RSA staff should know that combining alcohol and other drugs can add further complications to a person’s health and wellbeing.
Alcohol belongs to the depressant category of drugs because it affects the central nervous system and causes it to function in a different way. Combining alcohol with any other drug can be dangerous or cause discomfort. The negative effects of one drug may be greatly increased by the other. It can also reduce the effectiveness of medications such as antibiotics.
Mixing alcohol with drugs such as sleeping pills, tranquillisers and marijuana which depress the body’s systems, can increase loss of judgement and coordination, and even cause breathing failure.
Certain drugs such as stimulants may mask the effect of the alcohol and cause a person to feel that they’re not intoxicated. This can place that person at risk of an alcohol-drug related injury as they may feel over-confident, and think that they are fine, even though they are in fact quite intoxicated. There’s also a greater danger of overdose when mixing any drugs with alcohol.
Learning about how alcohol can impact on your health and how the consumption of alcohol can affect a person’s mood and behaviour is a key component of responsible service of alcohol (RSA).