Adderall and Alcohol: Why is it so Dangerous to Drink While on Adderall

Adderall side effects
Mixing Alcohol and Adderall

Doctors typically prescribe Adderall for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. If you are taking this prescription medication, you probably have many questions about it – one of them is whether it’s safe to drink alcohol while taking Adderall. 

To give you a short answer, it’s ‘no.’ Mixing Adderall and alcohol can be extremely dangerous. In this post, Addiction IO is going to explain this more in detail:

What Is Adderall for?

Adderall is a prescription medication that stimulates the body’s central nervous system, impacting the brain and the release of certain chemicals in the brain, such as dopamine and norepinephrine. These chemicals play a crucial role in cognitive functions and focus.

Adderall is typically used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. It is also used to treat narcolepsy and as a weight-loss drug, as it suppresses appetite.

Adderall is also prescribed for off-label uses, for example, as a mood enhancer or a concentration booster.

It is a type of stimulant designed to provide an enhanced mental focus and improve an individual’s cognitive functions.

Adderall works by binding to a receptor in the brain called dopamine transporter, which is the substance that clears dopamine from the brain. The medication prevents the dopamine transporter from clearing dopamine from the brain, thus, leaving more dopamine in the system.

Is It Safe to Drink Alcoholic Beverages When Taking Adderall?

The use of Adderall and alcohol together can be hazardous for various reasons.

Alcohol and Adderall are central nervous system (CNS) depressants. CNS depressants slow down the central nervous system, resulting in a sedated feeling.

However, when taken together, the effects of both drugs overstimulate the brain and slow down the central nervous system.

As a result, a person will experience the opposite effect of what they were experiencing while taking either Adderall or alcohol alone.

Here’s a quick example: if a person was taking Adderall to stimulate concentration, clarity, and focus but was also drinking alcohol, they will experience the opposite of these effects: they will feel confused, moody, and unfocused.

What Makes It Dangerous?

There are three main reasons why mixing Adderall and alcohol together is dangerous.

First of all, drinking while on Adderall may cause a person to become nervous and jittery. They may also have increased anxiety levels and become panic-stricken.

Secondly, alcohol and Adderall may cause an individual to feel confused, slow, and tired. They may experience a sudden onset of drowsiness and feel like sleeping, even though it’s early in the day.

Third, alcohol and Adderall may cause an individual to experience a rapid heartbeat and increased blood pressure. Other side effects may include nausea, vomiting, headache, and loss of appetite.

How Long Should You Wait After Taking Adderall Before Drinking Alcohol?

The answer to this question depends on the person. If a person’s tolerance for Adderall is low, then they should wait for at least 24 hours before drinking alcohol.

The same rule applies if a person takes Adderall for the first time.

If a person is already familiar with Adderall and has already developed a tolerance for it, then they should wait for at least 48 hours before drinking alcohol.

What Should You Do If You Mistakenly Drank Alcohol After Taking Adderall?

If you accidentally mixed Adderall with alcohol and are experiencing dangerous side effects, you should seek medical attention right away.

Side effects that require immediate medical attention include difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, and chest pain. If you experience these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

You should also contact a poison control center and tell them that you took Adderall and alcohol and that you are experiencing dangerous side effects.

What Are the Symptoms and Side Effects of Taking Adderall and Drinking Alcohol at the Same Time?

Adderall and alcohol are both powerful medications, so when they’re taken together, the results can be devastating.

It can:

  • Cause hypertension and tachycardia (high blood pressure and racing heartbeat)
  • Cause irregular heartbeats and possible heart failure
  • Cause stroke and seizures
  • Cause liver damage and kidney failure
  • Cause hallucinations and paranoia
  • Cause death

What Are the Risks Associated with Drinking While Taking Adderall?

There are two main risks associated with drinking on Adderall:

  1. The first risk is that mixing alcohol and Adderall can cause an individual to experience hallucinations and delusions. Essentially, mixing alcohol and Adderall can cause individuals to lose their sense of reality. They can become confused and disoriented and may feel like leaving their house and going to a bar or somewhere they shouldn’t be. They can also experience increased anxiety and panic.
  2. The second risk is that mixing alcohol and Adderall can cause an individual’s heart to race and beat rapidly. In some cases, it may beat so fast that it leads to heart failure and stroke. It could also cause the individual’s blood pressure to rapidly increase, preventing the blood from being pumped to the brain.

Mixing alcohol and Adderall is dangerous and can cause unexpected, dangerous side effects. Because of this, it is best to avoid drinking alcohol while taking Adderall.

How long does Adderall stay in your system
Adderall and Alcohol

Potential for Addiction

Adderall is a prescription medication, which means that it can also lead to a potential for abuse and addiction.

However, it is important to note that the amount of Adderall a person takes and the length of time they have been taking it play a huge role in their risk of developing an addiction.

If a person takes the drug according to their prescription (i.e., only when necessary and no more than the regular dosage), their risk for addiction is low. If a person takes larger amounts of the drug than prescribed or takes the medication longer than necessary, their risk for addiction is higher.

Over time, when a person takes Adderall on a regular basis, their body will start to become dependent on it and will crave it, even though they don’t need it for medical reasons.

As a result, when a person goes off Adderall, they will experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. The longer a person is addicted to Adderall and the larger the doses they take, the stronger their withdrawal symptoms will be.

If you or someone you know is addicted to Adderall and is experiencing withdrawal symptoms, speak to a medical professional right away. They will be able to tell you how to detoxify your body correctly. They will understand all the potential side effects you may experience, as well as the withdrawal symptoms that you may experience.


Adderall and alcohol are both powerful medications, which is why taking the two together can have dangerous consequences.

If you have been taking Adderall and drinking alcohol, there is no need to panic, but you do need to stop taking them at the same time. If you are taking Adderall for your condition, consult your doctor to know if there are other treatment options for you. Of course, it’s also best if you can try to stay away from alcoholic beverages. If you are experiencing dangerous side effects from drinking alcohol while on Adderall, seek medical attention immediately. You should also seek professional help if you notice signs of addiction to Adderall.