Alcohol and Marijuana: Double Punch
Although marijuana in any form (weed, pot, oil, edibles – you name it) is prohibited for active duty Service members, reservists and Guardsmen, it’s helpful to know the risks of using marijuana [PDF 283KB]* and alcohol together.
Mixing marijuana and alcohol is dangerous
Using marijuana and alcohol together can slow reaction time, raise the risk of having serious accidents and making poor decisions, cause you to hear or see things that are not real as well as cause harm to the lungs and heart. Using marijuana while drinking can also lead people to drink more than they normally would. This nearly doubles the risk of drunk driving and self-harm.
Also, when someone drinks too much alcohol, the body’s natural response is to throw up to get rid of the extra alcohol. If marijuana and alcohol are used together, the marijuana may prevent someone from throwing up, possibly leading to alcohol poisoning. Some signs of alcohol poisoning include:
- Blacking out
- Breathing trouble
- Pale or bluish skin
- Slow heart rate
If that’s not enough, the liver breaks down alcohol before anything else. This means marijuana stays in the body longer when it’s mixed with alcohol, which may not be what users expect. This unexpected result could have consequences like getting to work late or not being able to do your job safely.
If you need help relaxing, there are other options
Rather than using marijuana while drinking alcohol to relax, make an appointment with your health care provider about stress or other health concerns, talk with your chaplain or contact Military OneSource or Military Family Life Counseling Program. Also consider trying other options like stress management exercises or calling a loved one or friend.
If you’re concerned about your alcohol use, use these resources to get help.
* This PDF document was published by the Department of Defense Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense; we are not responsible for content contained therein.