Adderall and Alcohol

How careful should a person using the prescription stimulant Adderall be when they drink alcohol? This blog explores what happens when people mix Adderall and alcoholic drinks and explains how the two substances interact.

What Are Adderall and Alcohol?

Adderall is a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine and is a central nervous system stimulant medication. It belongs to the class of prescription stimulants that boost energy and enhance focus by stimulating the brain.

ADHD medications contain a blend of different amphetamine salts which increase the levels of neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, improving concentration and reducing hyperactivity and impulsivity. To produce these stimulant effects, Adderall is designed for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The medication is also used to treat individuals with a sleep disorder called narcolepsy.

There is a common misconception that abusing Adderall is safer than misusing other drugs such as cocaine because it is a prescription medication. This idea is wrong. Adderall’s misuse can lead to effects similar to that of illicit drug abuse.

Those who abuse Adderall will build up a tolerance to its effects, causing them to increase their dose over time. College students often depend on the drug, believing that the stimulant effect can help them to study and focus all night or be sharper by day, causing Adderall addiction and overdose rates to increase among young adults.

The non-medical use of Adderall or taking Adderall in a way that is not directed can lead to a series of negative effects. Adderall misuse can cause unusual excitability, aggression and violent behavior, irritability, insomnia, mood swings, heart arrhythmia, and weight loss.

Alcohol or ethanol is the intoxicating ingredient found in liquor, beer, and wine, produced by the fermentation of sugars, yeast, and starches. It is a psychoactive substance, and a central nervous system depressant, meaning that it slows down neural activity and brain functioning. It does so by mimicking the effects of the neurotransmitter GABA.

Alcohol comes with dependence-producing properties and even though it has been widely used for centuries, alcohol abuse carries a series of health, social and economic consequences. Alcohol can cause slurred speech, disturbed perceptions, unsteady movement, an inability to react quickly, reduce a person’s ability to think rationally, lessen inhibitions, and distort judgment. The harmful use of alcohol is a causal factor in more than 200 disease and injury conditions and can lead to unintentional injuries, violence, homicide, and suicide.

The Dangers of Mixing Adderall and Alcohol

The Dangers of Mixing Adderall and Alcohol

A person does not have to take Adderall and alcohol at the same time to place themselves at risk. The drug can stay in the body for hours, and even taking them some hours apart can make someone ill. Until Adderall is metabolized in the system, the time for which varies from person to person and depends on their history of Adderall use as well as other physiological factors, drinking alcohol is not safe. Both immediate-release and extended-release formulations of Adderall interact with any type of alcohol.

The Adderall and alcohol mix has become popular among college students hoping to party longer. As they believe Adderall will stimulate their central nervous systems and allow them to prolong social drinking through the night, they combine ADHD drugs with alcohol. Others may drink as a way of coping with the effect of the medication. This is risky because mixing alcohol and Adderall can cause a long list of adverse effects to come about.

Since both these drugs have the common element of boosting dopamine levels, combining Adderall and alcohol may boost or lift mood even higher than either drug would alone. But Adderall belongs to the group of prescription stimulants while alcohol is a depressant, and instead of canceling each other out, they instead compete with each other in the body, causing serious problems. CNS stimulant drugs can mask the effects of depressants such as alcohol, and vice versa, causing people to drink too much alcohol or take too much Adderall.

Physical Effects

Those who mix alcohol and Adderall are at an increased risk of developing substance abuse problems and are more likely to experiment with other substances. Adderall abuse can blur a person’s sense of being intoxicated or hungover, which often leads them to drink alcohol at a level that is way past what is safe. A vicious cycle of Adderall and alcohol abuse can develop into a substance use disorder as a person becomes dependent on both substances.

Some people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder mix Adderall and alcohol as they attempt to manage symptoms. But alcohol can make ADHD worse.

As with alcohol, ADHD medication such as Adderall carries the risk of heart problems. Taking both substances increases the risk of cardiac events by increasing heart rate and placing more strain on the heart.

As alcohol and Adderall are both digested by the same liver enzymes, liver problems and organ damage can occur in the long term. Higher blood pressure and increased body temperature are also not good for physical health, and a user may also experience nausea, vomiting, and dehydration.

Combining the substances can affect a person’s ability to concentrate, solve problems and remember. It can also affect mental health by leading to depression, and in high doses can lead to psychosis or hallucinations.

Risky Behavior

Mixing alcohol and Adderall can hurt a person’s judgment, reaction time, vision, and coordination. This increases the possibility of dangerous impulsivity and risky behavior. The fact that the combination of the two drugs will make it harder for a person to tell when they are drunk may result in behaviors beyond control. A person may get into a physical fight, crash a car or motorcycle, or have sex they later regret.

Overdose and Alcohol Poisoning

A major risk associated with taking Adderall and drinking alcohol is the fact that a person is less aware of how much they have taken of either drug. As Adderall can mask the effects of alcohol intoxication, people may not be aware of how much alcohol they have had, often leading to over-drinking or alcohol poisoning.

Alcohol poisoning can result in confusion, vomiting, slow breathing, inability to wake up, seizures, slow and irregular breathing, slow heart rate, and dulled responses. It is a medical emergency, and a person should seek medical attention if they suspect someone has alcohol poisoning.

At the same time, a person may take too much Adderall when they abuse alcohol, causing an overdose of the drug. This could lead to heart and circulation failure, heart attack, seizures, coma, and death.

Treatment Options

Treatment Options

When an Adderall and alcohol combination develops into chronic substance abuse it is vital to seek treatment. Treatment centers can address co-occurring substance use disorders. They are also able to address any mental health issues that encouraged Adderall and alcohol use.

The physical dependence on both substances can be slowly tapered off during a detox. Afterward, individual behavioral and group therapies can help a person to understand the reasons behind their drug use and teach skills for avoiding relapse.

Where Can I Find a Treatment Center?

If you or a loved one is struggling with Adderall and alcohol abuse, Alina Lodge can help with treatment. We understand that addiction is individual and that is why each treatment plan is customized to fit the client’s physical, mental, and emotional needs. Alongside treatment for substance use disorders, we also provide therapy for mental health disorders including anxiety, depression, and personality disorder.

We provide medically supervised detoxification and a broad range of addiction treatment therapies, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, group therapy, and family therapy. Our caring and compassionate staff provide 24/7 help and support throughout the whole process. Alina Lodge also cares about your long-term recovery, which is why our chronic relapse treatment can help individuals who have struggled to maintain their sobriety in the past.

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Samantha Kelly​

Director of National Business Development & Admissions Coordinator

I am a dedicated and passionate professional with extensive experience in business development Admissions and marketing. I have an incredible passion for showing others that there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel if someone truly wants it.
Being in recovery myself I understand the struggles of addiction and alcoholism. I Started this Career path in 2009. With multiple years of experience, I bring a multi-faceted approach and am always seeking new ways to make a difference in the lives of those I work with.

Kim L. Buckner


As a Substance Abuse Motivational Speaker, Pastor, Peer Advocate, and Facilitator. Kim helps clients avoid relapse by understanding their triggers. Those people, places and things that can cause craving, as well as internal triggers like feelings, thoughts, or emotions. Kim also clients with identifying and building healthy relationships now that they’re clean and sober.

Kim’s background includes extensive experience as a motivational speaker and work in faith-based organizations helping youth and adults alike. He says he is motivated by giving back to the community, understanding, and not judging who she comes into contact with. Kim’s favorite quote is by Dr. Raymond Johnson: “The respect given to others rebounds to the giver to deny the scared in the Other is to deny it in oneself.”

Caty Burns


Caty graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minors in Counseling and History. Throughout her undergrad, she worked at the local CASA program, supporting volunteers advocating for children who had experienced abuse and neglect. Caty worked for seven years at a community mental health center (CMHC), partnering with children, adults, and families.

During those seven years, she taught life and coping skills as well as behavior management, provided case management and peer recovery services, and facilitated treatment teams that included the client, family, providers, and community members. I have also worked at an IOP providing group therapy services. She is currently working towards my Master of Social Work.

In her free time, Caty enjoys reading, especially historical fiction, spending time outdoors and having movie nights with her family. Disney World is her happy place, and she dreams of living among the elephants.

Madison Knowles

Mental Health Therapist

My name is Madison Knowles, I am a Mental health therapist at NPAC. I am a single-mother of two and I have a daughter who is globally delayed and has been diagnosed with autism. I have been in this industry since I was 16 years old, as I was fascinated with human behavior. I obtained my masters in applied behavioral analysis and started off working with people with disabilities. I then found my love for counseling when I worked with juveniles who had mental health and substance use issues. I then decided to go back for my mental health therapy license after that and working in a forensic treatment center. I went on to obtain my therapy credentials and since 2017, I have also been working on my PhD in forensic psychology in which I am currently working on my dissertation. I am inspired by change and how resilient people can be. My favorite inspirational quote is “Some will, Some won’t, So what, NEXT!!!” This quote has inspired me to try, try, and try again no matter how hard life gets, someone will give you a chance eventually. As a therapist at NPAC, I have been given the opportunity to work with diverse populations such as in substance use and mental health and I am known for my work with people on the schizophrenic spectrum as well as with other clients with other severe conditions including personality disorders.

Megan Carmona, LMHC

Lead Therapist

Our Lead Therapist, Megan, is a bilingual Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in working with adults who struggle with addiction, anxiety, depression, and trauma. As Lead Therapist, she provides individual, family, and group therapy sessions to our clients.  Megan says “I am very passionate about therapy, especially about supporting my clients in exploring their strengths and identity. My goal is to provide individuals with the tools that can help them achieve independence in coping with their challenges and facilitating personal development.” In her free time, Megan enjoys watching docu-series and playing video games with her family. Her dream is to own acres of land so she can care for vulnerable animals, especially old dogs, cats, and horses. 

Kristen Bensley

Primary Clinician

As Primary Clinician, Kristen works with all aspects of our clinical team, from case management to primary therapy.  She has broad experience working in the mental health field. Prior to joining our team at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic, Kristen was part of the team awarded the Evernorth Behavioral Health Center of Excellence Designation by Cigna. She says her motivation is to help people rediscover who they are and become excited about the future and all the possibilities life offers. Kristen’s favorite quote is: “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

Ronn Daigle, MSW

Therapist, Utilization Review Clinician

Ronn Daigle services as a Therapist and Utilization Review Clinician at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has been working in the field of substance use disorder treatment since 2011, with experience in all facility-based levels of care. Ronn earned, both an Associate of Arts in Psychology (2013) and Bachelor of Science in Human Services, with an Addiction Studies Concentration (2015) from Indian River State College. 

Ronn additionally earned a Master of Social Work degree in 2021 and is a current Registered Clinical Social Work Intern working toward licensure (LCSW). He describes himself as detail oriented, and solution focused.

Ronn says: “There is nothing more fulfilling than working with someone who doesn’t believe in himself or herself, and being there in the moment with them when the belief begins. We work with individuals who come to us at a point and time in their respective lives where they do not believe that change for others is possible; let alone for themselves…throughout the process they eventually come to a point where they realize that change is not only possible, but achievable.”

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI

Assistant Clinical Director

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI is the Assistant Clinical Director at Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic who specializes in the treatment of LGBTQ, addiction, as well as mental health disorders ranging from depression and anxiety, to Bipolar Disorder, trauma, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, and eating disorders. Erika utilizes a number of modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Mindfulness amongst others. Erika has been in practice for close to a decade and has earned her license in Mental Health Counseling, as well as being a Master’s Certified Addiction Professional. Erika has worked with many individuals including couples counseling and family therapy, and is fluent in Spanish.
Throughout my years of practice, one of the things I enjoy helping people find is inner peace. Whether you are in the deepest parts of depression, overrun by your anxiety, controlled by your addiction, or there are certain issues in your life that are negatively impacting your ability to function, and have a happy, healthy life, maybe now is the time to talk about it. I am a big believer in empowerment, working hard in therapy, and utilizing different techniques to help you regain that inner peace that may have been lost along the way. I want to work with you as a team because with two people, absolutely everything is possible. I want to be there as a therapist, to help build you up, support you, but also help you be honest with yourself and accountable. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, my biggest goal for you is going to be simple….for you to no longer need my services. Why? Because if you no longer need my services, it means that you have regained your peace, you have regained your strength, you have regained your confidence. It means that you now have the tools to address any issues that try to derail you, and best of all, you will have the insight to overcome and thrive. So let’s begin this journey together, and get you to the place you want to be, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and in your sobriety.

Aurelio Ayuso, MSW, LCSW, CAP, ICADC

Clinical Director

Aurelio has worked with those that suffer from the disease of addiction in adults and juveniles alike for over 10 years, beginning in the United States Navy where he proudly served for 20 years, working with those that were succumbed by addiction due to trauma and continuing his passion for helping those in need locally in Central Florida.

He specializes in both Addictions and Trauma, he has worked first as a therapist then as the clinical supervisor to both the Juvenile and Adult Drug Court programs in Brevard County. Aurelio has been instrumental in developing substance abuse treatment programs directly tailored to help those that also suffer from complex trauma due to their addiction. He has been recognized by several organizations for his forward thinking and ability to tailor treatment to individuals in the most restrictive environments.

Mr. Ayuso received his Graduate Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker as well as Certified Addictions Professional in the State of Florida, and Internationally Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor. Aurelio specializes in the treatment of Addiction, Trauma, and Abandonment using strength based strategies deeply rooted in Solution Focused, and Mindfulness Therapies. At the Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic he passionately develops holistic curriculums that foster the belief that through addressing the mind, body, and spirit together, the Disease of Addiction can be addressed successfully.

Robert Lehmann, MHSA

Chief Operating Officer

Bob Lehmann is the Chief Operating Officer at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has a Master’s Degree in Human Services Administration with a concentration in Mental Health Administration and over twenty-five years of experience as a senior executive at addiction and mental health treatment facilities.

One of the reasons for his commitment to excellence in addiction treatment was his experience related to family members who suffered from the disease of addiction. Bob has been actively involved in community organizations throughout his career. Recently he was one of the founders of the Florida Addiction Treatment Coalition (FATC) and is its present Vice President. FATC was designed to bring together treatment executives in Florida to advocate on behalf of treatment facilities and the clients they serve adhering to a foundation of integrity and service excellence.

Jose R. Toledo, M.D.

Medical Director

A well-rounded and accomplished individual, Jose R. Toledo, M.D., is the Medical Director of Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a neurologist with 25 years of experience and has been in private practice since 1991 on the Treasure Coast of Florida. He completed his neurology training at the State University of New York and his Fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh in Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology.

He also completed 24 months of acute inpatient psychiatry at the Western Missouri Mental Health Center, University of Missouri in Kansas City. In 2008, Dr. Toledo participated in and was certified in the continuing medical education activity entitled “Buprenorphine and Office-Based Treatment of Opioid Dependence” from The Medical University of South Carolina during which began his quest to found and head Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a brain specialist with particular competence in addiction medicine and out-patient detoxification treatment and integrates the fields seamlessly. He is certified to prescribe Buprenorphine (Suboxone). He incorporates his background in neurology into the addiction field. Dr. Toledo is member/fellow of The American Medical Association, The Florida Medical Association and The American Society of Addiction Medicine