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Alcohol and Ritalin: A Dangerous Combination

Alcohol and Ritalin

It is never wise to mix drugs and alcohol, as doing so can cause numerous interactions and, potentially, overdose. Consider Ritalin, a prescription drug used to treat a variety of conditions by stimulating the central nervous system. Ritalin is an important drug for those who may be struggling with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. However, mixing it with alcohol can create a high risk of complications, and it may limit the effectiveness of the drug itself.

Why Ritalin and Alcohol Do Not Mix

Ritalin is a stimulant. That means it increases dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain to speed up key activities. For example, stimulants increase your heart rate and breathing rate, pushing more oxygen-rich blood into your body so that you can react quickly if you need to. They increase body temperature, may cause your pupils to dilate, and may also cause changes to blood pressure.

Alcohol is the opposite. It is a depressant, which means it works to calm and slow the central nervous system. Alcohol makes it harder for your brain to process information, causing you to have trouble walking or speaking clearly. It also makes it hard for your body to control impulses and think clearly.

It may seem like alcohol just cancels out the effects of Ritalin, but the combination is more dangerous than that. When both drugs are taken at the same time, they can increase the risk of numerous side effects, including the risk of overdose. You may be more prone to life-threatening conditions like alcohol poisoning as well. More so, you may develop dependency, a condition that makes it hard for you to stop using substances.

A Heightened Risk of Overdose

Overdose does not just happen to people with a long history of drug or alcohol use. It can happen to anyone who consumes substances that tax their body and lead to a failure in their ability to breathe or pump blood through their heart.

Combining Ritalin with alcohol increases the risk of overdose significantly. Alcohol will lead to a higher concentration of Ritalin in your body, which means that you are at a much higher risk for developing a failure of the central nervous system.

Also, note that many people who have a prescription for Ritalin have an extended-release formula. This particular type of Ritalin formulation should not be mixed with alcohol either because it can cause a sudden release of the drug into the body, far more than your body can handle at one moment.

Side Effects from Combining Alcohol and Ritalin

If you are taking Ritalin through a prescription and you drink alcohol, you may experience some significant side effects right away. Those may include:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Mood changes, including the onset of depression

There are some very serious side effects that can occur to some who mix Ritalin and alcohol. That includes sudden death, strokes, and a heart attack. These occur because your central nervous system cannot handle the presence of these two drugs and starts to shut down.

Using Alcohol and Ritalin Without a Prescription

For some, Ritalin may seem like a helpful drug because it can speed up thinking and help with improving overall energy levels. For those who may be using someone else’s prescription, there is an even higher risk of complications.

If you do not have ADHD or other conditions treated with Ritalin, using this drug is not safe. It can speed up your heart rate to dangerous levels. It can lead to complicated breathing problems and an inability to think clearly. You should not take anyone else’s prescription medication nor mix it with alcohol because it may interact with your body in a dangerous way even with that first use.

Are You Struggling with Addiction? We Can Help You

For some, alcohol can seem like a treatment for the symptoms of ADHD. It is not uncommon for those who are struggling with ADHD or another mental health disorder to seek out alcohol as a calming tool. Yet, it simply is not safe to do so. If you are struggling with addiction to alcohol, choose a rehab facility ready to support your long-term recovery.

With the help of our team at Iron Bridge Recovery Center, we can offer you support. That includes getting help for addiction to alcohol as well as support for the challenges you may be facing every day due to the presence of ADHD.  Contact us now to learn how we can help you.

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