Risks of Mixing Meth With Alcohol

Mixing Meth and Alcohol

Risks of Mixing Meth With Alcohol

Methamphetamine (meth) is a highly addictive and illicit potent central nervous system stimulant drug.

Meth use triggers the release of several neurotransmitters in the brain, most notably dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin, resulting in increased mental alertness, energy and rapid mood swings.

Meth use also causes elevated heart rate, high blood pressure and disrupts learning and memory processes.

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that is also powerfully addictive.

Alcohol primarily acts by enhancing the signaling ability of an inhibitory neurotransmitter called GABA, leading to an overall inhibition of brain activity. Alcohol also indirectly affects dopamine release.

Consequences of alcohol use include sedation, dulled thinking and loss of coordination. In addition, alcohol is strongly associated with impaired judgment and risk-taking behaviors. 

Why Do People Mix Meth and Alcohol?

Although there is surprisingly little empirical evidence that clarifies why meth and alcohol are often used together, the data that does exist suggests that there are three overlapping reasons for why people mix meth and alcohol. The first reason is that the drug combination produces a greater sense of euphoria than either drug alone. 

The second and third reasons for co-using alcohol and meth stem from the opposing effects of each drug on the brain: Meth reduces alcohol-induced performance impairments and sedation and alcohol reduces meth-induced sleep disturbances.

As with other types of polysubstance abuse, co-administration of meth and alcohol increases subjective feelings of euphoria and self-esteem while mitigating negative aspects of using either drug on its own.

An estimated 77% of people diagnosed with methamphetamine dependence also have an alcohol use disorder.

Effects of Combining Alcohol and Meth

A 2012 study compared the effects of only alcohol, only meth and alcohol plus meth on psychological and cardiovascular measures. The authors found that co-administration of meth and alcohol significantly increased subjective measures of energy, sociability, stimulation and feeling high compared to either alcohol or meth alone.

Measures of “good drug effect,” “drug liking” and “desire to take again” were all significantly increased after administration of meth plus alcohol compared to meth only or alcohol only.

They also found that the first co-administration of meth plus alcohol was subjectively more positive than the second co-administration, and that tolerance became a factor after just the first administration.

This study also found that the combination of meth and alcohol has a significant effect on the cardiovascular system after the first co-administration but, as with the subjective measures, tolerance developed immediately and was strong enough to cause a significant reduction in heart rate between the first and second co-administrations (although heart rate after the second meth-plus-alcohol co-administration was still elevated compared to meth only or alcohol only).

These findings suggest that meth and alcohol, when taken simultaneously, increase subjective measures of pleasure. However, the immediate development of tolerance causes subsequent co-administrations to be less pleasurable.

In light of the addictive nature of both meth and alcohol, the ly consequence of repeated co-use of meth and alcohol would be a need for ever-increasing doses of both drugs that parallel an ever-decreasing sense of enjoyment from taking these drugs together. 

Risks of Mixing Meth and Alcohol

Physical risks of combining meth and alcohol include a number of adverse cardiovascular effects, including increased heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen consumption. In addition, alcohol increases meth’s ability to deplete dopamine and serotonin, leading to depression and anhedonia, while also increasing inflammation in the brain, which causes neurotoxicity (death of brain cells).

A 2014 study in rats found that co-administration of alcohol and meth inhibits learning and spatial memory more than the administration of meth only. They also found that meth and alcohol co-use caused significantly more inflammation and destruction in regions of the brain that are involved in learning and memory than either alcohol or meth.

Meth is ly to mask the intoxicating effects of alcohol, potentially causing people to consume substantially larger amounts of alcohol than they would in the absence of meth. Consequences may include alcohol poisoning or erratic, risky behavior. Among the outcomes of these consequences may be hospitalizations, arrests, dangerous or foolish stunts and unsafe sex. 

Taken together, meth and alcohol are significantly more damaging to the heart and brain than the use of either drug alone.

In addition, co-use is more ly to lead to erratic and potentially dangerous behaviors that can have severe, life-long consequences.

Finally, co-use of alcohol and meth reinforce the addictive properties of each other, which causes a rapid onset of addiction that is more difficult to overcome than addiction to either drug on its own.

Treatment for Meth and Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol addiction and meth addiction are each challenging to overcome on their own; when combined, the early stages of recovery can be incredibly uncomfortable, even dangerous.

The safest way for most people to begin recovery is to undergo medically assisted detox under the supervision of professionals.

In addition to making sure that detox is progressing normally, they may be able to provide medications that will substantially mitigate the severity of withdrawal symptoms. 

Following the detox period, participation in a residential rehab program is highly recommended. Because of the powerfully addictive nature of both alcohol and meth, it can be incredibly difficult to resist the temptation to relapse in the first few weeks of recovery.

Residential rehab programs provide a secure environment that minimizes exposure to triggers while providing crucial opportunities for physical and psychological healing. Residential rehab typically transitions into intensive outpatient or outpatient treatment.

Long-term sobriety requires constant maintenance, and a rehab facility that offers aftercare programs can provide valuable support and motivation throughout the entire recovery process.

Successfully overcoming substance use disorder can be challenging, but it is possible.

The Recovery Village Ridgefield offers comprehensive rehab programs that are tailored to individual needs. You deserve a healthy, fulfilling life and we can help.

Take the first step towards recovery. Call today to learn more about treatment options in Washington State and beyond.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes.

We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

Источник: https://www.ridgefieldrecovery.com/drugs/methamphetamine/related/mixing-meth-and-alcohol/

Meth And Alcohol — The Effects And Dangers

Risks of Mixing Meth With Alcohol

People who have a substance use disorder commonly abuse other drugs. Roughly 77 percent of individuals who are dependent on amphetamines methamphetamine (meth) have a co-occurring alcohol use disorder.

Research suggests that frequent, heavy drinkers have a greater lihood of using methamphetamine. Specifically, individuals who are frequently intoxicated had a five times greater chance of using meth than those who do not drink.

Mixing meth and alcohol can cause unpredictable complications that are more dangerous than the effects of either drug alone. In the most severe of cases, this could include hospitalizations, organ damage, major mental health problems, stroke, and fatal overdose.

Being addicted to more than one substance, or polydrug addiction, can complicate a person’s treatment needs. Fortunately, with the right combination of treatments, a life free from meth and alcohol abuse is possible.  

Understanding Meth And Alcohol Abuse

Methamphetamine is a powerful and highly addictive central nervous system (CNS) stimulant or upper. All forms of the drug, including crystal meth and the prescription version Desoxyn, can be abused and cause addiction.

Despite its widespread use and social acceptance, alcohol is a drug, and one with a high potential for abuse and addiction. When consumed, alcohol acts as a CNS depressant or downer.

Uppers and downers are most frequently combined to increase the euphoric feelings of one or both drugs or to decrease the negative side effects of either substance.

While this combination may achieve these goals, using these substances together can result in dangerous side effects, some of which can be long-lasting or deadly.

The Effects Of Using Meth And Alcohol Together

When a person drinks and uses meth, whether it be smoked, snorted, or injected, they can experience great harm to their body and mind. 

Abuse of both drugs can cause anxiety, dehydration, heavy sweating, and stroke. The risk of these conditions may be higher when these drugs are used together. 

Other side effects may be a combination of effects caused by each individual drug or new side effects that result from mixing these substances.

Side Effects Of Meth

The side effects of meth can range from minor discomfort to serious and long-lasting health problems, both for the body and mind, such as:

  • anxiety
  • appetite suppression
  • birth defects
  • compromised immune system
  • delusions
  • hallucinations 
  • high blood pressure
  • jaw clenching
  • “meth mouth”
  • nausea and vomiting 
  • paranoia 
  • seizures
  • skin sores and infections
  • sleeplessness
  • strokes

Side Effects Of Alcohol

When a person has a few drinks, they may have only mild impairment. However, if a person continues to drink, they could become intoxicated. People who drink frequently and/or for long periods of time can experience major health problems at the hand of alcohol abuse. 

Side effects of alcohol use may include:

  • blurred vision
  • memory loss
  • poor coordination
  • slowed reaction time
  • slowed reflexes
  • slurred speech

Serious medical problems caused by drinking include brain damage, coma, coronary disease, enlarged heart, fatal respiratory arrest, heart damage, liver damage, and osteoporosis.

We can help you overcome addiction and get your life back. Your calls are always free and 100% confidential.

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The Risks Of Combining Methamphetamine With Alcohol

Evidence suggests that using these drugs together can increase drug seeking behaviors and the reinforcing effects of each drug. When drug use is reinforced, it encourages a person to use a substance again, a fact that can push a person closer to addiction.

Alcohol decreases a person’s inhibitions and impairs judgement, a shift that can increase risk-taking behaviors. 

In this state, a person may be more ly to experiment with meth for the first time. It may also lead a person to change the way they take meth, such as by switching from smoking to injecting it, a method that can harm a person even more.

Further, in comparison to days when alcohol wasn’t consumed, one study found that people were three times more ly to use meth on a day they drank. If a person binge drank this risk rose even more, to 6.6 times that of non-drinking days.

The Dangers Of Mixing Meth And Alcohol

Alcohol can interfere with the metabolism of meth. This can heighten the stimulating effects that the drug has on the brain and heart, resulting in negative changes to a person’s mood, performance, and physiological functions.

Even though alcohol is a depressant, when consumed with meth, it can make the heart rate faster than when meth is abused by itself. 

Using alcohol frequently, or more than 16 days a month, has also been shown to increase the development of psychotic symptoms in people who use meth chronically. 

Taking these drugs together has also been shown to alter levels of important neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters are responsible for sending messages in the brain that help to regulate thought and mood, among other critical functions. 

Overdose From Mixing Alcohol And Meth

Meth’s stimulating properties hit quickly and last longer than other drugs in this class. This is one reason why the drug is so dangerous when abused with alcohol. This long effect can cover up alcohol intoxication, leading a person to believe they are more sober than they actually are. 

Because of this, a person may continue to drink even after their body can no longer keep up with the alcohol in its system. As the alcohol reaches toxic levels, a person could overdose, otherwise known as alcohol poisoning.

The way alcohol changes the metabolism of meth could increase the risk of an overdose from meth. 

Research has found that drinking alcohol can lead to a higher blood concentration of meth and increase the toxicity of meth in the body. When a drug reaches toxic levels, the body can go into overdose. 

These scientific findings also suggested that alcohol increases the absorption of meth and its metabolite, amphetamine, however, it does not make the body eliminate the drug faster. The faster a drug is absorbed, the greater the lihood of dependence and overdose.

When a person abuses these drugs, they could overdose from one or both substances. Signs of overdose could include a combination of symptoms caused by each drug or new symptoms.

Signs and side effects of a meth overdose:

  • dangerously high body temperature
  • heart attack
  • kidney damage or failure
  • seizures
  • stroke
  • trouble breathing

Signs and side effects of alcohol overdose (alcohol poisoning):

  • confusion
  • slowed breathing 
  • stomach and intestinal bleeding
  • stomach pain
  • unsteadiness 
  • vomiting 

When used separately, overdose from each drug can cause coma. Abused together, this risk could be higher. 

Finding Treatment For Meth And Alcohol Addiction 

The most comprehensive alcohol treatment programs use an assessment or evaluation to determine how addiction has impacted a person and what treatments will work best for them. This can be especially crucial for a person who is addicted to more than one substance.  

Polydrug addiction often requires more intensive treatment. For this reason, a residential or inpatient drug rehab program may be recommended. 

A person may need to detox prior to enrolling in meth rehab treatment. Withdrawal from meth can cause depression and psychotic symptoms. Alcohol withdrawal can be severe and even life-threatening. For these reasons, 24-hour monitoring and mental health care may be necessary.

Behavioral therapies may be used to treat both meth and alcohol addiction. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based treatment for both these drugs. 

By addressing the physical and psychological elements of addiction, a person has a greater chance of finding sobriety and better health.

Contact Vertava Health now for info on meth and alcohol abuse, addiction, and treatment.

Sources 

Center for Substance Abuse Research — Alcohol, Methamphetamine 

MedlinePlus — Ethanol poisoning, Methamphetamine overdose

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism — Harmful Interactions: Mixing Alcohol With Medicines

National Institute on Drug Abuse — DrugFacts: Methamphetamine, Methamphetamine 

University Health Service — The Effects of Combining Alcohol with Other Drugs

U.S.

National Library of Medicine — Alcohol Interactions with Psychostimulants: An Overview of Animal and Human Studies, Chapter 5—Medical Aspects of Stimulant Use Disorders, Effects of sequential ethanol exposure and repeated high-dose methamphetamine on striatal and hippocampal dopamine, serotonin and glutamate tissue content in Wistar rats.,  The Relationship between Methamphetamine and Alcohol Use in a Community Sample of Methamphetamine Users

Источник: https://vertavahealth.com/polysubstances/meth-alcohol/

Mixing Meth and Alcohol: What Are the Risks?

Risks of Mixing Meth With Alcohol

When you compound substance abuse by mixing alcohol with other drugs, it’s always a potentially deadly move. Mixing meth and alcohol is particularly deadly and unfortunately common.

As alcohol endures as the country’s most dominant addiction threat, claiming approximately 88,000 lives per year, according to data from the National Institutes of Health, The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that over 1.

5 million Americans are also using methamphetamine.

When these populations overlap and excessive alcohol use occurs alongside meth abuse, users put themselves at exponentially increased risk for long-term health issues, profound and permanent neurological damage, and fatal overdose. In some states, meth has been the leading cause of overdose fatality for multiple years running.

Physical and Psychological Risks of Mixing Alcohol and Meth

Mixing meth and alcohol heightens the risk of multiple immediate and long-term health issues, including but not limited to:

  • Elevated Heart Rate
  • Impaired Judgment and Motor Skills
  • Increased Tolerance (People Often Feel Less Drunk or High)
  • Sleep Disorder
  • Heart Attack and Stroke
  • Brain Damage
  • Hypertension
  • Seizures and Convulsions
  • Suicidal Thoughts and Ideations

Other risks include depression, anxiety, cardiovascular disease, hallucination, psychosis, nausea, flu- symptoms and tooth rot.

Lifestyle Risks of Mixing Alcohol and Meth

The reality is that you just make bad decisions when you’re high or drunk, and mixing meth and alcohol only increases these dangerous impulses and poor decision-making. Example include:

  • Driving While Drunk or High
  • Illegal Activity to Get Meth or Alcohol
  • Illegal Activity While under the Influence
  • Increased Sexual Activity
  • Associating with Dangerous People
  • Job Loss
  • Loss of Savings
  • Family Issues
  • Relationships Struggles
  • Loss of Friendships

Prolonged meth use, as well as alcohol abuse, hijacks your brain chemistry and turns you into someone completely different. These forced personality changes are very often exemplified through behaviors in which you’d never engage while you’re sober.

Get Help Now: Stop Mixing Alcohol and Meth

You don’t have to stay locked in an endless cycle of meth and alcohol addiction.

Medical detoxification can help you or your loved one re-balance your brain’s chemistry, a critical part of the recovery process, while allowing you to get safe, compassionate and effective help for your acute alcohol and meth withdrawal symptoms. Following detox, behavioral inpatient or outpatient rehab can help you develop coping mechanisms to avoid relapse in high-pressure situations.

Recovery Unplugged is here to offer you or your loved one the help you need to overcome your co-occurring meth and alcohol abuse. Call us today at 800-55-REHAB to start treatment. We are in network with many major insurance plans and are ready to help you begin your recovery journey.

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Источник: https://www.recoveryunplugged.com/mixing-meth-and-alcohol-what-are-the-risks/

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