April 14, 2022

Top 4 Most Dangerous Drug Combinations

The Dangers of Mixing Drugs

Engaging in substance abuse already comes with its potential challenges and dangers due to the chemical compounds of drugs and alcohol and the effects of drug interactions on your brain functioning and physical health. The level of risk that you are placing on your body significantly increases when you begin to mix drugs. Combining two drugs creates danger and uncertainty as your body reacts to the mixture of polysubstance abuse differently depending on the substances you consume. While you may be able to mix two substances without feeling any adverse side effects, depending on the chemical components of the batch of drugs you are consuming, your experience mixing can vary each time. These unknown factors increase the risk factor for individuals consuming multiple substances. Some risk factors that contribute to the dangers of mixing drugs are:

The environment in which you are using drugs

This can include where you are using drugs and the individuals you are taking substances with. 

The individual using the drugs and their current mood

Dealing with emotions they are experiencing, personality traits, individual characteristics, and the mindset they have about using drugs, and the expectations of the effects or experience they will have after taking drugs. 

The substance itself and its chemical makeup or components

Depending on the purity of the substance, the amount you consume, the method in which you use the substance, such as snorting, smoking, injecting, or ingesting, and whether or not there is another substance cut into the drug or replaced with another substance or chemical. 

Combining drugs that give similar effects

If you were to mix two stimulant drugs together or two depressants, there could be significant impacts and risks on your heart, brain, and overall physical functioning. 

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What Is Polysubstance Abuse?

Polysubstance abuse is defined as mixing different drugs at one time. You can also be engaging in polysubstance abuse when you begin using one substance and while under the influence of the original drug, then take another to counteract the effects of one another. Polysubstance abuse can take many forms whether you use alcohol or drugs, including illicit street drugs such as heroin, cocaine, or meth, or if you use prescription drugs such as stimulants like Ritalin or Adderall, opioids such as fentanyl or oxycodone, sleeping medications including Lunesta or Ambien, and benzodiazepines including Vicodin or Xanax. Combining any of these substances will threaten a person’s overall safety and well-being. As you increase the number of drugs and alcohol you are consuming at one time and multiply the number of various substances during each time, the health risks you are placing on yourself significantly increase. 

Life-Threatening Drug Combinations

Addiction can take many forms depending on your drug of choice. Whether you choose stimulants, depressants, drugs, or alcohol, whatever substance you choose to engage in poses a variety of significant threats to your physical and emotional health. Each substance poses a threat to your body and emotional functioning processes. Still, adding additional substances that affect your body and emotional health can be challenging to manage the dangerous side effects of further threats to your safety and well-being. In some cases, this poses a threat to your life should you experience a drug overdose. Across the nation, there are thousands of Americans experiencing the adverse side effects of drugs, with many losing their lives to their deadly drug combinations and drug addictions that include harmful toxins and chemicals within these various drugs and alcohol. 

Alcohol and Opioids

Alcohol and opioids are both central nervous system depressants that individually can pose a significant risk to your physical health and safety. The opioid epidemic has been running rampant across the United States, and many individuals are succumbing to this powerful drug. When you use opioids such as heroin or fentanyl, your body’s ability to have normal respiratory and cardiac functioning becomes significantly impacted. Often individuals will experience difficulties with breathing rate, heart rate will decrease substantially, and cause your motor functioning skills to become impaired and altered. Individuals using opioids will often experience symptoms such as drowsiness, feeling confused or impaired, drastically slower breathing rate, and feeling nauseous or vomiting. 

Alcohol consumption works the same way as it targets your central nervous system functioning and decreases the regular breathing and heart rate the more you consume. Alcohol abuse has been known to affect your judgment and decision-making abilities, impact your normal reaction responses and times, and significantly impair your everyday motor functioning skills. 

Due to both substances being central nervous system depressants, it is common for individuals to use both of these substances in conjunction with one another. This combination creates a deadly interaction that results in drastic changes within your central nervous system functioning. Due to both substances being similar to one another, there is an increased risk of toxicity and overdose. Signs and symptoms of an overdose from simultaneous central nervous system depressants include:

  • Depressed breathing rate and, in some cases, respiratory arrest 
  • Severe motor functioning impairment 
  • Loss of consciousness 
  • Coma 
  • Death

Heroin and Cocaine

The combination of heroin and cocaine is a commonly used drug combination that is often referred to as a speedball. Individuals engaging in speedball usage will typically inject this drug which poses a severe threat to someone as it has the potential to be a lethal combination for many individuals resulting in multiple fatal overdoses. The cause for many of these overdoses is that cocaine often produces feelings of invincibility and decreases the feelings of impairment from heroin. This process often leads individuals to lose sight of the potential danger of combining both substances as the physical effects become dramatically reduced. This often leads to individuals using more heroin and cocaine, ultimately posing a threat to experiencing a fatal overdose.

Cocaine and Alcohol

The drug combination of cocaine and alcohol is one of the most commonly used concurrent substances, as each substance tends to neutralize the other. The use of cocaine creates an increased sense of awareness and improves a person’s motor functioning skills when feeling the effects of alcohol intoxication. On the other hand, the use of alcohol often provides individuals using cocaine with a sense of calm and relaxation in their physical and physiological health after experiencing the effects of a stimulant. 

Alcohol has been known to impact a person’s emotional regulation and has the potential of leading to aggressive behavior when impaired. Additionally, cocaine use has been known to create feelings of agitation or paranoid thoughts or behaviors. When you pair alcohol and cocaine together, individuals are at greater risk of experiencing aggressive or violent behavior as their impulse control and emotional regulation abilities are significantly impacted.

Due to both alcohol and cocaine use counteracting the effects of the other compounding substance, it can be difficult for individuals to feel the effects of either cocaine or alcohol. This tends to lead to an increased rate of use that can have lethal side effects. Common potentially dangerous side effects of using alcohol and cocaine are:

  • Severe stomach cramps or pains or nausea 
  • Irregular heartbeat 
  • Cardiac arrest 
  • Coma 
  • Seizures 

Benzos and Alcohol

Benzodiazepines are often prescribed to treat symptoms of anxiety, panic disorder, insomnia, seizures, or alleviating muscle spasms. Benzos, similarly to alcohol, are a central nervous system depressant. When you use benzos and alcohol individually or in conjunction, individuals will experience the following symptoms:

  • Lapses in memory and often experiencing blackouts where you are unable to remember past events that have taken place while you were under the influence 
  • Slurred speech 
  • Paranoid behavior and thoughts 
  • Depression 

The use of alcohol and benzos combined work to enhance the effects of both substances significantly and, in turn, create a higher risk for severe side effects or overdose. 

Find out more about the benzo withdrawal timeline here:

https://musetreatment.com/blog/benzodiazepine-withdrawal-timeline/

What Is the Benzo Withdrawal Timeline?

Why Do People Combine Drugs?

There are many possible reasons people will combine drugs and be unique to those engaging in substance abuse. Some common reasons for combining drugs are:

Often individuals will engage in combined drug use as it just “seemed like a good idea” at the moment without thinking about future consequences of their actions. Unable to get the originally intended drug you were looking for, so getting the next best thing. Reduce the severity of adverse withdrawal effects through self-medicating with another substance and attempting to enhance the desired results of a substance by using another drug or alcohol.

Alcohol and Drug Rehab at Muse Treatment Center in LA

Muse Addiction Treatment Center offers residents of Los Angeles an addiction treatment program that is comprehensive and individualized to meet each patient’s specific needs. Our team of addiction specialists will get to know your history with drug combination and history of alcohol and drug use. Gathering the particular knowledge of your substance abuse history will allow us to create a specific addiction treatment program that will assist you in safely removing the deadly drug combinations from your body. You will also engage in addiction therapy methods that will support you in healing from the underlying causes of your addiction. 

Contact Muse Addiction Treatment Center at (800) 426-1818 today to hear more about the various evidence-based addiction treatment methods that will support you in healing from your addiction within your body, mind, and soul.

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