NEW YORK, Oct 15 – A new American study suggests that ingesting large quantities of alcohol often leads to ingestion of other psychotropic substances such as cannabis and opioids, also pointing out that mixing alcohol with drugs amplifies the risks of severe accidents and death.
Since the beginning of the opioid crisis sweeping across the United States, a large part of national harm-reduction campaigns have been focusing on medication and other illicit drugs that are part of the opiate category (fentanyl, morphine, heroin, etc).
According to University of Michigan Addiction Center researchers, there is one drug – one that is perfectly legal and extremely popular – that should occupy more space at the heart of prevention policy.
The study, recently published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, points out that alcohol, used on its own, kills an average of six Americans every day, a statistic that may shock less than the 130 deaths caused by overdoses of opioids daily , in the US alone.
But the research has revealed that, across the 660 subjects who consulted with the University of Michigan's Addiction Center, 90 per cent had experienced an alcohol overdose (such as a "blackout" or alcohol poisoning so as to require medical attention) at least once in their lives.
Eighty per cent of them reported having consumed drugs while drinking, such as sedatives like sleeping pills or marijuana, stimulants like cocaine or crack, or illicit or prescription opioids.
University of Michigan addiction psychologist Anne Fernandez, who led the study, explained that “Alcohol may be more socially acceptable than other substances, but it's still one of our nation's biggest killers, in both its acute and long-term effects, and its role in raising the risk of serious injury during other activities like driving. ”
“We need to understand better how people mix substances, and how overdoses result from the interactions of those substances,” Fernandez continued.
The researcher underscored the need for further research should be conducted on a larger scale, noting that her work was conducted exclusively among a limited number of patients having been admitted to the University of Michigan's Addiction Center. – AFP-Relaxnews