Mixing alcohol with marijuana is one of the most common poly-drug uses. Too often it’s done without any thought of the increased harm and danger it poses. While the goal of increasing intoxication or ‘’the high’’ is achieved, the potential damage is also doubled. Some people go beyond just mixing alcohol and marijuana and introduce other drugs. The more different types of drugs are used, the higher the risk.
The Effect Of Mixing Alcohol and Marijuana
It’s impossible to predict the combined effect of alcohol and marijuana as the reactions may differ from individual to individual. However, most medical experts agree that it could be life-threatening.
Although many people do not consider alcohol a drug, experts consider it a drug because of its lack of nutrient value and its effect on the brain. Alcohol affects the motor function and depresses the nervous system. While marijuana is also psychoactive like alcohol, it affects areas of the brain responsible for cognitive functions causing paranoia, attention deficit, distorted sense of time, and much more, by acting on the cannabinoid receptors.
However, the effect of using both alcohol and marijuana is not simply a combination of both adverse effects. Research showed that using both of the drugs together accentuates the effect of both. The amount of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, in the blood of those that combined marijuana and alcohol is double that of those that just took marijuana at a similar dosage. In addition, combining both substances induces the symptoms faster, even for those with a high tolerance for marijuana.
Marijuana usually causes impair judgment and increases the heart rate. Combining it with alcohol increases these symptoms and it could be fatal for someone with heart disease. Accidents can occur due to losing track of time and space, real-time functioning, and impaired motor coordination.
Underestimating The Effect Of Marijuana
Users of both drugs often underestimate the effect of combining both- thinking that they haven’t taken more dose than usual and that they can handle the effect. However, the increased absorption of THC into the bloodstream enhances the effect of marijuana, meaning that a normal marijuana dose for a user becomes abnormally high.
Marijuana does not increase the effect of alcohol in this way but the symptoms associated with alcohol use remain.
Is there a moderate dose? The answer is not that straightforward as the effects differ from individual to individual. However, you are strongly advised not to drive under the influence of what you would consider a moderate dose. The number of deaths, majorly due to accidents under the influence of alcohol and marijuana is on the increase. Unfortunately, a lot of innocent people are also paying the price of other people’s risky behaviour.
Users taking marijuana for medical reasons are strongly advised to wait several hours before taking a drink. Adolescents are the most at risk of combining these drugs and research shows that they start engaging in this act shortly after been introduced to marijuana or alcohol.
Preventing drug abuse totally remains the best course of action to avoid drug dependency or addiction and ensuring a safer society.