7 Jan 2013

We at Suncoast Rehab have found that many people involved in the “party scene” not only took drugs, but also consumed alcohol.  It’s conventional knowledge that this is a harmful mix – but not everyone understands why this is a bad combination.

Combining drugs and alcohol is a dangerous activity for many reasons.  The main reason being that different people have different reactions to drugs and alcohol – and these reactions can change or become exacerbated when the two are mixed.

Both alcohol and sedatives (like Ambien, Luminal, Xanax or benzodiazepines), depressants (like heroin or Methadone) or pain killers (like opiates) depress the central nervous system.  By combining both, the user can depress their central nervous system to the point of unconsciousness, coma or death.

Some famous recent deaths that were caused by mixing drugs with alcohol are Whitney Houston, Heath Ledger, Anna Nicole Smith, and Michael Jackson.  These deaths were not just caused by mixing alcohol with depressants, but with stimulants as well.

An additional danger with mixing drugs and alcohol is that often the mix causes the individual to forget how much they have already had to drink or how many drugs they have taken.  This can cause a person to take more than their body can handle, causing an accidental overdose.

A new trend in accidental overdose is caused by the prevalence of people self-medicating and overdosing on prescription medications.  While prescription meds always come with a warning that they are not to be mixed with alcohol, abusers often ignore the warnings and use alcohol to enhance the high.

Finally, mixing drugs and alcohol can exacerbate negative effects drugs may have on the body.  For example, mixing cocaine and alcohol seems like it would work okay, as cocaine is a stimulant.  However, when mixed with alcohol, the potential of a cocaine-induced heart attack or stroke is elevated because alcohol elevates blood pressure – as does cocaine.  This is also the case with anti-depressants.  It’s actually dangerous to drink even socially when taking anti-depressants.  Even if you take the drug hours after drinking, the risk of physical problems is still enhanced because of the alcohol.

This information could save a life.  Please do pass it on.

I leave you with a quote:

“I wish my cousin read this and followed the information.  He didn’t know he had a pre-existing liver condition.  He took a single prescription pain med (that was NOT his, but given to him by a friend).  He was just out having fun.  And he died that night.  This isn’t to scare anyone, it’s just a fact.  Don’t mix alcohol and drugs.  Don’t take a prescription medication that isn’t yours.  There are many ways to have fun without doing drugs or alcohol.”

On another note, if you know of someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol – or who mixes drugs and alcohol habitually, contact us today.  Our in-patient rehab program can help them get off the drugs and/or alcohol and LIVE their full life.  Call us at 877-850-7355.

Refs: Santa Clara University,  Scientific American, US News, University of Notre Dame