What Happens If I Mix Drugs and Alcohol?

Mixing drugs and alcohol is never a good idea because the effects are always unpredictable. Different drugs have different effects, but what it will do also depends on:

  • what’s actually in it
  • how much you’ve taken
  • what you’ve eaten
  • how tired you are and how you are feeling
  • where you are and what’s going on around you

Your body could shut down 

Generally if you mix alcohol and drugs then the effects of the drugs are exaggerated. This can be dangerous. If you take a depressant drug then combined with the sedative effect of alcohol your body could be at risk of shutting down completely.  

"My mates have mixed alcohol and drugs and they were fine..."

Just because they were OK in the past doesn't mean that you will be OK in the future. Determining the exact reaction you will have is impossible. Everyone reacts differently and results can vary every time. There's also the risk of not knowing what is exactly in the drug you're taking.  

What Happens

Although mixing drugs and alcohol can lead to unpredictable results, here are some common examples of what to expect.


Mixing speed and alcohol has been known to be fatal. Taken together the effects of the speed are exaggerated. Speed puts a strain on your heart so mixed with alcohol it can put more pressure on it.


Ecstasy gives you a buzz and lots of energy. With ecstasy there is a real danger of overheating and dehydration. Drinking lots of alcohol also makes you dehydrated so combing the two will make this a lot worse.


Using cocaine with other drugs or alcohol increases the risk of side-effects. Alcohol and cocaine are very dangerous because they interact in the body to produce a toxic chemical. There is a higher risk of over dose if you mix alcohol with cocaine.


GHB has a sedative effect, dulling your inhibitions and making you sleepy. Even by itself it can cause unconsciousness, coma and death so it’s really dangerous to mix with alcohol.


If you mix heroin with alcohol then you have a much higher risk of overdosing. Even a moderate amount of alcohol can lower the level of heroin that leads to a fatal overdose.

Head back to the Choices for Life campaign page.