Scientists from the National Institute on Drug Abuse answer common questions teens ask about drug use and addiction. The episode What Happens When Drugs Are Combined? introduces viewers to the health risks and unintended consequences of mixing substances like alcohol and prescription medications.
So, we know that both drugs that people use illegally, and the medications are made of chemicals and these chemicals impact your body in different ways. So, when people combine substances it can have unexpected effects and effects that are different than if you took one of those chemicals alone.
So, all drugs have risks, but I would say that mixing and matching is one of the worst things one can do as it can produce unintended, even fatal effects.
So, it’s important for people to know that taking drugs in combination can be far more dangerous than taking each of those substances by themselves. So, an example of this would be if a person were to take opioids at the same time as they took a stimulant such as methamphetamine or amphetamine or cocaine. So, opioids are nervous system depressants, and they slow down your nervous system, they slow down your breathing rate. Whilst stimulants speed up your body’s need for oxygen, so that can make it more likely that you would have an overdose and potentially die.