Mixing alcohol with other drugs

Alcohol is a drug. When you take alcohol with another drug, there is interaction in your body where one drug alters the other drug’s effects. Mixing alcohol with other drugs can be unpredictable and dangerous. If you take alcohol with other drugs, the effects could be nausea, illness or death.

Alcohol and prescribed medicine

If your GP prescribes medicine for a health condition or illness, you shouldn’t drink alcohol while taking the medicine. Alcohol can stop the benefits medicine has on your body. There are also health risks if you take over-the-counter painkillers or stolen prescription drugs with alcohol.

Alcohol and amphetamines

Amphetamines increase your heart rate, breathing and blood pressure. Taking alcohol and amphetamines together puts pressure on your heart and could cause death. 

Amphetamines can also raise your body temperature and cause dehydration, which is worse if you also drink alcohol. 

As amphetamines can give you a false sense of sobriety, you might drink more to become intoxicated. You can also feel that you have more energy and confidence but, mixed with alcohol, you can become aggressive and paranoid.

Alcohol and cannabis

Alcohol and cannabis together can lead to the cannabis having a stronger effect than normal.  You can also experience physical and psychological side effects.

When using alcohol and cannabis together, you may experience:

Alcohol and cocaine 

Alcohol and cocaine in the bloodstream form a toxic substance known as 'cocaethylene'.  It is more toxic than either drug alone. Cocaethylene is linked to liver damage and can cause fatal heart problems. 

Mixing alcohol and cocaine can give you a false sense of sobriety, so you might drink more to become intoxicated. By taking both drugs together, you’re likely to be aggressive and behave violently.

Alcohol and ecstasy (MDMA)

Alcohol and ecstasy (MDMA) both dehydrate your body. By taking both together, you risk overheating and becoming very dehydrated.

The combination of alcohol and ecstasy puts pressure on your liver and kidneys. This could cause these organs to stop working.

Alcohol and heroin

Heroin slows down your heart rate and breathing. Your risk of overdose increases when you take alcohol with heroin. You might choke if you vomit, as both drugs together impair your gag reflex.

More useful links

Share this page

What do you want to do?
What is your question about?
Do you want a reply?
Your email address
To reply to you, we need your email address
Your feedback

We will not reply to your feedback.  Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

This feedback form is for issues with the nidirect website only.

You can use it to report a problem or suggest an improvement to a webpage.

If you have a question about a government service or policy, you should contact the relevant government organisation directly as we don’t have access to information about you held by government departments.

You must be aged 13 years or older - if you’re younger, ask someone with parental responsibility to send the feedback for you.

The nidirect privacy notice applies to any information you send on this feedback form.

Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.
Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.

What to do next

Comments or queries about angling can be emailed to anglingcorrespondence@daera-ni.gov.uk 

What to do next

If you have a comment or query about benefits, you will need to contact the government department or agency which handles that benefit.  Contacts for common benefits are listed below.

Carer's Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912
Email 
dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Discretionary support / Short-term benefit advance

Call 0800 587 2750 
Email 
customerservice.unit@communities-ni.gov.uk

Disability Living Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912 
Email dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Employment and Support Allowance

Call 0800 587 1377

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Contact your local Jobs & Benefits office

Personal Independence Payment

Call 0800 587 0932

If your query is about another benefit, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

Comments or queries about the Blue Badge scheme can be emailed to bluebadges@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk or you can also call 0300 200 7818.

What to do next

For queries or advice about careers, contact the Careers Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Child Maintenance, contact the Child Maintenance Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about claiming compensation due to a road problem, contact DFI Roads claim unit.

What to do next

For queries or advice about criminal record checks, email ani@accessni.gov.uk

What to do next

Application and payment queries can be emailed to ema_ni@slc.co.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about employment rights, contact the Labour Relations Agency.

What to do next

For queries or advice about birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates and research, contact the General Register Office Northern Ireland (GRONI) by email gro_nisra@finance-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries about:

If your query is about another topic, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

For queries or advice about passports, contact HM Passport Office.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), including parking tickets and bus lane PCNs, email dcu@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about pensions, contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre.

What to do next

If you wish to report a problem with a road or street you can do so online in this section.

If you wish to check on a problem or fault you have already reported, contact DfI Roads.

What to do next

For queries or advice about historical, social or cultural records relating to Northern Ireland, use the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) enquiry service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about rates, email LPSCustomerTeam@lpsni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about  60+ and Senior Citizen SmartPasses (which can be used to get concessionary travel on public transport), contact Smartpass - Translink.