Any time two or more drugs are taken simultaneously, the risk of adverse consequences, including fatal overdose, is heightened. The act of mixing various substances is referred to as polydrug use and pertains to both illicit substances and prescription drugs. Methamphetamine and heroin are highly addictive, potent, illicit substances that, when combined, can be a recipe for disaster.
Side Effects of Meth
Methamphetamine is a stimulant, or “upper.” This means that its effect on the central nervous system is activating.
Short-term effects of methamphetamine include:
- Increased wakefulness, decreased fatigue
- Increased activity
- Increased attention
- Euphoric feelings
- Decreased hunger
- Rapid heartbeat
- Increased body temperature
Side Effects of Heroin
Heroin is a depressant, or “downer.” Heroin affects the central nervous system by lowering and slowing its activity.
Short-term effects of heroin use include:
- Heaviness in extremities
- Dry mouth
- Nausea or vomiting
- Clouded cognitive function
- Nodding in and out of consciousness
Combining Meth and Heroin
As heroin is a depressant and meth is a stimulant, the two drugs have opposing effects on the mind and body when mixed. The trend of taking stimulant and depressant drugs simultaneously is sometimes called “speed-balling,” as is often done in an attempt to experience the intense rush of both drugs while avoiding the negative side-effects by counterbalancing them.
For example, a common effect of heroin is extreme drowsiness, but the wakening effect of meth minimizes that by providing a burst of energy. In contrast, meth can cause people to feel agitated and jumpy, but heroin’s sedative effect may minimize this. It is believed by some that, because the two drugs have differing effects, combining them does not lead to an increased risk of overdose. However, this is not true. Combining meth and heroin only increases the risk of an overdose.
While mixing heroin and meth may offset some of their contrasting effects, it will double others. Combining these drugs can amplify effects such as confusion, coordination, and cognitive function. A huge risk of combining drugs like heroin and meth is their effect on the heart: meth increases heart rate, while heroin slows it down. Because the effects of heroin are short-lived in comparison to meth, a decreased heart rate may rapidly increase once the heroin begins to leave the system. This rapid shift in heart rate can cause arrhythmias, heart failure, or stroke.
Treatment for Addiction
Abusing meth and heroin, either separately or combined, can be fatal. Fortunately, help is available for those battling this addiction. Depending on the stage of an individual’s addiction, they may require detox, an intensive treatment program, or both. Fortunately, Knoxville Recovery Center offers various services to those struggling with this addiction.
Detox – Our on-site detox clinic accommodates and supports clients as the body sheds all residual traces of heroin and meth. Clients are under medical supervision during the detox process to ensure that they remain safe and comfortable.
Addiction Treatment – During our addiction treatment program, clients will engage in introductory therapies and exercises that work to prepare them for continued, more intensive treatment outside of our facility. The goal of our addiction treatment track is to stabilize clients so that they are treatment-ready.
Mental Health Treatment – Our mental health treatment program introduces behavioral therapies rooted in self-expression and holistic exercise. Art therapy, music therapy, and yoga are just a few forms of therapy we offer at the center. Our goal is to help the client reclaim their voice and expose them to treatment within a professional facility.
Aftercare Planning – Aftercare is designed for individuals who have benefitted from our introductory addiction services and are transitioning into a more intensive addiction treatment program. Once a client is stabilized, they will be encouraged to pursue continued addiction treatment. Our experienced case managers will then work with our clients to place them in a program that addresses their specific wants and needs.
Addiction is difficult to overcome alone. If you feel that you or a loved one is struggling with meth and heroin abuse, our specialists are on standby and ready to help. Call Knoxville Recovery Center and speak with an addiction expert today.