Alcohol And Meth Facts
Alcohol is one of the deadliest chemicals to date and a highly addictive substance. Continued alcohol use changes the chemical compounds in the brain, causing intense withdrawal symptoms when stopped, ranging from cravings to auditory and visual hallucinations. Roughly 86.3% of people drink alcohol according to a 2018 survey. Furthermore, 88,000 people have died yearly from alcohol-related deaths revealing the complication of alcohol use and its addictive qualities. Alcohol consumption poses risks such as cirrhosis of the liver, brain or kidney damage, depression, jail time for alcohol-related crimes, specific cancers, and fatal overdoses.
Meth is also highly potent, causing almost immediate addictions and intense physical symptoms. In addition to the euphoric side effects of Methamphetamines, the highly abused and potentially fatal substance produces intense withdrawal symptoms that often are avoided by continued drug abuse. After continued use, Meth can cause dental decay damage called Meth mouth, extreme weight loss, skin damage and facial scarring (from picking the skin), heart failure, and psychosis. When people combine multiple drugs, known as poly-drug use, he or she is increasing their odds of suffering fatal overdoses—especially when alcohol is involved.
When people combine multiple drugs, he or she is increasing their odds of suffering fatal overdoses.
Combining Meth And Alcohol
A study drew a connection between the likelihood of Meth abuse and alcohol use. The results concluded “daily drinkers were 5 times more likely to abuse Meth.” In former years, 16% of Meth-related hospital visits included alcohol. A common explanation for why this combination has occurred is for individuals to offset the stimulating effects of Meth with the depressant impact of alcohol or vice versa. Meth reportedly allows the user to drink much more.
As Meth is a stimulant, some people may seek to combine it with alcohol to decrease its effects and create a feeling of balance. The idea that large amounts of alcohol will depress the side effects of Meth via binge drinking can seem to produce a sense of control to hide or mask Meth abuse.
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Meth Abuse And Binge Drinking
Studies found there was an increase of Meth abuse in the case of binge drinking. Binge drinking is marked by drinking large amounts of alcohol in a specific amount of time, varying on genders. For example, women are considered to be binge drinking when they consume 4 or more drinks in a 2-hour timeframe, and when men drink 5 or more drinks in a 2-hour timeframe. According to Very Well Mind, another study conducted by Columbia University and the New York Psychiatric Institute concluded the following when examining men who abused both substances:
- The participants felt less drunk due to this combination.
- Meth “counteracted some cognitive impairment caused by alcohol.”
- Individuals developed a tolerance to both drugs and didn’t feel the effects as strongly as before.
Since some participants did not feel the effects of alcohol as strongly as one would expect. This could cause risky behaviors because of people underestimating their intoxication. For example, drunk driving or handling heavy machinery. Additionally, individuals could seek more alcohol to increase feelings of intoxication, engaging in cycles of binging or heavy drinking. Lastly, conditions like alcohol toxicity can occur if those combining both drugs abuse large quantities of alcohol to offset Meth’s side effects.
Signs Of Meth And Alcohol Abuse
Meth abuse has visibly identifiable symptoms to look for, some of which include, but are not limited to:
- Hyperactive behavior
- Rapid weight loss
- Poor to no appetite
- Heart palpitations
- Dental decay
- Meth tolerance/withdrawal
Alcohol abuse can have more subtle signs, but when combined with Meth can have specific signs. When Meth is combined with alcohol, symptoms can include:
- Increased drinking
- Fatal overdose
- Hallucinations (both from Meth and alcohol use)
- Liver damage
- Kidney damage
- High blood pressure
Meth And Alcohol Withdrawal
Meth and alcohol abuse create withdrawal symptoms that cause disruptive and challenging effects on the mind and body. Signs of withdrawal occur when a drug dependence has taken place. Withdrawal symptoms can range from anxiety to depression, to vomiting, nervousness, dizziness, lack of appetite, and uncontrollable drug cravings. Many people find it difficult to endure withdrawal symptoms if they are trying to get clean; as a result, many opt to go cold turkey. Withdrawal is best when treated by the care of a qualified medical professional, where medications and supervised detox is facilitated. It is imperative to note that alcohol withdrawal can be fatal if it is not medically supervised.
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Why You Should Consider Treatment
Alcohol and Meth both change the structure of the brain, thus, aiming to go cold turkey would prove extremely difficult. Detox is beneficial as patients are safe away from risk factors that can contribute to addiction (bars, friends, etc.). Secondly, the patient has monitored care provided by a medical professional. Standard detox medications are administered in accordance with the patient’s healing timeline. Community-based 12-step support groups that center on unique needs of those involved are available to build rapport during treatment. Some facilities also offer counseling, nutritional plans, exercises and mind-body techniques for relaxation.
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