Abusing one drug is dangerous enough, therefore mixing two more drugs can be deadly. Some people who do choose to mix substances though have preferences for the type of drugs that they like to mix. For example, many people like to mix stimulants and depressants. Others like to mix multiple stimulants or multiple depressants.
What Are Stimulants?
Stimulants are drugs that speed up the body’s systems. They may be prescription drugs, but stimulants can also be those that you purchase on the black market. These drugs cause you to feel more alert, increase your attention span and provide you with more energy. These are positive effects for people experiencing attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, but many people are abusing these drugs. Many people also abuse depressants. Thus, it’s important to learn all there is to know about stimulants and depressants and fatal drug combinations that involve them.
Methamphetamine is an example of a stimulant that people acquire illegally. People ingest it in pill form, smoke it, snort it or inject it. This drug increases the amount of dopamine in the brain and causes a euphoric high. It is also a weight loss aide and is highly addictive. Stimulants, in general, cause several side effects, such as an increased heart rate, an increased rate of breathing, hypertension, depression, anxiety, and fatigue.
What Are Depressants?
Stimulants and depressants both interact with the central nervous system but in different ways. Stimulants speed up the central nervous system, while depressants slow the central nervous system down. Depressants go by the names of “tranquilizers,” “downers,” “sedatives” and “hypnotics.” Since these drugs slow the brain’s activity down, doctors prescribe them to treat sleep disorders and anxiety or panic attacks.
Depressants work by increasing the activity of a neurotransmitter that slows brain activity down. Known as GABA or “gamma-aminobutyric acid,” this neurotransmitter causes people to feel drowsy and calm. These medications are known as “benzodiazepines,” and they include Xanax, Klonopin, and Valium. The medical community also has non-benzodiazepine versions of this drug, and one example is “Ambien.”
When misused, depressants cause the following side effects:
- Slower breathing
- Memory and movement issues
- Dry mouth
- Lack of concentration
- Slurred speech
Is Alcohol a Stimulant?
Alcohol is not a stimulant; it’s a depressant. This is confusing to some people because alcohol stimulates the body slightly. Mostly, it acts as a depressant. Therefore, alcohol lowers your blood pressure and decreases your heart rate. When you mix alcohol with a stimulant, this causes severe side effects.
Is Marijuana a Stimulant or a Depressant?
Marijuana is a stimulant, but it is also a depressant and a hallucinogen. The THC in marijuana is the chemical that alters your brain chemistry when you ingest the drug. You can smoke, eat or vape marijuana.
Marijuana can have a different effect on people, especially depending on how much marijuana they use and how they use it. For example, some people become very sleepy after consuming marijuana, and others do not.
Marijuana enters the body through the lungs or the stomach. Then, it enters the bloodstream and reaches the brain. In the brain, marijuana causes stimulating effects, depressive effects, or hallucinogenic effects. A person may experience a relaxing feeling along with a euphoric feeling that also increases their sensory perceptions.
What Are the Potential Consequences of Mixing Stimulants and Depressants?
There are numerous potential consequences of mixing stimulants with depressants. As was mentioned above, stimulants stimulate the central nervous system, and depressants suppress the central nervous system. When you take a stimulant and a depressant at the same time, these two drugs work against each other. It doesn’t matter whether the stimulus or the depressant is a prescription drug or an illicit drug.
Stimulants and depressants together can be fatal drug combinations. This is because mixing stimulants and depressants can increase the concentration of each drug in your body. This, in turn, causes the side effects that were listed above to be even more pronounced, which is highly unpleasant for the user.
When you mix the two substances, you also increase the concentration of each drug in your body. Mixing stimulants and depressants can even increase the chances of overdosing.
Polydrug use is taking more than one drug at the same time. Taking more than one drug at the same time is dangerous, especially if it’s not done under the supervision of a physician. Oftentimes, the drugs that people choose to misuse when performing polydrug use can be fatal drug combinations.
Physicians don’t ordinarily prescribe stimulants and depressants for the same patient because these drugs are at opposite ends of the drug spectrum. When people take it upon themselves to take these two substances at the same time recreationally, their bodies receive messages that are requesting opposing things. Because these messages are contradictory, the body cannot function as it is supposed to function.
Polydrug use places a tremendous amount of pressure on the body. The central nervous system, the respiratory system, and the cardiovascular system go off in different directions oftentimes during polydrug use of stimulants and depressants because these bodily systems receive messages that tell them to increase and decrease their activity. This amounts to very serious consequences, including the following:
- Heart failure, heart attack, or cardiac arrest
- Slower breathing or stopped breathing
Fatal Drug Combinations
The following are particularly dangerous polydrug combinations.
Alcohol and Stimulants
When you take a stimulant at the same time that you drink alcohol, the stimulant makes it so that you don’t feel the effects of being drunk. This causes people to drink more alcohol because they don’t know that they are intoxicated because of the stimulant. When this occurs, it leads to alcohol poisoning.
Alcohol also has toxins that your liver ordinarily keeps from entering your bloodstream. If you drink a lot in a short amount of time, the liver cannot remove as many toxins as it ordinarily would. The result of alcohol poisoning or alcohol overdose can be death or brain damage.
Alcohol and Cocaine
People combine alcohol with cocaine a lot of the time. You risk sudden death already when you drink alcohol or ingest cocaine on your own. When you combine these substances though, the risk goes up 20 times higher. This combination also increases the chances that you will become violent.
Cocaine also decreases the negative effects that you experience when you’re drunk. The result of this is that people tend to drink more alcohol. This can be dangerous for the reasons mentioned above.
Another dangerous situation is when the liver is forced to metabolize both cocaine and alcohol at the same time. This creates a chemical compound that causes you to feel extremely happy.
Unfortunately, the combination doesn’t do anything good for your cardiovascular system and your liver. Simultaneous alcohol and cocaine use can also cause you to think violently, exercise poor judgment, become aggressive, and experience hypertension. This combination of stimulants and depressants is also linked to sudden death.
Alcohol and Methamphetamine
If you take methamphetamine with alcohol, the crash that methamphetamine causes will be much more severe. In addition to that, the fatal drug combination can also cause you to experience depression and suicidal thoughts.
Mixing alcohol and heroin is particularly dangerous because they are both depressants. Heroin is an opioid drug, so it is a very strong depressant. Alcohol and heroin both produce the effect of suppressing breathing and lowering your blood pressure. Thus, combining the two can suppress breathing and lower blood pressure to a point of death.
Cocaine and Heroin
One of the popular fatal drug combinations is cocaine and heroin. In fact, this fatal drug combination even has its own name, “speedball.”
Cocaine is a stimulant while heroin is a depressant. Mixing stimulants and depressants such as cocaine and heroin can be dangerous in its own way. Still, many people intentionally mix stimulants and depressants because of the way it makes them feel when they do.
Cocaine causes people to feel agitated and jittery, but heroin combats this feeling and allows the person to enjoy the high without those agitated feelings.
In contrast, heroin causes you to feel sleepy. Cocaine combats this effect though by causing you to feel more alert. Therefore, combining cocaine and heroin makes coming down from a high much more enjoyable. Mixing some stimulants and depressants such as cocaine and heroin also increases the euphoric feelings that you get from the high.
Cocaine and Ecstasy
Cocaine and ecstasy are both stimulants. Therefore, they cause you to experience a greater rush when you take them together. Cocaine and ecstasy together can also cause you to have a heart attack or a stroke. At the very least, the combination of cocaine and ecstasy will cause your heart rate to accelerate.
When your heart beats too fast, it prevents the rest of your body from receiving enough blood. The result of this is that your other organs and tissues do not receive a sufficient amount of oxygen. This condition is known as “tachycardia,” and it can lead to the following:
- Death or sudden cardiac arrest
- Heart failure
One of the latest fatal drug combinations is known as “gray death.” Gray death is the street name for a combination of opioids. Gray death often looks like the mixing powder used to create concrete.
This fatal drug combination may come in a form of a fine powder or a chunky substance. Drug dealers create gray death concoctions from different ingredients. Gray death may have various types of opioids within it. For example, gray death can include fentanyl, heroin, or even a synthetic opioid.
Gray death is much more potent than heroin. Still, people can purchase grey death for a very inexpensive price. The fact that gray death is potent and inexpensive makes it one of the fatal drug combinations.
Getting Help for Substance Use
It’s a very good thing to ask yourself, “What are the potential consequences of mixing stimulants and depressants?” This is because once you ask yourself this question, you’ll discover that the consequences are extremely negative. This doesn’t mean that there is no hope for you or your loved one if you are having trouble with an addiction to stimulants and depressants though. At the Florida Center for Recovery (FCR), we can help you overcome your addiction to stimulants and depressants. Florida Center for Recovery is a nationally renowned drug addiction treatment center in Fort Pierce, Florida.
Both stimulants and depressants have the potential to cause withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, individuals detoxing from stimulants and depressants must attend medical detox. Once people complete drug detox, they can begin addiction treatment.
At Florida Center for Recovery, you or your loved one will have the opportunity to enter into several different inpatient or outpatient treatment programs. If you are concerned that you cannot live a drug-free life on your own, the inpatient treatment program may be the form of rehab that’s best for you. If you have children to take care of and/or you need to continue attending school or work while also attending rehab, an outpatient treatment program may be the best rehab program option for you.
Florida Center for Recovery offers a wide variety of renowned inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment programs that are specialized by substance. Thus, whether you need to attend rehab for an addiction to stimulants, depressants, stimulants and depressants, or some other substance, you can do so at FCR. If you are ready to leave drugs in your past, contact us here at the Florida Center for Recovery. We will help you get your life back on track.