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Mixing Cocaine and Adderall: Side Effects and Risks

It is always dangerous to combine different drugs, such as mixing Adderall and cocaine. The desired effects will likely elude you, and risky adverse effects may occur. Read on to learn about the dangers of combining two stimulants Adderall and cocaine.

About Adderall and Cocaine

Before we delve into the topic of mixing Adderall and cocaine, it helps to know the basics about these two stimulant drugs:


Adderall is the brand name for a stimulant medication that combines two drugs, amphetamine, and dextroamphetamine). Adderall is available in regular and extended-release formulas. The drug has legitimate clinical use for treating conditions like ADHD and narcolepsy. Both students and professionals misuse Adderall for its stimulant effects on the central nervous system. These effects help improve performance and increase concentration. For these reasons, Adderall is prone to abuse and addiction. With that comes the risk of adverse reactions. In fact, this article reports that misuse of these stimulants increased by 67%, and emergency room admissions spiked 156% between 2006-2011. Side effects of Adderall might include:

  • Dry mouth.
  • Stomach pain.
  • Headache
  • Chest pain.
  • Muscle twitches.
  • Insomnia
  • Vision changes.
  • Restless, nervous.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Increased blood pressure.


Cocaine is a Schedule II controlled substance with a high potential for abuse and addiction. This highly addictive drug is usually ingested by snorting it through the nose or rubbing it on the gums. Some people, though, dilute the powder in water and then inject it into a vein for a more intense effect. Others may smoke a rock crystal form of cocaine, and inhale the drug into the lungs. The white powdery substance is derived from the coca plants in South America. Like Adderall, the stimulant effects of cocaine speed up the central nervous system. These effects result in a burst of euphoria, energy, and confidence. The high, however, is short-lived. This prompts the person to continue using cocaine to prolong the desired effects. Cocaine then hijacks the brain’s reward system and sets the stage for repeated use. With continued cocaine use, addiction to the drug is quite common. Adverse effects of cocaine use:

  • Damage to nasal tissues.
  • Damage to the heart muscle.
  • Arrhythmia
  • Dry mouth.
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Kidney damage.
  • Insomnia
  • Financial problems.

adderall and cocaine

Why Some Mix Adderall and Cocaine

There are many reasons why a person might decide to mix these drugs:

  • To prolong the high. Because the cocaine high is short, they hope that adding the Adderall to prolong the effects of the cocaine.
  • To enhance the effects of each drug. Each of these drugs acts to speed up the central nervous system, so when used together they augment each other.
  • They are unaware of the risk. A patient prescribed Adderall may not know that using cocaine could be dangerous.

Side Effects of Mixing Adderall and Cocaine

The brain’s reward system keeps the person trapped in a constant addiction cycle. This includes craving these drugs, crashing after using these drugs, and seeking them out again to get relief from withdrawal. Continued use of cocaine and Adderall together can pose serious health risks, as well as adverse mental health effects. Some of these include:

  • Panic attacks.
  • Rapid heart rate.
  • Chest pain.
  • Heart attack.
  • Increased blood pressure.
  • Insomnia
  • Extreme weight loss.
  • Paranoid thinking.
  • Brain damage.
  • Aggression
  • Breathing problems.
  • Substance use disorder; poly-drug addiction.
  • Seizure
  • Coma
  • Death

When the cardiovascular system is overstimulated, as happens with this drug combo, it may have fatal effects. The cocaine, along with the Adderall, causes the blood vessels to constrict. When the drugs also cause the heart to beat faster, this can lead to a lack of oxygen to the heart. Which may result in angina, heart attack, blood clots, or stroke.

Dangers of Mixing Adderall and Cocaine

Cocaine quickly crosses over to the bloodstream, stimulating the nervous system and releasing large quantities of dopamine in the brain. Adderall has a longer half-life in the system. When both drugs are used, it causes constantly increased nerve activity and dopamine production. Over time, though, it takes more and more of the substances to get the same high. As tolerance increases, so does consumption. The end result is often addiction. Signs of addiction include:

  • Unable to cut back or quit these drugs.
  • Mood swings; mania.
  • Engaging in high-risk behaviors.
  • Secretive behavior.
  • Getting little sleep.
  • Weight loss.
  • Nosebleeds
  • Muscle tics.
  • Hyperactivity
  • Agitation
  • Aggressive or violent behavior.
  • Obtains drugs from illicit sources.
  • Neglects responsibilities.
  • Money problems.
  • Avoids family and friends.
  • Withdrawal symptoms.

Getting Help for Poly-Drug Addiction

It is very hard to break free from addiction, and cocaine addiction especially. To help you overcome the poly-substance use disorder you will need professional treatment. It isn’t enough to say you will quit the drugs. This is because the withdrawal symptoms can be so difficult that you return to the drugs to seek relief. With expert help, you get through the detox and withdrawal process and then are able to move forward to rehab. Rehab can be obtained in either outpatient or residential formats, and involves a multi-pronged treatment approach:

  • Talk therapy.
  • Group therapy.
  • 12-step group.
  • Education
  • Relapse prevention planning.
  • Restoring health through nutrition and exercise.
  • Holistic methods.
  • Aftercare

All of these treatment elements work together to help you change your thoughts and behavior patterns. It takes time to rewire the way you think and react and to find healthy ways to respond to triggers. Depending on how severe the cocaine and Adderall problem is, rehab may take one to six months in all. Mixing Adderall and cocaine can be very risky, even life-threatening. If you are struggling with a substance use problem involving either or both of these drugs, reach out for help today.

LifeSync Malibu Premier Addiction Recovery Center

LifeSync Malibu is a luxury substance treatment program that assists those struggling with drugs or alcohol. If you are in need of professional support to overcome a substance use disorder, please call us today at (866) 491-4426.