What are the Dangers of Mixing Alcohol and Heroin

Alcohol drink man hand

In the case of mixing heroin and alcohol, one plus one does not equal two.

Alcohol and Heroin bring bodily functions to a slow crawl and risk permanent cessation of systems altogether. There are many dangers of mixing alcohol and heroin, including severe brain damage.

In other words, these two substances, when taken at the same time, multiply the resulting effect. Heroin plus alcohol often leads to much more dire—and often fatal—consequences.

Dangers of Mixing Alcohol and Heroin

The overwhelming majority of heroin overdoses are caused by combining heroin with alcohol or other drugs, especially sedatives.[1] This is because both heroin and alcohol are depressants, meaning they lower blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory output (i.e.  slows breathing). In other words, heroin and alcohol bring bodily functions to a slow crawl and risk permanent cessation of systems altogether.[2]

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, addiction to alcohol often precedes heroin use:

People who are addicted to alcohol are twice as likely to become addicted to Heroin at some point in their lifetimes. People who are addicted to one of the substances will often begin to combine it with the other in order to increase the sedative effects of each drug and achieve a stronger high. Due to the ways that the two substances affect the brain, the intoxication that results from mixing them is much more intense than using just one of them on their own.[3]

Furthermore, users often experience greater intoxication when alcohol is mixed with narcotics like heroin, making it easier to drink to excess and risk alcohol poisoning.

Effects of Mixing Alcohol and Heroin

According to an article on the website for Alcohol Rehab Guide, some severe side effects of mixing heroin and alcohol include:

  • Severe fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Weak pulse
  • Shallow breathing
  • Impaired coordination
  • Respiratory depression
  • Tremors
  • Slowed or irregular heart rate
  • Coma

Other chronic side effects include:

  • Collapsed veins
  • Insomnia
  • Infection of the heart lining and valves
  • Damaged tissue
  • Anxiety
  • Constipation
  • Liver and kidney disease
  • Depression
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Sexual dysfunction

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[1] Mixing Heroin Alcohol Drugs

[2] Heroin Overdose

[3] Drinking Drugs Heroin

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