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Heroin Addiction: Dangerous Drug Combinations

a person holds themself up on a mirror looking down as they think of dangerous drug combinations

Heroin, in its own right, is extremely dangerous. With a high addiction potential and an ever-growing accidental overdose rate, it remains one of the most destructive drugs. Unfortunately, when heroin is combined with other substances, the mixture can be much more deadly. These dangerous drug combinations are sought after because the effects are much stronger, but the consequences far outweigh any temporary high.

Woodland Recovery Center has a heroin addiction treatment program in Southaven, Mississippi. Our evidence-based therapies and on-site treatment services are specifically designed to meet the needs of each individual. We believe that by addressing all aspects of a person’s life, we can provide comprehensive treatment and support for long-term recovery. If you or a loved one struggles with heroin, find the support needed to build a better, drug-free future. Call 662.222.2989 now to get help.

Why Are People Mixing Drugs with Heroin?

People often mix drugs with heroin because they want to increase the drug’s potency. This can have dire consequences, as combining substances increases the risk of overdose significantly. In fact, polysubstance abuse is one of the leading causes of accidental overdose in America today.

Some dangerous drug combinations involving heroin include:

  • Heroin and alcohol
  • Heroin and cocaine
  • Heroin and benzodiazepines
  • Heroin and amphetamines
  • Heroin and other opioids

Each of these combinations will lead to different effects depending on the type and dosage of the drugs used. However, all of them can be extremely dangerous—even deadly.

The Dangers of Drugs or Alcohol Mixed with Heroin

Understanding the effects of these dangerous drug combinations can help you identify the risk of drug abuse.

Heroin and Alcohol

Even though alcohol is legal and widely available, combining it with heroin can be extremely hazardous. Both of these substances are depressants and will slow down the central nervous system. When used together, they can lead to:

  • Slowed breathing and heart rate
  • Impaired motor functions
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Coma or death

Mixing these substances may also lead to reckless behavior, like driving under the influence or engaging in risky activities.

Heroin and Benzodiazepines

While they provide tremendous relief for people with mental health conditions, benzos are highly addictive. Benzodiazepines represent some of the most common anti-anxiety medications on the market, including:

  • Valium
  • Klonopin
  • Xanax
  • Ativan

People who mix heroin with benzodiazepines like Xanax face the same effect as people who mix heroin with alcohol—coma, cardiac arrest, respiratory arrest, and other deadly organ shutdowns.

Heroin and Cocaine

The introduction of cocaine to someone with an addiction to heroin has famously led to the death of many entertainers. This dangerous drug combination is often called a “speedball” and is injected with a syringe. Contrary to alcohol or benzodiazepines, cocaine is a stimulant, the opposite of a depressant. Common side effects include:

  • Agitation
  • Panic
  • Paranoia
  • Restlessness

Crack is a form of cocaine, which is also dangerous to mix with heroin. Both drugs have something in common—the dopamine high. Additionally, cocaine blocks the reabsorption of dopamine by the brain, meaning the dopamine released by the heroin stays active longer. As such, speedballs are even more addictive than their component drugs.

Heroin and Amphetamines

Amphetamines are stimulants like cocaine and form the basis of many prescription medications, including diet pills and drugs prescribed to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Amphetamines cause a rush of dopamine. As you might expect, this makes them highly addictive. Heroin can cancel out the stimulant effect in a manner similar to a speedball. Also, like a speedball, this can cause individuals to ingest a fatal dose of either drug without knowing it.

Heroin and other Opioids

Using heroin with other opioids compounds the organ shutdown effect, a deadly risk. Worse, some people using heroin may be taking more than one opioid without knowing it. Much street heroin is now cut with fentanyl, a synthetic opioid even more powerful than heroin. Drug dealers cut products with fentanyl because fentanyl is cheap. They can increase the potency of their product at a discount, increasing their profit margin at the peril of buyers’ lives.

Start Heroin Addiction Treatment at Woodland Recovery Center

If you or a loved one is living with heroin addiction, seek professional help immediately. Woodland Recovery Center offers a comprehensive treatment program for individuals ready to recover from substance use disorder. Our evidence-based approach is designed to provide support and care to everyone struggling with the effects of drug abuse.

Call 662.222.2989 or complete our online form today to find the help you need.