What Happens When You Mix Heroin and Alcohol?
Commonly referred to as “smack,” “dope” and “junk,” heroin is one of the deadliest street drugs available today. But when mixed with alcohol — a substance whose legal status allows many to dismiss it as safe — heroin becomes even more lethal. Abusing these drugs together puts users at great risk of injury and even death because of the compounding, central nervous system depressing effects they have on the body.
If you or a loved one are ready to break free from the grips of heroin and alcohol addiction, The Recovery Village is here to help. You deserve more, and we’re here to provide you with the support you need to get it.
What is Heroin?
Heroin is a drug derived from opium poppy plant seed pods, making it part of a class of highly addictive substances called opiates. When ingested, heroin produces a dreamlike euphoria that elicits a rush of happiness and elation. While this drug is most commonly found in a white or brown powdered form, it is also sold as a solid and sticky black substance. Even in its purest variations, heroin is extremely dangerous and addictive. The reality is that most heroin sold in the United States and around the world is cut with other deadly drugs and chemicals. This leaves users at an even higher risk of negative health effects and even poisoning after ingestion.
What are the Side Effects of Combining Heroin and Alcohol?
On its own, heroin use brings feelings of euphoria; when alcohol is added to the mix, it has an additive effect on the body, increasing the impact of both substances. This concoction can have dangerous and even deadly ramifications. Side effects of heroin and alcohol use include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Impaired coordination
- Shallow breathing
- Slowed heart rate
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Dangers of Mixing Heroin and Alcohol
The deadly effects of heroin increase dramatically when combined with alcohol. Because the creation of heroin is completely unregulated, it’s impossible to know what each batch is cut with or how strong it is. The body absorbs alcohol faster when heroin is present, making alcohol poisoning a deadly threat even after consuming only a small amount of liquor, beer or wine.
But the harmful effects that these drugs have on the body don’t stop there. Both heroin and alcohol act as central nervous depressants — when used together, their sedative properties only increase. This can slow or even stop your breathing. Once you’re in this state, simple tasks like getting up to call 911 become impossible. Aside from causing harm to yourself, you may decide to drive or engage in other questionable behaviors that put your relationships and the lives of others at great risk.
Treatment for Heroin and Alcohol Addiction
Mixing heroin and alcohol doesn’t just hurt you — it also hurts the people you love and puts them at risk because of your drug use. But quitting these addictive substances on your own can be difficult, especially because detoxing from both drugs elicits intense withdrawal symptoms like vomiting, paranoia and rapid heartbeat.
With the help of a dedicated treatment team, you can begin your new life free from the grips of heroin and alcohol addiction and successfully work your way through the detox process. The Recovery Village connects people to state-of-the-art rehabilitation programs all across the country. If you’d like more information about our care or are interested in taking the first step and beginning treatment, contact one of our intake coordinators today.