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Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that works by slowing down vital functions in one’s body. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “ethyl alcohol, or ethanol, is an intoxicating ingredient found in beer, wine, and liquor. Alcohol is produced by the fermentation of yeast, sugars, and starches.” The feelings elicited when an individual ingests alcohol occur because of the way the substance interacts with one’s neurotransmitters. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism explains that “alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, and can affect the way the brain looks and works.” As is true with any legal or illegal substance, there may be potential drug interactions when mixing with other substances. Hence, mixing certain substances, such as alcohol and Adderall, is not recommended. 

Adderall is a prescription stimulant medication that is made up of two substances: dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Adderall for use in the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in 1996. Adderall is also classified as a Schedule II Controlled Substance by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which is defined as a drug “with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence.” When used exactly as directed, Adderall can effectively help individuals manage symptoms of ADHD. When Adderall is abused and/ or mixed with alcohol it can be highly dangerous. 


The abuse of alcohol and Adderall can impact an individual’s mental state and behavior. Adderall works in one’s system by speeding up the central nervous system functions. Alcohol affects one’s body by slowing down the brain’s electrical activity. When both substances are present in one’s body they compete, which can lead to severe consequences, including but not limited to the following examples, provided by Medical News Today

  • Tremors
  • Uncontrollable vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Stoke
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Anxiety
  • Malnutrition
  • Psychotic episodes
  • Paranoia 
  • Slurred speech
  • Reduced reaction time
  • Distorted judgment
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Increased body temperature
  • Poor coordination
  • Overdose 

Alcohol and Adderall are substances that both have addictive qualities. Each substance individually impacts a person’s cognitive functioning, mood, and behavior, and when taken together can result in a plethora of negative and potentially life-threatening side effects.

Further Information and Support

Navigating the challenges that arise from living with mental illness, struggling with substance abuse, and/ or addiction can not only be all consuming but are often impossible to effectively handle without proper support. If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding mental illness, substance abuse, and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. Bear in mind that you do not have to be on this journey alone. At Upwell Advisors, we offer unique, customized concierge therapeutic services to provide our clients with unparalleled support throughout every step of the recovery process. 

If left untreated, substance abuse, addiction, and/ or mental illness can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to leading happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives. Please do not hesitate to reach out for guidance. We welcome the opportunity to discuss how we might best be able to help you or your loved one in the recovery process.

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