Risks and Dangers of Mixing Adderall with Other Drugs
Adderall is a medication that is frequently prescribed to people who struggle with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Even though it has side effects on its own, some people who are prescribed the drug are not aware of the dangers of mixing Adderall with other drugs.
This article will discuss the risks of using Adderall with other substances and how to get help if you or someone you care about is struggling with addiction.
Risks of Mixing Adderall and Xanax
Xanax is the brand name for alprazolam, a prescription medication from the benzodiazepine class of drugs. Xanax acts on the central nervous system and is most often used to treat anxiety. Like Adderall, Xanax has a known risk for misuse, dependence, and addiction. Although Xanax is safe on its own when used according to prescription and with close monitoring, withdrawal symptoms can occur.
According to the Journal of Ethnographic and Qualitative Research, Xanax is often used recreationally as a “downer” by people who aren’t able to come off a methamphetamine high. Many who use a combination of Adderall and another prescription drug, such as Xanax, are misinformed about the way the two drugs work. It’s a common myth that prescription drugs are safer than drugs found on the street, and the misuse of these two substances together can have unhealthy, and potentially severe, consequences.
Combining Adderall and Alcohol
Alcohol is a known depressant, and Adderall is a stimulant. When Adderall and alcohol are mixed, they compete for the body’s energy and can produce dangerous side effects. Adderall use can cause people to feel more sober than they truly are, and this might cause people to drink excessively because they can’t feel the effects of the alcohol they’ve drank.
On its own, alcohol influences behavior and reduces inhibitions. Using Adderall along with alcohol amplifies this effect and could cause people to take greater risks. People who combine these two substances may miss the body’s cues that they have had enough to drink, and they could consume dangerous quantities of alcohol, potentially leading to severe health consequences — including alcohol poisoning.
Adderall and Marijuana
Marijuana is a depressant, while Adderall is a stimulant. Each substance can mask the effects of the other if they are taken at the same time, so it is not recommended that these two substances are used at the same time.
Using marijuana could decrease the chances of individuals knowing that they are experiencing harmful effects of taking too much Adderall. The reduction of inhibitions caused by marijuana could also cause people on Adderall to have decreased consideration for what could happen if other substances are taken. In addition, mixing the two can cause stress since Adderall could increase heartbeat while marijuana slows it down.
Adderall and Antidepressants
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are antidepressants, and the use of MAOIs with Adderall could cause effects that would not usually appear if either drug is taken alone. The combination of these two types of substances could cause hallucinations, seizures, a faster heartbeat, or an increase in blood pressure.
Taking any drug outside of a doctor’s supervision and instruction is dangerous. Mixing substances increases the risks associated with each drug exponentially. If you are taking Adderall legitimately, per a doctor’s prescription, it’s important that you avoid use of any other substance. If you have specific concerns related to your use of Adderall, discuss them with your prescribing doctor.
Side Effects of Adderall
Adderall is a stimulant drug that includes a form of amphetamine. As a result, its main action on the body is to increase neural activity. While the main result of this is for the person to feel increased energy, confidence, focus, and performance, there are also a number of side effects that can include:
- Nervousness or restlessness.
- Increased heart rate and respiration.
- Shaking or tremors in parts of the body.
- Digestive system upset.
- Loss of appetite or weight loss.
While rare, severe side effects of Adderall use can include:
- Paranoia, aggression, or hostility.
- Irregular or uncomfortable heartbeat.
- Chest pain or difficulty breathing.
- Symptoms similar to allergy.
Any of these more serious side effects may require a visit to an emergency room or doctor.
Signs & Symptoms of Adderall Overdose
Because amphetamine is such a powerful stimulant, overdose can result in some serious, potentially life-threatening symptoms. The symptoms are referred to as sympathomimetic toxidrome, which refers to toxicity that affects the sympathetic nervous system. This includes:
- Rapid heart rate (called tachycardia), which can result in heart attack.
- High blood pressure, which can damage the heart and blood vessels.
- Agitation, which can resemble mania.
- Psychosis, resulting in unpredictable actions.
If overdose is severe enough, these symptoms can lead to potentially lethal results. If Adderall or another stimulant overdose is suspected, it is important to get the person experiencing the symptoms into emergency care as soon as possible. According to the Centers for Disease Control, while occurrence of this syndrome has been decreasing to some degree, it is still important to continue efforts to stop misusing amphetamine-based drugs like Adderall.
Detox for Adderall Misuse
When an individual is struggling with miuse of or addiction to a drug like Adderall, it is important to start the process of recovery by stopping use of the drug and allowing it to be eliminated from the body. This detox process can be very challenging, however, because the withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable, and potentially even painful. Withdrawal from Adderall can involve:
- Lack of focus and inability to think clearly.
- Increased appetite and/or weight gain.
- Anger or aggression.
- Deep depression.
- Fatigue and excessive sleeping.
- Loss of ability to feel pleasure.
- Heavy cravings.
Because of the risk of experiencing these symptoms, even if they are relatively short-lived, it is important to enlist the help of qualified healthcare professionals who are experienced with managing withdrawal from these drugs. While detox is vital to the individual’s ability to recover, it should be followed with comprehensive addiction treatment.
Treatment for Adderall Addiction
If you or someone you love is struggling with the devastating side effects of addiction and are unsure of where to turn, call us today at . Desert Hope, American Addiction Centers’ drug rehab in Las Vegas, is ready to help you get the treatment you need today. When you call us, our admissions navigators are on hand to answer your questions about our different levels of care and how to start rehab admissions. They can also give you information about different ways to pay for treatment — including using your insurance for rehab.