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The Dangers of Mixing Drugs and Alcohol

mixing drugs and alcohol

Mixing drugs and alcohol is common. Whether someone is taking drugs with alcohol or using alcohol to increase the effectiveness of a drug, the combination can be dangerous. When the body develops a tolerance for either drugs or alcohol, someone may start combing the two. This form of substance use is often a sign of addiction. Substance abuse treatment programs are the safest way to avoid the dangers of combining drugs and alcohol.

If you or someone you love is mixing drugs and alcohol, you are not alone. The team at A Better State is here to help. Our outpatient treatment center provides holistic trauma-informed substance use treatment programs that won’t compromise your schedule. Our daytime and evening partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) and intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) in New Hampshire focus on dual diagnosis for mental health and substance use. Call us now at 781.412.1488 to learn more about the dangers of combining drugs and alcohol.

What Happens When Someone Combines Drugs and Alcohol?

Many prescription medications have warnings. One of the most common is “do not drink alcohol while on this medication.” There might be many reasons for this warning. When alcohol and illicit drugs or legal prescriptions enter the bloodstream, they affect the nervous system immediately. Stimulants speed up the nervous system, while depressants slow the system down. The nervous system tells the rest of the organ systems how quickly to breathe, pump blood, and digest food.

Substances change the body’s normal processing speeds and flood the body with toxins. The liver is one of the primary organs that filters these toxins out of the blood. With too many toxins at once, the liver can struggle and eventually develop a disease.

When drugs and alcohol are combined, a person experiences a more potent high. This, however, is temporary. When the body tolerates the combination, these effects will wear off. This can lead to higher doses, combining more substances, and overdose.

Dangers of Combining Drugs and Alcohol

Mixing drugs and alcohol can be dangerous and deadly. When alcohol is mixed with a depressant like heroin, Oxycontin, or benzos, it can cause organ systems to shut down. Mixing alcohol with a stimulant like cocaine causes the two substances to compete. When a stimulant and depressant compete, someone can experience heart damage and cardiac arrest.

Other dangers of mixing drugs and alcohol include:

  • Overdose
  • Coma
  • Severe dehydration
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Risk-taking
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Paranoia
  • Increased depression

These are only a few dangers of mixing drugs and alcohol. Each response to drugs and alcohol will depend on a person’s overall health, weight, metabolism, and drug history. Many medications with alcohol warnings can cause serious health problems, stop the medication from working, or damage vital organs. The same is true when someone mixes alcohol and illicit drugs.

Learn More About Substance Abuse Treatment in New Hampshire

Mixing drugs and alcohol is often a sign of deeper issues. Unprocessed trauma, stress, and mental health concerns can lead to substance use and addiction. At least half of people living with addiction have co-occurring disorders. Fortunately, treating mental health conditions alongside substance use can reduce cravings, relapse, and drug-related death.

At A Better State, we believe the best way to heal addiction is through uncovering and treating the root cause. With a focus on trauma-informed treatment for substance use, anxiety, depression, and PTSD, we make treatment options accessible. Our evidence-based individual, group, and family therapy programs help you and your loved ones recover from substance abuse together.

Call A Better State to Get Started with a Substance Use Treatment Program

Combining drugs and alcohol can be lethal. With evidence-based substance use treatment in New Hampshire, recovery and healing are possible. Whether you’re seeking help on your own or for someone you love, the team at A Better State is here to help. If you or someone you love is ready to learn more about our substance abuse treatment programs, contact us now at 781.412.1488 to get started today.