Substance Use

Mixing Meth and Alcohol: Can You Drink on Meth?

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Meth and Alcohol Polysubstance Abuse

Meth is one of the most dangerous recreational drugs on the market. It is highly addictive because it causes the body to produce massive amounts of dopamine, about three times the amount cocaine induces. The effects of meth do not last long. This leads to people taking more and more, rapidly leading to the development of tolerance and dependence.

Taking meth on its own is enough to cause serious consequences, including the possibility of death. Adding alcohol is a recipe for disaster. Drug use also becomes harder to treat when alcohol is involved.

If you or someone you love is experimenting with meth or other substances, don’t hesitate to reach out. Contact Zinnia Health, or call us today at (855) 430-9439 for detox programs and other addiction treatment options. 

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What Are the Dangers of Mixing Alcohol With Meth?

Mixing alcohol and meth can have devastating effects on a person’s physical and mental health.

For example, it can cause effects such as:

  • Increased risk of stoke and heart attack
  • Impaired judgment
  • Risky behavior
  • Deep depression
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty thinking clearly
  • Anxiety
  • Aggression
  • Paranoia
  • Intense fear
  • Other mental health problems

Can You Drink on Meth?

There is no such thing as a safe level of alcohol consumption when taking meth. Even if you think you are in control, the effects of both substances on the brain can still create potentially life-threatening side effects.

The best way to protect yourself is to abstain from drinking while taking meth.

How Do Meth and Alcohol Interact?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that meth is commonly sold in crystal form that is burned and smoked. However, meth can also be found in pills or powder form. No matter what form it comes in, meth is extremely potent and causes many health issues.

According to MedlinePlus, as a stimulant, meth causes the brain and central nervous system to produce far more dopamine than normal.

When someone takes a dose of meth, the body produces an excessive amount of dopamine. This results in a euphoric rush where an individual gets a burst of energy and is flooded with confidence.

Drinking alcohol can also create a flood of confidence and energy, but it does so by releasing a chemical called GABA. This chemical slows down the brain’s activity, resulting in a calming and sedative effect.

When alcohol is mixed with meth, the combination can cause problems like elevated heart rate and blood pressure, memory problems, anxiety, aggression, and more.

A study of meth users published in the National Library of Medicine found that binge drinking was likely to raise the likelihood of methamphetamine usage more so than light drinking, providing valuable evidence that there is a direct correlation between the two.

How Long After Taking Meth Can You Drink Alcohol?

The duration that methamphetamine stays in the system varies from person to person, but generally speaking, it is detectable in the blood for up to three days after ingestion and in urine for up to a week.

As a result, it is advisable to wait several days before consuming alcohol to minimize the potential dangers associated with mixing these substances.

You are not alone if you or a loved one are looking for help with a substance use disorder. Contact Zinnia Health, or call us today at (855) 430-9439 for more information. 

Why Do People Mix Alcohol With Meth?

One of the reasons why meth is so dangerous is because the high does not last long at all, which leads people to take additional doses to restore the feeling. This is dangerous because the more meth someone takes in a short time span, the more at risk they are of experiencing an overdose.

The need to take meth repeatedly to restore the addictive sensation is also why tolerance and dependence develop rapidly. Many people try mixing alcohol with meth to maintain that high feeling. The effects of alcohol contribute to the sensations of a meth high, but the primary goal is to extend the high.

The Department of Justice states that studies have shown that mixing alcohol with meth can lengthen the meth high by increasing the amount of time it takes for the body to metabolize the drug.

This can also make things more dangerous because the meth stays in the body for longer, and the risk of meth overdose increases if the person consumes more of the drug.

Alcohol abuse and binge drinking disorders can also arise when using alcohol to extend the meth high. This type of meth use is especially dangerous and requires a specialty treatment program capable of addressing alcohol dependence and meth abuse at the same time.

Why Is It Dangerous to Mix Meth with Alcohol?

The primary reason mixing alcohol with meth is so dangerous is that the substances are chemical opposites. Alcohol is a depressant, while meth is a stimulant. These terms mean that alcohol suppresses the central nervous system, while meth has the opposite effect.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), this reaction sends conflicting signals to the body, resulting in unpredictable and dangerous side effects. 

One of the biggest dangers of mixing alcohol with meth is alcohol poisoning. Since meth is a stimulant, it can change a person’s perception of how alcohol affects them. This leads them to think alcohol isn’t having as great an effect on them as it truly is, so they drink more.

Alcohol poisoning can result in vomiting, loss of consciousness, organ damage, and even death. Moreover, the impairment caused by mixing alcohol with meth can make it impossible for individuals to recognize that they are suffering from alcohol poisoning, so they won’t seek help. 

On its own, meth is enough to ruin someone’s physical and mental health. Crystal meth can lead to tooth decay. All forms of meth introduce health risks, including psychosis, weight loss, and changes in behavioral health.

Mixing alcohol with meth only worsens the damage and puts an individual at an increased risk of long-term side effects and death. 

What Can Happen If You Drink on Meth?

The depressant effects of alcohol can mask the stimulant properties of meth, leading to a potentially dangerous situation. Users may experience an increased risk of overdose, as they may not be aware of the true intensity of the meth’s effects on their body.

Additionally, the combination puts extra stress on the heart, increasing the risk of cardiovascular complications such as a heart attack or stroke. Furthermore, it can severely impair decision-making skills, resulting in risky behavior or poor judgment, which can have potentially disastrous outcomes.

What Are the Symptoms From Drinking Alcohol with Meth?

Some common symptoms of ingesting alcohol with meth include:

  • Intense agitation
  • Disorientation
  • Hallucinations
  • Heightened anxiety

As the central nervous system becomes compromised, you may experience the following side effects:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Chest pains
  • Arrhythmias
  • Respiratory distress

Additionally, this toxic combination may induce severe gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting and diarrhea.

How to Get Help for a Meth Addiction

When meth and alcohol are combined, it creates a complicated issue of polysubstance abuse that requires dedicated treatment facilities and knowledgeable treatment providers. You can find this in an inpatient or outpatient setting, and getting familiar with your treatment options is often the first step.

Treatment centers provide services such as detoxification, support groups, and evidence-based psychotherapies such as family therapy.

Are you ready to learn more and take the next step toward substance abuse treatment? Contact Zinnia Health or call us today at (855) 430-9439 for more information. 

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