ADHD medication and alcohol are not a good mix, a fact that’s become more evident as stimulant abuse worsens in the United States.
Today, our Delaware drug rehab is focusing on Concerta and alcohol effects. Concerta is the brand name for an extended-release version of methylphenidate, which is a stimulant that’s used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and sometimes narcolepsy. Stimulant abuse is a growing problem, and many people who engage in this behavior often mix these drugs with alcohol to intensify their experience. But is it worth it?
What Is Concerta?
Concerta is the brand name for the central nervous system stimulant methylphenidate hydrochloride and is one of the numerous ADHD medications on the market. While it may seem odd that people with hyperactivity disorder are given stimulants, these drugs help people with ADHD by increasing their focus and concentration.
Stimulants work by increasing the firing rates of neurons in the central nervous system. Concerta and other similar medications increase dopamine levels in the CNS to improve focus, mood, and concentration in people with ADHD.
Concerta is a long-acting or extended-release stimulant, meaning that it’s taken only once a day to provide 24-hour relief. However, Concerta’s effect on dopamine is also what makes it addictive. Stimulant abuse is common among high school and college students who want to improve their academic performance, as well as in people who simply want to get high.
Can I Drink On Concerta?
From 1999 to 2008, there was a 76% increase in emergency room overdose cases related to mixing alcohol with prescription drugs like Concerta.1 Thus, mixing alcohol with Concerta or other medications is a common problem.
To be clear - no, you cannot drink on Concerta. When ADHD meds and alcohol are mixed, alcohol naturally inhibits the effects of the medication. This means that more of the stimulant is required for it to work or alleviate the person’s symptoms. Because the effects of their medication are diminished by alcohol, the person may compensate by taking dangerously larger doses of the medication, increasing their risk of overdose. On the other hand, stimulant medications like Concerta also diminish the effects of alcohol, which may contribute to increased drinking.
Not only does the combination of drinking and ADHD medication increase your likelihood of overdosing on drugs, but it also increases your chances of alcohol toxicity, as well. If you or someone you know has become addicted to this combination, or either drug, our medical detox in Delaware can help wean them off of these substances physically and recover from the impact of drug abuse.
Effects of Concerta and Alcohol
Alcohol and Concerta are two different kinds of drugs, the former being a depressant and the latter being a stimulant. This means that combining them can override the effects of the other.
A person who drinks on Concerta may not experience relief from their symptoms, causing them to take dangerously high doses. Similarly, because Concerta is a stimulant, it can counteract the depressing effects of alcohol, encouraging the person to drink more to the point where they experience intoxication.
Summed up, Concerta and alcohol effects include:
- Decreased impulse control
- Decreased concentration
- Impaired judgment
- Increased risk of blacking out
- Aggressive or hostile behavior
- Reduced reaction time
- Impaired motor coordination and balance
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty breathing
- Fluctuations in blood pressure and heart rate
Concerta interactions with alcohol can also lead to long-term effects like:
- Organ damage, including stomach ulcers, liver damage, and kidney damage
- Heart problems associated with high blood pressure and irregularities in heart rate
- Impaired immune system function, increasing your susceptibility to infection and disease
- Neurological damage
Addiction to stimulants and alcohol can also occur rapidly, especially when both drugs are frequently taken together. What’s more, the long-term effects of these drugs aren’t limited to the effects of these drugs alone. For example, the chances of engaging in risky behavior or a life-threatening accident increase when someone is under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or both.
In addition to your health and safety, your relationships, career, and finances can also be significantly impacted by drug and alcohol abuse. The bottom line is that people who consistently use alcohol and Concerta together put themselves and others at risk.
Help for Concerta and Alcohol Abuse
Concerta and alcohol are two distinct kinds of drugs that can lead to addiction and other physical complications when taken together long-term. Fortunately, Banyan Treatment Centers Delaware offers different treatment options that can help.
Not only do we offer prescription drug addiction treatment, but our Milford rehab also offers alcohol treatment on an inpatient level of care. We also ensure that patients are weaned off of these substances safely before starting their recovery programs with medical detox.
Banyan aims to improve the quality of life for those who are struggling with substance use or a mental health disorder with evidence-based content and treatment. If you’d like to learn more about the dangers of mixing Concerta and alcohol or our Delaware addiction treatment, call us at 888-280-4763.