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Alcohol with tobacco preferred over marijuana by young adults

Alcohol with tobacco preferred over marijuana by young adults

People use a drug in combination with another to either heighten intoxication or increase the effect of the substance. Such a practice of mixing more than one drug at one time is commonly known as polydrug use. Sometimes mixing of two or more substances happen quite by chance when people are in an inebriated state and are no longer in control of their body or mind to make rational decisions. However, some combinations are more prevalent than others depending on an individual’s preference.

One of such combinations include alcohol and tobacco that is extensively popular among cigarette smokers due to the increased perception of reward compared to other mixes. In their quest to experience an unforgettable high, many users fail to comprehend the long-standing repercussions of both alcohol and tobacco when taken together. In this case, one is likely to witness comparatively more severe consequences due to the drastically opposite nature of alcohol and tobacco. While alcohol is a depressant that affects the central nervous system (CNS), tobacco is a stimulant that inflicts altogether different results.

Tobacco, most preferred substance

Besides the commonly used polydrug mix of alcohol and tobacco, marijuana and tobacco has also emerged as a popular mix. Generally, smoking is more common among heavy or binge drinkers.

According to a new study conducted at the University of California and led by assistant professor of psychiatry Danielle E. Ramo, Ph.D., young adults preferred smoking cigarettes with alcohol rather than using marijuana. The study was published in the journal Addiction Research & Theory.

The users reported that they perceived a greater reward from smoking cigarettes while drinking alcohol than from using marijuana with tobacco. Researchers used self-reported data from 500 Americans who were between the ages of 18 and 25. The participants were recruited through a paid advertising campaign on Facebook between October 2014 and August 2015.

Although some of the participants were marijuana users as well, both alcohol and marijuana users reported a higher level of pleasure from smoking cigarettes while drinking alcohol. Interestingly, this was not an effect of binge drinking. In comparison to the mix of smoking and drinking, the combination of smoking and marijuana use did not produce the higher levels of pleasure.

The study would have a major role to play in enhancing the overall understanding of polydrug abuse and coping triggers related to smoking during drinking. The study, however, failed to take into consideration other aspects of smoking, such as the ability of cigarettes to increase the pleasurable effects of other substances.

Short-term effects of mixing alcohol with tobacco

Drinking and smoking is a common sight at many social events, pubs and bars. However, the underlying danger from this co-use is from the fact that one is a depressant (alcohol) and the other is a stimulant (active ingredient-nicotine from tobacco) which could cause one to consume more alcohol than one can handle as the feeling of drunkenness does not set in when it normally should. This could cause incorrect assessment of one’s level of intoxication and as a result lead to poor judgement.

Long-term effects of mixing alcohol with smoking cigarettes

Although the long-term effects of co-use of alcohol and tobacco are still being studied, there is no doubt that these substances can together inflict greater harm. In fact, earlier studies have established the fact that smoking and drinking together can increase the risk of throat and esophageal cancer.

The reason could be due to the tendency of alcohol to dissolve the chemicals in the cigarette while still in the throat that can trap carcinogens in the sensitive tissues of the throat. Furthermore, co-mixing affects the rate of metabolism of these drugs. As a result of a slower metabolism, carcinogens stay in the bloodstream for a longer duration. The extended exposure to carcinogens means an increased risk of cancer. Therefore, it is essential to undergo an effective recovery process to detox the body of all harmful toxins.

Both tobacco and alcohol can be highly addictive and have a broad range of harmful effects when consumed. If you or your loved one is suffering from drug abuse, contact the Colorado Detox Helpline to access the detoxification treatment centers in Colorado. The 24/7 helpline number 866-730-5807 can provide details about detox centers in Colorado. You can call for assistance or chat online with our experts for further information.

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