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Concurrent Alcohol and Adderall Abuse

man passed out from mixing alcohol with pills

Anyone at risk for alcohol or Adderall abuse should know several facts about both drugs. Both drugs are fairly common, and both can be lethal if used in conjunction or in large amounts separately.

Adderall is an amphetamine, which means it is a central nervous system stimulant [2]. As a central nervous system stimulant, the drug can give users a feeling of energy, elation, concentration and even euphoria [2]. For this reason, Adderall is often abused by high school and college students looking to concentrate on a test or on a paper.

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, meaning that the drug delays reaction times for users and limits inhibitions. It also lowers critical thinking and motor skill thresholds. The effects of both drugs only last for a few hours, but prolonged use can cause long-term organ damage, such as serious liver problems and memory issues. When alcohol and Adderall are used in conjunction, the mix of drugs can be extremely dangerous and even cause death.

Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol With Adderall

There are several signs of concurrent alcohol and Adderall use that users should be aware of. If someone is abusing alcohol, they are likely to have impaired brain function, with symptoms including [5]:

  • Slurred speech.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Delayed reaction times.
  • Loss of balance and motor skills.

If too much alcohol is consumed in one sitting, passing out may occur. Large doses of alcohol can cause alcohol poisoning or overdose, which may lead to death when left untreated.

Individuals abusing Adderall will likely seem energized and even highly concentrated. However, there are negative side effects of the drug as well. The negative side effects of Adderall use can include:

  • Agitation.
  • Anxiety.
  • Insomnia.
  • Paranoia.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Excessive mood changes.
  • Abnormal heart rhythm.
  • Cardiovascular complications, including stroke.

Adderall is prescribed clinically to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD. However, Adderall has quickly become a popular recreational drug for students.

Alcohol is another popular drug for students, making it imperative that young adults have all of the information on the effects of combining the drugs.

Combined Effects of Adderall and Alcohol Abuse

Concurrent alcohol- and Adderall-induced health problems can be severe and, in some cases, fatal. Because Adderall stimulates the central nervous system, it provides a feeling of energy to the user. The drug also stimulates the heart, prompting the organ to beat harder and faster for the duration of the drug’s time in the body, which may result in heart failure or seizures.

Alcohol acts as a central nervous system depressant, meaning that the drug is slowing down the heartbeat. When the drugs are used in conjunction, the signals going to the heart can get mixed, causing the organ to start beating out of rhythm. When the heart beats out of rhythm, an arrhythmia can occur, which can be extremely dangerous.

If the heart can’t get back into rhythm, an arrhythmia can cause death [9]. Other serious side effects of using both drugs in conjunction include:

  • Paranoia.
  • Migraines.
  • Insomnia.
  • Psychosis.
  • Nausea/vomiting.
  • Tremors.
  • Convulsions.

Find out about how to help an Adderall addict when you call our helpline free at .

Treatment for Co-Occurring Alcohol and Adderall Addiction

There are several rehab programs available locally to anyone interested in fighting an alcohol or an Adderall addiction. There are also many rehab centers that treat both addictions concurrently. There are usually two rehab options for patients seeking to get sober—inpatient rehab programs and outpatient rehab programs.

Inpatient rehab programs require patients to stay overnight, typically for a duration of somewhere between 30 days and 90 days.

Outpatient rehab programs do not require patients to stay overnight, though patients must check in with a medical professional at least once per day. Both program types offer many of the same services and support systems.

Statistics for Alcohol and Adderall Use

The usage of prescription drugs is rising in the United States, with college students more likely to abuse stimulants such as Adderall than other groups. This is a troubling trend because of the high rates of binge drinking and alcohol intoxication among college students.

Nearly one fourth of high school students binge drank in 2014 (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2014), with 10% of high school students admitting to drinking and driving (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012). These are dangerous statistics.

Teen Drinking and Adderall Abuse

Although prescription drug and alcohol abuse has declined in recent years among teenagers, there has also been a decline in the perceived harms of regular prescription drug use. This shift in attitudes may indicate a rise in prescription drug abuse in future years. Research also shows that most teens continue to obtain these drugs from friends or relatives.

Despite alcohol being illegal for persons under the age of 21 in the United States, people aged 12 to 20 years old are reported to consume 11% of all alcohol in the country (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015). Learn more about teen alcohol and drug misuse.

Resources, Articles and More Information

For those interested in alcohol and Adderall articles, resources, and information, here are some references to read:

If you are interested in getting your life back in order and quitting alcohol and Adderall use, then give us a call for free at . We’d be happy to work with you to get you into a rehab program that fits your individual needs. Sobriety is just a call away! Contact us today and let us help you.

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