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[ Mixing Substances ]

Mixing substances is often described as polydrug use where someone takes two or more different drugs in a session. People often use a drug of choice such as alcohol, cannabis, cocaine or speed and will top up, come down, or replace it with other drugs. This kind of drug use is very common however combining drugs can increase or change their effects which are often quite unpredictable.

Uppers

Mixing two or more uppers together such as cocaine, speed, mephedrone and MDMA can increase your high however it can also put a lot of strain on your body and you may be more likely to develop negative effects such as palpitations, chest pain, sleeplessness, overdose and heart problems. It is also more likely that the comedown will be more intense and may lead to people using downers to ease the effects.

Uppers and Downers

Mixing uppers with downers such as alcohol, cannabis and benzodiazepines may take the edge off the ‘come up’ or ‘come down’ but it can also put more strain on your body as one drug is speeding up your heart rate and breathing and the other is trying to slow them down. Cannabis and benzodiazepines are a popular choice to help with a come down however they may also cause negative effects such as anxiety and paranoia to become more intense.

Downers

Mixing two or more downers can be very dangerous as the risk of overdose is much more likely. Alcohol is one of the most common downers used with other drugs and mixing it with other downers such as GBL/GHB, heroin and benzodiazepines can make your heart rate and breathing dangerously low and you may become very sleepy and unresponsive. This can also increase your risk of being sick and choking in your sleep.

Anti-depressants

Taking drugs while you are on a course of anti-depressants can interfere with the way the medication works or change the effects of the other drugs you take. If you drink alcohol while on anti-depressants you might feel that you get drunk more easily or experience blackouts. You might also feel low for a longer time after you have been drinking. Using substances like MDMA while taking certain antidepressants can be very risky as the two substances are asking your brain to do opposite things. Similarly some kinds of anti-depressants react with trippy drugs like mushrooms, LSD and synthetic trips like 2CB. Tripping while you are feeling down, experiencing mental health issues or taking medication is not advised. For more information about anti-depressants search for "antidepressants" in the drugs A-Z.

What you need to know

If you choose to take different drugs in one session:

Allow the effects of one drug to wear off before taking another one
Avoid mixing uppers and downers as this puts a strain on your heart (making it slow and speed up at the same time)
Avoid mixing pain killers and downers as they both slow your heart and breathing right down
Avoid using alcohol as this changes the effects of most substances making them more risky
Try to use different ways to come down; Chill out in a comfortable place with friends
Replace fluids and increase vitamin C by sipping water, isotonic drinks or fresh orange juice regularly (no more than 1 pint an hour when taking drugs)