Mixing Alcohol and Other Substances

There is a good reason for doctors and prescribers to advise you to avoid alcohol when on certain medications. This is true for other substances as well, such as cocaine, meth, heroin, or other illegal substances.

Combining Alcohol with Other Substances

Oftentimes individuals will mix drugs thinking it will benefit them medically, or to obtain a more prominent high. This routine can be lethal, especially when combining alcohol and other substances. A drug interaction occurs when the combination of one drug with another causes different effects than either drug would on its own.

Why do people mix drugs?

  • To relieve stress
  • For a sense of happiness
  • To be apart of a group
  • To avoid pain
  • To experiment
  • To cope with stressors
  • To feel better
There are underlying reasons for addiction and entering treatment can provide the tools and get to the root of the problem.

Different drugs create different effects on the body. Alcohol acts as a sedative and slows coordination, speech, and creates sleep problems. Alcohol is also one of the most widely used legal substance in the United States and its also a commonly mixed with other drugs. Alcohol is dangerous on its own, but this danger increases wildly when in combination with other substances.

Binge drinking or alcohol dependence can put you at higher risk for co-occurring disorders. Mixing drugs while heavily drinking can impact you physically, psychologically, and behaviorally and create risk for overdose, coma, permanent brain damage, and death.

Substances Commonly Mixed with Alcohol

Cocaine: When cocaine and alcohol are mixed, its likely the individual believes that these two different highs will cancel each other out but this is not the case. Combining cocaine and alcohol creates an increase in a dangerous toxin called coca ethylene which can impair your heart by causing cardiovascular toxicity.

Adderall: Adderall is commonly mixed with alcohol because it is often prescribed for children or adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. The problem with mixing alcohol and Adderall is that Adderall can depict feelings of soberness when in fact you are drunk. This may put you at higher risk of injury or accident from drunk driving or falling. Mixing alcohol and Adderall may also cause:

  • Paranoia
  • Psychotic episodes
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle twitches
  • Headaches

Amphetamines: All amphetamines are dangerous due to the rapid increase of blood pressure and when alcohol is mixed into this it can create a more lethal mixture of high blood pressure and kidney damage that can be irreversible. Drinking and doing amphetamines can make someone act out in rage and this may result in injury of self or someone else.

Heroin: Heroin by itself is lethal in any dose and when mixing alcohol you put yourself at risk for slowed or stopped breathing which can result in death.

Painkillers: Painkillers are oftentimes the most common drugs mixed with alcohol and can be some of the most damaging to the body. Like heroin, mixing painkillers and alcohol can slow your breathing down to dangerous rates, causing the heart to stop. Without immediate medical attention you will not survive this mix.

Ecstasy: Ecstasy is a common club drug known to increase excitement and happiness. Mixing alcohol and ecstasy can dehydrate you faster than normal, and put heavy strain on your kidneys which can be fatal.

LSD or Psychedelic Mushrooms: Drinking alcohol while taking LSD or magic mushrooms is not too common but can cause LSD effects to become heightened such as nauseousness or vomiting.

Marijuana: Combining alcohol and marijuana can heighten the effects of alcohol and make you feel dizzier as well as make you vomit.

Caffeine: Caffeine on its own causes you dehydration and so does alcohol, so when combining these two substances you become much more dehydrated, and a lot faster than normal. This puts you at a higher risk of a bad hangover the next day, and even alcohol poisoning.

Addiction Treatment for Alcohol and Other Substances

Mixing alcohol with any other drug is highly advised against because of what it can do to the brain and the body long term. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance abuse it is time to talk to them about seeking treatment.

Find Treatment

Rehabilitation programs provide support groups and caring medical professionals who want you to live a healthy life again. During treatment, you will work with professionals to get to the root of the addiction and develop new ways of coping and dealing with the stressors of everyday life. There are also specialized rehabs for people who are struggling with a co-occurring disorder. Seek treatment online today to obtain more information about recovery.

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