If you’re using these deadly drug combinations, you’re playing a dangerous game with your life. The question isn’t if the next time will turn deadly, but when. Understanding how these combos work can help you avoid the most dangerous drug combos.
1. Benzos with Opioids
Do you have debilitating conditions like panic attacks, insomnia, muscle spasms, or seizures? A doctor may prescribe benzodiazepines (benzos) like Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, or Ativan. Abusing them alone can lead to hospitalization and even death. However, combining Benzodiazepines (Benzos) with opioids or opiates can increase the risk of a severe or deadly outcome by 24 to 55 percent compared to benzos alone.
Both drug classes are central nervous system depressants. Together, they can produce a dangerous inability to maintain essential life functions like breathing and heart rate. This makes the two potentially deadly.
2. Benzos with Alcohol
You know you shouldn’t drink when taking certain prescription drugs, but giving alcohol up is easier said than done. Alcohol may be legal but it’s also a central nervous system depressant that can create a strong physical addiction. Combined with benzodiazepines prescribed or otherwise, it amplifies the effects, which can cause breathing to stop, so this is also among the deadly drug combinations you’ll want to avoid.
3. Fentanyl-Laced Heroin
The scary thing about this deadly drug combination is that you may not know the heroin is laced until it’s too late. Fentanyl can be up to 100 times more potent than heroin, so even if you know your typical dose of heroin—as many people who use heroin regularly do—you could take way too much.
For those who manufacture heroin, adding fentanyl is very tempting. It’s much cheaper to produce. However, there’s a huge problem for you. You’ll never really know the strength with certainty, and that can be disastrous.
4. Cocaine with Heroin
“Speedballs,” as they’re known on the street, have led to many a fatal overdose. Both drugs impact dopamine in the body, but in different ways. Heroin increases production, while cocaine makes it hard for the body to reabsorb it.
Dopamine is often seen as a “feel good hormone”. A strong desire to seek that pleasure makes cocaine and heroin addictive, even if you always chase a high that never materializes.
Cocaine also increases the production of norepinephrine, which makes you feel alert and agitated as the breathing and heart rate increase. While opioids depress the central nervous system, cocaine has the opposite effect. Within a short time, breathing and heart rate can go from one extreme to another.
Other opioids or opiates might be substituted, promising a “safer” high, but they are no less deadly.
5. Heroin with Meth
The “goof ball” combines heroin with crystal meth (e.i., ice, glass, speed) or prescription amphetamine like Adderall or Ritalin. Meth is a central nervous system stimulant, so similar to a “speed ball”, meth and heroin have opposite effects.
Because the two are canceling each other out, someone might take more than they would of either of these drugs alone, which can be fatal.
6. Cocaine and Alcohol
Cocaine is a stimulant, while alcohol is a depressant. You might use the two together to cancel out some of the more extreme undesirable effects of each. For example, drinking a lot would normally put you to sleep, but cocaine would keep you awake and alert. At the same time, alcohol eases the jitters associated with cocaine use.
While these opposite effects put enormous stress on the heart, the two drugs also “work together” in an even more alarming way. Alcohol can increase feelings of aggression. Cocaine increases feelings of paranoia. This combination can lead to deadly violence against someone you care about during an alcohol blackout.
7. Opioids with Alcohol
Both depress the central nervous system, but they may not kick in simultaneously. That unpredictability is dangerous. Some opioids are delayed release so that the effects might happen over minutes or hours.
Alcohol can also be unpredictable, especially if you drink several glasses slowly over some time. Additionally, alcohol can impact your ability to make decisions. This could cause you to take more opioids or opiates than you planned.
Get Help with Deadly Drug Combinations
In addition to the potential for instant death, combinations like these enhance the addictive nature of each substance. It becomes that much harder to give up the drugs on your own. Chances are you already know these combos could kill you. Yet, you’re unable to quit and feel defeated. Once drug combinations like these change how your brain works, you need professional support to escape these dangerous behaviors for life.
Contact 1st Step Behavioral Health or call (855) 425-4846 to speak to an admissions counselor who can help you get the help you need.