Mixing Cocaine and Adderall

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Cocaine is an illegal stimulant that causes temporary feelings of euphoria and energy. Cocaine can be ingested into the body through smoking, intravenous injections, or inhaling it through the nose. Adderall is a prescription medication used to treat two different neurological disorders. (1) Adderall can be taken by tablet or capsule. Since Adderall and cocaine work in similar ways, many individuals combine these two substances in order to heighten their effects. This is an extremely dangerous practice. Research has found that approximately 5 million individuals misuse prescription stimulants. (2) While approximately 5 million individuals were found to have engaged in cocaine use throughout a 12 month period, in the year of 2020. (3) Mixing these two substances can lead to serious and adverse side effects. Both substances are highly addictive and can lead to negative consequences.

If you or a loved one are experiencing cocaine use disorder, dependence to prescription medications, or addiction to any other substances, treatment may be necessary. Guardian Recovery offers intervention services to help initiate sobriety and encourage individuals to seek treatment. With detox specific treatment for both cocaine and prescription medications, Guardian Recovery will aid you in understanding overcoming your substance use. Contact us today to begin your recovery journey.

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What is Adderall?

Adderall is the combination of the drugs amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. (4) Adderall helps decrease hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. (5) Adderall stimulates, or speeds up, the central nervous system and produces chemicals such as dopamine in the brain. (6) The U.S Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) classifies adderall as a Schedule II controlled substance, having a high risk for abuse. (7) Adderall can be taken from individuals 3 years old and older.

What is Adderall Used For?

Adderall is used for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). (8) It helps individuals with ADHD increase their attention span, focus, organizational skills, listening skills, and positive behavior. Adderall accomplishes this by increasing dopamine in the brain, which individuals with ADHD have a decreased amount of. (9) Adderall is also used to help treat narcolepsy, a neurological, sleep disorder. (10) The Food and Drug Administration has approved Adderall for the treatment of both ADHD and Narcolepsy. (11) The specific dosage needed to be effective depends on your condition and response to the medication. Adderall should only be taken as it is prescribed.

Differences Between Adderall & Cocaine

Due to both substances being a part of the drug class known as stimulants, there are many similarities between Adderall and cocaine. However, it is important to note their differences. Here, we explore cocaine vs Adderall. One main difference is that cocaine is mostly used for recreational purposes since it is an illegal substance. The effects of cocaine only last for brief periods of time, while Adderall’s effects extend throughout a longer period of time. The effects of cocaine last anywhere between 15 to 30 minutes. While the effects of Adderall can last between 4 to 12 hours. The duration of time that the effects of Adderall last depends on if it is the short-acting or long-acting form. (12) Another difference between these two substances is that Adderall takes a longer amount of time to be removed from the body than cocaine. Adderall is also a produced, synthetic substance, while cocaine is derived from the coca plant. (13)

Cocaine & Adderall Interactions in the Body

Cocaine and Adderall, if used together, can cause the brain and body to go into overdrive. Both producing dopamine in the body, these two substances can rewire the brain’s pleasure and reward system if misused. Grey matter within the brain deteriorates when these two substances are combined. (14) This process naturally occurs within the body as an individual ages, however, it is exacerbated when cocaine and Adderall are used simultaneously. This can lead to cognitive impairments.

Short-term effects due to cocaine use include: (15)

  • Extreme feelings of happiness
  • Energy
  • Alertness
  • Irritability
  • Aggression
  • Paranoia

Long-term effects due to cocaine use include: (16)

  • Dilated pupils
  • Constricted blood vessels
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Nausea
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Increased heart rate
  • Tremors
  • Muscle spasms
  • Restlessness

Common side effects of Adderall include: (17)

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiousness
  • Abnormal appetite
  • Gastrointestinal issues

Symptoms of Adderall addiction include: (18)

  • Poor self-care and hygiene
  • Avoiding important responsibilities
  • Withdrawing socially
  • Depression
  • Panic attacks

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What Are The Symptoms & Side Effects of Mixing Two Stimulants?

Stimulants, also known as uppers, can be dangerous when mixed with other stimulants. Stimulants are known to elevate heart rate and increase blood pressure. Combining two stimulants can increase your chances of experiencing brain damage, liver impairment, heart attack, and stroke. (19)


It is important to understand the symptoms related to mixing cocaine and Adderall. This can help you or a loved one in spotting the signs so that the appropriate action can be taken. The symptoms of mixing two stimulants may include body twitches, pounding heartbeat, and difficulty focusing on bright lights.

Short-term Side Effects

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Insomnia
  • Body twitches
  • Pounding heartbeat
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure

Long-term Side Effects

  • Tolerance
  • Polysubstance use
  • Brain damage
  • Weight loss
  • Psychosis or cocaine psychosis
  • Cardiovascular issues
  • Withdrawal
  • Death

Risks & Dangers of Mixing Cocaine & Adderall

There are various risks and dangers associated with mixing Adderall and cocaine. These include developing a physical and/or psychological dependence on both substances, experiencing withdrawal symptoms, and even overdosing.

Heightened Risks of Overdosing

Combining cocaine and Adderall increases your risk of experiencing an overdose. Tolerance, or the need to have larger amounts of a substance in order to reach the desired high, can develop when one mixes cocaine and Adderall. This can increase the chance of experiencing an overdose due to an individual taking multiple doses in a short period of time. Combining Adderall and cocaine increases your risk of experiencing death due to overdosing. (20)

Signs and symptoms of cocaine Adderall overdose include: (21)

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Vomiting
  • Pain in the chest
  • Seizures
  • Stroke

It is important to seek medical attention if you experience any of the above symptoms as overdosing on cocaine and Adderall can be fatal.

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The negatives do not outweigh the positives in regards to combining Adderall and cocaine. If you find it difficult to control cocaine use, Adderall use, or the combination of both,  you may be experiencing a substance use disorder. With individual and comprehensive treatment, Guardian Recovery can help you in the process of loosening the grip of addiction. Contact us today to speak with a Treatment Advisor who will help you get started. Our trained staff is dedicated to helping individuals develop and maintain sobriety. A free, no obligation insurance benefits check can be provided upon your request. You are not alone. Substance use is treatable, and Guardian Recovery is here to guide you through your recovery journey.


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Disclaimer: Does not guarantee specific treatment outcomes, as individual results may vary. Our services are not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis; please consult a qualified healthcare provider for such matters.

  1. https://www.drugs.com/adderall.html
  2. https://nida.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/2018/04/five-million-american-adults-misusing-prescription-stimulants
  3. https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/cocaine/what-scope-cocaine-use-in-united-states
  4. https://www.drugs.com/adderall.html
  5. https://www.rxlist.com/adderall-drug.htm
  6. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2017/011522s043lbl.pdf
  7. https://www.dea.gov/drug-information/drug-scheduling
  8. https://www.drugs.com/adderall.html
  9. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12035-012-8278-5
  10. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325646#side-effects
  11. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2007/011522s040lbl.pdf
  12. https://museum.dea.gov/exhibits/online-exhibits/cannabis-coca-and-poppy-natures-addictive-plants/coca
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2769923/
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2695738/
  15. https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/cocaine
  16. https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/cocaine
  17. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325646#side-effects
  18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2769923/
  19. https://www.cdc.gov/stopoverdose/polysubstance-use/index.html
  20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC420295/
  21. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2769923/

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Reviewed professionally for accuracy by:

Ryan Soave


Ryan Soave brings deep experience as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, certified trauma therapist, program developer, and research consultant for Huberman Lab at Stanford University Department of Neurobiology. Post-graduation from Wake Forest University, Ryan quickly discovered his acumen for the business world. After almost a decade of successful entrepreneurship and world traveling, he encountered a wave of personal and spiritual challenges; he felt a calling for something more. Ryan returned to school and completed his Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. When he started working with those suffering from addiction and PTSD, he found his passion. He has never looked back.

Written by:

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark grew up in Santa Barbara, CA and graduated from UCLA with a degree in playwriting. Since then she has been writing on addiction recovery and psychology full-time, and has found a home as part of the Guardian Recovery team.

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