The same can really be said about being dependent on other substances as well, but the tricky thing with alcohol addiction is that it often creeps up on you, and its signs are very easy to miss in the early stages.
Mixing alcohol with other psychoactive substances is quite commonplace in this day and age, and is a much more acceptable behavior than it really should be.
Whether it's combined with illicit drugs, over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs, the negative effects such actions may cause on the body and brain can be immeasurable.
While combining alcohol with other substances isn't categorized as an addiction in and of itself, such behavior, can lead to a crippling addiction to more than one drug, which makes treatment and recovery much, much harder.
In this article, we'll go over some of the reasons why people mix alcohol with drugs, what substances alcohol is commonly mixed with, as well as some of the dangers involved .
Why Do People Mix Alcohol with Other Drugs?
Mostly associated with adolescents, peer pressure isn't a phenomenon that's limited to the high school and college years.
People of all ages and identities might fall prey to it.
It doesn't have to be explicit -- while teenagers frequently mock one another for abstinence, this kind of pressure is also exerted implicitly, when people partake in substance abuse simply not to feel left out of a group, especially when they've just joined it.
This often happens when one starts a new job and wants to integrate with their colleagues, for example.
Peer pressure, although very common, is far from the only reason why people resort to mixing alcohol with illegal drugs or other psychoactive substances.
Combining alcohol and other depressant substances is common among individuals addicted to said substances in order to enhance their effects.
It can also lead to dangerous, unpredictable drug interactions , which we will go over in detail later on in this article...
Finally, individuals often combine alcohol with other substances simply as a way of having more fun at parties.
As silly as that may sound, it's unfortunately a hugely common phenomenon, and a gateway for many people to develop life-threatening addictions.
It doesn't take many nights out spent that way to develop a habit, and soon enough, many find themselves unable to function properly without their fix of a dangerous drug-alcohol cocktail every couple of days.
What Drug is Alcohol Most Commonly Mixed With?
As a reactive substance, alcohol changes the way it affects your body depending on what other drug it entered into an interaction with.
Below are 5 of the most common drugs (or types of drugs) that people tend to frequently mix with alcohol.
Most people wrongly believe that marijuana addiction is impossible to develop, and so they are quick to mix it with other drugs due to it being perceived as harmless.
However, alcohol and weed are a dangerous cocktail that can make you feel dizzy, numb, create gaps in memory, and rid you of the ability to think rationally (copious amounts of alcohol will do that without the help of marijuana, too).
If you mix alcohol and pot on a regular basis, it can even lead to a permanent damage of your central nervous system.
Depending on the type of prescription medication you're taking, you might experience increased blood pressure or extremely low blood pressure, as well as blood clots.
Prescription drugs aimed to treat mental disorders, when combined with alcohol, can lead to the worsening of said disorders, and carry an increased risk of panic attacks and manic episodes.
Finally, mixing alcohol with strong, prescription-only sleep aids may even cause you to die in your sleep.
This is because when alcohol interacts with cocaine, the two combine to create a substance known as Cocaethylene, which exerts intense pressure on the heart and your entire cardiovascular system.
Seeing as cocaine varies in quality and dosage is hard to assess when you're under the influence, it's impossible to know what amount will tip your heart over the edge.
The main, and most dangerous one is dehydration.
Another thing to take into account is that both alcohol and MDMA will lower your inhibitions, and that effect is multiplied when you combine the two.
This may lead you to engage in risky activities that include getting even more intoxicated, having unprotected sex, or getting into fights.
Finally, keep in mind that while pure, lab-tested MDMA isn't harmful, you're almost guaranteed not to get such high quality ecstasy from a dealer. This is because they "cut" drugs with other substances in order to increase their mass and sell more batches from a limited amount of product.
You never know what you're really getting when buying street ecstasy, making it all the more unpredictable when mixed with alcohol.
When you mix alcohol with opioids, you can expect rapid fluctuations in your blood pressure, vomiting and nausea, dehydration, confusion, memory loss.
Ingesting too much at once can also put you in a coma or result in an overdose.
Taking heroin and alcohol on a regular basis for months on end will also cause irreparable damage to your body, especially the cardiovascular system.
Even if you take pure LSD or lab-tested mushrooms, you never know what you're going to see on your "trip" and how you'll react to it, and that's without even introducing alcohol to your body.
Getting drunk while on hallucinogens will likely enhance their effects in unpredictable ways, potentially causing terrifying bad trips and making you behave irrationally.
You can injure yourself and others in this state of intoxication, and cause irreparable damage to your own or someone else's property.
The Main Danger of Mixing Drugs with Alcohol
This means that when it encounters other drugs in your system, it reacts to their presence, often in unpredictable and damaging ways.
We've already outlined the various effects combining alcohol with all sorts of different substances can have on your body, but they all have one side effect in common:
The increased risk of developing multiple addictions.
Having to combat one addiction is difficult enough, but when you become dependent on several substances at the same time, it can really make the detox process unbearable, and radically limits the options for replacement therapies.
The damage done to your body by these substances is also increased when you abuse many of them over a long period of time.
Alcohol consumption is already harmful enough, especially to your liver, but with other drugs' effects thrown into the mix, an addict might require intense medical care just to get their bodies in shape for the exhausting process of weaning themselves off their vices.
Signs of Alcohol Addiction
Even though it's a simple "yes-or-no" question, the truth is that alcohol addiction is quite difficult to identify, especially in its early stages.
The earlier individuals realize they have a drinking problem, the easier it is for them to take the necessary steps, like joining an inpatient alcohol rehab program and starting your journey towards recovery.
Below are just a few signs of alcohol addiction:
If, after going through this list, you felt a hunch that some of these might apply to you, you should speak to your partner or a close friend to see if they noticed those signs in your behavior, as well.
Should you have nobody in your life you can turn to, consider reaching out to our Admissions Team for a free and totally confidential chat about your current situation. They will be able to help you determine the level of care needed to stop your addiction from going further.
Get Professional Help From Miracles Asia
Most addicts are unable to drop their destructive habits on their own, and can only recover after seeking out professional help.
At Miracles Asia, we take an individual approach to each patient, and make sure they get everything they need to put their past behind them.
85% of our long-term clients are in full and active recovery, which is a success rate rivaled only by a few of the best rehab centers in the world.
If you or your loved one is struggling with crippling substance or behavioral addiction, don't hesitate to contact us and begin the journey towards full recovery.