Ecstasy and Alcohol, a Deadly Combination
It’s easy to get carried away on a fun night out, but mixing alcohol and ecstasy can have dangerous—even deadly—consequences.
For many, cutting loose at a party often means indulging, whether it’s with food, alcohol or drugs. Ecstasy, also known as molly or MDMA, remains a popular yet dangerous and illicit drug among clubbers and partygoers. The ubiquity of alcohol in social scenes where ecstasy is also present has contributed to a hazardous but increasingly reported practice of mixing the two drugs.
Molly and alcohol have complex and sometimes polarising effects on the body that can lead to serious health complications, including death. Professional addiction specialists at The Cabin Bangkok have seen how ecstasy use exposes people to a long list of risks, and that chasing it with cocktails significantly raises the potential for serious harm.
Mixing Alcohol and Ecstasy Causes Serious Dehydration
Ecstasy has a variety of side effects, but one of the most serious is a rise in body temperature. This causes dehydration in users, and in extreme cases can contribute to heat stroke.
Alcohol however, is a diuretic, causing drinkers to urinate more frequently, which further dehydrates the body. In some cases when people have combined alcohol and ecstasy, neural compartment dehydration occurs, which is when the body attempts to hydrate dehydrated nerves by using fluid from brain cells. This significantly impairs the brain’s ability to function, which can lead to heart and respiratory failure, or coma.
Ecstasy can also cause urinary retention, which when paired with the diuretic effect of alcohol can send serious mixed messages to the body. Essentially, the body overproduces urine, which it then cannot effectively excrete. This can lead to urea poisoning, which can result in significant ill effects to the kidneys and bladder.
In addition, the combined effects of both substances on the nervous system can lead to an irregular heartbeat, also called an arrhythmia, which can disrupt blood circulation and cause significant organ damage.
Mixing MDMA with Alcohol Greatly Impairs Judgement
It is well known that drinking impairs judgment and slows the body’s responses. Ecstasy however, depending on the dose, can produce stimulant or sedative effects, as well as euphoria, hallucinations and disassociation.
How each substance affects users depends on their specific chemical effects on the brain. Ecstasy works to increase the production of serotonin, which elevates the mood and increases feelings of social connection. Alcohol mainly acts as a central nervous system depressant, which is why people who drink too much often lose coordination. Both alcohol and ecstasy increase dopamine levels in the brain, which leads to increased feelings of happiness—and a coinciding desire to maintain that feeling, despite the risks.
Increased Susceptibility to Overdose
The interaction of ecstasy and alcohol in the brain can create a false sense of alertness and wellbeing for the user that masks very real impacts of the drug combination on decision-making and physical response times. This can also make it difficult for others to assess how intoxicated someone is. These factors can lead to further consumption of drugs and alcohol and a delay in getting medical help, which can increase susceptibility to alcohol poisoning or overdose.
Increased Risk of Driving Accidents
Mixing the two can also have serious effects for people getting behind the wheel. Ecstasy has been found in an increasing number of drivers involved in fatal road accidents. A recent study concluded that, “an intoxicated individual might decide to drive because the feelings of alertness caused by MDMA cloud the impairing effects of other drugs such as alcohol, thereby creating a potentially serious risk for traffic safety.”
Signs Someone Might Be Mixing Alcohol with Molly
If you’re with a friend and are concerned they might be combining ecstasy and alcohol, there are some signs to look out for, including:
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Muscle tension and cramping
- Involuntary teeth clenching and grinding
- Blurred vision
- Chills and sweating
It is critically important to monitor a person who has or may have consumed both ecstasy and alcohol, and to seek medical attention immediately if the person suddenly seems ill or disoriented.
Eliminate the Risks: Get Help at The Cabin Bangkok
Getting caught up in the fun and excitement of a club or a party can make big risks seem somehow less threatening. However, the reality is that mixing alcohol and ecstasy has killed people—and could be lethal to you or someone you love. If you find yourself in denial about the risks of your drug use, or if you’re ready to consider a healthier lifestyle, The Cabin Bangkok can help.
Our specialised outpatient programme offers an innovative treatment plan that can help you address your ecstasy use while maintaining work and family commitments. With a 96% completion rate, our effective ‘Recovery Zones’ method focuses on tackling addiction in a comprehensive manner to guide you to a successful recovery. An experienced team of specialists will work with you to identify triggers and root causes of your drug use, coaching you through every stage of the recovery process.
For those who need a more intensive treatment programme away from potential triggers and unhealthy habits, The Cabin Chiang Mai offers a world-class residential rehab facility where you can focus solely on your recovery.
Ecstasy use can lead to serious problems, but you can begin your transition to a safer, healthier lifestyle today. Call The Cabin Bangkok to learn more about how we can help you reduce your risks and maximise your potential.