Alcohol or Drugs: The Shocking Answer to WhatÄôs Worse for You, From the Experts

New products have been marketed such as alco-pops, supersized malt beverage cans, and alcohol energy drinks containing guarana and ginseng. Mixing alcohol with energy drinks such as Red Bull are just as dangerous. Studies show that people who consume these beverages have a higher BAC and a higher rate of injury and other negative consequences than people who drink alcoholic beverages without stimulants. The bottom line is that these drinks are not safe and often lead to higher rates and levels of intoxication. The sweet taste covers the taste of alcohol, giving the false impression one can drink more without the intoxicating effects.

Those deaths included acute causes like car crashes and alcohol poisoning, as well as chronic conditions such as liver disease or cancer. Put another way, alcohol was a factor in 1 in 8 deaths among 20- to 64-year-olds. And in people ages 20 to 49, 1 in every 5 deaths was related to excessive drinking (Esser, M. B., et al., JAMA Network Open, Vol. 5, No. 11, 2022). “Alcohol is a very cheap, widely available, and socially acceptable drug,” said Katie Witkiewitz, PhD, director of the Center on Alcohol, Substance Use, and Addictions (CASAA) at the University of New Mexico. Against that backdrop, and the dizzying scale of the problem, efforts to address alcohol misuse can feel like drops in a bucket.

Treating Drug And Alcohol Abuse

Two groups of synthetic drugs — synthetic cannabinoids and substituted or synthetic cathinones — are illegal in most states. The effects of these drugs can be dangerous and unpredictable, as there is no quality control and some ingredients may not be known. As time passes, you may need larger doses of the drug to get high. As your drug use increases, you may find that it’s increasingly difficult to go without the drug.

When interacting with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Virtual Assistant, please do not include any personal information. All DUI convictions remain on your driver’s record for 10 years. If you get any other DUIs during that time, the court or DMV may give you an additional penalty. The table below shows BAC estimates based on how many drinks are consumed, gender, and body weight.

Reducing the burden from harmful use of alcohol

And trust me, drug dealers would kill (probably literally) for the opportunity to advertise their product so publicly.

  • Flashbacks, or delayed effects, can occur even after use has ceased.
  • Individuals who abuse alcohol are also more likely to abuse other substances, like prescription or illicit drugs.
  • Over time, their body becomes dependent on the chemicals released by each substance and begins craving more.
  • Its negative effects are wide-ranging and can result in injuries, car accidents, violence, and sexual assault.

If you inject drugs, you are at risk for getting or transmitting HIV and hepatitis B and C if you share or reuse needles, syringes, or other injection equipment (“works”) used to prepare drugs. This is because the needles, syringes, or works may have blood in them, and blood can carry HIV. You should not share needles, syringes, or works for injecting silicone, hormones, or steroids for the same reason.


These answers should not be considered an official diagnosis; however, they can warn you of potential substance abuse factors and motivate you to get help. Despite the name, these are not bath products such as alcohol vs drugs Epsom salts. Substituted cathinones can be eaten, snorted, inhaled or injected and are highly addictive. These drugs can cause severe intoxication, which results in dangerous health effects or even death.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a voluntary program for people with alcoholism/AUD, based on belief in a spiritual basis for recovery. Members attend meetings, and experiences are shared, and “Twelve steps towards Recovery” are discussed. Avoiding alcohol and the benefits of avoiding alcohol are discussed.

Alcohol use can cause both short term and long-term problems for those who choose to use it. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant whose effects depend on how much you drink. These effects may range from loss of inhibition with only one drink to making someone “stumbling drunk” to acute alcohol poisoning with loss of consciousness and difficulty breathing. Acute alcohol poisoning usually occurs in situations of rapid alcohol intake such as shots, funneling, keg stands and drinking games.

  • Specifically, dopamine is hypothesized to modulate novelty seeking, characterized by frequent exploratory behavior and intensely pleasurable responses to novel stimuli.
  • Illicit drugs, used to get high, may be taken in overdose amounts when a person’s metabolism cannot detoxify the drug fast enough to avoid unintended side effects.
  • Chronic alcohol abuse can produce dementia, sexual impotence, cirrhosis of the liver, and heart disease; and sudden withdrawal can produce severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, and life-threatening convulsions.
  • Acute alcohol poisoning usually occurs in situations of rapid alcohol intake such as shots, funneling, keg stands and drinking games.

Poorer individuals experience greater health and social harms from alcohol consumption than more affluent individuals. [7] Under
the ADA, illegal use is broader than just the use of drugs that are
commonly viewed as illegal. It includes the use of illegal drugs that are
controlled substances (e.g.,
cocaine) as well as the illegal use of prescription drugs that are
controlled substances (e.g., Valium). For example, in Nielsen v. Moroni Feed
Co., 162 F.3d 604, 611, fn.

It involves family and friends and sometimes co-workers, clergy or others who care about the person struggling with addiction. If your drug use is out of control or causing problems, get help. The sooner you seek help, the greater your chances for a long-term recovery. Talk with your health care provider or see a mental health provider, such as a doctor who specializes in addiction medicine or addiction psychiatry, or a licensed alcohol and drug counselor.

For 12 to 17-year-olds, rates are greatest among Hispanics (6.0%) and Native Americans and Alaska Natives (5.7%) relative to whites (5.0%), African Americans (1.8%), and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (1.6%). In contrast, among adults, the 12-month prevalence of alcohol use disorder is clearly greater among Native Americans and Alaska Natives (12.1%) than among whites (8.9%), Hispanics (7.9%), African Americans (6.9%), and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (4.5%). It has been estimated that there is a 7-fold risk of alcoholism in first-degree relatives of alcohol-dependent individuals, with male relatives of male alcohol-dependent individuals having the greatest risk for the disorder.

Individuals with a mental health condition are typically prescribed an antidepressant such as Zoloft or Prozac. Mixing an antidepressant with alcohol can worsen the side effects of each – a potentially deadly combination. One of the biggest risk factors of consuming alcohol and antidepressants is feeling more depressed or anxious. This can lead to irritability, an inability to sleep and impaired judgment. In Massachusetts, anyone, including drivers and passengers, possessing an open container of an alcoholic beverage in the passenger area of any motor vehicle is subject to a fine of between $100 and $500. A first conviction of driving under the influence of alcohol will result in a fine of $500–$5,000, a one-year revocation of the person’s driver’s license, up to two and a half years in prison, and mandatory alcohol rehabilitation.