Mixing Alcohol and Hallucinogens

drinking booze with trippy drugs is like trying to juggle fire
Hallucinogenic drugs and alcohol have different effects on the body and mind, but they can both cause harm when abused. If you or your loved one need help treating alcohol addiction or a drug abuse problem, the Clinical Team at Miracles Asia is standing by to help. 
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Scientists haven't been able to fully study hallucinogenic drugs because they are scheduled as dangerous substances. Although limited research has been conducted so far, one thing is clear: hallucinogens affect people in a different way than alcohol.

Needless to say, hallucinogens, in combination with alcohol, lead to numerous adverse effects on the body and mind. Abuse of both alcohol and drugs at the same time develops dependence and later addiction, along with other side effects.

This article explores how hallucinogens, along with alcohol, alter the mind and what side effects may occur.
Key Takeaways
Hallucinogenic drugs have mind-altering effects and can cause hallucinations, altered perception, and loss of control over one's movements.
The effects of hallucinogens depend on the person's state of mind and the setting they are in.
Mixing alcohol with hallucinogens is dangerous, and can cause adverse effects on the body and mind, including nausea, vomiting, and loss of consciousness.

What Are Hallucinogenic Drugs?

Hallucinogenic drugs have mind-altering effects making a person hear or see things that do not exist. The hallucinations that a person experiences depend on the state of mind and the dose of drugs that were consumed. This experience is commonly referred to as a 'trip.'

Commonly abused drugs include the following:
Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD).
Psilocybin mushrooms (also called magic mushrooms).
MDMA (ecstasy).
Dimethyltryptamine (DMT).
Some hallucinogenic narcotics alter not only the mind but can also make a person lose control over one's movements, for example, acting irrationally or violently. 

Dissociative hallucinogens, such as ketamine and salvia, disconnect the users from reality. 

In comparison, non-dissociative hallucinogens, such as LSD and peyote, make people see and feel things differently.

Psychedelic Drug Experience or Set & Setting

The way hallucinogens impact a person's mind depends on two things: set and setting. 

Set is a term used to describe the mental perspective, while setting is a place where a person is.

If a person that consumes psychedelic drugs is in poor mental health and has anxiety or depression, they will have a 'bad trip' or hallucinations that will impact their mind tremendously. On the contrary, a person who is content and mentally stable will have a good set of hallucinations.

When it comes to the setting, the place and activity will also have an influence on one's altered perception. Watching a horror movie will likely intensify hallucinations in a bad way than watching a comedy.

What Are Hallucinogenic Effects?

When a person consumes hallucinogens, they interact with the brain by boosting the level of serotonin. Serotonin, as many may know, is a good chemical that increases happiness. It also plays a key role in mood, sleep, and digestion. 

When hallucinogens reach the brain, the serotonin amount doubles which impacts cognition and emotion.

Dissociative hallucinogens may target glutamate. It is a chemical responsible for cognition and the feeling of pain.

Thus, every person will live through a different experience.

Besides the obvious hallucinogenic effects, other symptoms include the following:

Short-term effects (common)

Lack of appetite.
Increased body temperature and heartbeat.
Odd behavior.
Intensified feelings and visions.

Long-term effects (rare)

Persistent Psychosis (mental health problems such as rapid mood swings, disrupted thinking, and paranoia).
Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (A condition when a person has flashbacks of previous drug experiences).

Is There Hallucinogenic Alcohol?

Alcohol is considered one of the four main intoxicating drugs - depressants. When taken, the substance impacts the central nervous system by reducing its activity. It may lead to lower body temperature and slow and ineffective breathing. 

The dopamine that alcohol produces only happens at the beginning of drinking and disappears soon after. Alcohol abuse sedates the body and mind, leading to depressed respiration and more. 

Taking this into account, alcohol does not have hallucinogenic effects. Still, overconsumption may alter the mind and cause hallucinations but in comparison to LSD and mushrooms, alcohol does not cause vivid images or altered perception. 

At no point does it mean that the substance is safe to consume with hallucinogens, but alcohol may cause delusion and confusion that may pose harm to a person (e.g., one's motor function, memory, reflexes, etc.).

Chronic Alcohol Abuse

While regular moderate drinking will not cause hallucinations, chronic alcohol abuse can. 

Prolonged alcohol consumption will even alter the brain and damage the digestive tract. This can lead to dementia accompanied by psychotic side effects.

Alcoholic Hallucinosis

Unlike psychedelic drug abuse, alcohol hallucinations occur in different forms: commonly auditory but may be provoked by impaired vision and through touch. When people drink alcohol excessively, they experience mood swings, confusion, and delusion. Drinking alcohol may also lead to weakened memory and thinking abilities.

Alcohol Paranoia

One of the possible symptoms of a prolonged period of alcohol use is paranoia. The feeling of being watched or followed may appear along with other associated symptoms. Mixing alcohol with hallucinogens will impair not only the brain but also the body.

What Happens When You Mix Alcohol with Hallucinogenic Drugs?

Hallucinogens alter the mind unpredictably. A person's mood and mental health are two factors that decide whether the experience ends up in a good or bad trip. Nevertheless, drinking an alcoholic beverage may shift the positive experience to a darker side.

Mixing alcohol with hallucinogens is likely to deteriorate a person's health, causing nausea and vomiting, headaches, and even seizures.

When hallucinogens are mixed with high doses of alcohol, a person may feel an increased heartbeat and eventually faint at some point. Psychedelic drugs like psilocybin mushrooms and LSD may bring the body temperature up to a dangerous level.

Drinking alcohol may also alter the perception of reality in both positive and negative ways. Moreover, when drug intoxicated, a person may not realize how much alcohol has been drunk, prompting them to consume more of it.
Mixing hallucinogens with alcohol is like mixing Mentos and Coke - it may seem fun, but it can be explosive.

Side Effects of Hallucinogens & Alcohol

Mixing alcohol with hallucinogens is a dangerous concoction for the brain and body. The two substances belong to two different groups: hallucinogens to stimulants and alcohol to depressants. 

Some people combine them to either balance, or intensify the experience. However, they do not fully understand how this combination really affects the mind.

The effects of drugs are unpredictable, just like it is unknown which one of the 'trips' will be intensified. What's more, a person may lose control over judgment and take too much of either substance, which can eventually lead to an unfortunate overdose.

Here are the risks and side effects of taking both substances simultaneously:
High body temperature followed by shivering.
Loss of consciousness.
Loss of self-control.
Rapid mood swings.
Memory loss.

Similarities Between Hallucinogens & Alcohol

Both alcohol and hallucinogens may have positive and negative effects on the brain. Either of the substances can provide the feeling of calmness and relaxation for a short time -- however, only in low doses and when not mixed together.

On the contrary, high doses of either may impair memory and raise body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can alcohol cause hallucinations?
Overconsumption of alcohol does not lead to drug-like hallucinations. Still, the substance causes strong negative effects on the mind.

Alcohol withdrawal, on the other hand, may cause delirium tremens which may cause delusion and hallucinations.
What does an alcoholic seizure look like?
Alcoholic seizure is mostly caused by alcohol withdrawal. The seizures happen during detoxification, commonly a few hours after a person seizes binge drinking. 

A person is likely to experience hallucinations, fever, rapid heartbeat, and shortness of breath.
What is the difference between alcoholic poisoning vs a 'bad trip'?
Alcoholic poisoning happens when large doses of alcohol are consumed for a prolonged time. Some of the common symptoms of the poisoning include:

 - Confusion
 - Respiratory problems
 - Low body temperature
 - Vomiting
 - Seizures

'Bad trips' happen when a person consumes a hallucinogenic substance when in a poor mood and mental health. Inner emotions and the surroundings play a great role in how a person will feel during the 'high.'

Don't Delay Substance Use Disorder Treatment

Mixing alcohol with hallucinogenic drugs is highly dangerous and may have a lasting impact on mental and physical health. Although some users believe the mixture intensifies or balances the experience, in reality, the two substances do not work together and may only impair your well-being.

If you or your loved one suffers from drug abuse or alcoholism, it is never too late to seek help. Miracles Asia offers personalized substance use disorder treatment where you or your loved one will fight the addiction with support from professionals.

The admissions team at Miracles Asia offer a free, no obligation assessment call that's completely confidential so you can discuss your situation openly with no judgement or pressure to commit to anything.

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The Miracles Asia addiction treatment program has a success rate of more than 85% for clients who stay for longer than 60 days. This statistic is verified by Luxury Rehabs & puts us among the best treatment centers for drug and alcohol addiction on the planet.


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