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Dangers of Using a Brompton Cocktail

Dangers of Using a Brompton Cocktail | Just Believe Recovery PA

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A Brompton cocktail is a combination of various substances initially used to help individuals relieve severe pain. The concept of mixing substances to help people who are suffering from extreme pain is not, by any means, new. The medical field has been devising and administering pain-relieving “cocktails” for centuries.

What Is A Brompton Cocktail?

Traditionally, the Brompton cocktail was compromised of morphine or heroin, cocaine, and a highly potent form of ethyl alcohol or gin. Sometimes, the concoction also included an anti-nausea agent. It was initially used to treat persons in unbearable pain and sometimes among those who were terminally ill. However, the Brompton cocktail is no longer commonly used among the medical establishment.

Instead, this combination has become popular for recreational use. The term Brompton Cocktail now refers to any mixture that consists of an opioid such as heroin, alcohol, cocaine, and/or a tranquilizer.

The Brompton cocktail was so-named for its affiliation with Royal Brompton Hospital in London, England. According to Wikipedia, the history of this mixture’s use has included various other substances in many incarnations.

Why the Brompton Cocktail Is So Addictive

Using a Brompton cocktail as a form of pain relief for a person with a terminal illness may be prudent, but using it for recreational purposes is extremely dangerous for several reasons.

Each substance within this cocktail has a different effect:

  • Opiates/opioids provide rapid pain relief and induce calm, relaxing feelings.
  • Cocaine is a stimulant that produces feelings of euphoria, energy, and well-being.
  • Alcohol is a depressant that can result in feelings of anxiety and reduce brain and motor functions.
  • Tranquilizers/sedatives induce sleepiness and feelings of relaxation.

These substances tend to be highly addictive on their own. When they are combined, a person is at an extremely high risk of encountering all of the dangers associated with them independently, as well as others that are unique to the cocktail. Use of these substances can easily lead to a life-threatening overdose, and repeated use is likely to result in some level of dependence or addiction.

Moreover, opioids, cocaine, and alcohol all have immediate and potent effects on a person’s body. They all provide relief from emotional and physical pain in different ways. The result is that a person’s body will respond to this relief and alter the brain’s communication pathways. These effects will feel extremely rewarding to any individual, and then he or she is likely to be seeking substance use more and more until full-blown addiction develops.

Dangers of Addiction

Addiction is a unhealthy and dangerous disease because it overwhelms an individual’s behaviors and motivations and causes them to compulsively seek the use of drugs or alcohol despite the incurrence of adverse effects. If a person happens to use and become addicted to multiple substances such as those in a Brompton Cocktail, they will not be dependent on one substance, but several.

Dependence on multiple substances (polysubstance use disorder) is a severe problem that will result in a person undergoing painful and unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when they cannot (or do not) use their drugs of choice. In the case of a Brompton cocktail, withdrawal can prove fatal and should never be attempted without direct medical supervision.

Dangers of Using a Brompton Cocktail | Just Believe Recovery PA

Just a few of the ways in which addiction can alter a person’s life include the following:

  • Adverse changes in interpersonal relationships
  • Financial issues or ruin
  • Decreased performance academically or professionally
  • Loss of employment
  • Permanent and extreme, adverse changes to health that affect daily life
  • Loss of interest in activities once considered enjoyable
  • Legal problems including DUIs, arrests, and incarceration
  • Homelessness or engagement in a transient lifestyle
  • Engagement in other harmful/risky/illegal activities needed to procure substances, such as stealing or prostitution

Health Consequences of Substance Abuse

Addiction can cause an innumerable amount of consequences in a person’s life, and one of the biggest of these is the effects on one’s health. Abuse of opioids, cocaine, and alcohol each come with their own set of risks, which include, but are not limited to, the following:

Opioids (e.g., morphine, oxycodone, heroin)

  • Collapsed veins if injected
  • Sores, infections, and abscesses if injected
  • Increased risk of blood-borne diseases if injected (e.g., HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B/C)
  • Heart lining/valve infection
  • Chronic constipation/cramps
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Breathing problems
  • Overdose and death


  • Reduced blood flow if taken orally
  • Bowel decay if taken orally
  • Chronic nosebleeds, runny nose, and loss of smell if snorted
  • Damage to the nasal septum and surrounding tissues if snorted
  • Increased risk of blood-borne diseases if injected (e.g., HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B/C)
  • Overdose and death


  • Liver disease
  • Increased risk of accidents related to falls or car accidents
  • Increased risk of several forms of cancer, including those related to the throat, stomach, and breast
  • Vitamin B deficiency potentially leading to permanent brain disorders
  • Pancreatitis
  • Acute liver failure
  • Acute alcohol poisoning (overdose)

Treatment Is Available for Drug Addiction

Treatment for any addiction should be comprehensive, as substance abuse doesn’t just affect one’s physical health but actually alters the way people think and behave, so treatment must address these changes and work to reverse them back to a state of normalcy.

Because addiction is different for each person, we offer unique programs and healing techniques that work to address the diverse symptoms related to various substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health conditions. Using a multi-faceted approach that includes essential services such as counseling, psychotherapy, and group support, we help those we treat to learn how to replace the dysfunctional, unhealthy behaviors they have developed with functional, positive ones.

We Believe Recovery Is Possible For Everyone.
If you or a loved one needs help with substance abuse and/or treatment, please contact Just Believe Recovery PA at (888) 380-0342. Our recovery specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.
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