Get help today 888-685-5770 or sign up for 24/7 text support.
American Addiction Centers National Rehabs Directory

The Effects of Mixing Methylphenidate and Alcohol

Understanding the two drugs involved in this combination is key to understanding the effects of mixing methylphenidate and alcohol. Methylphenidate, the main ingredient in Ritalin, is a psychostimulant drug regularly prescribed to combat the effects of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that slows response times and produces a mild sense of euphoria when used in moderation. Both are metabolized through chemical processes in the liver, and excessive use of either may cause damage to that vital organ. If you believe yourself or a loved one to be addicted to methylphenidate and alcohol, you can call us for more information.


Methylphenidate is commonly prescribed for suffers of ADHD, narcolepsy and similar disorders. It may also be prescribed to help suffers of many addictions deal with the psychological withdrawal symptoms as they attempt to overcome drug abuse. This is most common as a replacement for stimulant drugs including methamphetamine, and some doctors may also use methylphenidate for treatment of cocaine and similar addictions. The drug carries a controlled substances Schedule II classification, and may only be obtained with a prescription. This classification indicates that abuse of methylphenidate may lead to severe physical or psychological dependency. Alcohol is not a controlled substance, but is regulated by state governments and readily available to persons over the age of 21 in the United States.

Combination Effects

The combination of methylphenidate and alcohol increases methylphenidate levels in the blood by up to 40 percent. This drastically increases the normal effects of the drug, resulting in a greater sensitivity to the euphoric effects of alcohol and the stimulation of methylphenidate. The high experienced when under the effects of these two drugs is a greatly pronounced version of the increased amount of energy or focus found in methylphenidate and a lack of inhibition created by alcohol. This drastically heightened effect can lead to increased dependency and tolerance on the two drugs. Call our confidential support line for more information on the effects of combining these drugs. You can also fill out a quick contact form for more information on understanding the highs associated with this combination.

The Issues of Mixing Alcohol with Other Stimulants

Adverse Effects of Mixing Ritalin and Alcohol

The adverse effects of each drug are also amplified when the two are used in combination. Regular side effects and withdrawal symptoms include abdominal pain, appetite loss, anxiety, blood pressure or pulse changes, dizziness, headaches, nausea, and even psychosis. These effects are far more pronounced when both medications are taken in high quantities. Overdose is likely to result in even greater instances of desires for suicide, hallucinations, psychoses, seizures and high blood pressure. Alcohol poisoning becomes a real threat as the sufferer may not be able to easily control their desires for additional alcohol intake during this period. Long-term abuse may cause irreparable damage to the liver and related organs.

Methylphenidate and Alcohol Treatment

Treatment for addiction to methylphenidate and alcohol involves a prolonged period of detoxification during which a medical provider may substitute less harmful drugs to help alleviate the withdrawal symptoms. Those undergoing treatment may become reticent, unwilling to share their feelings and experiences with others, or may be aggressive towards those that seek to help them overcome their abuse and addiction problems. The intervention of friends and family may not be desired in the early stages as the sufferer comes to grips with the extent of the addiction. For more information on the effects of mixing methylphenidate and alcohol, symptoms or treatment options please call us.

Was this page helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.

American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand.

Read our full editorial policy

While we are unable to respond to your feedback directly, we'll use this information to improve our online help.