Nearly 40 Percent of Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions Involve Both Drugs and Alcohol


Addiction specialists and medical experts have often reminded us that mixing drugs and alcohol is never a good idea, but it seems that a significant number of individuals are not paying attention to this.

alcohol and drugs combinationA SAMHSA news release cited a recent report showing that 37.2 percent of admissions to drug treatment facilities involve dependency on or addiction to both substances. The document, entitled Nearly 40 percent of Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions Report Alcohol-Drug Combinations, is based on SAMHSA’s Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) received during 2009 and up through Nov. 3, 2010. It says that 23.1 percent of all admissions reported the abuse of alcohol and one other drug, and 14.1 percent reported the abuse of alcohol and two or more drugs.

When alcohol is used with other drugs, it tends to be ingested in greater quantities than when used alone. Combining alcohol with other drugs can be dangerous. For example, taking benzodiazepines concurrently with alcohol increases the chances of serious injury or death.

“Even by themselves, alcohol and drug abuse can be devastating to one’s health and well-being, but a combination of drug and alcohol abuse increases one’s risk of serious, life-threatening consequences even more,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde. “If you or anyone you know has a problem with drugs and alcohol, together or by themselves please seek help immediately – it is available and it can help.”

Given the dangers associated with the dangerous usage pattern, SAMHSA stresses that treatment providers identify patients who use alcohol with other drugs in order to provide ample treatment approach.

Some of the drugs that create dangerous effects when combined with alcohol include sedatives, prescription drugs, cocaine, and opiate painkillers.

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