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Dangers of Mixing Alcohol with Drugs, Mixing Alcohol with Drugs,

Here’s What Happens When You Mix Drugs and Alcohol

By on May 17, 2024 in Alcoholism, Blog, Drug Addiction

Most prescription drugs come with a warning to not consume alcohol while taking the drug. And many people disregard this warning without apparent consequence. But mixing alcohol with other drugs, whether prescription or illicit, can lead to serious health complications–not to mention a substance use disorder. If you are misusing substances like this and you need help, Victory Addiction Recovery Center is available to guide you. You can break the cycle of addiction.

Why Mixing Drugs and Alcohol Is Treacherous

Combining alcohol with other drugs can change how each substance interacts with your body and brain. That includes combining alcohol with drugs such as marijuana or opioids, but also with prescription medications you could be taking for anxiety or depression. The type of drug, the amount used, and your overall health all play a role in what occurs. Reactions could include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Feeling intensely sick and dizzy
  • Passing out
  • Intense racing heart
  • Lost time
  • Illness

In some situations, overdose is a very real threat and one that warrants immediate medical attention. Call 911 if you suspect someone is overdosing.

What You Can Expect When Mixing Alcohol with Drugs

Drugs are complex chemical products that interact with your brain and body in numerous ways. The impact of mixing substances is not easy to predict, and the complications depend on the drug. Here are some examples.

Depressants with Alcohol

Using depressant drugs alongside alcohol can have an intense impact on mental health. Alcohol itself is a depressant, and this combination creates a synergistic effect. It can depress the heart rate and breathing rate. It may cause stumbling and trouble with focus. Many people struggle with memory loss. The onset of overdose is also a risk, and sudden death is possible.

Prescription Opiates and Alcohol

Those taking prescription opiates, including Tylenol 3, OxyContin, or Vicodin, along with alcohol, could face intense symptoms, some of which could be life-threatening. These drugs are likely to cause a drop in blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate. This can lead to passing out, coma, and overdose in some people.

Stimulants and Alcohol

Stimulants, such as Adderall and Ritalin, work to excite the brain, while alcohol aims to reduce that activity as a depressant. Combining stimulants with alcohol can lead to unpredictable intoxication, often leading to overconsumption of alcohol. Some people may also black out or lose track of time.

Cannabis and Alcohol

Mixing alcohol with cannabis can create a much stronger effect than normal and have  unpredictable results. A person may experience intense physical and mental health complications as well as the onset of panic, paranoia, and dizziness.

Cocaine and Alcohol

Mixing alcohol with cocaine can lead to numerous health complications, including overdose. These substances enter the bloodstream quickly and can cause toxicity in the brain, leading to the onset of heart attacks and erratic breathing. It can also cause significant liver damage.

Heroin and Alcohol

Mixing alcohol with heroin, a type of opioid, is highly dangerous. Both drugs act as depressants, and the quality of most heroin is uncontrollable (it is often laced with other substances that can further complicate the interactions). This can lead to overdose in many situations. A person’s heart rate and breathing slow down to levels that cause brain damage.

What to Do If You Suffer from Addiction

Alcohol use disorder is a serious disease and one that can impact your health and lifespan. Whether you mix alcohol with a substance once or do so on a consistent basis, there is no way to predict what could happen to your body. In other words, there’s no safe combination.

If you believe you are suffering from alcohol or drug addiction, treatment is necessary. It will help break your dependence on substances and give you the tools you need to sustain recovery. 

It’s never safe to mix drugs and alcohol. If you are ready for long-term change, contact Victory Addiction Recovery Center for one-on-one help and support during this time.

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