People often mix drugs and alcohol to intensify the "high" or because their inhibitions are lowered from using one or the other. One dangerous and addictive combination is alcohol and amphetamines, which are also known as speed. The effects of mixing speed and alcohol can vary by the individual and the amounts consumed, but the combination is never safe and is sometimes fatal. If this has become a habit for you or someone you love, please call 800-861-9454 or complete the short contact form for help and support with overcoming abuse of these substances.
Physical and Psychological Effects of Mixing Speed and Alcohol
The effects of speed are usually similar to those of cocaine, but a speed "high" lasts longer. The effects also depend on the type of speed. Some people use prescription or over-the-counter stimulants for a boost in energy, whereas others use street "uppers" such as methamphetamine. With or without alcohol, speed from the street can be even more dangerous because it is often laced with other drugs or chemicals.
When people mix speed and alcohol, their bodies become overwhelmed by two opposing directives. Speed stimulates the central nervous system, whereas alcohol depresses it. Rather than balancing out the effects of each, the combination conceals the effects of alcohol. People usually end up consuming more and more alcohol because they feel less intoxicated by it than they actually are. This can lead to alcohol poisoning or a coma. The combination also increases the intensity of hangovers and makes people more likely to act aggressively toward others.
This mixture strains the body. The liver must work harder to metabolize both substances, and the heart and respiratory system can be overloaded by the mixed directives. A combination of speed and alcohol is especially damaging to the kidneys. People can develop physical and psychological dependencies to both substances, as well.
Are You Addicted to Speed and Alcohol?
Speed and alcohol increase the release of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, which can elicit feelings of relaxation and euphoria. The substances also prevent the reuptake of these chemical messengers. With frequent use of speed and alcohol, the mind and body adjust to these changes and rely on the substances to maintain "normalcy." People who become addicted to one or both substances may experience withdrawal symptoms when they're not using.
"Other signs of addiction include an increased tolerance and preoccupation with the drugs."Other signs of addiction include an increased tolerance and preoccupation with the drugs. Addicted people may have difficulty focusing on their work and relationships, and they may fall behind on their financial obligations from spending money on speed and alcohol. Continuous abuse of one or both substances after knowing the dangers or after having an uncomfortable or frightening experience with them is a strong indication of addiction.
Help is available for people who are addicted to speed and alcohol. If these signs of addiction sound familiar, complete the short form or call 800-861-9454 at any time for confidential assistance.
Treatment for Addiction to Speed and Alcohol
The treatment for addiction to speed and alcohol can be provided on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Treatment often begins with detox, which can be medically assisted in some cases. Following detox, people are often encouraged to participate in individual and group therapy. Therapy assists people with managing problems that contribute to substance abuse, such as anxiety and depression, and it also helps people develop positive strategies for managing stress and the urges to use.
Treatment plans may include meetings with Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous. These 12-step programs provide people with positive and helpful support systems in their own communities.
The effects of mixing speed and alcohol can be life-threatening. People who are interested in recovery should call 800-861-9454 or fill out the form to talk to a treatment support specialist.