Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant drug. Stimulants have been approved to treat ADHD symptoms like hyperactivity, impulsive behaviors, and inattention. They do so by helping to activate the areas in your brain responsible for paying attention and by circulating certain reward chemicals like dopamine. Adderall has a history of being used illicitly, and has been called "the study drug". Sometimes used by people in hopes to boost their school, work, or athletic focus, Adderall has the potential to be habit forming and has a history of being abused. It is therefore categorized as a schedule 2 drug by the federal government. Adderall comes with it's own risks, and mixing it with alcohol is a dangerous practice. Here we will take a look at the potential hazards of mixing this chemical with alcohol.

Adderall and ADHD
ADHD is not fully understood, though it is believed that those affected by it have a disturbance in the connections of the brain that link to self-control, attention, and impulse. ADHD has been linked to reduced levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. These neurotransmitters are part of your body’s reward system. Both chemicals kick in when you experience something positive like winning a prize. If you have been diagnosed with ADHD, likely you show signs of restlessness, inattentive tendancies, distraction, or impatience. Stimulant medications are the industry standard for treating ADHD symptoms. Adderall is a blend of different amphetamine salts, and is one of the most commonly prescribed ADHD medications. Stimulant medications work to increase concentration while decreasing hyperactivity and impulsiveness. They do so by increasing levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain.

Abuse of Adderall
Because stimulants such as Adderall may be habit forming, some question whether their use leads to substance abuse. Treating people with ADHD with stimulant medications may actually reduce the risk of drug and alcohol abuse. A study in Pediatrics investigated the effects of ADHD psychotropic medication on risks for substance abuse disorders. They found that people treated with stimulants for ADHD experienced an drastic reduction in risk for substance abuse disorders. The study also found that untreated ADHD may be a significant risk factor for substance abuse disorders.

Though Adderall is safe when used as directed, it does have a history of being abused. What is the largest group of abusers? College students looking for a boost in scholarly performance and a reduction in the need for sleep. According to a study in Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, more than 7 percent of adults ages 18 to 49 abused medications intended for the treatment of ADHD. The same study found that most of the people who abused ADHD medications drank alcohol while using the medication.

Mixing Adderall With Alcohol
Where Adderall is a stimulant, alcohol is a depressant. This does not mean they will balance themselves out in your body. Actually, when used together, they compete in your body, and may cause many serious interactions.

Adderall can dull the sense of feeling drunk. people who use adderall and alcohol together are often unaware of just how intoxicated they are. Losing the sense that you've "had enough" can lead to social embarrassment at best, and alcohol poisoning at worst.

The use of Adderall itself has been linked with risk of heart problems. This is especially true when it is not being used as prescribed. The mixing of Adderall and alcohol can lead to many heart problems, including higher temperature, high blood pressure, increased heart rate, and irregular heartbeat.

Alcohol itself is known to cause aggressive behavior in some individuals. When Adderall is added to the mix, the effect is dangerously multiplied.

Stimulant drugs like Adderall are important factors in helping those diagnosed with ADHD live more productive lives. Adderall should only be taken as prescribed. If you have a prescription for Adderall, remember that Adderall and alcohol do not mix. Stay away from alcohol while taking your prescription.

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Author's Bio: 

Brian Wu graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physiology and Neurobiology. Currently, he holds a PhD and is an MD candidate (KSOM, USC) in integrative biology and disease. He is also an experienced writer and editor for many prestigious web pages. Brian values the ability of all ages to learn from the power of stories. His mission is to write about health conditions, educational topics and life situations in an entertaining way in order to help children understand their own life conditions and daily circumstances.