10 Things You Should Never Mix With Alcohol

Don't let the cop have to give you the breathalyser test. aijohn784/iStock/Thinkstock

Do we even need to say it? Drinking and driving still don't mix.

In the U.S., the number of drunk driving deaths has been cut in half since 1980, but sadly, drunk driving fatalities increased by 4.6 percent nationwide between 2011 and 2012, with 10,322 drunk driving deaths accounting for 31 percent of all traffic deaths in 2012 [sources: MADD, MADD].

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), one-third of all drunk driving arrests, crashes, deaths and injuries can be attributed to repeat offenders, many of whom continue to drive even with a suspended license. All 50 states now have ignition interlock laws requiring convicted drunk drivers to install devices on their cars that will disable the engine if alcohol is detected on the driver's breath. The laws vary from state to state, with some requiring interlock devices only for repeat offenders, others only for high blood alcohol content convictions, and some for every drunk driving offense – even a first one [source: GHSA]. But even with these deterrents, the CDC estimates that there were 112 million instances of alcohol-impaired driving in the year 2010 alone.

There's always another option: Have a designated driver, call a cab, call a friend, call a parent or stay overnight. Just don't drink and drive.

Author's Note: 10 Things You Should Never Mix With Alcohol

It was interesting to look at some of the consequences, both serious and light-hearted, that alcohol can lead to when mixed with other substances, activities and behaviors. The interaction between alcohol and morel mushrooms was a complete surprise to me. (The interaction between alcohol and online shopping, not so much.) And at the risk of sounding like I'm 200-years-old, I'd like to go on the record as being extremely grateful that cell phones, texting and social media were not around when I was in college.

Related Articles


  • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). "Tobacco, Alcohol, Drugs, and Pregnancy." December 2013. (Oct. 10, 2014) http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Tobacco-Alcohol-Drugs-and-Pregnancy
  • American Heart Association. "Tachycardia | Fast Heart Rate." Heart.org. May 30, 2012. (Oct. 10, 2014) http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Arrhythmia/AboutArrhythmia/Tachycardia-Fast-Heart-Rate_UCM_302018_Article.jsp
  • Apple Inc. "Drunk dialing apps." App Store on iTunes. (Oct. 8, 2014) https://itunes.apple.com/us/genre/ios/id36?mt=8
  • Beug, Michael W. "Reflections on Recent North American Mushroom Poisonings." The Mycophile. January 2014. (Oct. 8, 2014) http://namyco.org/images/pdf_files/MycophileJanFeb2014.pdf
  • Birak, Kulbir Singh, Suzanne Higgs, and Philip Terry. "Conditioned Tolerance to the Effects of Alcohol on Inhibitory Control in Humans." Alcohol and Alcoholism. Aug. 23, 2011. (Oct. 10, 2014) http://alcalc.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2011/08/23/alcalc.agr084.full
  • Brooks, Megan. "More Evidence Light Drinking During Pregnancy May Not Be Harmful to Offspring." Medscape Medical News. Oct. 19, 2010. (Oct. 10, 2014) http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/730790
  • Carr, Brendan G., MD, MS, Gali Porat, JD, MS, and Charles C. Branas, PhD. "A Review of Legislation Restricting the Intersection of Firearms and Alcohol in the U.S." Public Health Report. September 2010. (Oct. 10, 2014) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2925003/
  • Cascio, Julie and Marci Johnson. "Morel Mushrooms: A Guide for Selection and Use." University of Alaska, Fairbanks. July 2011. (Oct. 8, 2014) http://www.uaf.edu/files/ces/publications-db/catalog/hec/FNH-00020.pdf
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "Alcohol Use in Pregnancy." April 17, 2014. (Oct. 10, 2014) http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/fasd/alcohol-use.html
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "Fact Sheets: Caffeine and Alcohol." March 14, 2014. (Oct. 8, 2014) http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/cab.htm
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "Vital Signs: Alcohol-Impaired Driving Among Adults --- United States, 2010." Oct. 7, 2011. (Oct. 10, 2014) http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6039a4.htm
  • Clifford, Stephanie. "Online Merchants Home In on Imbibing Consumers." The New York Times. Dec. 27, 2011. (Oct. 7, 2014) http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/28/business/online-retailers-home-in-on-a-new-demographic-the-drunken-consumer.html?
  • Dowling, Tim, et al. "Drunk online shopping regrets: clarinets, elephants and flatpacks." The Guardian. Aug. 19, 2014. (Oct. 7, 2014) http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/aug/19/-sp-drunk-online-shopping-regrets
  • Ferreira S, de Mello M, Pompéia S, de Souza-Formigoni M. "Effects of energy drink ingestion on alcohol intoxication." Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research [serial online]. April 2006. (Oct. 8, 2014) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16573577
  • Ferris, Amber L., and Erin E. Hollenbaugh. "Drinking and Dialing: An Exploratory Study of Why College Students Make Cell Phone Calls While Intoxicated." Ohio Communication Journal 49, 103-126. 2011. (Oct. 8, 2014) http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/90651164/drinking-dialing-exploratory-study-why-college-students-make-cell-phone-calls-while-intoxicated
  • Gapstur, Susan. "Does drinking alcohol increase the risk of cancer?" American Cancer Society. June 26, 2013. (Oct. 8, 2014) http://www.cancer.org/cancer/news/expertvoices/post/2013/06/26/does-drinking-alcohol-increase-the-risk-of-cancer.aspx
  • Goldman, Russell. "A Solution for Drunk Dials and Accidental E-Mails." ABC News.com. March 23, 2009. (Oct. 8, 2014) http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/AheadoftheCurve/story?id=7134834
  • Google play. "Drunk dialing apps." (Oct. 8, 2014) https://play.google.com/store/search?q=drunk%20dialing&c=apps
  • Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). "Drunk Driving Laws." October 2014. (Oct. 10, 2014) http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/impaired_laws.html
  • The Guardian. "Drunk online shopping: readers' regrets." Aug. 24, 2014. (Oct. 7, 2014) http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/aug/24/drunk-online-shopping-readers-regrets
  • Harding, Eleanor. "Why office drinks are more likely to make us party fools than drinks with colleagues in a bar." Daily Mail. Sept. 12, 2011. (Oct. 10, 2014) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2036353/Why-office-drinks-likely-make-party-fools-drinks-colleagues-bar.html
  • Healy, Melissa. "Guns and alcohol: Gun owners drink more and take more risks, study says." LA Times. June 16, 2011. (Oct. 10, 2014) http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jun/16/news/la-heb-guns-alcohol-gunowners-risk-taking-20110615
  • Horan, Sean M. "Why Do People Drunk Dial?" Psychology Today. Feb. 6, 2014. (Oct. 8, 2014) http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/adventures-in-dating/201402/why-do-people-drunk-dial-0
  • Krisberg, Kim. "Alcohol, acetaminophen mix puts kidney health at risk, study finds." The Nation's Health. January 2014. (Oct. 8, 2014) http://thenationshealth.aphapublications.org/content/43/10/15.1.full?sid=f1b8f968-6049-4dc6-815f-d0bece398f44
  • McGlynn, Katia. "21 Awesome Drunk Purchases Your Sober Self Would Thank You For Buying." Huffington Post. May 5, 2014. (Oct. 10, 2014) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/05/drunk-purchases-photos_n_5248279.html
  • McKetin, Rebecca. "Adding alcohol to energy drinks leads to an increased urge to drink." EurekAlert. July 17, 2014. (Oct. 8, 2014) http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-07/ace-aat071014.php
  • McKetin, Rebecca. "The Effect of Energy Drinks on the Urge to Drink Alcohol in Young Adults." Australian National University. July 2014. (Oct. 8, 2014) http://crahw.anu.edu.au/research/projects/effect-energy-drinks-urge-drink-alcohol-young-adults
  • MedlinePlus. "Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse." U.S. National Library of Medicine. June 13, 2014. (Oct. 8, 2014) http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/alcoholismandalcoholabuse.html
  • Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH). "Factsheet: False Morels vs. True Morels." May 23, 2011. (Oct. 8, 2014) http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdch/Morel_mushroom_fact_sheet_353691_7.pdf
  • Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) "2012 Drunk Driving Fatalities by State." Nov. 13, 2013. (Oct. 10, 2014) http://www.madd.org/blog/2013/november/2012-drunk-driving-fatalities.html
  • National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre (NCPIC). "Mixing cannabis and alcohol." Oct. 1, 2011. (Oct. 10, 1014) https://ncpic.org.au/ncpic/publications/factsheets/article/mixing-cannabis-and-alcohol
  • National Institutes of Health. "Harmful Interactions." 2014. (Oct. 8, 2014) http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/Medicine/medicine.htm
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). "Health Effects." Drug Abuse.gov. (Oct. 10, 2014) http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/commonly-abused-drugs/health-effects
  • Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). "State Laws Related to Marijuana." WhiteHouse.gov. (Oct. 10, 2014) http://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/state-laws-related-to-marijuana
  • Ramaekers, J.G., H.W.J. Robbe and J.F. O'Hanlon. "Marijuana, alcohol, and actual driving performance." Human Psychopharmacology." Oct. 2000. (Oct. 10, 2014) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/1099-1077(200010)15:7%3C551::AID-HUP236%3E3.0.CO;2-P/abstract
  • Thombs, Dennis L., Ryan J. O'Mara, Miranda Tsukamoto, , Matthew E. Rossheim, Robert M. Weiler, Michele L. Merves, Bruce A. Goldberger. "Event-level analyses of energy drink consumption and alcohol intoxication in bar patrons." Addictive Behaviors. April 2010. (Oct. 8, 2014) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306460309003104
  • Torrieri, Marisa. "You definitely should not shop while you're drunk." The Week. Dec. 23, 2013. (Oct. 7, 2014) http://theweek.com/article/index/254505/you-definitely-should-not-shop-while-youre-drunk
  • Weisman, Robert. "The benefits and health risks of beer and wine." The Boston Globe. Nov. 17, 2013. (Oct. 8, 2014) http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2013/11/17/beer-and-wine-benefits-health-risks/YTbzIaM0fs72Ge9GdUER0L/story.html
  • Wintemute, Garen J. "Association between firearm ownership, firearm-related risk and risk reduction behaviours and alcohol-related risk behaviours." Injury Prevention. June 13, 2011. (Oct. 10, 2014) http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/early/2011/06/13/ip.2010.031443.abstract


Is Borax Harmful or Helpful?

Is Borax Harmful or Helpful?

HowStuffWorks looks at the chemical properties and uses for borax and discovers whether it is harmful.