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Mixing Alcohol and Heroin

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Alcohol and heroin are two of the most commonly used and abused drugs, and people who are addicted to heroin and alcohol often combine the two to increase the effects of each drug. Heroin is an illegal opiate with a strong sedative effect. Alcohol is also considered a sedative, and like heroin, it depresses the central nervous system.

Effects of Mixing Alcohol and Heroin

It is hard to predict the effects of mixing drugs and other substances, as there are numerous factors that affect each drug’s action. The effects of a poly-drug cocktail depend on a person’s mental state, psychological history, body chemistry, existing conditions, and the presence of medications in the body.

In the case of people who are addicted to heroin and alcohol, most experience what is called the synergistic effect or an increased intensity caused by combining two substances or organisms. Because alcohol and heroin both can cause sedation, their individual sedative properties are increased to a higher level. This relationship can be expressed with the 1+1=3 equation. When combined, alcohol and heroin can cause extreme drowsiness, mood swings, nausea, vomiting, constipation, confusion, euphoria, and a lack of inhibitions.

Dangers of Mixing Heroin With Alcohol and Other Drugs

During emergency situations, these effects are often diagnosed in people who are addicted to heroin and alcohol:

  • Abnormally low blood pressure
  • Weak pulse
  • Respiratory depression
  • Slow or no breathing
  • Coma

heroin abuse Most people who are addicted to heroin and alcohol often used the two together with other drugs, including cocaine, amphetamines, marijuana, crystal meth, Vicodin, Ecstasy, and OxyContin. Each of these drugs amplifies the effects of the other drug and can lead to stronger and more adverse side effects compared with when heroin is taken alone. Using a drug in conjunction with other drugs can also decrease the desired effects of each drug. If you take one drug for pain relief, for example, the other can block its effects and render it ineffective.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opiates, alcohol, and prescription drugs are some of the most common causes of death in the United States alone. In 2008, 36,450 deaths were caused by drug overdoses. In 2009, there were 23,199 alcohol-induced deaths and 37,485 drug-induced deaths. In the same year, 1.2 million emergency visits were for the misuse of prescription drugs and 1 million emergency visits were for the illicit use of heroin and cocaine.

Treatment and Recovery for People Addicted to Heroin and Alcohol

“…it is best to consult a specialist and discuss the various treatment and recovery options”
As with any other addiction, it is always possible to overcome a heroin and alcohol addiction. Luxury detox and rehab centers offer the best facilities for combined drug or poly-drug addictions. The detoxification process may involve unique treatments for both heroin and alcohol. A person can also join two local support groups, like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. A luxury detox and rehab center offers one-on-one counseling and cognitive behavioral therapy for heroin and alcohol addiction.

For emergency situations, call 911, or call 1 (800) 222-1222 for the National Poison Control Center. When you or a loved one is addicted to heroin and alcohol, it is best to consult a specialist and discuss the various treatment and recovery options suited for your or your loved one’s specific needs. Call to find the best treatment and recovery center to help you stop mixing heroin and alcohol.


  • The majority of overdoses and poisonings that occur each year are accidents. In these incidents, the overdosed or poisoned individual usually misused the drugs accidentally due to a lack of knowledge or an underestimation of the drug’s potency.
  • Opiates, prescription drugs, alcohol, and illicit drugs have been listed as some of the common leading causes of deaths for decades. The cases of opiate pain reliever overdoses were four times higher in 2008 compared with the overdose rate in 1999.
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