Dangers of Mixing Alcohol and Drugs
There are hundreds of warnings about combining drugs and alcohol. However, not everyone really understands why this is so dangerous. Understanding how alcohol interacts with various drugs is useful in understanding these dangers and underscores the need for alcohol abuse treatment.
Alcohol and Medications
Almost every prescription or over the counter medication you will ever take has a warning about using it with alcohol. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, common results of combining medications and alcohol include:
- Heart palpitations or arrhythmia
- Liver damage or disease
- Increased effects of the medication or alcohol
- Increased risk of overdose to either
- Rapid changes in blood pressure or blood sugar
- Difficulty breathing
All of these occurrences have the potential to be deadly and someone addicted to alcohol runs a very real risk of having them. Getting treatment for alcohol addiction is the only way an alcoholic can be sure that they do not experience these effects.
Alcohol and Illicit Drugs
Combining alcohol with illicit drugs is even more dangerous than combining it with medications. Illegal drugs often contain unknown chemicals in unknown quantities. These chemicals can cause all sorts of damage on their own and there is no way to be sure how they will react with alcohol. Each category of illicit drug has different effects when combined with alcohol, but all are potentially life threatening.
- Stimulants such as cocaine can cause a person to not feel the effects of alcohol quickly, resulting in alcohol poisoning. They also increase the effects of alcohol on the heart and can induce a heart attack.
- Depressants, like heroin, are amplified in their effects by alcohol. This can easily lead to overdose. It can also stop a person breathing or cause severe brain damage.
- Hallucinogens such as LSD cause delusions, severe psychiatric disturbances, and severely impair judgement. These effects are further amplified when combined with alcohol and may result in any number of injuries to the user or those around them.
In short, not only is using illegal drugs a bad idea, but is especially dangerous when combined with alcohol use. For treatment options related to alcohol and illicit drug abuse, call 800-481-6965 (Who Answers?) today.
Alcohol and Narcotic Pain Relievers
Perhaps the most dangerous group of drugs that can be combined with alcohol is narcotic pain relievers. Both alcohol and narcotics are central nervous system depressants. This means that they both have similar effects on the body.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, combining alcohol with narcotic pain relievers puts you significantly high risk of suffering liver damage or respiratory stress resulting in sudden death. If you have chronic pain that needs to be managed by narcotics, it is essential that you treat any alcohol use disorders in order to avoid these deadly side effects.
If you have an alcohol abuse problem and find yourself combining alcohol and other drugs, it is important to get help right away. Call us at 800-481-6965 (Who Answers?) and allow our counselors to assist you in getting the help you need, before it is too late.