One of the most commented upon questions we have gotten here on ADHD Central was from a mom who wanted to know what effects there would be for her son if he drank alcohol while taking a medication prescribed for ADHD, Adderall. You may view this original question right here. The responses we received on this topic were varied and created quite a heated discussion. And this is not the first time this question has been asked on this site. So to clear up any confusion we wish to provide you with information on why mixing alcohol and Adderall is a potentially dangerous combination.
The bottom line: It is recommended that you do not drink alcohol while you are taking Adderall.
First let's give you some general information about Adderall, ADHD medications, and the use of alcohol.
- Here is the official Adderall web site with medication guide and precautions. If you wish to contact the company directly here is how to do so: If you have any questions about Adderall XR, please contact Shire Medical Information at 1-800-828-2088.
- Here is more information about Adderall from Health Central.
- Here are our Frequently Asked Questions about ADHD medications.
- Here is an article by our Eileen Bailey about ADHD and alcohol abuse.
Before taking Adderall it is important that you talk to your physician about any other prescription and over the counter medications or herbal supplements you are currently taking. It is also important that you disclose if you drink alcohol if you are thinking of taking Adderall. Most guidelines advise that anyone who has any history of drug or alcohol abuse should not take this medication.
It is interesting to note that some people report losing an interest in drinking alcohol once they begin taking Adderall as reported by some ADHD forum members. And as our Eileen Bailey reports, there is evidence that the use of ADHD medication can also decrease drug abuse: "In one study, performed at the Boston Hospital and the Harvard Medical School, the use of medication to treat ADHD symptoms decreased the use of illicit drugs by 84%."
So how does it happen that some people are taking Adderall and drinking alcohol?
It is not so difficult to figure out. While some individuals are prescribed Adderall, others are taking it without a prescription. The illegal use of Adderall and Ritalin can be found on any college campus. Some college students turn to using unprescribed ADHD meds as a way to increase their focus and pull all nighters to accomplish many tasks in a short amount of time. One of the trends nowadays is to crush the pill and snort it to get a more speedy effect. Add to this, alcohol is often prevalent and easy to come by on most college campuses. Whether or not one is taking Adderall with a prescription or not, there are some people who are mixing alcohol with this medication in a potentially dangerous combination.