Adderall is a schedule II drug that many claim is a nootropic, or smart drug. It is most often prescribed to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder but can be misused as a performance enhancing drug. Some students use the drug when studying for their exams. Adderall is a stimulant drug that is not unlike amphetamines, but it is formulated with time-release agents so that the drug is delivered in the most safe, effective manner. Many may be familiar with Ritalin, which is another, similar stimulant drug used to treat children and adults who suffer with ADHD.

Despite the best intentions of drug makers and the doctors who prescribe these medications, Adderall, and other stimulant medications, can be abused by people who are looking for a high rather than treatment. When used as a recreational drug, it is often mixed with another wildly popular drug of abuse: alcohol. The use of a stimulant and a depressant is nothing new. Addicts have been mixing uppers with downers for decades, if not longer.

What is Adderall?

Adderall is a stimulant prescription drug that doctors recommend for patients who suffer from ADHD. It's pharmacological purpose is to help the patient focus and thus become more productive at work and/or school. Chemically, Adderall is similar to methamphetamine. Meth, however, is not a prescribed substance, but rather a drug that’s often made on the street, and thus can contain any number of random, toxic elements.

Both stimulants are addictive and can be used exclusively as drugs of abuse. Adderall's makers seek to avoid this by formulating it to release over time. The time-release helps the user avoid a euphoric rush while gaining benefits from a measured dose of stimulant. However, when users crush and snort the pills, they can achieve a euphoric rush that fuels addiction. Some users who have gained a tolerance to oral administration will turn to snorting as a way to increase the effects.

Common Side Effects of Adderall

One of Adderall's chief side effects is addiction. Some studies have shown that patients experience withdrawal after only three days of use. However, there are other side effects that chiefly impact the renal system and, if you experience them, you should be examined by a doctor.

Those include:

  • Pain in the bladder
  • Blood in urine
  • Difficult urination
  • Heartbeat problems including irregular heartbeat
  • Fever, chills

The drug has other common side effects that are considered normal and not worthy of a doctor's attention.

Once users gain a higher tolerance many of these symptoms will abate:

  • Anxiety
  • Weakness
  • Stomach pain
  • Weight loss

Interactions of Alcohol and Adderall

Alcohol acts as a depressant on the central nervous system, while Adderall has the opposite impact. For decades, addicts and other drug abusers have mixed depressants with amphetamine drugs. The thinking is that each counteracts parts of the other drugs effects, thus creating a unique high. The downside is that the mix is often highly addictive, if not deadly.

When users mix Adderall and alcohol, they find that the sleepy, sluggish aspects of drinking are nullified by the amphetamine’s upper effect. However, alcohol's other effects, such as its euphoric attributes, are enhanced by the stimulant. Users then feel more drunk but also like they can drink more and perhaps extend a drinking session well in to the wee-hours. Users also raise the risk of heart problems.

Though medical science advises limiting one's drinking while on Adderall, it is probably best to avoid the mixture altogether. Both substances are drugs of abuse, so users will be most safe by keeping them separate.

Alcohol Poisoning and Adderall Overdose

Both alcohol and Adderall are highly addictive substances. Their problematic nature is multiplied when users become accustomed to mixing the two. The mixture is highly potent and sets users up for a nasty dual addiction. As the addiction sets in, tolerance rises, and so does the risk of overdose and poisoning.

The stimulant effects of Adderall to mute alcohol's depressant impact, creating an additional, artificial tolerance to alcohol that can be deadly. That's because when drinkers continue drinking far past their normal tolerance level, they run the risk of alcohol poisoning. Since the two drugs are effectively fighting for dominance, users might take extra doses of both. Thus, if users don't experience alcohol poisoning, they run the risk of overdosing on Adderall.

Alcohol poisoning includes the following symptoms:

  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Aggression
  • Seizures
  • Nausea and vomiting

An Adderall overdose includes these symptoms:

  • Extreme agitation
  • Confusion
  • Aggression
  • Hallucinations
  • Tremors, twitching, spasms
  • Rapid and/or irregular heartbeat
  • Vomiting

As a result, your body temperature may start to rise along with your blood pressure. The end result could easily be a heart attack. However, some may have a high tolerance for alcohol, Adderall, or both. This means they will need more of the substances to achieve the desired effects. As users continue to seek out a high that matches their early experiences, the volume of their use increases and the dangers along with it.


When users discontinue use of alcohol and Adderall, they are prone to experience withdrawal symptoms.

The symptoms for alcohol withdrawal include:

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Tremors & Shakes
  • Seizures
  • Heart Attack

Adderall's withdrawal symptoms closely mirror many found from alcohol. If you are addicted to both, you must tell a medical professional upon initiating detoxification.

Adderall's withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Deep Fatigue
  • Stomach Aches


When addiction sets in and is running rampant in a person's life, it is hoped that they will soon seek treatment. The first step in the treatment process is detoxification, which can be grueling, if not fatal. Frequently, treatment for Adderall addiction follows an overdose. During treatment, medical professionals seek to sedate the patient in the safest manner possible. The patient may be placed in restraints to keep them from harming themselves or others.

Overdose victims are also placed in a calm, darkened room, where stimulation is at a minimum. Since their body may be overheating, they can be packed in ice and administered cool drinks to offset the heating as well as any dehydration. Please note that Adderall overdoses can be fatal. Patients are subject to stroke, seizure, and heart problems. For that reason, it's advised that any overdose victim receive medical care.

Alcohol poisoning and withdrawal must also be treated by medical professionals. Patients need to have their blood pressure stabilized with sedatives and may also need to be placed in restraints. If alcohol detoxification is concurrent with Adderall, it is doubly important that patients seek medical care.