Do you believe a loved one is experimenting with more than one substance? While many may believe that drinking alcohol and using prescription painkillers doesn’t cause any harm, that is not the case. That is why families must understand the dangers of mixing substances. Having this knowledge could help prevent family members and other loved ones from experiencing health risks and other dangers.
If polysubstance abuse has occurred, it is best to reach out to an addiction treatment center for help. Each substance abused has its own inherent dangers but mixing in others causes unique consequences.
Potential Dangers of Mixing Substances
There are many potential dangers of mixing substances, but it depends on the substances the user is abusing together. For example, if they use mood stabilizers and alcohol together, that could cause issues with motor functioning, lethargy, and dizziness.
If alcohol is mixed with high blood pressure medication, that could cause their blood pressure to rise, dizziness, and fainting spells. Mixing alcohol with antidepressants could result in an increase in the user’s depression and the increase in the potential for organ damage.
What Happens When Users Mix Substances
Beyond that of addiction, the dangers of mixing substances also include severe health risks. For example, users could experience:
- A slowed heart rate when mixing alcohol and painkillers or Xanax
- Difficulty breathing when mixing alcohol and Vicodin or other painkillers
- Heart problems when mixing alcohol with club drugs, like Adderall or Ecstasy
- Strokes or convulsions when mixing alcohol with stimulant drugs
- Trouble breathing or heart problems when mixing cold medicine and alcohol
Talk to Your Loved Ones About Polysubstance Abuse
If you believe that your family member or a loved one is engaging in the use of more than one substance, it’s time to talk to them about the dangers of mixing substances. Otherwise, the final result could be fatal. Utilize the following tips when discussing the issue:
- Ask many questions: Even though they might not want to open up to you, ask several questions about what they know to find out what they need to know
- Be honest about your past: If you have experience with experimenting with drugs or alcohol, or have experience with mixing substances, be honest when a loved one asks
- Be resourceful: Communicate with them regarding the risks and dangers of mixing substances and, if you have difficulty, point them to addiction and mental health treatment resources that can help
- Be positive: Place focus on the positive by explaining that you trust them, know they are listening to you, and that you are there to help
- Set expectations: Set clear expectations regarding their use of substances, your stance on the dangers of mixing substances, and that you are going to continue educating them in these areas
Avoid Being Confrontational
Yes, there are many dangers to mixing substances, but that doesn’t mean everyone knows about them. Instead of being confrontational about their risky behavior, have a heart-to-heart with your loved one. Outline the following side effects that they might experience if they continue mixing substances:
- Blood pressure increases, including irregular heartbeat
- Damage to organs, including their liver
- Fainting spells
- Issues with coordination and reaction time
- Issues with dizziness, drowsiness, or depression levels
- Suppressing the medicinal effects of antidepressant drugs that they might need
- An increased chance of teens experiencing seizures
These are only the physical effects of mixing substances. If polysubstance abuse continues, it can affect their relationships and future career.
Seek Support Today at Renaissance Recovery
Are you looking for various ways to talk to a loved one regarding the dangers of mixing substances? Do you have concerns that these risky behaviors are already happening? Now is the time to reach out for the best support and receive the answers you need. Renaissance Recovery provides access to the following programs to reduce the effects of polysubstance abuse:
- Drug and alcohol detox program
- Residential treatment program
- Partial hospitalization program
- Intensive outpatient program
- Sober living homes at The District