The drugs discussed this chapter can all be dangerous when taken by themselves. But when mixed with alcohol, the effects are unpredictable, and can be deadly. Alcohol tends to multiply the effects of other drugs. It can cause deadly reactions and cause a normal dose to produce overdose effects. Ignoring for a moment the effects on driving, combining alcohol with other drugs can easily kill you.
Combining alcohol with over-the-counter drugs as simple as aspirin can be dangerous. Most nonprescription drugs carry the warning: "Avoid alcoholic beverages while taking this product." Common reactions to combining alcohol with nonprescription medications are severe drowsiness, wooziness and loss of perception. Combining alcohol with cocaine will produce a combination of intoxication and euphoria. Combining alcohol with other depressants is particularly dangerous. The alcohol, already a depressant, can multiply the sedative effect so much as to stop vital cell action and cause instant death.
Since nonprescription drugs are used so often and so casually, it is easy to forget when drinking that one has taken them earlier. One could feel dizzy or even pass out in the evening following a few drinks, and never attribute it to the decongestant one ingested earlier in the day. One should be very careful not to let such a situation occur.
Combining alcohol with other drugs becomes a problem at parties, where both substances are often present. Especially if you consider the judgement-distorting quality of alcohol, after a few drinks one is much more open to experiment with some other drugs. Most young people who are heavy drinkers also use psychoactive drugs.