Explaining effects of recreational drugs and medication

Health Watch

Can recreational drugs and medication affect each other?
When two or more drugs are taken at the same time (whether they are legal or illegal), they are likely to interact with one another, so that one drug changes the effects of the other.
This means:

  • ONE or both of them may become toxic; and,
  • THEIR effects may be decreased or increased.

Your age, weight, genes, general health and liver or kidney function will make a difference to the way the drugs work.
Mixing different drugs, or mixing drugs with alcohol, is always dangerous.
The effects can be hard to predict, but there are some known interactions:

  • TWO or more depressants – e.g: heroin plus a benzodiazepine or alcohol: the depressant effect will be increased, slowing your heart and breathing – this may be fatal;
  • TWO or more stimulants – e.g, cocaine plus ecstasy: can cause your heart to race (and can be very frightening) – this may be fatal;
  • DEPRESSANT(S) and stimulant(s) – can put a strain on your heart. This can be fatal;
  • COCAINE and alcohol – produces a substance called coca-ethylene, which is poisonous. Alcohol may also suppress the effect of cocaine, so you may take more and overdose;
  • ECSTASY and cannabis – can make you anxious and paranoid;
  • HEROIN and cannabis – very dangerous and easily fatal; and,
  • PREGABALIN – can increase the euphoric effects of other drugs (such as opiates).

Try to set a time for yourself and do invite friends and family over to visit with you.
Share some tea or coffee.
It is important that your interaction with others is vibrant and positive.
Keep smiling and keep life simple; enjoy the simple things in life.
Finally, embrace our Almighty with all your heart, mind and soul.