Is Mixing Adderall and Cocaine Dangerous


Many people who mix adderall and cocaine may do so without thinking about the risks associated with taking two stimulant medications at the same time. Afterall, adderall is a medication, shouldn’t that make it safe? 

However this can be a dangerous, and even potentially fatal combination. Understanding the dangers and risks of mixing adderall and cocaine is essential for maintaining physical and mental well-being.

Is mixing adderall and cocaine dangerous. Image of adderall chemical structure

What Is Adderall?

Adderall is the brand name of a prescription stimulant medication, often prescribed to people who experience ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) or narcolepsy. It contains a combination of two active ingredients: amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. 

Adderall is referred to as a ‘stimulant’ medication because it stimulates, or speeds up, the release and action of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, particularly dopamine and norepinephrine. This stimulation has been proven to improve attention and impulse control in those with ADHD, as well as prevent excessive sleepiness or episodes of sudden sleep in those with narcolepsy. 

The medication comes in various forms, including immediate-release and extended-release capsules or tablets. Immediate-release Adderall typically lasts for a few hours, while extended-release forms provide a longer duration of action, often lasting throughout the day.

Because of its stimulant properties, Adderall has a high potential for abuse and addiction, particularly among individuals who do have a medical need for it. It is important for anyone taking Adderall to check in regularly with their prescribing doctor to ensure they are using it in a way that maximises safety and efficacy. 

What Is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a powerful stimulant drug, originally derived from the leaves of the coca plant, which is native to South America. It is often found in two forms, either a white powder, or a solid crystal; both forms are highly addictive and are known for their stimulating and euphoria inducing effects on the central nervous system. 

The effects of cocaine include increased energy, alertness, and confidence, as well as reduced fatigue and appetite. However, these effects are usually short-lived, leading to a “crash” characterised by feelings of depression, anxiety, and extreme fatigue when the drug wears off.

Cocaine works by targeting pleasure neurotransmitters in the brain and disrupting the way they usually work. Cocaine blocks the reabsorption of dopamine by the brain, resulting in a flooding of dopamine into the synaptic gaps between neurons. This surge in dopamine levels creates intense feelings of euphoria and pleasure. 

Norepinephrine uptake is also inhibited, creating a similar ‘flooding’ effect that increases feelings of alertness and energy. Serotonin, which is associated with mood regulation, is actually decreased, which contributes to the deep lows experienced once the drug’s euphoric effects wear off.

Cocaine’s influence on the brain’s reward system and the reinforcement of drug-seeking behaviours are key factors in its high addiction potential. Chronic use can lead to significant changes in brain function and structure, contributing to long-lasting cognitive and emotional impairments.

Is Mixing Adderall and Cocaine Dangerous?

Yes, mixing Adderall and cocaine can be extremely dangerous. As outlined above, cocaine and Adderall both impact the brain in similar ways, altering the function of the same neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine. 

Because they both affect the central nervous system in similar ways, combining them can lead to a range of serious health risks and potentially life-threatening consequences. It’s crucial to understand that combining these substances not only poses immediate risks but also contributes to the development of addiction, which can have long-lasting, negative effects on physical and mental health.

What Are the Risks of Mixing Adderall and Cocaine?

There are many risks to consider when mixing Adderall and cocaine. It is important to recognise that some of these risks pose an immediate danger, whereas others may not show themselves for some time. 

  • Cardiovascular Effects: Both Adderall and cocaine can significantly increase heart rate and blood pressure. Combining them can lead to severe cardiovascular stress, potentially causing heart palpitations, chest pain, and even heart attacks or stroke.
  • Enhanced Euphoria: While this may not sound like a bad thing, the excessive effects on dopamine levels on the brain through taking both substances can intensify the feelings of euphoria and pleasure, making the combination even more reinforcing and addictive.
  • Overstimulation: As both substances work as central nervous system stimulants, combining them can result in excessive stimulation of the central nervous system, leading to anxiety, agitation, paranoia, and restlessness.
  • Prolonged Duration: Cocaine’s effects are relatively short-lived, while Adderall has a longer duration of action. This can lead to a cycle of using cocaine to maintain the high and counteract the crash from Adderall, increasing the risk of addiction.
  • Psychological Effects: Combining these substances can lead to heightened psychological distress, including extreme paranoia, aggression, and even psychotic symptoms.
  • Health Consequences: Chronic use of stimulants like cocaine and Adderall can have serious health consequences, including damage to the heart, blood vessels, and brain. Mixing them exacerbates these risks.
  • Legal and Social Consequences: Both cocaine and Adderall are controlled substances, and using them illegally can lead to legal issues, including arrest and incarceration. Social and personal consequences, such as damaged relationships and loss of employment, are also common.

Can You Overdose From Mixing Adderall and Cocaine?

Yes, you can overdose from mixing Adderall and cocaine. As mentioned above, both cocaine and Adderall are stimulants that affect the cardiovascular system and can raise blood pressure and heart rate; when taken together they intensify these effects.

Mixing two stimulant substances increases the risk of overdose through extreme agitation, confusion, hallucinations, seizures, and hyperthermia (dangerously high body temperature). The most dangerous risk is that to the heart, as excessive pressure to the cardiac system can lead to heart attacks and other serious cardiac events. 

At the risk of repeating the information again, polysubstance drug use (taking more than one drug at a time) is incredibly dangerous and can have life-threatening consequences. 

Clinic Les Alpes Can Help

Clinic Les Alpes stands at the forefront of top-tier addiction treatment and recovery services. If you are concerned about the way someone is using cocaine and/or adderall, or even other substances, we are here to help. 

Located among the serene hills bordering Lake Geneva, individuals seeking to embark on their path to recovery can do so in an environment well-known for complete privacy, safety, and comfort. Our commitment to excellence ensures a luxurious experience, accompanied by round-the-clock access to medical professionals, offering peace of mind to families and friends knowing their loved ones are receiving expert care during detox and treatment.

Led by their personal therapist, patients will collaborate with the entire multi-disciplinary team to receive an individualised treatment plan that enables their participation in our Minnesota Model based programme. Our team uses a wide variety of evidence-based treatments and approaches to empower patients through therapeutic interventions, psychoeducation and complementary therapies to address both the physical and psychological aspects of addiction. 

If you would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our team is available to answer any questions about referrals, our treatments, and facilities. 


In conclusion, the risks associated with mixing Adderall and cocaine are substantial and encompass numerous health, legal, and social consequences. The potential for overdose, with its life-threatening implications, looms large. 

Polysubstance drug use can go from fun to dark quickly, but knowing the risks of adderall and cocaine keeps you one step ahead as a user, and helps you to keep informed and ready to help as a concerned loved one.

Clinically Reviewed By

Brittany Hunt

Brittany Hunt is an internationally experienced clinician, specialised in treating addictions and co-occurring disorders. Having worked in the public and private sector, she utilises holistic and evidence-based approaches designed to empower the patients in their recovery journeys. A graduate of The University of Auckland, she has a Bachelor of Health Sciences majoring in Mental Health and Addictions, a diploma in Psychology and Counselling and a Post-Graduate degree in Health Sciences, majoring in Addictions. She is a fully registered practitioner under the Drug and Alcohol Association of Aotearoa New Zealand (DAPAANZ).

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