Combining different substances such as alcohol and drugs is incredibly risky behavior. Oftentimes, users have several prescription medications and inadvertently take them at the same time without realizing how the drugs will interact with each other. Others combine two substances to experience its effects. For example, someone might get drunk and high at the same time for fun. Unfortunately, too many people overlook the dangers of mixing substances.
If you or a loved one has a bad habit of mixing medications, alcohol, or other substances, a medical detox center can help with withdrawal effects.
What Are the Dangers of Mixing Substances?
The risks of mixing different drugs and alcohol vary depending on what users consume, but the wrong combination can often be fatal. For example, alcohol and benzos both slow down the brain’s neurons, and simultaneously taking both can be risky. Both drugs can enhance each other leading to increased alcoholism, sedation, cognition reduction, liver damage, heart problems, overdosage, and dependence.
Combining alcohol and opioids is also deadly. Doctors prescribe opioids such as Vicodin, OxyCotin, Kadian, and Avinza mostly to help relieve pain, though some treat coughing and diarrhea. Both drugs can enhance each other’s side effects. In fact, alcohol can cause opioids to release their entire dosage at once. This phenomenon is called “dose dumping” and can easily lead to overdose.
If you or someone you love takes drugs with active alcohol addiction, the consequences are dire. Start an alcohol detox program to find a way to recovery.
Other dangers of mixing substances include:
- Respiratory arrest
- Brain damage
Of course, most alcohol, opioids, and benzos are legal. It’s far more dangerous to mix substances when one or more of them is illegal and unregulated.
For example, some people mix cocaine and heroin – often called a speedball – which leads to a much longer and intense high than using either individually. Both drugs are deadly in their own right, but combining them is especially lethal.
For one, cocaine and heroin often produce opposite effects on the body. Cocaine causes users to need more oxygen, but heroin slows down the respiratory system. The user’s body doesn’t know if it should breathe more or less.
Other side effects of cocaine and heroin include poor vision, feelings of drowsiness, paranoia, aneurysms, heart attacks, and strokes.
These are just a few lethal combinations. You should be aware of any drugs you take simultaneously, even legally prescribed ones. Call 866.341.0638 today to find help at an inpatient detox center when you can’t stop mixing substances.
What Substances Are Dangerous to Mix?
The dangers of mixing substances largely depend on which drugs people use. Some drugs are safer than others, but reckless combinations and overdosing can still prove dangerous.
Sadly, almost every drug – legal or not – has some sort of side effect. Ask your doctor if it’s safe to take your medication with another substance. These drugs include, but aren’t limited to:
- Illegal drugs (cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, etc.)
- Antibiotics and allergy medications
- Sleeping pills
- Opioids and pain relief medicine
- Energy drinks and caffeine
Many drugs are endlessly complicated and don’t always work as planned. Even prescribed and tested drugs aren’t failsafe. The dangers of mixing substances, perfectly legal ones, may still lead to adverse effects due to how each drug interacts with the other. Drugs might enhance or decrease the effects of other medications.
For example, Tivicay, which is used to treat HIV, can’t be combined with drugs like Tums. Tums contain calcium carbonate, which impairs the bloodstream’s ability to absorb Tivicay, therefore reducing its effectiveness.
As a general rule of thumb, avoid taking alcohol with any over-the-counter medication before asking a doctor. Even common drugs like Ambien, Adderall, DayQuil, and Xanax don’t mix well with alcohol. Many people might take a drink or two after their prescription and not realize what devastating effects it has on their bodies.
Start Treating Drug Abuse Today
If you’re ready to stop substance abuse and fight the dangers of mixing substances, please contact Summit Detox today. We offer comprehensive drug detox programs for all types of addictions. You can call us at 866.341.0638.