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Mixing Alcohol With Cocaine, Heroin, Marijuana or Other Drugs

You might not think it’s a big deal to have an alcoholic drink along with your prescription medication, or you might drink alcohol for a better high when you take illicit drugs. Alcohol can be quite dangerous when you take it with many kinds of drugs, including both prescription and illegal drugs.

In fact, alcohol is especially dangerous when you take it with another depressant. The Santa Clara University Wellness Center explains that two drugs that do the same thing to the body can have more extreme effects when they’re taken together.

The Drug Abuse Warning Network report from 2005 found that of visits to the emergency room from drug use, approximately one-third of them were from drinking alcohol or mixing alcohol with other types of drugs. These visits often included mixing alcohol with cocaine, heroin and marijuana.

Cocaine and Alcohol

The results are unpredictable when you mix alcohol with cocaine. Sometimes, combining them makes it so you don’t feel the effects of either drug as intensely. On the other hand, sometimes the mixture can increase the effects of each drug exponentially. When you take a lot of cocaine, it’s more likely that you’ll experience worse effects from both drugs, and this could even lead to an overdose.

Cocaine is a stimulant, and alcohol is a depressant. When you take cocaine, it makes your metabolism increase, causing the alcohol to go to your brain more quickly. This causes similar effects as if you drank alcohol very quickly.

A November 2003 study in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence found that when you take cocaine and alcohol together, your body makes cocaethylene. Cocaethylene can make you feel the effects of cocaine or alcohol more than if you just took either substance individually. Also, this substance can cause heart problems and even death.

Mixing Alcohol and Heroin

Alcohol and heroin produce similar effects in the body because they are both depressants. Separately, alcohol and heroin can cause breathing problems, so when taken together, the effect can be more serious. Drinking alcohol can also impair the user’s judgment, leading them to take more heroin than they normally do, potentially causing an overdose.

Marijuana With Alcohol

Marijuana can prevent you from feeling nauseous or from throwing up, so it can potentially prevent you from throwing up alcohol if your body needs to. This can make the extra alcohol stay in your body and may cause alcohol poisoning.

The mixture of these two drugs can cause a number of effects on the body. These include:

  • Feeling like you’re spinning
  • Paranoia
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Throwing up
  • Trouble using your body

Alcohol and Prescription Drugs

Whether or not you have a prescription for a prescription medication, mixing it with alcohol can be dangerous. It’s important to talk to your doctor about whether you can have alcohol with your prescription medicines, and if so, if you should limit the use to a certain amount. If you are using a prescription medication that wasn’t prescribed to you, or using it in a way that it wasn’t prescribed for, you are abusing the medication. Compounding this abuse with drinking alcohol only magnifies the risks of the abusive behavior.

Alcohol shouldn’t be mixed with most prescription medications because the combination can lead to severe side effects. Although you should specifically check on any medication you are taking, some medications that can cause a problem with alcohol include:

  • Painkillers like aspirin and acetaminophen
  • Antihistamines
  • Central nervous system depressants, like sleep medications, sedatives and drugs for anxiety
  • Antidepressants, like Elavil, Sinequan and MAO inhibitors
  • Diabetes drugs
  • Drugs for infection, including antibiotics
  • Many specific medications, including Catapres for high blood pressure, Verapamil for chest pain, Tagamet for gastrointestinal issues, and Adderall for ADHD or narcolepsy

*Additional Drugs That Can Mix Badly With Alcohol

There is an endless list of drugs that can have negative effects on your body when you take them with alcohol. Some of the many that you should be cautious about include:

  • Amphetamines
  • Mushrooms
  • Ecstasy
  • Caffeine
  • LSD
  • GHB
  • PCP

This is not a conclusive list of all the drugs that might interact with alcohol badly. Make sure you know the potential consequences before drinking alcohol while taking any kind of drug, whether it’s a prescription drug or an illegal street drug.

If you need help with a drug or alcohol problem, give us a call today, and we’ll assist you in finding the best approach to your situation. It’s important to get the help you need, and high-quality drug and alcohol rehab centers are located all across the US.