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What Are the Dangers of Mixing Vyvanse with Alcohol?

Graphic showing the side effects of mixing Vyvanse and alcohol

When Vyvanse and alcohol are combined, it might be difficult to tell when you’re drunk. This puts you in danger of alcohol poisoning, alcohol abuse, and risky behaviors.

Vyvanse, the brand name for the drug lisdexamfetamine dimesylate, is a Schedule II controlled substance approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and binge eating disorder. It is not uncommon to drink alcohol when taking a stimulant like Vyvanse. According to one study, over half of the college students who were using a stimulant for non-medical reasons had consumed alcoholic drinks with the stimulant during the past year.

The evidence does not support a relationship between drinking problems and taking a Vyvanse prescription properly, although this is not true for drug misuse. Misused stimulants can be harmful when combined with alcohol. Misuse can refer to a variety of behaviors, such as using Vyvanse to get high or taking more of the drug than prescribed. In fact, addiction specialists believe that combining any stimulant with alcohol is a form of abuse. If you take Vyvanse and consume alcohol on purpose, you are at a higher risk of developing drinking issues.

Why Do People Mix Alcohol and Vyvanse?

Despite the health-related risks, some people opt to consume alcohol while taking Vyvanse. They may have an alcohol problem or simply want to see how the combination of the two substances makes them feel.

Some people use these and other substances to self-medicate mental health issues. Instead of getting treatment for their condition, they use drugs with alcohol to dull their symptoms.

The combination of Vyvanse and alcohol causes euphoria. This feeling is one of the primary reasons why mixing the two substances increases the risk of addiction. To achieve that euphoric feeling, some return to using Vyvanse and alcohol.

Vyvanse enables most people to drink more without feeling the dulling or drowsiness effects of alcohol. They experience the euphoric, upbeat feelings of alcohol without the numbing or depressive effects.

Side Effects of Mixing Alcohol and Vyvanse

Taking stimulant medications like Vyvanse with alcohol often results in each substance acting against the other. For example, alcohol lowers some of the stimulant effects of Vyvanse, while Vyvanse lessens some of the sedative effects of alcohol. To get the desired effect, an individual may continue to take more of one or both drugs, which may result in a range of potentially harmful results, including overdose.

The following are some of the most common side effects of mixing alcohol with Vyvanse:

  • Sudden changes in blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Risk of seizure
  • Chest pains
  • Feelings of euphoria
  • Hyperactivity
  • Stroke
  • Increased heart rate
  • Weight Loss

Dangers of Mixing Alcohol and Vyvanse

There are various hidden dangers of the combination of Vyvanse and alcohol use. Mixing these two addictive substances has other long-term risks far beyond its short-term side effects, particularly when abusing prescribed Vyvanse or taking it without medical reasons.

Here are a few potential risks of mixing both substances:

Alcohol Poisoning

Vyvanse is a central nervous system stimulant. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant.

When you combine ADHD medication with alcohol, your body takes far longer to experience depressive symptoms. Simply put, it will take you nearly twice as long to get drunk. That implies you’re drinking twice as much alcohol as you normally would, which might result in a higher risk of alcohol poisoning or alcohol-related injuries.

Vyvanse has a stronger stimulating impact than alcohol’s sedative effects. When used with alcohol, it can conceal the feelings of being drunk, causing you to drink more since your brain receives no signal to stop you from drinking. On the other hand, alcohol can also amplifies the various psychological side effects of Vyvanse.

Heart Problems

One of the most serious risks of combining amphetamines and alcohol is high blood pressure. Vyvanse can raise your heart rate when taken alone, but when combined with alcohol, the negative effects become significantly more severe.

The risks are especially severe if you have poor health. If you have heart issues, you may face health complications. Extremely fast heart rates may result in potentially severe side effects such as a stroke, heart attack, or even death.

Increase in Risk-Taking Behaviors

Because Vyvanse reduces the usual signs of drunkness, some people may engage in more risky activities such as:

  • Self-harm
  • Harming others
  • Drunk driving
  • Being sexually assaulted or sexually assaulting someone else
  • Being a crime victim
  • Having legal issues
  • Getting into a physical fight
  • Having a car accident

All of these behaviors can occur if people mix Vyvanse and alcohol without recognizing they’re affected. They end up endangering themselves and others around them.

Depression and Anxiety

Alcohol usage, especially in large amounts or over long periods of time, can cause depression and anxiety. When alcohol is used with Vyvanse, these effects can be enhanced, causing them to develop faster or become more severe than they would otherwise.

Liver Damage

When misused, both Vyvanse and alcohol are known to cause liver damage. When these drugs are combined, they may cause liver damage to occur at an even quicker pace. Furthermore, Vyvanse might cause someone to consume more alcohol than usual, worsening the liver-damaging effects.

Increased Risk of Psychosis

The combination of Vyvanse and alcohol can cause or worsen the symptoms of psychosis, such as hallucinations and delusions, significantly disrupting perception, thinking, emotion, and behavior. Individuals suffering from a mental illness such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia are affected much more severely.

Increased Risk of Vyvanse Overdose

Because alcohol is a CNS depressant and Vyvanse is a CNS stimulant, drinking alcohol can counteract the effects of Vyvanse. This may give the impression that the Vyvanse isn’t working. The individual may then disregard the prescription instructions and take more Vyvanse, increasing the danger of overdose. An overdose can cause a range of symptoms, including:

  • Tremor
  • Irregular heart rate and blood pressure
  • Shock
  • Overactive reflexes
  • Panic
  • Confusion
  • Restlessness
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and cramping
  • Hallucination
  • Fast breathing
  • High fever

Potential for Developing Addiction

Polysubstance abuse can occur when a stimulant and a depressant are combined. Polysubstance abuse is the addiction to both drugs and alcohol. Both alcohol and ADHD drugs are potentially addictive substances, especially for individuals who have ADHD and are already at a higher risk of developing substance abuse problems. The combination of stimulants and alcohol increases your chances of developing mental health issues, poor physical health, and serious addiction. The risk increases when prescription drugs and alcohol are combined.

Polysubstance abuse leads to a more difficult detox and recovery process for you. SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free and confidential information service for people and families dealing with mental and/or substance use disorders (SUDs).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you drink alcohol if you take Vyvanse?

Stimulants, such as Vyvanse, boost communication between brain cells, but alcohol suppresses brain activity and your body’s overall function. Drinking alcohol while taking Vyvanse can reduce its effectiveness and worsen the symptoms of ADHD, narcolepsy, or binge eating disorder. In extreme cases, mixing alcohol and Vyvanse can result in major problems such as the risk of heart problems and alcohol poisoning.

How does alcohol react with Vyvanse?

Drinking alcohol while taking stimulants, especially amphetamines like Vyvanse, can increase your risk of heart disease. A Vyvanse and alcohol interaction might result in sudden death, heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, and chest discomfort.

How long after you take Vyvanse can you drink alcohol?

Vyvanse does not stay in your system for long and is usually removed from your bloodstream within 24 hours. This means you can normally consume alcohol for at least 24 hours after taking Vyvanse.

If you are prescribed Vyvanse, you should take it at least once every 24 hours and avoid drinking alcohol. Ultimately, every case is unique, and you should consult with your doctor about your personal situation before taking Vyvanse and alcohol within the same three-day period.

What should you not drink with Vyvanse?

The biggest reason to avoid mixing Vyvanse and alcohol is that Vyvanse can have a stimulant effect that hides the effects of alcohol. This might cause you to underestimate how much alcohol affects you, increasing your chances of drinking too much or failing to detect safety risks that are present. Furthermore, studies show that combining Vyvanse and alcohol raises blood pressure and heart activity to potentially dangerous levels.

What happens when you mix alcohol and Adderall?

People who mix alcohol and Adderall appear to be at a higher risk of developing substance abuse problems and are more inclined to experiment with other drugs. When the two substances are mixed, they can cause dangerous side effects, such as:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Stroke
  • Paranoia
  • Psychotic episodes
  • Tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Uncontrollable vomiting
  • Malnutrition

Overcome Addiction with Indiana Center for Recovery

Addiction to either Vyvanse or alcohol will always require professional help, but addiction to both would definitely benefit from professional addiction treatment.

The detox process is the initial stage of addiction treatment. When alcohol is involved, detox can be dangerous. Depending on the severity of the addiction, medical supervision during alcohol detox is usually recommended. Following detox, addiction treatment includes a rehab period during which skills for maintaining sobriety and avoiding relapse into the use of addictive drugs are developed.

Indiana Center for Recovery is a state-of-the-art addiction treatment facility that can assist you or someone you care about in overcoming alcohol and Vyvanse addiction. We provide evidence-based treatments, including medical detox, inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, and dual diagnosis. We also provide effective therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and others.

Our team of medical professionals will work with you to develop a customized treatment plan that suits your specific recovery needs. If you’re ready to take the first step toward sobriety, contact us at (844) 650-0064 right now to learn more about treatment options that will work for you.