Mixing meth and alcohol increases the risks of each, including a more severe meth crash and a fatal overdose on either substance.

When used separately, both meth and alcohol can be dangerous, but when used together, their effects can become even more dangerous. They can even be lethal. After ingesting both of these substances, the chances of alcohol poisoning and meth overdose skyrocket. These risks are accompanied by deadly side effects like shallow breathing, seizures and cardiac arrest.

Alcohol poisoning can be fatal. If you suspect someone is experiencing alcohol poisoning, call 911 immediately. Do NOT be afraid to seek help. If you do not have access to a phone contact Web Poison Control Services for online assistance.

What Is Meth?

Methamphetamine, more commonly known as “meth,” is a powerful drug that can be made at home with a simple list of ingredients. It is usually distributed in a powder or rock form. This troublingly accessible substance is part of a class of drugs called stimulants which produce an intense rush lasting for about 30 minutes. Once the initial  high has subsided, users feel a slightly less intense wave of euphoria that may linger for four to 16 hours. To increase profits, many meth dealers cut the drug with potentially poisonous household products. Sometimes they even include other substances, ranging from laxatives to antidepressants, that can dramatically alter the effects of the drug. This makes meth particularly unpredictable and dangerous.

What Are the Side Effects of Meth and Alcohol?

While alcohol is a normal, safe part of life for many people, it can become deadly when consumed in combination with meth or other drugs. Side effects of blending meth and alcohol include:

  • Slowed breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Pale or bluish skin color from hypothermia
  • Unconsciousness, stupor or coma

Dangers of Mixing Meth and Alcohol

When meth and alcohol are consumed together, it’s usually part of an extended drug binge. Some people believe that alcohol can take the edge off of a meth comedown. This may work, but only for a little while, and only at great physical and psychological risk.

After ingesting meth and alcohol, each substance begins to affect the way the other is absorbed by the body. Meth decreases some of the debilitating effects of alcohol, encouraging some to drink even more to feel typical effects. At this point, the heart rate begins to increase dangerously quickly, increasing the risk of cardiovascular harm. The intense rush of self-confidence and euphoria that accompanies meth can leave users feeling capable of driving, often to the deadly detriment of themselves and others.

Even in cases where meth and alcohol are taken without any immediate harm, users experience an intense crash as the drugs leave their systems. Vomiting, nausea, depressive thoughts and suicidal impulses are common during this time.

Treatment for Meth and Alcohol

Meth and alcohol addiction don’t have to rule your life. The first step to wellness and renewal is a successful detox. Because this process can be difficult at home, it’s usually best to ride out the withdrawal symptoms under the supervision of medical professionals. Once detox is complete, a full continuum of care gives you the best chance of lifelong sobriety.

When it comes to meth and alcohol addiction, rehabilitation is possible with the right mindset and a dedicated team. If you or someone you love is struggling with drug dependence, let The Recovery Village connect you with the treatment programs and care you need. Contact us today to speak to an intake coordinator so we can learn more about your unique situation and help get you or your loved one back on the right track.

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Medically Reviewed By – Dr. Jessica Pyhtila, PharmD
Dr. Jessica Pyhtila is a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist based in Baltimore, Maryland with practice sites in inpatient palliative care and outpatient primary care at the Department of Veteran Affairs. Read more
Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.