Mixing or combining multiple depressants is considered dangerous because they can magnify each other’s effects causing severe and potentially fatal results. Depressant is a generic term for a wide variety of central nervous system (CNS) depressants. Some of the most common CNS depressants include the following:
- Other opioids
Depressants work by decreasing or suppressing the normal functioning and activity of the brain. This effect is what makes depressants desirable to abusers because it helps to make them feel calm and relaxed. The central nervous system is made up of two main structures, the brain and the spinal cord which are connected to each other. These two structures in turn influence and coordinate activity through all the different parts of the body.
When depressants are consumed or mixed with one another the central nervous system can be depressed to a point where it is significantly slowed down or even stopped. When the central nervous system is depressed parts of the body begin to function abnormally or they stop functioning altogether. Parts of the body like the brain, heart and liver can stop working which can cause a person to fall into a coma or die.
The major dangers of abusing multiple depressants include the following:
- Damage to the esophagus
- Loss of consciousness
- Brain damage
- Reduced heart rate
- Reduced respirations
- Respiratory failure
- Reduced reflexes
- Impaired judgment
- Impaired coordination
- Reduced vision
- Suicidal tendencies
CNS depressants are one of the most widely combined substances for intentional suicide attempts because of their powerfully fatal results. Heroin and alcohol is a common mixture that typically results in accidental or intentional suicide.
Despite these well known facts people continue to abuse multiple depressants in order to achieve euphoria. The euphoria that results from abusing multiple depressants is typically very strong which entices abusers to continue practicing it. It can seem harmless at first but overtime as tolerance builds higher doses of each substance are needed in order to continue achieving the same euphoric feeling.
Tolerance occurs when a person’s body begins to become accustomed to a certain dose of a substance. As time goes by the body starts to require larger doses to produce the same feeling. Abusers crave the feelings of euphoria that are achieved with depressants and commonly do not hesitate to increase the amount consumed in order to get high. When the doses become too high the central nervous system can’t function and parts of the body start to shut down resulting in a coma or death.