Can You Mix Alcohol and Ritalin? Drug Interactions, Side Effects & More

The combination of Ritalin and alcohol can be extremely detrimental to one’s health, as the effects are amplified, resulting in an increased risk of health complications. The stimulant and depressant can cause an imbalance in the body’s natural chemistry and exacerbate the effects of both substances. For instance, Ritalin can raise blood pressure and heart rate, while alcohol can reduce these vitals, forming a dangerous combination.

alcohol and ritalin

The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers. Ritalin decreases a person’s ability to feel the effects of alcohol. In other words, the mental stimulation that occurs can make people feel more alert and less likely to realize when they have had too much alcohol to drink. This also means that a person may drink more than usual in order to experience a sense of euphoria. Ritalin is used to treat symptoms of ADHD in children and adults.

Related to ADD & ADHD

This substance affects people’s behavior, thoughts, and feelings. Under the influence of alcoholic drinks, a person may engage in risky behavior and try other drugs. ‘Misuse’ could be explained as improper use, such as using a substance beyond recreational or medical purposes. Alcohol is frequently used for substance abuse as it is easy to purchase and relatively cheap. Alcohol is abused by consuming more than the recommended amount.

alcohol and ritalin

Alcohol poisoning can cause respiratory problems, unconsciousness and death. Group alcohol addiction counseling allows people suffering from similar ailments to come together and gain strength through shared experiences and support. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals.

So, if you stop drinking or using Ritalin, you would likely have some withdrawal symptoms. However, the effects of Ritalin and alcohol don’t cancel each other out, even though they may seem like opposites. Rather, the effects of these two drugs combine to cause big problems. These include increased side effects as well as the risks of drug overdose, alcohol poisoning, and withdrawal. Misuse for prescription medication means using the drugs for longer than prescribed, or for any purpose other than what they are prescribed for, or in higher doses than recommended.

This is a dangerous combination since alcohol is a central nervous system depressant and Ritalin, on the other hand, is a stimulant. While the effects of each substance can be masked by the other, that doesn’t mean that they cancel each other out. For example, mixing alcohol and Ritalin can disguise the feeling of being drunk that usually come with drinking. A person may not feel severely intoxicated when they are -which puts them at risk for alcohol poisoning when they drink with Ritalin.

Our compassionate admissions navigators are ready to help you or a loved one when you call our 24/7 addiction helpline. Ritalin is a stimulant medication used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. When a drug is taken in this way, it gets into the bloodstream faster than if it goes through the digestive system. Some users also dissolve the pills in water and inject the liquid. These “chemical cousins” are similar but have different effects.

In other words, it makes it harder for you to tell how drunk you are. Because drinking alcohol raises your risk of side effects from Ritalin, it also increases the small but real risk of serious heart problems. Mixing alcohol with Ritalin could allow a person to party or drink more for a longer time. Drinking alcohol can cause a person to feel drowsy, but stimulant medications like Ritalin will counteract this effect. Another concern is that both ADHD meds and alcohol can be addictive. Combining the two over the long term can affect your ability to concentrate, remember, and solve problems.

Effects of Alcohol and Ritalin Abuse

People who need help with overcoming addictions to Ritalin and alcohol should call us to learn more about available treatment programs. For long-term recovery, those who abuse alcohol or other substances find that support groups are effective. Treatment programs that include group therapy are effective as they emotionally support the person. An addiction recovery journey is lifelong and requires a lot of support. Luckily, there are many types of treatment a person can choose from.

alcohol and ritalin

Some people who combine both substances also experience increased anxiety and this can result in additional self-medication. A cycle of drug abuse can begin and it can be very hard to break. Therefore, some people use one substance to counteract the effects of the other. For example, a person who wants to party for an extended period may use Ritalin to ward off the sedative effects of alcohol. However, this may result in overdrinking that leads to alcohol poisoning, especially in people under the age of 21.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal can be especially complicated for people addicted to more than one drug so medical supervision is necessary. It is never safe to mix Ritalin and alcohol but people who use Ritalin recreationally often do just that. It is important to note that alcohol is a depressant while as we mentioned before, Ritalin is a stimulant. Strattera and Vyvanse are two types of drugs used to treat ADHD.

  • While both are FDA-approved for ADHD, these prescription medications are not the same.
  • They may feel severely depressed or irritable and suffer from headaches.
  • It can be used by people suffering from a substance use disorder, people in higher education, or people who work in demanding professions.

It can also cause faster breathing, fever, and dilated pupils. Drinking alcohol while taking Ritalin can change the way the drug works. For this reason, alcohol use is not safe while you take Ritalin. Read on to learn about the effects of drinking alcohol while taking Ritalin and why the mix is a bad idea. Ritalin is a stimulant medication used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder . Ritalin, which contains the drug methylphenidate, is available only by prescription.

Learn more, ask questions, receive intake information and proactively take the first step you need to change your life or the life of a loved one through treatment atThe Recovery Village. If you suspect someone is experiencing alcohol poisoning, call911immediately. Do NOT be afraid to seek help.If you do not have access to a phone contactWeb Poison Control Servicesfor online assistance. If you suspect someone is experiencing alcohol poisoning, call 911 immediately. Using both substances together is risky and can cause significant damage to different bodily organs.

Mixing Ritalin and Alcohol

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend one drink or less for women per day. Alcohol is a highly abused substance in the US due to its accessibility and rewarding effects. Ritalin eco sober house ma is a prescription medication that, although less common, is sometimes abused. The stimulant drugs used to treat ADHD boost the activity of two chemicals in your brain, dopamine and norepinephrine.

Even some people who know the dangers of mixing alcohol with their ADHD meds do it anyway. Others drink because they don’t like the way their meds make them feel. When you take Ritalin, it affects your brain by increasing levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in your brain. Increasing these neurotransmitters in the central nervous system can cause a fast heart rate, dilated pupils and increased blood pressure. Ritalinis a prescription medication used to treatattention-deficit hyperactivity disorder .

If you or a loved one is taking Ritalin with other substances, Cornerstone can help. Since 1984, we have successfully provided mental health, alcohol, and drug treatment. Similar to other stimulants, a Ritalin overdose can cause unpleasant symptoms such as an increased heart rate, confusion, hallucinations, psychosis, and sudden death. As both alcohol and Ritalin can cause a decrease in appetite, mixing the two drugs can cause weight loss. Losing a large amount of weight through unhealthy means can cause serious health risks.

While self-assessment can be powerful, getting to the root of problematic drug and alcohol use typically requires professional help. People who are addicted to Ritalin and alcohol typically experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using the substances. They may feel severely depressed or irritable and suffer from headaches. They may need higher doses or more drinks to feel the same effects as they once did, because frequent use increases a person’s tolerance. Some people may believe that Ritalin use is safe because it is a prescribed drug. Even when it is taken as prescribed, pairing it with alcohol can be dangerous.


Alcohol, on the other hand, causes the function of the nervous system to slow down. When you drink alcohol, the depressing effect on the CNS is why you can have symptoms like impaired speech, loss of coordination and sedation. Detox is generally the initial phase of the treatment process, which is the process of enabling the body to expel the substance from the system. After the detoxification process is complete, usually an assessment is conducted to decide the next suitable in treatment.

When you’re drinking, Ritalin overdose is a risk even when you use the correct, prescribed dosage. Symptoms may be mild to severe depending on a person’s age, amount of alcohol, and length of alcohol abuse. Symptoms can last up to seven days but are not typically life-threatening. Furthermore, alcohol is an addictive substance that a person may become psychologically or physically dependent on.

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