Mixing drugs and alcohol, two potent substances each with distinct impacts, gives rise to a complex and often dangerous interaction that demands our attention and understanding. As many struggle with the cycle of experimentation and addiction, the effects of mixing these substances become a critical concern for both physical and mental well-being. Today, the addiction specialists at our Banyan Lake Worth rehab are delving into the multifaceted repercussions that arise when drugs and alcohol are combined, shedding light on the heightened risks, unpredictable outcomes, and potential long-term consequences for those who walk along this path.
What Happens If You Mix Alcohol And Drugs?
Mixing alcohol and drugs is called “polysubstance abuse” or “polydrug use.” This involves using multiple substances simultaneously or back-to-back, resulting in heightened and often unpredictable effects, and increased health and safety risks.
Mixing alcohol and drugs can amplify the dangers associated with each substance, resulting in adverse reactions that could have serious physical and mental consequences. Even mixing alcohol with drugs that are benign like Tylenol or antihistamines can trigger unintended side effects that may harm a person’s health.
Sometimes when alcohol is mixed with prescription drugs, it may also severely diminish the drug’s desired effects. Despite these dangers, however, many Americans continue to play with this double-edged sword. Overall, it’s best to avoid taking alcohol and drugs mixed all together to avoid any unintentional and sometimes even fatal consequences.
To further shed light on the dangers of polysubstance abuse, below is more on the effects of drugs like amphetamines, benzodiazepines, and opioids when mixed with alcohol.
Mixing Alcohol and Amphetamines
Taking alcohol and amphetamines together poses many hidden dangers and health risks. Amphetamines are psychostimulants that drastically increase central nervous system activity and cause the user to feel anxious, restless, and wound up. They include a variety of drugs like methamphetamine, Dexedrine, and Adderall.
When amphetamine and alcohol are combined, the immediate effects are slowed and diminished. Because of these delayed and diminished effects, it may result in addiction from increased doses or tragedies like a coma or accidental overdose.
Some other side effects of amphetamines and alcohol may include:
- Irregular heart rhythms
- Intestinal problems such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Extreme paranoia and psychosis
- Delayed motor skills
- Kidney disease
In particular, some people may mix alcohol and Adderall without realizing the dangerous consequences. Adderall is a popular amphetamine used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and is often sold on the street to help people without prescriptions focus.
While it is used for medicinal purposes, drinking on Adderall is dangerous. A person can take as little as one Adderall pill while drinking and wind up hospitalized for side effects like intestinal distress or other medical complications. Additionally, because prescription stimulants like Adderall are addictive, we recommend that individuals who find themselves unable to control their drug use begin prescription drug addiction treatment as soon as possible.
Mixing Benzos and Alcohol
While mixing drugs and alcohol like amphetamines can decrease the effects of the drug, mixing benzodiazepines and alcohol can exacerbate the effects of the drug. Benzodiazepines, or “Benzos,” are a family of sedatives or minor tranquilizers designed to treat insomnia, sleep deprivation, and anxiety.
If someone drinks while taking Benzos, they can intensely magnify alcohol’s depressive effects and place users in serious physical and emotional jeopardy. Benzodiazepines that are commonly mixed with alcohol include Xanax, Ativan, and Valium. This is such a common issue that alcohol consumption is considered one of the largest issues with prescribing benzodiazepines for legitimate illnesses.
Some possible effects of mixing alcohol and benzodiazepines include:
- Impaired judgment
- Decreased motor skills
- Decreased response time
- Intense nausea
- Impaired breathing
- Esophageal damage
- Slowed or stopped function of kidneys, liver, brain, or heart
Not only can mixing benzos and alcohol dramatically depress the central nervous system, but also impaired judgment and motor skills could lead to fatal accidents like car crashes or falls. Despite considerable evidence to demonstrate the dangers of drinking on benzos, this problem remains one of the most common causes of intoxication-related hospital admissions and accidents. In addition to alcohol and amphetamines, benzos can also be addictive, and our experts recommend those affected look into our Benzo detox to start the recovery process.
Mixing Alcohol and Opioids
Mixing alcohol and drugs of any kind is dangerous, but alcohol’s interaction with opioids is notorious for causing fatal overdoses. Opioids are a class of powerful synthetic and natural drugs derived from the opium plant and are commonly used in the treatment of acute pain-related injuries.
Common opioids include substances like morphine, oxycodone, fentanyl, hydrocodone, codeine, methadone, and heroin. While some of these substances may be prescribed, opioids and alcohol can lead to dangerous side effects when combined, which is why prescribing doctors will advise patients against drinking while taking opioids at all costs.
Despite the risks, people often start abusing alcohol and opioids because of the calming and relaxing effects of both drugs. The widespread proliferation of prescription painkiller abuse combined with the national alcoholism epidemic has made the combination of opioids and drinking one of the fastest-growing addiction problems in the country.
For this reason, the risks of this combination must be understood. On that note, some possible effects of mixing alcohol and opioids include:
- Memory loss
- Cognitive impairment
- Poor judgment
- Decreased motor skills
- Severe headaches or migraines
- Organ malfunction
- Cardiac arrest
- Respiratory problems or failure
Whether or not opioids and alcohol are mixed, these substances pose individual risks, as well. Opioids are highly addictive, so much so that an opioid epidemic has persisted since the late 1990s when OxyContin was frequently prescribed.
Due to their euphoric side effects and ability to change the brain’s chemical makeup, opioids can be difficult to quit without professional help. If you or someone you care about is battling opioid addiction, our opioid rehab program offers comprehensive treatment to make sobriety possible.
Polysubstance Abuse Treatment at BHOPB
The doctors and care professionals at our center for alcohol and drug treatment are skilled and experienced in the treatment of concurrent addiction problems and help clients defeat polysubstance abuse in an effective, responsible, and compassionate manner. No matter what particular combination of drugs and alcohol has led to the development of addiction, we want to help you or your loved one break free of them.