Dangers Of Mixing Alcohol And Meth

Combining meth and alcohol poses many physical and mental health dangers. Some of these side effects are elevated heart rate, psychosis, and increased risk of a heart attack. Long-term health risks include cardiovascular issues, behavioral health problems, and weight loss or gain.

Methamphetamine is a powerful substance that induces energy and mental alertness. The stimulating effects of meth create a high risk for meth abuse and addiction.

Alcohol use is common amongst Americans. However, its depressive effects can lead to alcohol abuse, binge drinking, and alcohol use disorder.

When these two substances are combined, it can lead to many dangerous effects and long-term issues. These include heart attacks, brain damage, and high blood pressure.

This dangerous mix can also harm emotional health and relationships. Uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms begin once drug abuse stops, which may be fatal.

Treatment programs can provide a safe environment to detox and help those recover from drug addiction through a range of drug treatment approaches.

Read on to learn more about the dangers of mixing meth and alcohol.

What Are The Risks Of Mixing Alcohol And Meth?

Meth and alcohol are addictive drugs on their own. Combined drug use poses many physical, mental, and social dangers.

Using two drugs together can increase the risk of becoming addicted to substances.

The effects of meth and alcohol can reinforce people to continue abusing substances, leading to bigger risks.

Physical Effects

The dangers of combining alcohol and meth can show up internally and externally on the body. These dangers can worsen over time as drug use continues.

Some negative effects come from how meth is abused, such as snorting, injecting, or smoking meth, and drinking alcohol.

Physical effects of mixing meth and alcohol include:

  • increased heart rate
  • damaged motor skills
  • heart attack
  • stroke
  • hypertension
  • seizures
  • convulsions
  • flu-like symptoms
  • high blood pressure
  • weight loss or gain
  • cardiovascular problems
  • collapsed veins
  • nasal perforations
  • meth mouth
  • sweating
  • alcohol poisoning
  • track marks
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • sedation

Mental Effects

Meth has adverse effects on the brain, creating abnormal behavior. Alcohol addiction can shrink the brain, which affects judgment.

Both these substances create high levels of dopamine in the body and brain. With repeated use, the brain becomes accustomed to the pleasurable effects, creating intense cravings.

Mental effects include:

  • damaged judgment
  • increased tolerance
  • sleep problems
  • structural brain changes
  • suicidal thoughts
  • violent behavior
  • isolation
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • hallucinations
  • psychosis
  • mood swings
  • confusion
  • delusions
  • impaired verbal learning
  • memory loss
  • trouble making decisions

Social Effects

Polysubstance use can quickly lead to addiction. Addiction doesn’t just affect the mind and body. It can also damage ones standing with others.

The effects of meth last very long and damage parts of the brain that control memory, judgment, and the ability to make rational decisions. This can have adverse effects on relationships.

Social effects include:

  • poor work performance
  • inability to enjoy activities that don’t involve substance abuse
  • secrecy and lying
  • financial issues
  • trouble with law enforcement
  • drinking while high
  • stealing
  • fighting with others
  • unprotected sex
  • spending lots of time seeking drugs and drinking
  • skipping out on family obligations
  • lack of care for personal hygiene and overall appearance
  • uninterested in hobbies
  • paranoia

Worsened Withdrawal Symptoms

Depending on how long methamphetamine abuse and alcohol dependence has gone on, withdrawal symptoms may be more or less severe.

It’s never advisable to quit these drugs cold turkey as symptoms can be fatal. It’s best to detox in a controlled and drug-free environment, such as a drug treatment facility or hospital.

Some meth and alcohol withdrawal symptoms are:

  • intense cravings
  • trouble concentrating
  • mental fog
  • irritability
  • fatigue
  • anxiety
  • agitation
  • seizures
  • high and low body temperature
  • deliriums
  • aggressive behavior
  • perspiration

Enhanced Risk Of Overdose

Some think alcohol and meth offset the “undesirable” effects of each other. However, it’s found that alcohol increases the absorption of amphetamine, one of meth’s active ingredients.

This doesn’t make the body eliminate the drug faster but increases its effects. Alcohol will make someone believe they are more sober than they actually are.

When more of a substance is ingested, it’s more likely alcohol intoxication or a fatal overdose will occur.

Signs of an overdose are:

  • heart attack
  • kidney damage
  • stroke
  • seizures
  • slowed or stopped breathing
  • stomach or intestinal bleeding
  • stomach pain
  • unsteadiness
  • vomiting
  • coma

Why Do People Mix Meth And Alcohol?

Polydrug abuse is common among those who experiment with drugs. The effects of meth and alcohol are very different, but some find combining them creates desirable reactions.

Meth is a stimulant drug that induces hyperactivity and can induce wakefulness for days or weeks.

By mixing alcohol (a depressant drug) with meth, the perceived benefit is leveling out energy levels.

Alcohol slows down central nervous system functions and can cause sleepiness or lethargy. Some people use meth to keep themselves energized while drinking.

Addiction Treatment In Massachusetts

Addiction treatment options can help you or a loved one recover from substance use disorders such as meth and alcohol misuse.

Spring Hill Recovery Center specializes in inpatient rehab, outpatient treatment, and aftercare services.

Reach out today to learn more about our Massachusetts rehab center and begin the path to recovery.

  1. Drug Policy — What Happens If You Mix Meth With Other Drugs, Like Alcohol Or Xanax? https://drugpolicy.org/drug-facts/mixing-meth-other-drugs
  2. National Institute On Drug Abuse — How Is Methamphetamine Different From Other Stimulants, Such As Cocaine? https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/methamphetamine/how-methamphetamine-different-other-stimulants-such-cocaine
  3. Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration — Alcohol Use Facts And & Resources https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/alcohol-use-facts-resources-fact-sheet.pdf

Written by Spring Hill Recovery Editorial Team

© 2024 Spring Hill Recovery | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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