There are many drugs, both legal and illicit, which can cause fatalities in the people who take them. Mixing drugs together can be an even deadlier cocktail. Some drugs, which might not be nearly as lethal on their own, become very dangerous when mixed with other substances. This problem is especially prevalent with men, who have rates of chemical dependence and overuse two to three times higher than women. If you have a man in your life that is in the habit of mixing substances and using, we’ve uncovered these deadly drug combinations for men that are worth sharing with those you care about.
Men and Drugs
Men tend to ingest more of a drug than women do when comparing amounts and frequency of use in both genders, generally speaking. This could be due to men’s greater body mass, which requires more of the same substance to get the same effect. However, it may also be due to societal expectations and pressure for men to behave in certain ways.
These stats put men at higher risk of overdoses, and this is true when the drugs they take are combined or taken alone. These are some of the deadlier combinations, which have become prevalent today.
The Gray Death is a new combo with an apt name. The concoction is so lethal, it can kill you instantly even if you have developed a tolerance for opiates. It is currently showing up in Gulf Coast states as well as Georgia and Ohio, but authorities believe it could spread.
It resembles gravel or concrete and consists of several different opiates including heroin, fentanyl and carfentanil. Different batches of Gray Death yield different ratios of component parts, but most also feature a lesser-known synthetic opiate called U-47700.
Heroin and Cocaine
Many users believe that stimulants and depressants can cancel each other’s effects, if used in the right ratios. In truth, both drugs can do damage without the user feeling the full effects of either drug. Many users take too much under the mistaken belief that the drugs are not taking effect, leading to frequent cases of overdose.
The theory, in those using these opposing-effecting drugs, is that stimulants are taken to help a person stay up while depressants are used to come back down. People call this combination a speedball. Famous celebrities Chris Farley and John Belushi both died because of speedballing, taking stimulants and depressants together.
Antidepressants and Ecstasy
Ecstasy can induce sensations of euphoria. But when the effect wears off, the user often sinks into depression. Many seek to counteract this depression with antidepressants. The problem is that antidepressants will lessen the effect of the ecstasy, which leads many to increase the amount of ecstasy taken. This cycle spills into the other drug, as a greater need for antidepressants arises as well.
The end result can be serotonin syndrome, a group of symptoms that may occur with the use of certain serotonergic medications or drugs. The degree of symptoms can range from mild to severe. Symptoms include high body temperature, agitation, increased reflexes, tremor, sweating, dilated pupils, and diarrhea. In extreme cases, it can lead to death.
Alcohol and Benzodiazepines
Whereas some drug combinations, when taken, are meant to cancel each other out, alcohol and benzodiazepines actually enhance each other’s effects. Benzodiazepines include Xanax, Valium and Klonopin. Already dangerous enough on their own, this cocktail becomes even more dangerous if the user experiences memory loss due to the effects of the drugs. If someone forgets how much alcohol they have consumed, or how many benzo pills they have swallowed, they may feel safe to take even more. This can lead to respiratory failure, liver damage and death.
Alcohol and Ecstasy
This combination is popular among teens and young adults who like to go clubbing. Ecstasy gives a sense of euphoria but is followed by a crash, often into depression. Alcohol can enhance the magnitude of the crash. Also, ecstasy can mask the effects of inebriation, causing people to think they are sobering up, which leads to more drinking. It is very common for those who mix alcohol with ecstasy to experience alcohol poisoning. The ecstasy creates a false sense of sobriety and users often don’t realize how much alcohol they have consumed.
Ingesting alcohol and ecstasy together can also produce anxiety, dehydration, depression, aggression, kidney and liver damage, as well as even cardiac arrest.
Sedatives and Alcohol
Alcohol is a depressant that affects the central nervous system. Sedatives do the same thing. Combining these two can overly sedate a person, which suppresses respiration, ultimately killing the person who takes them.
Other symptoms of co-mingling sedatives and alcohol are suicidal thoughts and severe confusion, as well as mood swings and loss of consciousness. Mania, delusions, and slow reflexes are also reported in those who take alcohol with sedatives.
Cocaine and Alcohol
Chronic users are not the only ones to die from mixing cocaine with alcohol. This combination is so deadly that it can kill after a single use. This danger multiplies because alcohol is legal, easy to acquire, and the combination of the two is prevalent among those who mix different drugs together.
Each substance, on its own, is hard on the liver. When taken together, they can seriously damage this vital organ. What’s more, the liver creates a substance called cocaethylene when under siege from both cocaine and alcohol. The cocaethylene reduces the body’s capacity to deal with both substances, making this drug combination lethal.
When taken together, cocaine and alcohol can lead to heart failure and death, even on the very first use in combination.
Krokodil is the Russian word for crocodile. This drug is so named because users, who rarely last more than a few years once they start taking the drug, develop gangrene, abscesses, and rotting of flesh. Their scaly skin often resembles the skin of a crocodile.
In many far-reaching areas of Siberia, maintaining a heroin habit can be an expensive proposition. Some turn to cheaper alternatives instead, and that is where Krokodil comes in. Made from components like lighter fluid and gasoline mixed with codeine, Krokodil is desomorphine, a heroin substitute, more deadly than heroin.
Authorities are watching out for its arrival in the United States and hope to avoid that scenario.
More Is Not Better in Drug Use
Drug abuse is hard on the person who uses as well as the friends and family who must watch the decline of the person they love. When drug abuse desensitizes people, they often go looking for something more potent, frequently turning to drug cocktails or combinations to get the feeling they crave. This is a bad idea with frequently tragic results.
Don’t become a victim of a deadly drug combination. Don’t let someone you love fall prey to it either. It is important to know the dangers that come from mixing drugs, and vital to seek treatment for any problems with addiction.