Alcohol and Drug Combinations: A Sure Way to Increase Your Risk of Death

Sometimes, it is difficult to know which substances will interact with each other. When we drink, we often do not take the time to think about what will negatively intermingle with its effects. Alcohol, in combination with both prescribed drugs and illicit substances, can lower our reaction times and lead us to partake in impulsive behaviors that could encourage us in ending up in hazardous situations.

What Drugs React Negatively When Taken with Alcohol?

Just like other drugs, prescription or illicit, alcohol has interactions with many other substances. This can increase or decrease the effectiveness of either substance and harm your body and mind. It can even lead to respiratory distress which can kill you.

One of these drugs is antidepressants, which, when taken in conjunction with alcohol, can:

  • Decrease the effectiveness of your antidepressant.
  • Cause difficulties, such as sleepiness, dizziness, and even an increase in your symptoms of depression.
  • Increase the effects of alcohol, including things like your body’s motor operations, coordination, and a decreased response time.
  • Increase the likelihood of harm to your organs, including your liver.

Consuming specific brands of beer or red wine can lead to an increase in your consumption of tyramine, an amino acid which, when taken with antidepressants in the monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) classification, raises the chance that you could have a stroke or heart attack. This is due to an increase in blood pressure.

Opioids are also dangerous to combine with alcohol. This can lead to decreased breathing rates, heart rate, and blood pressure; suppression of the firing of your neurons at the brain stem; and a decrease in oxygen to your tissues and organs, leading to neuron death and permanent brain damage. Alcohol with opioids can also produce an overdose, possibly even a fatal one. This could be due to something called a “dumping effect,” in which an extended-release opioid drug goes straight into your system, instead of over time as it was intended to. It also increases your chances of alcohol poisoning. The combination can lead to long term effects, such as cancer, cardiovascular problems, liver damage, infectious diseases, neurological problems, and mental health symptoms.

Alcohol and Drug Combinations: A Sure Way to Increase Your Risk of Death

Both dopamine and GABA levels rise when you utilize alcohol and sedatives. Regulating moods, feelings of pleasure, and increased stress levels can happen when you combine sedatives and alcohol. Sedatives, including benzodiazepines and barbiturates, increase the chance of overdosing and alcohol poisoning. Symptoms of this include:

  • Queasiness and throwing up
  • Seizures
  • Cognitive confusion
  • Trouble breathing
  • Low body temperature and a bluish tint to your skin, lips, and nails
  • Unnormal heart rate and pulse
  • Decreased motor coordination and muscle regulations
  • Difficulty staying awake and possible unconsciousness

Where Can I Go for Help Quitting Alcohol, Cannabis, Opioids, or Other Substances?

Do not fall victim to death or allow alcohol to take control of your life. If you are in Burns, Tennessee, Discovery Place has wonderful alternative treatment programs that can help you to recover from a wide variety of substance use disorders. We offer alternative treatments for many substance use disorders, including alcohol, opiates, and cannabis. We know that active addiction is costly so we even offer financing and scholarship opportunities to help you get the assistance you need to obtain sobriety. Give us a call today at 1-800-725-0922. Our trained staff is standing by each and every moment waiting to help you learn skills and techniques to get your life back!

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