What Are the Dangers of Mixing Ecstasy With Alcohol?

Combining alcohol and ecstasy can lead to bizarre behavior and potentially deadly consequences.
Combining alcohol and ecstasy can lead to bizarre behavior and potentially deadly consequences. (Image: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Ecstasy, or MDMA, is an illicit drug that generates a sense of euphoria, intimacy and calmness in an individual who takes it. Some people are tempted to combine ecstasy with alcohol, but doing so can be dangerous. Mixing drugs is never a good idea, but mixing ecstasy with alcohol can be a particularly bad decision.

Intensifies Alcohol's Effects

Heavy drinking will dehydrate the body and lead to a hangover the next day. Adding ecstasy to the mix will intensify the effects, further dehydrating the body and leading to an even more powerful hangover. A person who is high on ecstasy also might drink more alcohol than he otherwise normally would, which can put the person at risk of alcohol poisoning as well as a massive hangover.

Intensified Ecstasy's Effects

Alcohol amplifies the risks of ecstasy, which can cause confusion, depression and insomnia. Ecstasy also might cause effects similar to cocaine, such as increased heart rate, muscle tension, chills and blurred vision; in rare cases, it can cause hypothermia, which can result in failure of the liver, kidneys or cardiovascular system, which in turn might result in death. Alcohol is involved in most ecstasy-related deaths.

Leads to Dangerous Levels of Intoxication

Alcohol will increase the level of intoxication while making the person taking the drugs unaware of any changes. Mixing alcohol with MDMA can cause a person to engage in bizarre behavior and completely forget about it the next day. Because MDMA is a stimulant and alcohol is a depressant, they counteract each other and might cause the user to take large amounts of both, potentially leading to death from overdose.

Drug Addiction

Combining alcohol could lead to a greater likelihood of becoming addicted to ecstasy. Because the two drugs counteract each others' effects, a person might take more of each substance, not realizing how much she is taking. This might make feelings of withdrawal more powerful and difficult to ignore afterward, which might in turn lead the person to seek out more drugs and more highs.

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