Phenibut and Alcohol
Mixing substances is nothing new. Some do it intentionally for various reasons; others unintentional. With many illegal street drugs, it is common to mix with other substances. In this regard, there is a very good chance someone is consuming other drugs without knowing it. Often someone mixing drugs is hoping to enhance the perceived positive effects and/or cancel out the negative effects. A common example of this is a “speedball”, when someone combines heroin and cocaine. People use this combination hoping to experience a more intense high from both drugs. They expect to negate the depressant qualities of heroin with the stimulating effects of cocaine.
However, from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “Fatal slowing of the breathing can occur when the stimulating cocaine wears off and the full effects of the heroin are felt on their own.” There are innumerable combinations that are dangerous for various reasons. Whatever temporary positive effects are there, there are more negative. The abuse of two or more substances at the same time is also known as polysubstance abuse. One of the most common substances in polysubstance abuse is alcohol. While some ignore the possible dangers, many more fail to recognize how serious it is to mix alcohol with other substances. Sometimes as a new drug makes its way to the United States (U.S.), before regulation, people take advantage of this. An increasingly common example, with many not realizing the potential dangers, is phenibut and alcohol.
What is Phenibut?
Phenibut is a synthetic, nootropic (smart drug or cognitive enhancer) drug first developed in Russia. It acts as a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, which often calms an overexcited nervous system. According to an article from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), it is frequently “...used to treat anxiety, insomnia, alcohol withdrawal, and other conditions.” Currently, it is acceptable for medical use in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Latvia. While it lacks approval for clinical use in the U.S., it is possible to buy online. In the grand scheme of things, the development of Phenibut is relatively new (1960s) as well as exposure to global markets. Furthermore, research is still in progress to fully understand it and long-term effects.
That said, there is research about the effects, good and bad, as well as the potential risks. Some users have reported feeling a decrease in anxiety and even euphoria. However, many possible side effects also include:
Furthermore, with recreational use, users often increase the dosage in an attempt to continue to feel the same positive effects. With a higher dose, users are increasing the risk of withdrawal and overdose. NIH reports that with increasing doses and misuse, it is possible to develop a tolerance and to experience withdrawal. At a high enough dose, and if other substances are present, overdose is possible.
Withdrawal symptoms include:
- Severe rebound anxiety
- Visual and auditory hallucinations
Overdose symptoms include:
- Severe drowsiness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Reduced consciousness or unconsciousness
The severity of dependence, addiction, withdrawal, and risk for overdose will depend on length of use and dosage. Despite the lack of regulation in the U.S., that does not mean it is entirely safe and free of serious risks.
Mixing Phenibut and Alcohol
As mentioned above, mixing substances is a common occurrence and frequently done with alcohol. Similarly to phenibut, alcohol is a CNS depressant. For this reason, it is dangerous to ever mix phenibut and alcohol. Both substances cause slower breathing, or respiratory depression, and a slower heart rate. When breathing slows, oxygen is cut off from the brain and this causes hypoxia. Even without death, there is the potential for permanent damage and lifelong consequences.
Together, the mix of multiple CNS depressants is especially dangerous and far too often fatal. In fact, NIDA explains, “...the risk for overdose and death increases when depressants are combined with other drugs or alcohol.”
The unfortunate reality is that the overdose effects of substances like phenibut and alcohol often appear as if someone is simply sleeping. Subsequently, many people fail to notice in time to help someone if they are even around the person overdosing.
Whether it is for you or someone you love, do not underestimate the potential danger for something like phenibut. While it still lacks regulation in many countries, available research does show significant risk. Further, a drug does not have to be something hard, like heroin or meth, for it to be dangerous. Even with someone using drugs like marijuana, where acceptance is growing, there is still a possibility to experience psychological dependence.
Many people struggle with dependence or addiction to things like video games, phones, porn, sex and other things that aren’t drugs. Alcohol is a legal and widely used substance all over the world. Yet, the possibility for misuse, abuse, and addiction is huge.
If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one, please contact us today for help or more information.