Despite several measures at the federal and state levels, the United States continues to suffer from prescription drug epidemic. In fact, the problem is only growing by the day. Many people are rather misusing drugs and other substances in weird combinations, which bring in bigger threats to the users.
Here we look at seven common but dangerous concoctions of drugs and alcohol as well as their harmful effects, which might even be death in extreme cases. These lethal combinations must be avoided:
- Benzodiazepines and alcohol: People usually drink alcohol to get relief from distress and then pop in a tablet of benzodiazepine, like Xanax, Klonipin, Valium or Ativan, to get a good sleep. But combining these two is of no help, as both are depressants and act in the central nervous system, leading to increased sedation. Combining these two can lead to dizziness, confusion, impaired memory, increased irritability and aggression, loss of consciousness and coma.
- Antidepressants and alcohol: Depression goes hand in hand with alcoholism, and consuming alcohol for a relief from depression is only going to exacerbate the condition. This combination of alcohol and antidepressant medications, such as Prozac and Elavil, can put an individual at high risk, with debilitating effects like impaired thinking, dangerously high blood pressure, intensified depressive symptoms, and in extreme cases death.
- Opiates/opioids and alcohol: People often combine opiates and/or opioids, like heroin, morphine, codeine, OxyContin and Vicodin, with alcohol. A person usually takes these drugs to manage pain from an accident or injury, and to derive a greater relief and euphoria, he or she tends to combine it with alcohol. But the end results could never be encouraging with enhanced sedative effects of the both the substances, thereby increasing the risk of respiratory depression and overdose.
- Stimulants and alcohol: It is quite dangerous to use stimulants, like Ritalin, Adderall, meth, speed and cocaine, to enhance the effects of alcohol, which is the very purpose of doing that. Mixing the two enhances the capacity to drink more, leading to increased blood pressure and tension in an individual. It is also equally dangerous to use stimulants, like caffeine, nicotine, diet pills, and certain over-the-counter cold remedies and decongestants with alcohol.
- Lisinopril and potassium: Lisinopril, also known as Zestril or Prinivil, is a blood pressure drug. Combining it with potassium can result in irregular heart rhythms or death. Those on certain blood pressure and heart rhythm medications may eat potassium-rich foods, but things like black licorice and certain herbal teas and sweeteners may lower potassium levels, putting patients’ hearts at risk.
- Warfarin and aspirin: This is again a common concoction of drugs used by people. Warfarin is a blood thinner and when combined with aspirin it can significantly increase the risk of bleeding. The risk is higher even when warfarin is consumed with garlic pills or leafy, green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts or cabbage.
- Statins and niacin: Statins are prescription cholesterol drugs, while niacin is an over-the-counter vitamin B supplement that lowers cholesterol. A combination of these two increases the risk of muscle pain and damage. Statins, when combined with prescription oral fungal/yeast infection medications, become even more dangerous.
So, it is advisable not to abuse prescription drugs that too in combination with other harmful drugs or alcohol for any rarefied experience. If there is an addiction to prescription drug or any substance, it must be treated.