The Dangers Of Using Heroin With Methamphetamine
Medically reviewed byJoseph Sitarik, DO
January 29, 2019
Abusing any kind of drug is dangerous, but when individuals use multiple illicit drugs at once, they open themselves up to the increased likelihood of serious health consequences. Taking heroin with meth can lead to increased blood pressure, heart failure, or even death. Learn the dangers of polysubstance abuse and help save a loved one.
Abusing powerful illicit drugs can have a number of consequences: effects on health and social life, a strain on relationships, criminal activity. Once you’re pulled into addiction, no part of your life is left untouched. When you abuse two powerful illicit drugs, also called polydrug abuse, the consequences may be twice as dangerous.
It’s common for those who are addicted to substances to abuse a combination of drugs, even if the effects may be deadly. This is partly because prolonged abuse of substances often fosters tolerance, which means the addicted individual no longer feels the effects of the substance.
In an effort to still achieve a “high,” the rush feeling that largely contributes to addiction, people may seek alternative ways to get the desired effects. This includes abusing two drugs at once; it gives a greater chance of securing a high. One of the most popular combinations through time has been taking a stimulant with an opioid, known as a “speedball.” This is usually a combination of cocaine and heroin.
However, as an article from the U.S. National Library of Medicine explains, “with the growing popularity of methamphetamine in recent years, there has been increased use of this drug in combination with other drugs of abuse, including opiates.”
What Are The Dangers Of Using Heroin With Methamphetamine?
As shown in the study for the above article, along with other studies, we find that abusing meth and heroin together is a more potent combination than abusing each substance by itself. Stimulants like meth work to stimulate the body’s functions—it’s why stimulants are such popular drugs of abuse. They come with effects like racing heartbeat and euphoria.
In contrast, opioids have calming and relaxing effects. They produce a euphoria through a sense of well-being and slowed functions. As you might guess, the effects of stimulants and opioids oppose each other, so combining the two drugs can be dangerous.
Heroin will relax a person, slow the breathing rate and motor functions, while methamphetamine will quicken the heartbeat and make you more alert. Moving quickly from one extreme to the other is risky. It can increase the risk of certain health side effects, like a stroke or heart attack, and especially overdose.
The effects of abusing heroin and methamphetamine together can cause increased blood pressure, stopping or slowing of the heart, heart failure, or in extreme cases, death.
Consequences Of Heroin Abuse
Heroin alone comes with a myriad of consequences. Abusing heroin can have damaging effects on your health, including:
- Abscesses (lesions on the skin)
- Bacterial infections of blood vessels
- Reduced perception of pain
- Slowed breathing
- Slowed heartbeat
- Liver or kidney disease
In addition, addiction comes with its own set of consequences. When you become addicted to a highly addictive drug like heroin, your life is taken over by the urge to seek and use the drug. This can get in the way of personal relationships, affect finances, even cause troubles at school or work.
Prolonged abuse and addiction may lead you to make some choices you normally wouldn’t make. Gaining a criminal record can go hand-in-hand with an addiction simply because once you fall into the grips of substance abuse, you have a hard time getting out of it.
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Consequences Of Methamphetamine Abuse
The immediate effects of methamphetamine, which is a powerful stimulant, cause instant results: increased energy and alertness, increased heart rate and breathing, lack of appetite, and increased blood pressure and body temperature.
Meth can cause dire health consequences with long-term abuse. These can include:
- Crawling, itching feeling of the skin, leading to obsessive scratching and sores
- Extreme problems with the teeth and mouth, a condition known as “meth mouth”
- Extreme weight loss
- Angry or violent outbursts
- Auditory and visual hallucinations
With such potent effects to health, addiction to meth may not last long before it ends in disaster. This could be a criminal activity, overdose, or even death. Before letting meth addiction take over your life, or experimenting with other dangerous drugs, it is best to seek treatment.
Treatment is the best resource available for addiction to potent illicit drugs. People who successfully enter and complete treatment see greater outcomes than those who don’t, including stopping the use of substances. At RehabCenter.net, we can help you find and enter a treatment program that’s designed specifically for your needs.
Available Treatment For PolyDrug Abuse
Treatment for any addiction must be comprehensive. In other words, it has to treat all aspects of your health, not just the physical symptoms. The same is true for the treatment of those who abuse more than one substance, but treatment for these individuals must be even more concentrated on healing all aspects.
People with a dual diagnosis, or who have more than one substance use disorder, need help to heal from not one disorder, but two or more. Each disorder has its own set of symptoms, may come with intense withdrawal effects, and may affect your mental health.
Our rehab centers offer a number of different treatment methods, and integrate them to provide a holistic healing experience:
- Treatment specific to men
- Treatment specific to women
- Treatment for teens
- Treatment for pregnant women
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
- Counseling, at the group, family, and individual level
- Adventure therapy
- Wilderness Therapy
- Nutrition and exercise guidance
- Aftercare support
- Professional intervention services
Begin Treatment And Find Hope In Healing
Addiction is a powerful thing, but healing can be more powerful when given the chance. Not everyone who abuses a drug like heroin or methamphetamine wants to become addicted to it. But addiction often follows abuse, and the effects can be dangerous, even fatal.
We want to help you find hope for your life again through treatment. Contact us today at RehabCenter.net to learn more about polydrug abuse, treatment, and the best rehab centers available.Article Sources
Drug Free World - Effects Of Heroin
National Institute On Drug Abuse - DrugFacts: Methamphetamine
National Institute On Drug Abuse - What Are The Long-Term Effects Of Methamphetamine Abuse?
U.S. National Library Of Medicine National Institutes Of Health - Powerful Behavioral Interactions Between Methamphetamine And Morphine