Mixing alcohol and drugs can be deadly
Many individuals who take illicit drugs will see alcohol as a less harmful substance. This incorrect belief leads to alcohol and drugs frequently being mixed together; the results of which can lead to addiction and can also prove to be fatal.
Alcohol was involved in a third of all of the drug-related deaths recorded in England and Wales in 2016 by the National Office of Statistics. This gives us an insight into just how dangerous mixing alcohol with drugs is.
There are certain drugs that when mixed with alcohol become extremely dangerous and unpredictable in their effects. Drugs that should NOT be mixed with alcohol under ANY circumstance include all Class A drugs, controlled prescription medications, legal highs and even many of the over the counter medicines available at your local pharmacy
The drink/drug gamble
Of course, it is far safer not to take any drugs at all, but the reality is that many do. Mixing alcohol with drugs really is like playing Russian roulette with your life. Whether it is on a recreational basis, because of a medical need or because of an addiction, the following drugs should never be mixed with alcohol:
- Opiates – When opiates are mixed with alcohol the sedative effects become much more pronounced. This can lead an individual to unintentionally overdosing and their respiratory system failing. Opiate drugs include Class A Heroin and many pain relieving prescription drugs such as Morphine, Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Dihydrocodeine, Co-Codamol and numerous codeine based over the counter medicines. Alcohol and opiates together are a very deadly mix; both drugs are extremely addictive.
- Cocaine – Cocaine and alcohol are often used together to achieve a euphoric state without the drunkenness or over stimulation. Consuming the two drugs together cause an independent third drug to be produced by the liver; this drug is known as Cocaethylene. Cocaethylene is a longer acting drug than just cocaine. Together, alcohol and cocaine produce a long-lasting intoxicated but functional high. Independently, both alcohol and cocaine are known to be very addictive; when Cocaethylene is produced, the risks of addiction developing are even more prevalent. Some studies suggest that consuming alcohol and cocaine together carries an 18 to 25 fold increased chance of immediate death than cocaine alone. It is also far more toxic and potent to the body’s organs, especially the heart and liver. Those that mix the two together will have a capacity to drink far more alcohol than they normally would without cocaine; again, this carries additional risks of damage to the body’s organs as can often result in dangerous levels of binge drinking and cocaine consumption.
- Benzodiazepines – Benzodiazepines are a prescription only sedative medication that offer therapeutic and medical benefits to the patient. As well as causing sedation they also have the effect of a false sense of well being. For this reason, they are often abused and used recreationally. When Benzodiazepines are mixed with alcohol they become very dangerous. The sedative effects are vastly increased and often cause the user to “black out” (continue to function but not be able to recall events the next day due to over intoxication). The increased sedative effects and a false sense of courage and power put the user at high risk of harming themselves or others. There is also the increased danger of overdose, coma and respiratory failure.
Are you using a deadly mix of alcohol and drugs?
Those that suffer from substance addiction, will often use two or more drugs (including alcohol) for a combined effect. Multiple substance addiction is extremely dangerous; left untreated it often leads to an untimely death.
If you or a loved one are addicted to alcohol and a drug, it is vital that you seek immediate professional help. Detoxing from more than one substance, especially where alcohol is involved is often complex and considered high risk.
At PCP we treat all addictions presenting simultaneously. Following a comprehensive medical assessment, a bespoke medical drug detox will be prescribed to ensure that you are able to stop the alcohol and the drugs in the safest manner possible. We also tailor our addiction recovery programmes to your individual specific treatment needs.
Please call us today to find out more about our affordable private alcohol and drug rehab clinics. You can also contact us by completing and returning our online self-assessment form.
Sources and references:
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