Mixing drugs intensifies the effects of each drug and makes them more dangerous and potentially fatal. Mixing drugs and alcohol is common but alcohol can have a big impact on the way many substances affect you. It could enhance the effects of the first drug but it could also create a dangerous or potentially fatal chemical reaction. Mixing ecstasy with cocaine can increase the high but also increases the risk of cardiac arrest. The more drugs that are used simultaneously including alcohol and including prescription drugs, the greater the risk. DO NOT MIX.
FURTHER INFORMATION ON PARTICULAR COMBINATIONS
ALCOHOL AND ECSTASY
Alcohol can moderate the high from ecstasy and also increase the intensity of the come down. Both drugs cause dehydration which increases the risk of heatstroke. There is a greater strain on the liver and kidneys which can lead to feeling / being sick. Both drugs impair judgment. Mixing alcohol with ecstasy has resulted in a number of drugs overdoses at music festivals in recent years.
ALCOHOL AND COCAINE
This combination results in the formation of an entirely new chemical in the body called cocaethylene. This is then associated with liver damage, seizures and immune system damage. Immediate death from cocaethylene is 20 times more likely than from cocaine alone. The impact of alcohol can increase the levels of cocaine in the blood by as much as 30% increasing the strain on the cardiovascular system. There is also an increased likelihood of violent behaviour and suicide.
ALCOHOL WITH OTHER STIMULANTS
A combination of alcohol with other stimulants such as ritalin, adderall, amphetamine, some diet pills, some over the counter cold remedies and even some strong energy drinks can also be dangerous. As with cocaine they can obscure the sedating effects of alcohol enabling a person to get dangerously drunk without fully realising. Overheating is more likely which can lead to organ damage. A person taking alcohol with these stimulants can lose their inhibitions but be irritable and aggressive.
MISUSE OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
Prescription drugs are not safe if not used according to the issuing doctor’s instructions. The benzodiazepine (benzo’s) group of drugs – valium, xanex, tamazepan etc are often used to come down from other drugs such as ecstasy or speed. This is a dangerous combination as the tranquilizers can be numbing and when taken with alcohol the combined depressant effects can cause fatal overdose by inhibiting breathing or slowing down vital organs.