Mixing substances, whether legal, like alcohol, or illicit, like heroin, is risky. Side effects of different drugs vary widely, and when taken simultaneously, their interaction can be unpredictable. If you or a loved one is abusing alcohol, heroin, or both, it is incredibly important to be aware of the effects of these substances, as well as the risks of combining them. 

Side Effects of Alcohol

Alcohol, though legal to consume for individuals aged 21 and over, can have intoxicating and dangerous consequences when consumed in excess. Generally speaking, the liver can metabolize one drink per hour, and consuming more than that can lead to intoxication. Alcohol is a depressant, or downer, meaning it slows down the functions of the central nervous system. 

Short-term side effects of alcohol may include: 

  • Decreased coordination
  • Impaired judgement
  • Difficulty concentrating 
  • Drowsiness
  • Distorted vision and hearing
  • Slurred speech
  • Blackouts
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness

Side Effects of Heroin

Heroin is an illicit substance, so any amount of its use is considered abuse. Like alcohol, it is also a depressant. 

Short-term effects of heroin use include: 

  • Sleepiness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Clouded cognitive function
  • Nodding in and out of consciousness
  • Euphoria 
  • Heaviness in extremities
  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness

Is Combining Alcohol and Heroin Dangerous? 

Yes, mixing any amount of alcohol and heroin is extremely dangerous, and can be life-threatening. According to research studies, in over half of heroin overdose cases, alcohol also played a predominant role. 

Due to the depressant nature of both substances, when combined, the sedating effect on the central nervous system can slow physical functions down to the point of failure. Combining heroin and alcohol can cause breathing to slow down so much that it ultimately stops, leading to coma, brain damage, and possibly death. Alcohol and heroin can produce these effects individually when taken in excess, but when combined, the likelihood of extreme adverse effects and overdose is amplified. 

Addiction Treatment  

If you or a loved one are abusing alcohol and heroin, it is crucial to seek treatment. Fortunately, help is available for those battling this addiction. Depending on the stage of an individual’s addiction, they may require detox, an intensive treatment program, or both. Fortunately, Knoxville Recovery Center offers various services to those struggling with this addiction. 

Services offered: 

Detox – Our on-site detox clinic accommodates and supports clients as the body sheds all residual traces of alcohol and heroin. Clients are under medical supervision during the detox process to ensure that they remain safe and comfortable. 

Addiction Treatment –  During our addiction treatment program, clients will engage in introductory therapies and exercises that work to prepare them for continued, more intensive treatment outside of our facility. The goal of our addiction treatment track is to stabilize clients so that they are treatment-ready. 

Mental Health Treatment – Our mental health treatment program introduces behavioral therapies rooted in self-expression and holistic exercise. Art therapy, music therapy, and yoga are just a few forms of therapy we offer at the center. Our goal is to help the client reclaim their voice and expose them to treatment within a professional facility. 

Aftercare Planning – Aftercare is designed for individuals who have benefitted from our introductory addiction services and are transitioning into a more intensive addiction treatment program. Once a client is stabilized, they will be encouraged to pursue continued addiction treatment. Our experienced case managers will then work with our clients to place them in a program that addresses their specific wants and needs. 

Addiction is difficult to overcome alone. If you feel that you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol and heroin abuse, our specialists are on standby and ready to help. Call Knoxville Recovery Center and speak with an addiction expert today.

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