Mixing Alcohol With Crystal Meth: What Are The Dangers?
If you or someone you love struggles with substance abuse, you may be concerned about the dangers of mixing alcohol with crystal meth. Crystal methamphetamine is a highly addictive stimulant. When mixed with alcohol, the risks associated with crystal meth use are multiplied.
Crystal meth and alcohol addiction can lead to serious health problems. If you’re worried about crystal meth and alcohol use, please seek help from a professional treatment center. Zinnia Health offers treatment options, including detox and individual and group counseling.
What is Crystal Meth?
Crystal methamphetamine or crystal meth is a synthetic (manufactured) drug with stimulant effects. It’s also known by other names, including glass, crank, ice, and speed. Crystal meth can be snorted, injected, smoked, or swallowed.
It’s made by combining common chemicals and ingredients, including pseudoephedrine (a decongestant), lithium (a metal found in batteries), and anhydrous ammonia (a gas).
People start using crystal meth for many reasons, including weight loss, improved mental focus, increased energy, and a sense of exhilaration. However, crystal meth is highly addictive and can have dangerous long-term effects on the brain and body.
What Are the Dangers of Mixing Crystal Meth and Alcohol?
Mixing alcohol and crystal meth can have dangerous, life-threatening consequences.
Many people are unaware of the dangers of combining alcohol with other drugs, prescription or not. Stimulants like crystal meth conceal alcohol’s effects and vice versa, so it’s harder for people to gauge their level of intoxication.
This can result in over-consumption of either or both substances, leading to:
- Significant impairment of coordination and judgment, which could cause accidents or injuries
- Increased likelihood of unprotected sex, which could result in diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B, or Hepatitis C
- High blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Loss of consciousness
- Coma or death
- Birth defects
Both alcohol and crystal meth are highly addictive substances. Many factors contribute to this addiction, including how drugs affect the brain. Both alcohol and crystal meth increase dopamine levels in the brain, leading to feelings of pleasure and euphoria. They also reduce the level of serotonin, which can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety.
In addition, both drugs interfere with the body’s ability to process glutamate, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and emotions.
As a result, these drugs can quickly take over a person’s life, leading to addiction.
If you’re struggling with meth addiction or another substance use disorder, it’s essential to seek professional help as soon as possible. While there is no instant cure for drug addiction, a treatment program can help people manage their symptoms and avoid further damaging their health.
What Are the Effects of Crystal Meth Abuse and Alcohol Substance Abuse?
People who abuse alcohol and crystal meth often suffer from malnutrition and weight loss because they’re not eating enough food. Additionally, because both substances suppress appetite, people who abuse them can become dehydrated. Both malnutrition and dehydration can lead to organ damage and severe health problems.
Because crystal meth abuse and alcohol abuse share many of the same effects, people who abuse both substances often experience more severe problems than those who use only alcohol or crystal meth.
Impact of Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol abuse is a serious problem in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, alcohol abuse is responsible for an average of 26 years of life lost for each person who dies from alcohol-related causes.
The effects of alcoholsubstance abuse are both short-term and long-term.
Potential short-term effects include:
- Decreased inhibitions
- Impaired judgment
- Slurred speech
- Alcohol poisoning
Potential long-term effects include:
- Liver, kidney, heart, and brain damage
- Psychosis and paranoia
- Depression and anxiety
Long-term Effects of Crystal Meth
Chronic meth use can lead to many long-term health effects, even after the person stops using it. These health effects can include:
- Liver, kidney, heart, lung, and brain damage
- High blood pressure, which can increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and sudden death
- Anxiety, depression, confusion, and insomnia
- Paranoid delusions and violent behavior
- Intense itching causing skin sores from scratching
- Premature osteoporosis
- “Meth mouth” (severe tooth decay)
How is Crystal Meth Different From Other Drugs?
What distinguishes crystal meth from other drugs is its extremely high potency and the fact that it stays in your system for a long time.
The effects of crystal meth can last anywhere from 6 to 24 hours or more, depending on the dose, whereas the effects of other drugs may only last for a few minutes or hours. Additionally, crystal meth users report feeling a “rush” or “high” much more intense than the feeling they get from other drugs.
Why Do People Mix Crystal Meth and Alcohol?
Polysubstance abuse is prevalent, and mixing meth and alcohol is no different. People may mix alcohol and crystal meth to counter the depressant effects of alcohol or vice-versa, to take the edge off the high-energy and potential jitteriness or anxiety produced by crystal meth.
They might also choose to drink while taking meth or take meth while drinking because that’s what their friends are doing or it’s offered to them. They might not realize how dangerous mixing crystal meth and alcohol is and that it can cause increased heart rate, hypertension, and body temperature and lead to life-threateningside effects.
Treatment for Co-Occurring Alcohol and Meth Addiction
People who have developed a dependence on both alcohol and crystal methamphetamine face unique challenges in recovery. Alcohol withdrawal may bring serious and sometimes life-threatening symptoms, while meth withdrawal symptoms can be physically and psychologically distressing. Professional help is essential when beginning the recovery process.
An inpatient medical detox program can provide 24/7 supervision and care, helping prevent potentially fatal complications. In addition, an inpatient setting can offer a more comfortable detox experience.
After detox, addiction treatment involves therapy and can also include medication. Addiction treatment may consist of group counseling, individual counseling, medication, family therapy, 12-step or other support groups, recreational and alternative therapies, mental health education classes, and skill-building groups.
While the road to recovery can be challenging, professional help can provide the support and resources needed to achieve long-term sobriety.
Zinnia Health Can Help
If you or a loved one struggles with substance abuse, please seek help from a professional treatment center like Zinnia Health. At Zinnia Health, we offer evidence-based treatment programs to meet each individual’s unique needs. We provide individualized addiction treatment plans that may include detoxification, residential treatment, and intensive outpatient and inpatient treatment.