According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, prescription amphetamines are some of the most commonly abused drugs, and many individuals who take them do so with alcohol. Among college students, where some of the highest percentages of amphetamine abuse occurs, drinking and using amphetamines is a common occurrence at parties and social events. But is it dangerous to abuse amphetamines and alcohol together?
Polysubstance Abuse is Serious
Many people believe that abusing two substances at once is not as dangerous as taking one at a time, especially two drugs with conflicting effects. However, the two substances can maximize the risks of one another and seriously affect the user to the point of real danger. In addition, any time two substances are abused simultaneously, the more serious both the short-term and long-term side effects will be.
Increased Risk of Alcohol Overdose
The NIDA states that abusing alcohol with prescription stimulants “masks the depressant action of alcohol, increasing [the] risk of alcohol overdose.” The fact that alcohol alone has this depressive effect on those who abuse it can sometimes discourage a person from drinking too much; the individual may start to feel sick or tired and refrain from drinking more.
But when someone takes amphetamines in large doses at the same time, they will not experience the drowsiness, slowed breathing and heart rate, and slowed reflexes they normally would, leading them to drink more in many cases.
This kind of confusion as to how drunk the individual truly is can lead to alcohol overdose, which will come on suddenly as the person will not experience the warning signs of this issue. Dehydration, coma, respiratory depression, and even death can occur without warning because the individual will seem fine due to the counteracting, stimulant effects of the amphetamines. These two substances do not cancel each other out when taken together and, in fact, only work to mask the serious and dangerous effects of the other substance.
Other Side Effects of Amphetamine and Alcohol Use
A person may also be likely to experience increased jitteriness as a result of drinking while taking amphetamines. This can be dangerous and seriously impair a person’s ability to drive, think, and protect themselves from harm. The individual will also be more likely to make dangerous or reckless decisions, like having unprotected sex, while indulging in two substances that cause impaired judgment and risky behavior.
According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, a person’s “diastolic/systolic blood pressure” often rises when they are taking amphetamines, and the individual will be more likely to experience this dangerous side effect if they are drinking as well. Many people do not consider this risk when taking both substances and experience problematic side effects as a result.
Dangerous Substance Abuse Requires Treatment
If you have been abusing one or both of these substances frequently, it is time to seek treatment. Call 800-816-1059(Who Answers?) today to find a rehab center near you or to learn more about amphetamine and alcohol abuse. You can make a change today and avoid the dangerous side effects of these two substances.