Dextroamphetamine and Alcohol

Mixing dextroamphetamine and alcohol featured
Last Edited: August 3, 2020

Madison Kimberlin

Clinically Reviewed
Jim Brown, CDCA

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and certified by an addiction professional.

Mixing Dextroamphetamine and Alcohol

What is Dextroamphetamine?

Dextroamphetamine is a central nervous system drug that is used to treat narcolepsy and ADHD (also known as Dexedrine). On the market, one may find this prescription stimulant drug listed under the name Dexedrine, ProCentra, or ZenZedi. Dextroamphetamine is a generic for Dexedrine. The CNS stimulant Dexedrine vs. dextroamphetamine show no real differences in its makeup.

dextroamphetamine and alcohol

Dextroamphetamine is delivered in a capsule form in the classification of spansule. This means that dextroamphetamine is designed to be a sustained release drug. Due to its make-up, dextroamphetamine has a longer time frame to be effective.

Related medications such as Adderall are also used as ADHD drugs in the same drug family. If one is considering Adderall vs. Dexedrine, they will find that Adderall is a mix amphetamine medication that is an immediate release unlike Dexedrine. Adderall is designed to treat the same symptoms of ADHD although the duration of time for effectiveness is slightly shorter than Dexedrine due to the immediate release characteristic. One could also note that Dexedrine was approved in 1982 by the FDA whereas Adderall is newer with approval in 1996. As with all drugs, one may work better for a patient than the other. Side effects can vary depending on the genetic makeup of the user.

Mixing Alcohol and Dexedrine

Mixing alcohol with any drug can have negative side effects. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism gives a cohesive list of medications to avoid mixing with alcohol. Mixing Dexedrine with alcohol can lead to serious health issues. Once prescribed this drug, it is not a good idea to be mixing alcohol with dextroamphetamine.

mixing alcohol and dexedrine

Mixed with alcohol, even if there has been significant time between ingestions, can have short term side effects. Short term side effects can include anxiety, insomnia, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, restlessness, hyper-sexuality, aggressive behaviors, and increased heart rate. These side effects will be enhanced in their displeasure once alcohol and amphetamines are used together. Prolonged use of Dexedrine and alcohol can lead to chest pain, shortness of breath, excessive fatigue, seizures, paranoia, mania, hallucinations, and coma.

Effects of dextroamphetamine and alcohol usage can create a “perfect storm” in a person’s body. Side effects can linger and morph into long term health problems. Amphetamines work by stimulating the central nervous system, a person with depression, narcolepsy, or ADHD will naturally have an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and other bodily functions. Alcohol has a sedative property that counteracts the effects of amphetamines. When mixed, the person may not experience the sedative nature of alcohol, leading to consuming too much. This could potentially lead to experiencing alcohol poisoning.

The body is put in a strenuous condition when alcohol and amphetamines are mixed. One drug says to stimulate the nervous system while the other says to slow everything down. No balance comes from the ingestion of these drugs together. If one asks the question, can you drink on dextroamphetamines, the answer is no. It is just not a wise choice. The negative effects far outweigh the “feel good” feeling one may experience if they choose to mix these drugs. The risk is too high for life threatening events to occur.

dextroamphetamine side effects

Dextroamphetamine dosage is calculated depending upon the condition being treated and age of patient. For those diagnosed with narcolepsy, doctors may prescribe 5 to 60 mg per day in a divided dose. ADHD patients could start with 5mg per day with the doctor increasing dosage dependent upon patient reaction. For children ages 6 and under, 5mg is the standard dosage.

Interactions with other drugs and alcoholic beverages need to be monitored and communicated with a doctor.

Learn more about alcohol abuse and options, click here.

The following side effects are broken into short term and long-term. These effects can be prevalent when a person begins taking dextroamphetamine and then subside over time. Every person’s body is different, some may or may not experience all the effects listed. The following list comes from a compilation of online resources.

Short term side effects include:

  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite or weight loss
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Restlessness
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth or unpleasant taste
  • Uncontrollable shaking of a part of your body
  • A change in sex drive or ability

Long-term side effects include: 

  • Pounding or fast heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Difficult or slow speech
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Weakness or numbness of an arm or leg
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Abnormal movements
  • Verbal tics
  • Hives
  • Changes in vision or blurred vision

Dextroamphetamine long-term use can cause depression and mood changes. Recreational dosages of this drug are not advised.

Women are more likely to experience medical consequences of alcohol abuse than men.

Dextroamphetamine Withdrawal Symptoms

Anyone who is currently taking dextroamphetamine should be cautious of stopping intake cold turkey. Amphetamine withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable and possibly lethal. Withdrawal symptoms can begin in just a few hours or several days from one’s last dosage. If an addiction to amphetamines is something a person is experiencing, choosing to stop is fantastic.

dextroamphetamine withdrawal symptoms heart attack

One should be weary of taking their health into their own hands. The comedown from amphetamines is not pleasant. Treatment from a qualified physician or drug rehabilitation center is suggested.

According to the writer Lauren Brande, the following withdrawal symptoms are possible.

  • Fatigue
  • Vivid dreams
  • Inability to sleep or sleeping more than normal
  • Increased appetite
  • Slow movements
  • Agitation
  • Depression

Dexedrine withdrawal symptoms can last up to two weeks but leave behind mental and emotional issues for months. The risk of depression is high and could lead to suicidal thoughts or lethal health issues like heart attack or stroke. Every person is different in their physiological make-up; therefore, each symptom duration can vary. There are treatments that will help one to cope with withdrawal symptoms and begin the journey to recovery.

Addiction to Dextroamphetamine and Alcohol

Amphetamines are drugs made with amphetamine salts. This means they have a mix of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine in their make-up. One can find an amphetamine drug under the brand name Adderall or Dexedrine. Dextroamphetamine is a type of amphetamine that is known to have a higher potency by the addition of Dexedrine.

addiction to dexies and alcohol

When a physician is looking at amphetamine vs. dextroamphetamine, they will find both are approved by the FDA and are used to treat similar medical conditions like narcolepsy and ADHD. They both send the signals for neurotransmitters to release dopamine which makes our bodies feel good.

High dosages of dextroamphetamine have the potential for abuse. Most Amphetamine abusers are college-age students looking to party harder and longer. When they mix dextroamphetamine and alcohol, they are creating a euphoric feeling. They can party longer because they have the stimulant of the Amphetamine and harder due to the dangerous ability to consume more alcohol. Amphetamines are highly addictive, the high feeling from mixing these with alcohol could be dangerous. Chronic dextroamphetamine abuse with the use of Alcohol could be lethal.

Treatment for Dextroamphetamine Abuse

The first step in a treatment plan is to acknowledge there is a problem. An addiction exists when certain drug – seeking behaviors are apparent. These behaviors lead a person to put the drug above all others matters of life. They begin looking for the high to start their day. The good news there are treatment options for those suffering from an addiction with stimulant type drugs such as Dextroamphetamine.

Prescription stimulant abuse is ever rising among youth age and college age students making treatment options important. At this time there are inpatient and outpatient options. Before treatment, patients may want to spend time at a detoxification center to aid in withdrawal. Medical intervention can help one get clean and begin treating addiction. Outpatient options include support groups and 12 step programs.

Inpatient recovery can aid one in handling cravings and relapse. Behavioral and cognitive therapies have been successful in research-based recovery options. Participating in therapy has shown to increase success rates in substance abuse recovery. Treating addiction to just get sober is often the thought for many addicts. Just getting sober is not enough. The mental and emotional components of addiction need to be addressed as well.

Dextroamphetamine Overdose Symptoms

When using dextroamphetamine and alcohol overdose symptoms can become apparent without warning. There are three situations that could lead to overdose. First is the method of use. If one snorts, crushes or chews amphetamine, a large dose of medicine is released at once.

dextroamphetamine overdose symptoms

Secondly, tolerance becomes a problem because users will take more and more as they become tolerant. Lastly, a person that has withdrawn ingests a large dose, they may experience an overdose.  A lethal dose could result in neurotoxicity. In order to get a loved one help when a possible overdose has happened is to know what the symptoms are.

The following list is derived from

  • Difficulty focusing
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased irritability
  • Violent behavior
  • Panic
  • Confusion
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased temperature
  • Sweating
  • Tachypnea or rapid breathing rate
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Restlessness
  • Muscle spasm
  • Stiffness or pain in muscles
  • Red- or cola-colored urine
  • Tremors/seizures
  • Passing out
  • Coma

The recreational character of dextroamphetamine increases the risk of overdose. A person will have an altered state of mind. Most likely, amphetamine will become mixed with alcohol or other drugs. The combination of amphetamine with other drugs and alcohol can be dangerous.

Dextroamphetamine Vs. Adderall

When people speak of Amphetamine drugs, they may not understand the differences. To get a better understanding we need a side by side comparison.

  • Form:   Short-acting
  • Dosage:   Starting 2.5 mg or 5mg
  • Side Effects: Same as dextroamphetamine
  • Duration: Onset in 30-60 minutes and wears off gradually making a rebound milder.
  • Form:   Short-acting or spansule
  • Dosage:   2.5mg or 5mg
  • Side Effects: Insomnia, decreased appetite, weight-loss, headache, irritability, and stomachache.
  • Duration: Onset in 30-60 minutes and lasts 4 to 5 hours.

Adderall addiction is becoming more prevalent giving it the name “study drug.” Use in college age people to allows them to either stay awake to study or party. Studies are showing a high frequency of Adderall abuse and the mixing of Adderall and alcohol. This controlled substance is getting easier to find without a prescription as some prescribed users are choosing to sell their pills for profit.

The use of Adderall for hangover assistance is prominent as well. Students are taking Adderall in order to get to class after a long night of partying with too much alcohol. The negative side effects of Adderall misuse include not only physical impairments but long-term mental instability. This is a stimulant drug that should only be used under a doctor’s care.

In conclusion, one can concur that dextroamphetamine is a useful drug when used to treat conditions such as ADHD or narcolepsy. Under a physicians care, people can improve their lives with these medications. Once this takes a turn to mixing with alcohol or other drugs, the likelihood of creating a dangerous situation begins to build.

If you or someone you care about is living with addiction, we hope you reach out for help. Drug and alcohol abuse doesn’t only ruin lifes, it can end them. Get help now, you dont have to face addiction alone. To talk with someone reach out to us.