While both alcohol and Adderall are highly addictive and potentially dangerous on their own, the likelihood of adverse effects increases significantly when they are combined. Being legal substances, these two drugs are easily accessible and commonly mixed without the user having knowledge of the many potential health risks. To understand the danger associated with this combination, it is important to examine the unique effects each drug has on the body, as their interaction can have deadly consequences. 


Due to its accessibility, alcohol is ranked the number one addictive substance in the world. As a central nervous system depressant (CNS), alcohol impacts brain function, motor skills, and cognitive functioning. When used in excess, alcohol is likely to act as a poison to the physical body, causing the user to vomit or become unconscious. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 95,000 deaths each year are attributed to alcohol consumption. These fatalities include alcohol-induced traffic accidents, liver failure, and alcohol poisoning, among others.   


Adderall is a prescription stimulant comprised of four amphetamine components. Typically used to treat ADD, ADHD, or narcolepsy, Adderall improves energy and focus while enhancing mood by stimulating the brain’s dopamine receptors. Because of the improvements experienced under its influence, Adderall is listed as being high risk for misuse by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. This drug falls within the top 25 prescribed drugs in the United States with over 25 million active prescriptions in circulation as of 2018. 

Prescribed drugs

Alcohol and Adderall 

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, individuals struggling with alcohol use disorders are 18 times more likely to report nonmedical use of prescription drugs than people who don’t consume alcohol. This polysubstance use is very common and isn’t without serious health complications. 

Alcohol acts as a depressant while Adderall works as a stimulant. When combined, these two substances compete with each other and cause serious health risks. Some individuals combine these two drugs so that the negative side effects of each are negated. Adderall wards off the sluggishness associated with alcohol, while alcohol eases the agitation that often comes with Adderall use. The stimulating properties of Adderall counteract levels of intoxication that come from ingesting alcohol, leading the individual to believe they can drink more. This can lead to dangerous alcohol toxicity and possible alcohol poisoning. 

In contrast, Adderall in the system can build up as alcohol is metabolized first, with the user remaining unaware that this build-up is occurring.  This stimulant build-up is responsible for severe cardiovascular and neurological stress. Combining alcohol and Adderall places significant stress on the heart, leading to serious health issues such as cardiac arrest, stroke, or seizure. 

Mix Drugs and Alcohol

Asheville Recovery Center Can Help  

Alcohol and Adderall are dangerous when abused on their own, but especially when combined. It is extremely important to seek help immediately if you or a loved one is struggling with any substance addiction. At Asheville Recovery Center, treatment specialists have developed a unique, hybrid model of treatment which combines a traditional 12-step program with holistic rehabilitation. A multitude of services, programs, and therapies are offered, including the Partial Hospitalization Program, Residential-style treatment, outpatient rehabilitation, and more. 

The founders of Asheville Recovery Center, as well as many of our addiction therapists, have struggled with addiction and now enjoy life in recovery. They understand the struggles of addiction and how difficult it is to overcome alone. If you feel that you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, our specialists are on standby and ready to help. Call (828)518-6996 and speak with an addiction expert today so you can take the first step towards a rewarding life of sobriety.

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