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Effects of Mixing Alcohol and Methamphetamine

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If you are addicted to methamphetamine and alcohol, you may often mix the two substances. Many people believe that “downers” like alcohol will make it easier to come down off methamphetamine. In reality, mixing these two drugs can have serious and sometimes fatal results. In fact, 27.6 percent of methamphetamine-related deaths occurred as a result of coingestion with alcohol, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

How Combining These Drugs Affect Your Behavior

Both alcohol and methamphetamine are mind-altering substances. They have a significant effect on the way you think and act. Either one by itself can cause the following effects:

  • Violent behavior
  • Sexual promiscuity
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Violent behavior and sexual promiscuity become even more likely when you mix these two substances. The resulting consequences can be severe. Violent behavior can result in the loss of family and friends, arrest and jail time. Sexual promiscuity can lead to unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV and hepatitis C.

Anxiety and depression seem to be common effects of mixing alcohol and methamphetamine, especially if you do so regularly over an extended period of time. This change can occur because of alcohol and methamphetamine’s ability to change the way your brain works. Depression and anxiety can lead to an increase in drug abuse, a greater likelihood of future drug overdose and suicidal ideation.

Risky Cardiovascular Issues

projectknow-shutter426823906-cpr-on-manMethamphetamine is a stimulant drug. When it is ingested, it increases your heart rate and blood pressure significantly. When you combine it with alcohol, these effects are enhanced. In fact, mixing methamphetamine with alcohol can cause your heart rate to increase by up to 24 beats more than it would on methamphetamine alone. The sharp spike in heart rate and blood pressure puts a burden on your cardiovascular system, which may result in stroke or heart attack. This is especially true if you are addicted to methamphetamine and alcohol and use them regularly.

Both heart attacks and strokes can be fatal. Heart attacks must be treated with a combination of different medications, including anticoagulants, aspirin, vasodilators, and antiarrhythmics. Sometimes invasive procedures, such as bypass and cardiac catheterization, must be implemented. Hemorrhagic strokes must be treated with surgery. If not recognized quickly, they can lead to permanent brain damage and disability. Physical rehabilitation is usually required for total recovery.

Why You Shouldn’t Drink While Using Methamphetamine

Alcohol intoxication is one of the greatest dangers of mixing methamphetamine with alcohol. Using alcohol and methamphetamine at the same time increases the likelihood that you will develop alcohol poisoning. Methamphetamine may mask the effects of the alcohol, which can prevent you from feeling drunk. This may lead you to consume more alcohol. Although you may not feel drunk, your blood alcohol level will continue to rise. If it rises to dangerous levels, you may develop the following signs and symptoms:

  • Hypoglycemia
  • Respiratory depression
  • Loss of coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Heart arrhythmia

You do not have to live in fear of methamphetamine and alcohol’s negative effects.
Alcohol poisoning requires immediate medical attention. Treatment is supportive in nature and consists of IV fluids, dextrose, and if necessary, intubation and ventilation. Thiamine may be given if you have been addicted to methamphetamine and alcohol for a significant time. Even with proper treatment, complications may arise. These include congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, pancreatitis, pulmonary edema and death.

Long-Term Effects

People who have been addicted to methamphetamine and alcohol for an extended period of time are at risk of developing certain negative effects. Memory loss is the most common effect. Both alcohol and methamphetamine negatively impact memory. When the two are combined, this effect is amplified. Psychosis is another concern. Psychosis causes hallucinations, delusional thinking and paranoia. Other long-term effects include malnutrition and ongoing dental issues.


  • A majority of deaths related to methamphetamine abuse occurred due to coingestion with alcohol.
  • Methamphetamine-induced psychosis can last for up to two years after you stop using methamphetamines and alcohol.

Get the Help You Need to Beat Addiction

If you are addicted to methamphetamine and alcohol and are worried about the possibility of suffering long-term effects of your addiction, call us at to find out how we can help.

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