex is held accountable for:

  • Impulse control
  • Behavioral actions
  • Movement within this region

ADHD patients usually have impairment in the prefrontal cortex region where there are minimum activities. Such patients have a hard time controlling their impulses and hyperactivity alongside maintaining focus.

Since alcohol reduces brain function, it will impair your memory and your ability to think clearly by affecting the prefrontal cortex. 

If you’re a drinker with ADHD, your symptoms worsen after mixing Adderall and alcohol [2*]  since the alcohol enacting on ADHD intensifies them. This might, in turn, cause your behavior to spiral out of control.

Adderall and Alcohol Abuse

Adderall is beneficial health-wise only if used correctly. Over the years, the number of people between 18 and 50 abusing Adderall and other ADHD-related medications has risen.

College social life often involves alcohol, which causes most students to associate the outcome of socializing and feeling less anxious with taking alcohol. When balancing school life and social life becomes overwhelming, many turn to abusing Adderall as a way of excelling at both.

Some students view it as a study drug, believing it can help them perform academically.

As to the question, why do individuals mix Adderall with alcohol?

Some abusers, especially youths, intentionally take Adderall and alcohol in a combination to remain high and intoxicated for a more extended period.

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Final Thoughts

Adderall is a potent drug that can cause serious cardiovascular complications, especially when mixed with alcohol. So, ensure you’re only using Adderall and other ADHD-related medications as prescribed by a registered medical practitioner.

Here at EZCare Medical Clinic, our team of health professionals has a plethora of medical knowledge to provide health treatment approaches and lifestyle advice.

Schedule your appointment today for the most suitable ADHD treatment.


+2 sources
  1. Risk of Alcohol Abuse in Humans with Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Symptoms. (2019)
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  2. The Dangers of Mixing Adderall and Alcohol. (2023)
    Source link


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This article contains scientific references. The numbers
in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.