Many understand that mixing drugs and alcohol is not a good idea. However, some are not aware of the dangers of mixing substances. There are several reasons why people mix substances, but doing so could lead to using higher dosages or a more frequent dose than what the prescription recommends. Some people might use prescription medications, but others could be mixing illicit drugs with alcohol. Even though someone might be experimenting, the consequences could be fatal. Right Step Houston offers several substance abuse treatment programs to help individuals who are struggling with consequences of mixing substances. About the Dangers of Mixing Substances When someone receives a prescription for medication, that sometimes comes with a recommendation not to drink alcohol. The main reason is that, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the dangers of mixing substances are consequential and could lead to many adverse side effects. Some of those side effects include: \tBreathing difficulties \tCoordination issues \tDrowsiness \tFainting \tHeadaches \tHeart problems \tInternal bleeding Statistics Regarding the Dangers of Mixing Substances A report issued by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) indicates that, between 2013 and 2014, approximately 2.3 million adults have alcohol and illicit drug use disorder simultaneously. In a separate report issued by SAMHSA during 2013, it reveals that approximately 16.2% of illicit drug users had used one or more other drugs with marijuana. While some individuals believe that there are no dangers of mixing substances, this is not the case. Medical professionals dedicate years to studying the dangers of mixing substances, as well as how drug interactions affect the body. These same studies also show medical professionals safe ways of prescribing medications. Unless you have this training, you could be putting yourself at risk when mixing substances. The Effects of Mixing Substances Your body can experience many different effects when you mix substances. For example, if you mix alcohol with marijuana, that could lead to experiencing anxiety, nausea, panic, and vomiting. If you decide to mix alcohol and Vicodin, that could cause you to go into a coma, or it could result in your death. The symptoms you experience from mixing substances vary according to the dosages, interactions, and substances you use. Therefore, they could potentially lead to a host of different effects, including: \tAnxiety \tHealth problems, including liver and other types of organ damage \tMood changes \tOverdose Combining substances does not stop with the mixing of alcohol with illicit or prescription drugs. There are also instances where individuals use cocaine and heroin together. That combination could be lethal because, in some cases, people are using more heroin than they realize. The effects of cocaine wear off quicker than heroin, so that could lead to overdosing. The Dangers of Mixing Substances and Polysubstance Abuse When someone is using more than one substance regularly, they are at risk of experiencing issues with polysubstance abuse. Chronic users who combine multiple substances could accelerate their chances of physical dependence on one or more of the substances they are using. These effects could be the development of tolerance for these substances, as well as experiencing withdrawals when trying to stop. As a result of this substance use disorder, that could lead to having difficulty controlling the use of one or more substances. It could also cause issues with personal relationships, school, work, and other responsibilities. Diagnosing polysubstance abuse is challenging because physicians might overlook the use of alcohol when trying to treat a prescription or illicit drug addiction. Final Thoughts Do you have concerns regarding the dangers of mixing substances? Do you believe that a loved one is doing this, and you are worried about the effects? Now is the time to find support and receive answers to your questions. Contact Right Step Houston at for the support and answers you need.