For people who use substances regularly, there comes a time when you begin trying out new ways to feel high or intoxicated. You might use marijuana and alcohol simultaneously or cocaine and Xanax just to see what it might feel like. Mixing substances can be extremely dangerous because you never know how the combination of the two substances will react to each other. There is a risk for fatality when combining substances, so it’s not recommended to partake in.

What Is A Drug Cocktail?

A “drug cocktail” is when a person begins using more than one substance simultaneously to achieve a greater high. Drug cocktails can be a combination of many substances, including prescribed medications. You never know how the combination of two drugs will react to one another. For example, taking marijuana can induce anxiety, while cocaine can increase heart rate and blood pressure.

Most fatal overdoses are caused by the use of more than one substance. It’s unclear how the mixing of two substances will affect each individual’s body. This can cause many different problems for a person. Not being in control is one thing, but knowingly adding other substances to the mix is looking for a problem.

Risks of Combining Drugs

The major risk of combining drugs is death. While some mixtures have known side effects because they are commonly used, you can’t be sure that you won’t have a very negative reaction to the combination. Because illegal drugs are not intended to be mixed, there is less understanding of how they react to each other. Because each individual is different, you might react differently than someone you know using the same combination.

Many combinations can occur like some in the below list:

Alcohol and Marijuana

With the increased legalization of marijuana in the United States, more research is beginning to be done on the effects of mixing both marijuana and alcohol together.

Some of the side effects that come from combining the two include:

  • Suffering Alcohol Poisoning or Overdosing: An overdose from alcohol can be severe and sometimes fatal. There is an increased risk of experiencing alcohol poisoning or overdosing when using marijuana and alcohol together.
  • Decreased Judgement: When under the influence of one substance, your judgment is impaired. Mixing two substances such as alcohol and marijuana can reduce one’s ability to reason.
  • Inability to Vomit: Marijuana works as an antiemetic, which is a drug that is effective in reducing nausea and limiting vomit. This means that when combined with alcohol, it is harder to expel the alcohol in your system through the act of vomiting.
    When experiencing an alcohol overdose or high level of intoxication, it can be helpful to vomit to get some of the alcohol straight out of your system. Mixing the two substances can limit your ability to do this.

Alcohol and Cocaine

Mixing alcohol and cocaine brings two different kinds of feelings into effect. Cocaine is a stimulant drug, and some effects of it are:

  • High energy and mental focus
  • Anxiety and paranoia
  • Insomnia and restlessness

Alcohol is a depressant that is used for opposite effects of cocaine, such as:

  • Slowed reaction time
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Sleepiness and confusion

These drugs can be used together to “cancel” each other out. Someone who is a user of alcohol might want to boost their energy for the night and sees cocaine as a quick way to accomplish this. Using cocaine and alcohol creates cocaethylene (CE), which is a product that is stronger than cocaine and alcohol alone. Cocaethylene increases toxicity to the liver and heart and can cause a sudden stroke.

Cocaine and Marijuana

The combination of cocaine and marijuana can cause a heightened feeling of euphoria. Using marijuana and cocaine together increases the risk for an accidental cocaine overdose. This is because cocaine constricts blood vessels while marijuana prevents blood vessels from constricting, which means that cocaine will enter the blood much faster.

Using marijuana can slow down time and make you forgetful, so you might end up taking more cocaine than intended. This means you will end up consuming dangerous amounts of cocaine because you have less control over yourself and your decisions.

Heroin and Cocaine

This combination of heroin and cocaine together is also known as a “speedball.” This is said to elicit a more intense feeling of intoxication. People believe that using them together will negate the other, but this is false. Mixing these two is extremely dangerous and can be fatal. Some side effects you might experience when “speedballing” are:

  • Confusion or incoherence
  • Mental impairment
  • Uncontrolled sporadic movements

More severe side effects are:

  • Stroke
  • Aneurysms
  • Respiratory failure

How To Get Help If You’ve Mixed Drugs

Using multiple drugs at once is more likely to result in overdose or death. If you or a loved one is using multiple drugs at one time, you are putting yourself at serious risk. Dealing with the side effects that mixing drugs come with by yourself can induce anxiety and paranoia and be potentially fatal. If you have mixed substances and you do not feel well, you should seek medical attention. Let those around you know that you are struggling so you can not suffer alone.

Drug Cocktails With Soba Recovery

If you or a loved one are at risk for mixing substances, you should seek help at Soba Recovery Centers. Soba Recovery offers individual recovery plans so that your specific needs are met. Whether you need to go through a detoxification program or if you would like to learn more about sober living, we have what you need.

We want to offer you the best care possible. We start with an intake to see where you stand with substances and to help determine what kind of help we can provide you with. For some people, their living situation does not have an environment that supports the healing process and would need to remove themselves entirely. We offer  inpatient residential programs so that you can be monitored and cared for around the clock by medical professionals. If you feel you can’t commit to inpatient care, we offer intensive outpatient programs tailored to your individual needs. And you don’t need to worry about leaving your family or home to move forward on your path to recovery.

Soba Recovery Center has two locations: Mesa, Ariz., and  San Antonio, Texas. Reach out to a Soba representative to learn how we can help you. Everyone deserves the help they need, and if you’re struggling, asking for it can be the hardest part. Just know that at Soba Recovery, we’re dedicated to improving your health and helping you gain control of your life for ultimate happiness.



Forensic Drug Profile: Cocaethylene | NCBI

Dangers Of Mixing Drugs | Government of South Australia

What are the effects of mixing marijuana with alcohol, tobacco or prescription drugs? | CDC

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