You’re feeling anxious so you pop a couple of Xans to calm you down. No biggie. You’re not supposed to overdose on these benzos anyway. However, you took these pills without realizing that you’re also on your fifth glass of wine. What could go wrong? Could unknowingly take these two substances seriously harm you?
Whether you accidentally or intentionally took Xanax and alcohol together, this could lead to serious and even deadly consequences. In theory, alcohol should never be mixed with any medication. You should not even mix alcohol with over-the-counter drugs like allergy or cold and flu medications. When you mix alcohol with drugs, the alcohol can heighten the effect of the drug and it is possible to aggravate the side effects of the particular drug. When this happens, the drug will not be able to properly treat your condition and at the same time, it might even worsen your condition. If you’re taking these substances recreationally, you could also suffer these negative effects.
Xanax and Alcohol: Who’s at risk?
There are different scenarios in which someone could combine Xanax and alcohol. Sometimes it’s intentional while there are also times when people consume not substances mindlessly without knowing that doing so could result in deadly consequences. Here are scenarios where people might mix Xanax and alcohol.
Users with a legitimate Xanax prescription
Anxiety is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. It is then not surprising that many people choose to take anti-anxiety medications like alprazolam, the generic name of Xanax, to alleviate their condition. Xanax is one of the most popular anti-anxiety medications in the United States. However, it is also one of the commonly abused benzos and it is highly addictive. In fact, some people report being addicted to Xanax even just after a few weeks.
If you are struggling with anxiety and you have been prescribed Xanax, you have to be mindful about taking alcohol during the course of your treatment. Because Xanax in itself already comes with a high risk for addiction, combining it with alcohol can be dangerous. For example, if you’re used to taking a glass or two of wine during dinner, you must stop this habit while taking alprazolam to not risk having serious side effects.
College students who go to clubs and parties
Young adults who are socially active usually get Xanax illicitly and they use Xans in clubs, music festivals, and other parties. In most of these events, however, alcohol is almost always present. In these situations, combining Xanax and alcohol becomes a natural result of being in these environments.
Drug users looking to experiment
While there are people who take alcohol and Xanax together unthinkingly, there are also people who intentionally mix these two substances with the goal of enhancing their effects. Drug users who have a high level of tolerance often find ways on how they can enhance the effects of the drug they are taking. Some users mix alcohol with Xanax as an easier way to intensify the effect without taking more pills.
Dangers of Combining Xanax and Alcohol
Both Xanax and alcohol are “downers”, which means that they could provide a sedating, calming effect. Abusing these substances individually can already cause negative effects. Xanax is an effective anxiety medication but it is known to be highly addictive. While drinking a glass of alcohol is often a socially accepted behavior, consuming large amounts repeatedly could lead to alcoholism.
When you mix them together, this could result in dangerous consequences. According to one study, the presence of alcohol’s main ingredient in the bloodstream (ethanol) could increase alprazolam’s concentration in the blood. Some of the common side effects that you could experience because of this include:
- Extreme drowsiness
- Liver problems
- Slowed breathing / respiratory depression
- Loss of body coordination
- Loss of consciousness
- Severe depression
- Abnormal behavior
- Memory loss
- Cardiac problems
- Extreme sedation
- Suicidal thoughts
- Accidents due to impaired mental and physical state
But one of the more dangerous side effects of combining Xanax and alcohol is the possibility of the heart stopping especially if large amounts of these substances are taken. When this happens, this could result in coma or even death.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, help is available.
Contact Lighthouse Treatment Center today.