Knowing that a loved one is abusing Adderall and alcohol can be a difficult situation to navigate. Their use is undoubtedly placing incredible emotional weight on your shoulders. How do you manage it all? Is it okay to confront them about their substance addiction?

While trying to answer these questions can be difficult, knowing how to provide help to someone who abuses multiple substances can be even more problematic. A good place to start is by working to better comprehend how substances – like Adderall and alcohol – affect your loved one’s health, and what drives them to abuse multiple substances at the same time.

The Effects of Alcohol Abuse

The negative impact that alcohol can have on a person’s body starts from the moment they take their first sip. The occasional glass of wine with dinner isn’t a reason to be overly concerned, but the cumulative impact of drinking excessive amounts of wine, beer or liquor can take its toll.

Some of the more concerning effects associated with alcohol abuse include:

  • Liver Damage
    Chronic alcohol use can severely damage the liver and prevent it from properly removing harmful substances from the body.
  • Heart Damage
    Heavy drinking has been shown to be one of the primary causes behind cardiovascular disease.
  • Brain Damage: Alcohol can affect the brain, leading to problems with memory, decision making, and mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
  • Social and Relationship Problems: Alcohol abuse can strain relationships with family and friends and can lead to issues at work or school.
  • Mental Health: Alcohol abuse can worsen existing mental health conditions and can lead to new mental health issues.
  • Risky Behaviors: Being under the influence of alcohol can lead to risky behaviors like unsafe sex or driving under the influence, which have their own set of dangerous consequences.
  • Pregnancy Complications: Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can lead to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs), which include physical, behavioral, and learning problems in the baby.
  • Behavioral Changes
    Alcohol can alter normal behaviors and leave a person without the mental clarity to make smart decisions.
  • Dependency and Addiction: Regular heavy drinking can lead to alcohol dependence or alcoholism, where the body becomes physically dependent on alcohol.

The Effects of Adderall Abuse

Abuse of Adderall can be highly dangerous, as the drug can have neurotoxic effects. Neurotoxicity is damage to the nervous system, and – in the case of Adderall – it refers to neuron and nerve damage caused by high levels of dopamine.

Some identified issues associated with Adderall abuse include:

  • Addiction and Dependence: Adderall is a stimulant that affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control. Regular, non-prescribed use can lead to physical and psychological dependence, and addiction.
  • Cardiovascular Problems: Adderall can increase heart rate and blood pressure. Misuse, especially in high doses, can lead to serious cardiovascular issues like heart attacks, stroke, and heart rhythm abnormalities.
  • Mental Health Risks: Abuse of Adderall can exacerbate existing mental health issues like anxiety and depression. It can also lead to feelings of hostility or paranoia.
  • Sleep Disturbances: As a stimulant, Adderall can cause difficulties in falling asleep or staying asleep, leading to sleep deprivation and associated health issues.
  • Physical Health Issues: Overuse of Adderall can lead to physical side effects like headaches, dizziness, dry mouth, constipation, nausea, and weight loss due to decreased appetite.
  • Risk of Overdose: Taking too much Adderall can lead to an overdose, which can be life-threatening. Symptoms of an overdose include restlessness, tremor, confusion, hallucinations, panic states, hyperreflexia, and rapid breathing.
  • Withdrawal Symptoms: Stopping Adderall abruptly after prolonged abuse can lead to withdrawal symptoms like depression, fatigue, and sleep problems.
  • Cognitive Impairment: Contrary to popular belief, long-term abuse of Adderall in individuals without ADHD does not improve, and may actually impair, brain function and cognitive performance.
  • Legal and Ethical Issues: Possessing Adderall without a prescription, or selling or giving it to others, is illegal and can lead to legal consequences.
  • Interactions with Other Substances: Mixing Adderall with other substances, particularly other stimulants or depressants like alcohol, can be extremely dangerous.

Dangers of Mixing Adderall and Alcohol

There is a mountain of research and evidence that shows how alcohol and Adderall can each cause dangerous health risks on their own. Combining both substances can significantly increase health risks due to the higher toxicity associated with both substances being taken together.

A prescription stimulant like Adderall heightens the risk of a potential heart issue, and the risk is magnified when Adderall is taken with alcohol. This is due to the strain that each substance places on the heart and the way they force the body to adjust and adapt to the contrasting effects of a stimulant (Adderall) and a depressant (alcohol).

Additionally, the liver is responsible for processing any toxic substances that build up in the bloodstream. The body can then eliminate these waste products, usually through urine. However, research suggests that alcohol disrupts the metabolism of a stimulant, like Adderall, forcing the body to hold onto those toxins and increasing the damaging effects connected to them.

Common risks can include:

  • Masked Intoxication: Adderall can reduce the feeling of being drunk, making you think you’re less intoxicated than you actually are. This might lead to drinking more alcohol, increasing the risk of alcohol poisoning.
  • Increased Heart Rate and Blood Pressure: Both Adderall and alcohol can raise your heart rate and blood pressure. When combined, this effect can be amplified, potentially leading to heart problems.
  • Poor Decision Making: Alcohol can impair judgment and lower inhibitions, while Adderall can increase impulsiveness. This combination can lead to risky behavior.
  • Increased Strain on the Body: Both substances are processed by the liver. Using them together can put extra strain on your liver, possibly leading to liver damage.
  • Mental Health Risks: This combination can worsen mental health issues like anxiety and depression.
  • Addiction and Dependence: There’s a risk of developing dependence on one or both substances, especially if they’re used together regularly.

How to Help Your Loved One with Adderal and Alcohol Abuse

If your loved one is struggling with mixing Adderall and alcohol, finding a way to be supportive is important. The physical toll that combining substances can have on a body – physically, emotionally, mentally – is devastating.

That’s why working with your loved one to find a treatment facility capable of handling both the physical and mental health components of polydrug use is essential to safely beginning their recovery journey. Doing your research beforehand can literally be a life saver, because when your loved one decides they want to enter into treatment, you’ll be prepared to help facilitate the transition as quickly as possible.

Discover Life-Changing Alcohol and Adderall Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

Adderall and alcohol have no power over your loved one. Remind them: Their new life starts the moment they declare they have complete control over their actions, health and future.

Whatever your loved one’s situation, Ranch Creek Recovery will tailor treatment to address their specific needs. We go beyond the normal 12-Step program and deliver comprehensive, holistic inpatient services at our serene rehab center in Murrieta, California.

Learn more about our life-changing, holistic treatment programs, or contact us today to get your questions answered.