Drug Mixtures: A Fatality Waiting to Happen
It is common knowledge in the addiction realm that combining drugs often ends in death. Many addicts, although they have a favorite, use multiple drugs at once. These drug mixtures create chaos in the body, which is too much to handle. If one one drug is life-threatening, the introduction of more multiplies the threat.
Why are Drug Mixtures so Harmful?
Mixing two or more drugs is dangerous for more than one reason. The most common problem with drug mixtures is when an addict takes two drugs of the same family, multiplying their negative effects. Once one drug is already in the body and another is introduced, it has to be taken in higher dosage to receive desired effects. This also heightens the risk for overdose. Additionally, there is no way to tell how different drugs will interact together. Mixing drugs are like performing a chemistry experiment inside the body without the supervision of a chemist. Many known drug mixtures have harmful or deadly effects when used together.
The Harms of Combining Stimulants
Stimulants like cocaine and amphetamines raise the heart rate and increase blood pressure. The desired effects of stimulants are typically not immediately noticeable to an addict. Users use this as an excuse to take other stimulants, which raises risk for heart attack and overdose.
The Harms of Stimulant and Alcohol Drug Mixtures
Stimulants give the body a rush of energy, while depressants calm the nerves and slow the body’s reaction time. The two drug families yield different effects and should not be combined. This mixture causes the body to work twice as hard to achieve two opposite effects. It has also been proven that taking a stimulant while drinking alcohol increases the amount of alcohol consumed since more is needed to feel the desired effect. Larger amounts of alcohol are always more deadly. The combination of caffeine and alcohol is an example of a stimulant/alcohol mixture that has caused numerous deaths within the college community of America.
A dangerous phenomenon occurs in the body when cocaine and alcohol are taken concurrently. Specific toxins develop, which are unique to the combination of these specific drugs. The liver produces a substance all its own, known as cocaethylene. This substance is a metabolite that is even more deadly than the cocaine itself. It is toxic and lingers in the body. Along with the presence of this harmful new toxin, the body is at risk for long-term effects of mixed alcohol and cocaine abuse. These long-term effects range from loss of smell and nose bleeds to malnutrition and a perforated nasal septum.
The Harms of Combining Depressants
The combination of depressants increases their side effects. Depressants can be used to medically calm nerves, reduce seizures, relieve pain, manage anxiety, and induce sleep in patients with related problems. The negative side effects of depressants are greatly increased when taken in large doses. This effect is prominent when depressants are combined, and occurs regardless if the user has a prescription. Medications considered depressants slow the heart rate, causing the entire body to perform sub par. Lungs are at risk for delay when depressants are combined, which turns fatal in many cases. The risk of overdose doubles with every additional depressant intake, being the most dangerous side effect of depressant drug mixtures since many overdoses lead to death.
The Harms of Stimulant and Depressant Drug Mixtures
These deadly drug mixtures have been popular since the beginning of drug use. Besides alcohol and cocaine, the most popular stimulant/depressant drug mixture is cocaine and heroin. This specific combination has been termed a speedball. The consequences of speedballing are terrifying, and often deadly. The stimulant cocaine and the depressant heroin combine both effects a user wants; a rush of euphoria followed by a calming high.
What most users don’t know is that asking the body to perform different effects from each drug may be requesting too much. The combination of these two opposite drug families yields a very high possibility of overdose. A user won’t know they are approaching overdose since the effects of the other wash the effects of one drug. Additionally, the risk of HIV is increased greatly since a needle can inject both drugs at the same time, and there is a greater chance of needle sharing.
Life or Death: The Choice is Yours Alone
The effects of drugs are different for every person. You never know how a drug will make you feel. It is common knowledge that drug abuse is bad for a person’s mental and physical health; so how could abuse of more than one drug be any more beneficial? Mixing drugs only make the chance for something to go wrong even greater. The number of drug mixtures is countless and also affect each user differently, so knowing the exact dangers of any specific combination is nearly impossible. If you decide that you want to explore the unknown territories of harmful drug concoctions, be aware that you might not come out alive.