Mixing drugs together is not only risky but is also extremely dangerous. This is especially true when mixing stimulants and depressants. Since stimulant drugs and depressant drugs create opposite effects, a person’s body may react negatively and unpredictably. Only in extremely rare cases is mixing stimulants and depressants together advised and this would be under a professional doctor’s advice.
Stimulant substances are known for increasing a person’s energy and alertness while depressants calm a person down by slowing down mental/physical functions. When mixing stimulants and depressants, a person’s body will receive mixed signals which can lead to health complications and other problems. In certain cases, a person can experience an overdose which can end up being fatal.
Under no circumstance should a person ever mix drugs, especially conflicting drugs like stimulants and depressants. If someone you know is using and mixing drugs, it may be time for professional help. At Harmony Place, we offer many different treatment options to help a person overcome their addiction in a safe environment.
What are Stimulants?
Stimulant drugs and depressant drugs are polar opposites to each other when it comes to the physical and psychological effects on the user. Stimulants are known to increase energy, focus, and well-being. Stimulants are used to treat mental disorders like depression, ADHD, and narcolepsy. Some of the most common brand names include Adderall, Desoxyn, and Concerta.
Some stimulants can be purchased at the store while others are used illegally, typically coming in the form of cocaine, crystal meth, and other drugs. When someone takes stimulants their brain releases dopamine, which is considered a “feel good” chemical in the brain. When stimulants are abused a person will experience a euphoric high as their brain releases a large surge of dopamine. This creates a need to repeat that event which, in this case, is drug use. This eventually ends up leading to drug addiction and dependence.
What are Depressants?
Depressants, on the other hand, slow the brain’s activity down. They decrease blood pressure and create a calming effect. Depressants are mostly used to treat cases of anxiety, sleeping disorders (ex: insomnia), and seizure disorders. Some of the common brand names for depressants include Lunesta, Valium, Xanax, and other names. Depressant drugs can end up causing withdrawal symptoms if a person has been abusing them or has been taking them for a long period of time.
Depressants produce a chemical in the brain known as GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), this creates a feeling of drowsiness/sleepiness. These symptoms tend to disappear after using depressants for some time. However, a person may build a tolerance to depressants, meaning they need more to reach their desired effect. Both depressants and stimulants can be abused and can lead someone on the path to addiction.
What Are Potential Consequences of Mixing Stimulants and Depressants?
Both depressants and stimulants have their own unique symptoms and effects, each used for different conditions and purposes. When mixing stimulants and depressants together, a person will experience several different negative symptoms, some that can be potentially dangerous. But what are the potential consequences of mixing stimulants and depressants?
When two or more drugs are mixed together, whether you are mixing stimulants and depressants or other combinations, it is considered polydrug use. Those who engage in polydrug use usually do so to counteract the effects of one drug with another or to increase the euphoric ‘high’. What many people don’t realize is that polydrug use can be extremely dangerous and unpredictable.
Mixing stimulants and depressants can create unpredictable and problematic reactions. Polydrug use with depressants and stimulants gives the body conflicting signals and causes intense stress on the body. Mixing stimulants and depressants puts stress on a person’s cardiovascular, central nervous system (CNS), and respiratory system. Some of the more severe symptoms of mixing stimulants and depressants include:
- Cardiac arrest
- Heart attack or heart failure
- Depressed, slowed, or stopped breathing
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms after polydrug use, call 9-11 immediately for medical assistance. If a person is abusing these drugs, it’s important to get quality treatment before it’s too late. Professional rehab centers like Harmony Place offer the best chance for addiction recovery.
Commonly Mixed Stimulants and Depressants
There are many different combinations when it comes to mixing stimulants and depressants. These combinations tend to give off specific effects when used recreationally. Regardless of the combination, a person is still at risk when engaging in polydrug use with stimulants and depressants. It’s important to know the different effects and combinations that people tend to use. Under no circumstance should a person mix drugs unless advised by a medical professional, especially stimulants and depressants.
Marijuana and Alcohol
It is not uncommon for someone to drink alcohol while they are using marijuana. While people may brush this off, there are definite risks with combining the two drugs. Marijuana is considered a complex substance as sometimes it acts as a depressant while other times it acts as a stimulant. Alcohol on the other hand is mainly considered a depressant. When combining both the feelings of both are increased significantly. Common effects may include:
- Blurry vision
- Intense paranoia
- Impaired motor skills
- Short-term memory loss
- Panic attacks (as a result of marijuana)
Cocaine and Alcohol
Cocaine is an intense and extremely potent stimulant, while alcohol is a depressant for the most part. People tend to drink alcohol to counteract the effects of cocaine. In some cases, a person may turn to alcohol to help them wake up after drinking too much. Combining alcohol and cocaine can be a lethal combination.
When these two are mixed, the person’s body will produce cocaethylene, which is a chemical that fuses both cocaine and alcohol together. After some time, this will create an intense euphoric effect. As a result, a person will have increased aggression, blood pressure, and violent thoughts. A build-up of this chemical can also lead to sudden death in some cases.
Both meth and heroin are very addictive and problematic substances on their own. Each year thousands of people end up overdosing or dying to the effects of these substances. With this in mind, combining the two drugs only increases the chances of overdose and death. Heroin slows down a person’s breathing while meth increases it. Once again, these mixed signals put a person’s body under intense stress.
The effects of meth usually last longer than heroin’s effects. What tends to happen is that after meth’s effects wear off, the effects of cocaine increase rapidly. This ‘spike’ can lead to increased heart rate which can end up causing a heart attack, arrhythmias, or sudden death.
Heroin and Cocaine
On the streets, combining heroin and cocaine is usually referred to as “speedball”. People abuse the two drugs together to create an intense euphoric high. Individuals also abuse this combination to counteract the effects of cocaine (with heroin). A person can overdose on heroin or cocaine when used alone, so mixing these increases the risk of overdose and death. Additionally, using large doses of heroin to counteract cocaine can end up leading to respiratory failure and death in some cases.
Xanax and Cocaine
Xanax and cocaine are another dangerous and frequently used combination. When taken together they counteract the effects of each other. As a result, people take higher doses to achieve this effect. Using cocaine and Xanax has been shown to affect a person’s irritability and sadness. This has resulted in a higher risk of suicide when using these drugs together as well as increasing the chances of an overdose.
When a person uses both Xanax and cocaine, they may not realize that their heart is racing, this is because Xanax relaxes a person’s body while cocaine does the opposite. This also works the other way around as they may not feel their body slowing down in the process because of the cocaine. This can lead to unpredictable and dangerous circumstances.
Getting Professional Help for Polydrug Use
Mixing stimulants and depressants can be a dangerous and unpredictable situation. If you or someone you know is abusing multiple drugs, it may be time to get help. At Harmony Place, we offer a safe and quality environment for a person to get the help they need. As a trusted rehab center in California, Harmony Place offers many different addiction treatment options with you in mind. These include:
- 24/7 support
- Addiction therapy
- Detoxification (Detox)
- Inpatient/residential treatment
- Outpatient treatment
- Aftercare recovery
Don’t Wait; Get Help Today!
Now that you know the answer to – What are the potential consequences of mixing stimulants and depressants? It is time to get help before it’s too late. Harmony Place is here to guide you towards a better, brighter future. Addiction and drug abuse don’t have to consume you or your loved one’s life any longer. Give us a call today to learn more about our treatment options and how we can help you right now.