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Mixing Alcohol and Drugs

Although blending alcohol and drugs has proven to produce dangerously unpredictable and often deadly results, hundreds of thousands of Americans engage in this double-edged sword of substance abuse every year. In 2010, 339,721 Americans were treated for alcohol abuse in conjunction with a secondary drug. There are hundreds of thousands more who don’t get the treatment they need fast enough and wind up in emergency rooms or dead. The mixture of alcohol and drugs has, through a variety of factors, become one of the most pervasive and threatening addiction problems in the country, specifically for teenagers and younger adults. Of those treated or hospitalized for a simultaneous alcohol and drug problem in 2010, a staggering majority was between the ages of 18 to 30. Over the past three decades, fatalities from mixing alcohol and drugs have increased by more than 3,000 percent.

Our experienced and dedicated doctors realize that concurrent drug and alcohol abuse treatment is a specialized, symbiotic problem and have developed their own brand of proven treatment based on years of analysis and practice. We’ve spent years studying the variety of ways the mixture of drugs and alcohol affects body and brain chemistry, personality, withdrawal periods, and general health, and offer customized therapy to treat this deadly and unpredictable problem.

Mixing Alcohol with Prescriptions

According to recent data, alcohol abuse can make people nearly twenty times more inclined toward recreational prescription drug use. Mixing alcohol with prescriptions is one of the most dangerous forms of concurrent drug and alcohol abuse. Some of the most commonly abused prescriptions are powerful sedatives such as Xanax, Ambien, Valium, and Nembutal. When one sedative is ingested with another, this can severely compromise the central nervous system, slow down response time, and induce extreme nausea, coma, and death.

Other types of prescriptions such as narcotics and anti-depressants are also extremely dangerous when taken with alcohol — even more than when taken by themselves. The prodigious prescription drug problem among young adults - a group that makes alcohol a regular part of their social lives - has led to a spike in fatal overdoses. The consequences of taking prescriptions with alcohol can be felt almost immediately, which is why swift and proactive treatment is imperative.

Mixing Alcohol with Street Drugs

The mixture of alcohol and street drugs such as cocaine and heroin usually leads to increased strain on the heart and other major organs. It also causes respiratory problems, severe hallucinations, intestinal distress, and comas. The never-ending combination of symptoms can scarcely be quantified. Use of alcohol with high doses of cocaine or heroin can produce an additive effect and greatly increase the likelihood of overdose. Alcohol abuse in combination with drugs such as ecstasy or GHB can lead to severe dehydration and damage to the heart and central nervous system.

Although the combination of alcohol and street drugs can produce an untold number of deadly effects, our doctors and care professionals are skilled and experienced in the treatment of concurrent addiction problems and help clients defeat their simultaneous drug and alcohol addiction in an effective, responsible and compassionate manner.

How Drugs and Alcohol Affect One Another

Depending upon the specific combination, alcohol and drugs can either magnify or diminish each other’s effects. When mixed with even a benign drug like Tylenol or an anti-histamine, alcohol can trigger unintended side effects and depress the central nervous system. Usually prescription or street drugs and alcohol have an additive impact on one another, particularly if they affect the brain in the same way. The intended effects of prescriptions may also be severely diminished when taken with alcohol.

BHOPB’s Specialized Treatment for Multiple Addictions

The treatment of concurrent drug and alcohol addiction can often be too much for many treatment facilities to adequately manage. The instinct of many is to treat the problem as two addictions, rather than a complex, interwoven, mental disorder. Our expert medical staff can quickly get to the heart of our patients' simultaneous dependency issues. We then administer the correct detoxification procedure based on your multiple addictions. After successfully completing detox, we can officially begin the behavioral health phase of treatment. No matter what particular combination of drugs and alcohol has led to the development of multiple addictions, we can help break you free of them.

Alcohol consumption has a depressive effect – individuals mixing alcohol and amphetamines may experience reduced symptoms from both, causing them to continue to abuse. The combination can lead to an irregular heartbeat, spasms, headaches, kidney disease and much more. Work with the addiction therapists at Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches to get help.

If you’re ready to change you or your loved one's life, contact us at (888) 432-2467 to get started today!

Infographic: Mixing Alcohol and Drugs

infographic warning of the dangers of mixing alcohol and drugs to get high
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Sources: 
  • University of Notre Dame, Center for Student Health
  • Brown University and the University of Rhode Island study
  • American Journal of Therapeutics