The drug Adderall (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine) is comprised of two stimulant medications that are most often used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the sleep disorder narcolepsy.
Stimulant medications to treat ADHD are popular drugs of abuse among college students who use them to “cram” during examination periods to stay awake and more alert; however, abuse of these drugs also often occurs with other drugs, such as alcohol, other stimulants, and opiate drugs. The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies Adderall as a Schedule II controlled substance, meaning it is a drug that can result in the development of physical dependence, and it may be a significant drug of abuse if it is not used according to its prescribed purposes and under the supervision of a physician.
The DEA classifies buprenorphine as a Schedule III controlled substance, indicating that it has a moderate potential for abuse and the development of physical dependence. The naloxone component in Suboxone is designed as a safeguard against abusing the drug. Naloxone is a full opioid antagonist that is often used to help individuals recover following an overdose of opiate drugs. When activated, this drug immediately occupies the opioid receptor sites in the brain, removing any opioid drugs that are already there, and it will not allow any opiate drugs to attach to these receptor sites. In addition, the activation of the drug elicits an immediate withdrawal response in individuals who take it. The naloxone in Suboxone is not activated unless the drug is abused in a manner that is not consistent with its prescribed use, such as grinding it up and trying to snort or inject it.
It does not appear that these drugs are commonly used together as drugs of abuse; however, some scattered reports of individuals using these two drugs together does occur. According to the book Basic & Clinical Pharmacology and the prescribing information associated with these drugs, per the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), several issues can occur when an individual is taking a stimulant medication with Suboxone.
It should be noted that a person who is diagnosed with ADHD may be more prone to engaging in drug-seeking behavior when their symptoms are not treated. Thus, an individual who has ADHD and who is also undergoing treatment for opiate withdrawal may be prescribed Adderall while they are taking Suboxone. In such cases, physicians will most likely monitor these patients very closely.