Using different drugs at the same time, or using drugs with alcohol is a very dangerous game. Many addicts, or recreational drug users, don’t fully understand how deadly the mixing of substances can be. To make matters worse, once someone is intoxicated with one substance, they are more likely to partake in other substances. This is because they are already drunk or high and not thinking clearly about the potential repercussions.
If you or a loved one are regularly mixing substances, seek help. This can have devastating health effects, including death. Addiction and substance abuse disorder left untreated are very dangerous. The experts at Harm Reduction Center in South Florida have compiled some of the most common substances that drug users will mix, and the dangers associated with mixing them.
Alcohol and Depressants
Alcohol is a depressant, meaning it depresses the nervous system. This causes the functions of the body to slow, and users experience calming or relaxing effects. This is why it is dangerous to drink and drive, because of the drowsiness and slower reaction time.
When alcohol is combined with another depressant or ‘downer’, even a pharmaceutical one, it slows down functioning so much that it can become deadly. For example, valium, heroin, Xanax, or GHB are all examples of drugs that are classified as depressants.
Mixing alcohol with other depressants can cause the effects to multiply. Overdosing is more likely, even if the amount of each individual drug isn’t enough to make the user overdose. In 2007, the National Treatment Agency for Substance Abuse found that around 75% of people who die from heroin overdoses had consumed alcohol.
Alcohol and Stimulants
Stimulant drugs like methamphetamine and crack cocaine can mask some of the effects of alcohol. This is dangerous because it can cause the individual to consume more alcohol than usual. Due to the fact that they aren’t feeling the effects as much. This increases the risk of alcohol-induced harms like alcohol poisoning.
The effects of stimulants cause breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate to accelerate. Additionally, they can increase body temperature and dehydration. The strain on a user’s heart with the combination of stimulants and alcohol can be fatal.
When an individual combines alcohol and cocaine, specifically, it creates an extremely toxic substance, cocaethylene. This substance has a long-lasting effect on the heart and liver that is especially dangerous.
Cocaine and alcohol increase the risk of aggressive behaviors, heart attacks, and sudden death.
Stimulants and Depressants
Mixing drugs that are stimulants and depressants subjects the body to extreme stress. The individual’s body has to process conflicting substances. The substances do not counteract each other but combine and create an extreme strain on the brain, heart, and central nervous system.
An especially dangerous mix of drugs is heroin or opiates and meth, commonly referred to as a ‘speed ball’. This creates an intense high that habitual users crave. This more potent high is stronger than either drug on its own.
This intense high can entice drug users. The negative health effects are devastating. Speed balling can cause uncontrolled motor skills and increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, aneurysm, respiratory failure, and ultimately death.
Mixing Drugs is a Gamble
Abusing drugs is dangerous and deadly on its own. Choosing to mix drugs together or with alcohol is an even greater risk to your health and life. Street drugs are unpredictable in potency, can be laced, and the effects of mixing them can amplify effects. Individuals with substance abuse disorder or addiction will sometimes resort to mixing drugs to feel a stronger high. Addiction treatment is so important to get out of this vicious cycle.
If you or a loved one are abusing drugs, or worse mixing them, get help right away. Choosing to get help may seem daunting, but it is the first step towards healing. Recovery is hard, but addiction is harder. Don’t wait, contact the Harm Reduction Center in Boynton Beach, Florida today.