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Dangerous Drug Interactions

Dangerous Drug Interactions

When a person visits their doctor, they are likely asked what medications they are currently on. This is because combining certain substances can lead to adverse and even deadly reactions for the users. At Banyan Delaware, we understand the harm that can result from mixing drugs and taking several substances at a time. Especially when misused or taken without a prescription, mixing drugs can cause severe reactions and side effects. Individuals struggling with substance abuse, or the misuse of drugs can avoid dangerous drug interactions by getting help at our Delaware rehab center.


The Dangers of Polysubstance Use

For centuries, alcohol has been a popular aspect of social gatherings and religious rituals and has even been used as medication. Other drugs are prescribed by doctors for a multitude of reasons. Taking these drugs is often part of a daily ritual. Some prescription drugs help lower your blood pressure, prevent stroke or heart attack, and alleviate pain.

For many people, it is common to take several of these every day, sometimes back-to-back, which is referred to as polysubstance use. However, these drugs often have side effects of their own, which can worsen or be life-threatening if mixed with other drugs. Unfortunately, dangerous drug interactions are becoming a growing concern in the U.S. A study conducted by Nolan and O’Malley reported that patients who took ten or more prescribed drugs had over a 90% chance of experiencing major drug interactions.1


Examples of Drug Interactions

Many people are unaware of how dangerous drug interactions can be or which ones are the most common. There are numerous drug combinations to avoid unless you are specifically advised to do so by your doctor. Factors that contribute to drug interactions include the properties of the drugs, the dosages, how often they are being taken, the person’s current health condition, and any other additional medications or substances that are being used. Negative side effects can occur from various combinations of drug interactions.

Some of the deadliest drug interactions result from combinations like:2


  • Alcohol and benzodiazepines
  • Alcohol and prescription stimulants
  • Antidepressants and methadone
  • Painkillers and supplements
  • Antibiotics and oral contraceptives
  • Coumadin and aspirin
  • ACE inhibitors (blood pressure medicine) and nasal decongestants
  • Opioids and alcohol


Many of these drugs are medications that are commonly prescribed to individuals with blood clots, high blood pressure, or chronic pain. The risk of harmful side effects, addiction, and even overdose is high because so many people accidentally mix or misuse these drugs. The fact that painkillers, opioids, and other prescription pills are assigned to people simultaneously also increases the chances of combining them or misusing them. Individuals who are misusing drugs or struggling with drug abuse can begin their recovery treatment with our detox in Delaware.


How to Prevent Dangerous Drug Interactions

It is important to be aware of several factors when you are taking medications. Any time you take a drug, whether it is prescribed by your doctor or not, you put yourself at risk of experiencing side effects. Combining drugs increases these chances and can cause severe damage and, sometimes, permanent health problems.


Know What You are Taking

Although this may seem obvious, many people leave the doctor’s office without knowing the name of the new medication they have been prescribed. It is important to ask questions about any new and existing medications. If you are prescribed a new medication, or you are currently taking one that you do not know much about, ask your doctor about its contents, what it treats, and its side effects. If you have left the office, your pharmacist should also answer these questions. Knowledge is power and ensures that patients do not remain ignorant of the real dangers that abuse of these substances can lead to.


Keep a Log

Another wonderful way to prevent major drug reactions is to keep a log of what medications you are taking and when they must be taken. By keeping your drug list organized, you can minimize the chance of you mixing one medication with another or combining drugs that you were not supposed to. You can also create a schedule to accommodate if a drug needs to be taken with food or at a time when you will not have to drive yourself somewhere. Taking the time to figure this all out can save you a serious amount of trouble later.


Only Take What’s Prescribed to You

Prescription drugs are regulated because they can cause physical harm, addiction, and sometimes overdose when they are misused. The best way to avoid mixing drugs is to only take medications that your doctor has prescribed to you. Even if you are offered a substance like the one that you usually take, there may still be compounds you are not aware of that can lead to an adverse reaction. If you ever run out of or lose your own medication, speak with a doctor instead of seeking them out from someone else.


Heal From Polysubstance Abuse With Banyan

At Banyan Treatment Center Delaware, we understand how dangerous drug interactions can be. Combining drugs or taking the wrong ones together by accident can cause serious health problems and lead to addiction. We provide treatment for people who are struggling with substance abuse so they can recover and get sober. In programs like our residential treatment program, people can get the help they need to overcome drug abuse and avoid the deadly effects of mixing drugs.


If you or a loved one are suffering from substance abuse, do not wait to get help. Call us at 888-280-4763 to begin your journey to sobriety.



  1. NCBI- A study of harmful drug-drug interactions due to polypharmacy in hospitalized patients in Goa Medical College
  1. NIH- Serious drug interactions


Related Reading

What Happens When You Mix Ambien and Cocaine?

Dangers of Mixing Methadone and Benzodiazepines

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.