Some patients with depression and anxiety have medical prescriptions for stimulants and depressants. It’s important to note that these drugs don’t cure mental health disorders, but are often prescribed to help reverse the effects of the disorder and make symptoms more manageable.
Stimulants and depressants affect your nervous system differently. A stimulant increases the activity of the central nervous system by making the person feel more confident and energetic.
On the other hand, depressants make the person more relaxed and relieved. Generally, people with depression often get prescriptions for stimulants, while those with anxiety get depressants.
Unfortunately, due to the enhanced effects of these drugs on the nervous system, many people are fond of combining stimulants and depressants for recreational purposes. However, this can be extremely risky and can cause long-term damage.
Read on to learn more about the dangers of combining these two types of medications.
Can You Mix Depressants With Stimulants?
The short answer is yes, it’s possible to mix depressants and stimulants, but only if there is a doctor’s prescription. Generally speaking, it is rare for doctors to do this. Without a prescription, combining these two types of drugs can be dangerous because they have contradicting effects.
Stimulants increase brain activity, while depressants do the opposite. These two contradicting drugs can produce consequences that might lead to significant damage to your health. If someone you know is doing this recreationally, you should try to remind them gently that mixing these drugs is risky. If you’re doing this yourself, let this be a reminder for you.
The clinical symptoms of combining stimulants and depressants include:
- Drug overdose
- Cessation of breathing
- Cardiac arrest, heart attack, heart failure,
What Do Stimulants Interact With?
Taking stimulants without a prescription is dangerous since it might have adverse interactions with other medications. That’s why recreational and illicit stimulants are very risky if the user is also taking other medications. For example, taking some antipsychotic drugs reverses the effects of psychomotor stimulants. If you’re taking blood pressure medications, stimulants may antagonize the effects of these drugs.
Stimulants mainly interact with two hormones: dopamine and norepinephrine. Dopamine is the hormone responsible for feeling good. They are released when you perform activities you love, eat comfort food, or receive positive comments from others. On the other hand, norepinephrine is responsible for the fight-or-flight response by affecting blood pressure, anxiety levels, and heart rate.
Doctors prescribe stimulants to patients with late-life, treatment-resistant depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and narcolepsy. Stimulants help increase the attention span of ADHD patients and prevent any aggressive or impulsive behaviors. Narcolepsy patients benefit from stimulants since they benefit from increased levels of dopamine and norepinephrine, which prevents them from feeling drowsy.
What Are Depressants?
Depressants are drugs that reduce stimulation or arousal. It slows down the nervous system to make the person feel more relaxed and at ease. Doctors often prescribe depressants to patients with anxiety, acute stress reactions, and panic disorders. Since these mental health disorders cause the nervous system to react faster, depressants can help reverse these effects to help the patient cope without excess stress.
At normal levels, depressants can reduce stress, slow reaction time, enhance mood, and slow breathing. People with panic disorders will benefit from depressants to help them feel more relaxed and controlled during triggering situations. High doses of depressants can result in vomiting, irregular breathing, blackouts, and even death.
What Is It Called When You Mix A Stimulant And A Depressant?
Combining stimulants and depressants is called polydrug use. Under polydrug use, users take more than one drug at a time. The reason behind polydrug use is to enhance or amplify the effect of drugs on the person. For example, combining alcohol and depressants gives the user an enhanced feeling of relaxation. But for stimulants and depressants, it’s difficult to predict the effects.
These two drugs have contradicting effects on the body. Moreover, hundreds of stimulants and depressant drug variants have different effects and side effects. Combining these two can produce unpredictable, and maybe even undesirable effects.
What Would Happen If You Took A Stimulant And Depressant Simultaneously?
It’s never safe to take stimulants and depressants. However, the actual effects of this concoction depend on a number of factors, including the:
- age of the person
- weight of the person
- dosage taken
- strength of the drugs taken
- consumption of other substances (e.g., alcohol) or other medications (e.g., antihypertensive drugs)
Taking stimulants and depressants can cause extreme levels of intoxication which might be difficult for the body to handle. This combination can cause comatose, suppressed or cessation of breathing, respiratory failure, cardiac arrest, heart attack, seizures, brain damage, and stroke.
Another possible scenario when combining stimulants and depressants is a fatal overdose. You can experience a more fatal overdose than overdosing on one drug. The contradicting signals of these two drugs make them more dangerous when taken above regulated dosage.
Do Stimulants Worsen Depression?
Not necessarily, but as with everything, it’s always best to stick to the recommendations of your medical professional.
A popular stimulant used in ADHD patients today is dextroamphetamine-amphetamine or Adderall. Some ADHD patients also have depression, and some doctors prescribe Adderall. While it is not an FDA-approved drug for treating depression, it has been used as an off-label treatment.
While stimulants can help with depression, they can also worsen the condition due to substance addiction or withdrawal. Adderall can also be habit-forming, which can lead to reliance and abuse. Speaking with a mental health professional is ideal before asking for this drug.
Combining stimulants and depressants is not a good practice. Even doctors rarely combine these two drugs because of their contradicting effects. It is difficult to determine the effects of this combination due to the numerous variants of stimulants and depressants.
Struggling with an addiction to stimulants and depressants? The good news is it is treatable. The Owl’s Nest is a 10-acre rehab facility in Florence, South Carolina that offers professional addiction recovery services under the supervision of experienced staff. Here, you can experience drug recovery with supportive housing and a friendly drug rehab team. We offer a wide array of treatment programs, including inpatient, outpatient, partial hospitalization, rehab, therapy, counseling, and more.
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