Deadly Combinations: Which Drug and Alcohol Combos Kill?
Everyone knows that taking too much of any drug can mean death by overdose. But did you know that even small amounts of certain drugs in combination can also be deadly? Everyone reacts to different combinations of substances differently, but in general, one drug can increase the effects of another drug or make them happen more rapidly, making the two drugs together exponentially more potent than just adding together the effects of each.
According to The Fix, some of the most dangerous drug and alcohol combinations include:
- Alcohol and cocaine. These two drugs combine to create a whole new substance called cocaethylene. This chemical is a toxin and one that can cause serious damage to your liver and heart, which in turn can mean liver failure and/or heart disease. In the short term, that combination can land you in the emergency room. In fact, it accounts for about 30 percent of all ER admissions caused by illicit substances.
- Alcohol and prescription drugs. The combination of benzodiazepines and alcohol accounted for about 20 percent of ER admissions in 2009, says the DAWN report, and it’s due in large part to respiratory failure. At home, this can be particularly lethal. Friends and family may not realize that you are in crisis until it’s too late. And prescription painkillers are quickly becoming the most deadly drug issue in the country, bar none – and that’s before they’re mixed with alcohol that increases their effects.
- Cocaine and prescription drugs. Opiate painkillers or sedatives in combination with cocaine – commonly called a speedball – are extremely deadly. Painkillers and sedatives depress the respiratory system, and cocaine stimulates and overtaxes the heart. Together, one can cover up the effects of the other and users may not realize that they are in crisis until it’s too late for help to be effective.
- Cocaine and street drugs. Just like prescription drugs, street drugs that depress the respiratory system like heroin can be deadly when combined with cocaine for all the same reasons. Conversely, combining cocaine with a stimulant street drug like Ecstasy can speed up your heart rate and blood pressure, causing a stroke in short order. An added issue: All street drugs are cut with unknown chemicals and those, too, can increase the toxins in your system to a deadly level.
At Michael’s House, we can help you fight the risk of overdose by providing you with drug abuse and addiction treatment. Call now to learn more about your options in medical and psychotherapeutic care here in Southern California.