As the summer holidays approach, FRANK explores the risks of mixing drugs and alcohol.

The dangers of mixing have been highlighted in the media recently but what are the facts? The truth is that by mixing drugs, including alcohol, you increase the chances of having a bad time for a range of reasons:

  • Taking similar types of drugs can increase their negative effects.
  • A drug may impair you in a particular way that makes other drug(s) you take more dangerous than usual.
  • The drugs might interact in completely unexpected ways.

Mixing heroin and alcohol
Heroin and alcohol are both depressants which may make you feel relaxed but can slow down your heart rate and breathing which can be fatal. Overdose is much more likely when these drugs are taking together.

Mixing cocaine and alcohol
This combination can produce a poisonous substance in the body that may affect your heart and that stays in your system longer than cocaine alone. Mixing cocaine with alcohol can hide some of the other effects of the drug which makes it easier to overdose as users take more to achieve the same high.

Mixing a stimulant (such as speed) and alcohol
Stimulants like speed are substances which make you feel more energetic. Both stimulants and alcohol put pressure on the heart, particularly with heavy use. Mixing speed with alcohol can therefore increase the risk of heart failure.

If you want to talk to FRANK in confidence then you can call the helpline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 0300 123 6600 or you can chat online between 2-6pm every day.

Published: July 2015