In general, mixing stimulants with other substances, especially depressants such as alcohol, can be harmful, since they all have different effects on the body. By mixing the two, you confuse your body with two different effects that affect it simultaneously. Adderall, entering the body, will speed up reflexes, heart rate and breathing. It can improve alertness, concentration, and reaction time.
As alcohol enters the system, it produces a sense of calm and sedation. Because it is a depressant, it can depress the central nervous system and slow your heart rate and breathing. It can reduce judgment, alertness, concentration, and reaction time. Simply mixing the two together can cause massive confusion in the body and mind as they struggle.
Because your mind assumes each other's effects, your judgment may be weakened, leading to the need to overcompensate as each other's feelings diminish. People mix alcohol and stimulants for many reasons. Some drink in an attempt to improve their feeling of euphoria due to stimulants. Others may be trying to calm down with the stimulant for which they are experiencing a euphoric effect.
Sometimes, a person may be taking a stimulant to get rid of the tiredness caused by drinking alcohol. Regardless of the reason for the combination, it is dangerous. As you feel the attenuated effects of Adderall that alter alcohol consumption, you may realize that you need more to overcome. This often leads to an overdose.
Similarly, not feeling the normal effects of alcohol after taking Adderall could lead to more drinking. Both can be deadly and, unfortunately, both are likely when a person combines them, since both substances significantly alter judgment and decision-making. As decision-making and judgment are altered by the use of both substances, it becomes more difficult for a person struggling with substance use disorder to realize that there is a problem and that treatment must be sought. Many adults with ADHD take a stimulant medication such as Adderall, Ritalin, or Vyvanse to help them focus and be more attentive.
The two don't balance each other out when you use them together. In fact, medications for ADHD can reduce that feeling of relaxation and tinnitus you get from alcohol. Therefore, you may end up drinking more than you should. Adderall is a stimulant and alcohol is a depressant.
This does not mean that the two substances cancel each other out. Instead, they compete with each other in the body. This effect can cause serious problems. Dependence can and does occur, especially in adults who are chemically dependent on other drugs, such as alcoholics.
Alcoholics especially like Adderall, because the stimulating properties of Adderall allow the alcoholic to drink much more and not faint. But like any other form of “speed,” when you stop taking Adderall, withdrawal is a “shock” with depression, lethargy, and difficulty performing everyday tasks. Adderall and alcohol are relatively common medications, but they shouldn't be used together. Mixing these medications together can cause dangerous health problems.