By Alex Hudson/ Drug Information Center
When doing the research for this column I realized that this is a huge topic. Imagine making a chart and writing every drug on it and then drawing lines connecting all of them into a crazy drug-fueled spider web and then trying to write about it in approximately 700 words. It’s hard. And confusing.
So we are going to stick to the college classic, alcohol, and mix it up from there. Expect more info on poly-drugging in the future and don’t hesitate to ask me if you’ve got specific questions. Also, all of the information in the article is not absolute since everyone’s bodies are different.
Let’s start with some Alcohol 101. Alcohol is a depressant which means that it slows down your body’s ability to do stuff like make (good) decisions, coordinate your limbs, and breathe. Drink enough of the stuff and you might find yourself in quite a pickle (ie: alcohol overdose).
Mix the sauce with other depressant drugs and you have yourself a recipe for disaster. Any sort of sedatives (sleeping pills, Quaaludes, barbituates) are to be considered a dangerous mix. The effects are unpredictable and in high enough doses can be fatal. Even a small amount of sedatives combined with alcohol can be wickedly incapacitating, and not in a fun way. This same warning applies to anti-anxiety medicines, antipsychotic sedatives, and even antihistamines. You are likely to feel the effects of a small amount of alcohol, get real sloppy, and potentially fall and have a boo-boo.
Anti-depressants and antibiotics are vast classifications of drugs with very different effects on the body. While I may be smart, I’m no doctor, so always ask a real one. If you don’t feel comfortable, the Student Health Center’s website has a place for you to “Ask the Doc” questions confidentially. It’s a cool resource and I suggest people use it.
I also want to remind everyone out there that if you are taking medicines and have even a drink or two, you should never ever drive your car. Boozing and cruising is not cool, it’s illegal, risky, and expensive if you get caught. Call a cab or a sober bud.
Don’t start toasting your bros yet because dangers is still around. We’ve made it through the licit drugs but the illicit kind have yet to be reckoned with. Illicit drugs are a tough crowd. Due to their strictly black-market nature, issues of purity make answering this question a little trickier. But, as usual, we’ll do our best.
Getting “crunk” (smoking weed and drinking), a past-time immortalized by Lil’ Jon, is a good way to get an upset stomach. For many people, this is the point where the party stops and quality time with the toilet kicks in.
Pain-medicines of the opiate variety (as well as heroin and methadone) are not a good idea to combine with alcohol. In low doses you can plan on feeling nauseous and probably vomiting. In higher doses you are putting yourself at a high risk of overdose because opiates act as a depressant on the respiratory system, just like alcohol.
A huge no-no is to mix alcohol and PCP, Special K, or GHB. These drugs are sedatives and since they are illicit, you never know the purity. This combination can kill you.
Drinking and doing stimulants (cocaine, adderall, meth) may seem like a way to keep the party hopping all night long, but as with anything, there are consequences.
Stimulants tend to decrease the perceived effect of the alcohol. This often leads people to drink more than usual and put themselves at risk for alcohol overdose. Alcohol and stimulants also both increase heart rate, too much of the combo and your ticker can peter out (heart attack=bad).
Ecstasy dehydrates the body, as does alcohol. They also both increase body temperature. Mixing the two can leave you hot and dry, a bad combo for a body that wants to be warm and wet.
As for hallucinogens, mixing alcohol and LSD (acid) or mushrooms decreases the visual hallucinations, and people report that they drink more alcohol and don’t feel drunk. Anytime this happens, people are liable to drink more than they intended and put themselves at a risk for alcohol poisoning. Hallucinogens are unpredictable, and no two trips are the same. Mixing them with alcohol is even more unpredictable, so you are really at the whim of fate if you mix.
I’m beginning to feel like a broken record but I can’t stress the point enough: moderation. You don’t have to party like Motley Crüe to have a good time (I mean, look what happened to those guys). Parties are always better when no one dies or spends all night throwing up. And don’t forget to contact me if you have any questions at all.
Live long and prosper.