Benzodiazepines, otherwise known as “benzos,” are psychoactive drugs that act on the brain and nerves (central nervous system) to produce a calming effect. The four different types of benzodiazepines include:
- Short-acting (with effects lasting three hours or less)
- Intermediate-acting (effects lasting more than three hours but less than 12)
- Long-acting (effects lasting more than 12 hours)
Pro-drugs (which are metabolites that are inactive until metabolized into an active form within the body). Benzodiazepines all share the same chemical formula, known as a benzene ring with a seven-member nitrogenous ring attached.
The different forms of benzodiazepines are made up of various side groups that determine their properties.
Xanax® is a brand name for a pharmaceutical drug called alprazolam, a short-acting benzodiazepine. It is commonly prescribed to treat anxiety and panic disorders as well as seizure conditions.
Must Read: What Are the Short Term Effects of Alcohol on The Brain?
Mixing Xanax and Alcohol: The Dangers of This Combination
Xanax and alcohol have their roles in the lives of people all around the world. Xanax is a type of drug that belongs to the benzodiazepine family. It can be used to treat anxiety and panic disorders, making life more manageable for over five percent of adult Americans who use these medicines.
Alcohol is also a lawful substance that may be encountered at parties and served on many dinner tables.
Both can be beneficial and safe when taken alone, but combining Xanax and alcohol has dramatic effects, as does mixing many prescription and illegal drugs with alcohol.
Unfortunately, it’s all too easy for folks to mix alcohol with other drugs, including Xanax. If you or someone you know is combining Xanax and alcohol, or if you believe they’re mixing different substances as well, here’s what you need to know.
What You Need to Know About Combining Addictive Elements
Polysubstance abuse entails the use of two or more drugs, which can include combining Xanax and alcohol. However, many other chemicals may be mixed, and most combinations have dire health effects.
Commonly used drugs such as cigarettes, marijuana, and more potent narcotics like cocaine and heroin are combined with alcohol. When pharmaceuticals are abused together with alcohol, they may also be misused. Opioids and benzodiazepines, such as Xanax which are prescription medication, are frequently used together with alcohol.
Mixing addictive medications, especially Xanax and alcohol, may not appear to be a big deal because alcohol is legal, and a psychiatrist or doctor often gives Xanax. Both of these medicines are only acceptable in specific situations and dosages. Mixing these two drugs can have both immediate and long-term consequences.
Mixing Addictive Substances: Side Effects and Precautions
Every drug, no matter if declared legal or illegal, has its list of adverse effects. Marijuana, for example, might make it hard to focus; however, the side effects of Xanax can include coordination issues. Impaired coordination is one of the less severe alcohol-induced side effects; on the other hand, more severe side effects include seizures and loss of consciousness.
When drugs are combined, their individual effects are amplified. They can also cause previously nonexistent symptoms when taken alone.
Short-term side effects of Xanax and alcohol overdose:
- Nerve blocks and general anesthetic effects such as drowsiness and reduction of muscle control, coordination, and slurred speech.
- The emotions and behavioral changes that may occur include rage and aggression.
- Memory impairments, which might include blackouts.
- Headaches, low blood pressure, and vision impairment are all possible physical effects.
Xanax and alcohol together increase the danger of more severe, long-term side effects, including alcohol or Xanax addiction. Taking both might raise your risk of heart disease, stroke, and liver damage, as well as the chance of developing mental health problems such as depression.
An overdose is also a concern, especially if drugs are taken together. When you take more than one medicine at the same time, your body may not be able to handle a normal or full dosage, resulting in an overdose that can be deadly if untreated promptly.
Signs That Someone You Love Is Using Xanax while on Alcohol Abuse
It’s difficult to spot the telltale signs of someone combining Xanax with alcohol or other drugs. Because some of the side effects are common and anticipated, this might be the case. Just because someone is taking Xanax and has a mild degree of coordination impairment doesn’t necessarily indicate an issue.
Signs of alcohol dependence are frequently the most straightforward approach to determine whether there is a problem, especially if you know someone who takes prescription drugs, such as Xanax.
Abusing alcohol may have a variety of symptoms, some of which are listed below:
- Deciding to drink rather than undertake other tasks
- Drinking on your own or in secret
- Even if they haven’t had a drink, some people feel hungover.
- Appearance changes, such as altered skin texture
Regardless of whether or not your loved one abuses alcohol; they should go to an addiction treatment center. Alcohol dependence can produce severe and deadly withdrawal symptoms, which is why it’s vital to participate in a medical alcohol detox program.
With a drug like Xanax, any amount of drinking might be harmful. Examining their conduct is the most effective way to recognize an issue. Although mood and behavior can alter when consuming alcohol or taking Xanax, the shift will be much more evident if they’re done simultaneously.
If your loved one is unusually sad, perplexed, or hostile, they may be dealing with an issue. Suicidal thoughts and actions can also be a symptom of polysubstance abuse, which is uncommon.
Why You Should Never Combine Xanax and Alcohol to Treat Anxiety
Two of the most dangerous pharmaceuticals to combine are Xanax and alcohol. The two have caused numerous fatalities due to people combining the two, owing to their mutual exacerbation of one another’s properties. Both suppress your respiratory and central nervous systems, making it easy for you to overdose, fall into a coma, or die.
Alcohol and Xanax are both lawful and easy to come by, making them comparable. This makes both items readily accessible, and many individuals believe that because they are legal, they must be safe, and this is far from the truth.
The Dangers of Mixing Xanax and Alcoholic Drinks
Both alcohol and Xanax are anti-anxiety medications that make you feel drowsy. They slow down everything, including your motor skills, speech, reflexes, breathing rate, heart rate, etc. When taken together, they magnify each other’s influence and, even in small doses, can lead to a critical scenario.
One of the difficulties with mixing these chemicals is that there is no magic number that is safe. One individual may be able to consume ten beers on top of Xanax and be fine, and a second person might have a negative response to half a beer after taking Xanax. It’s also possible for the threat to change from day to day based on your circumstances, so even if you’ve done it in the past, you can never be sure.
When it comes to the liver, alcohol, and Xanax (alprazolam) are broken down by the same enzymes. As a result, when you consume both, your body, particularly your liver, has to work harder to break down the chemicals and detoxify itself. It’s highly unusual for Xanax to kill someone on its own, but combining it with other drugs puts you in danger. When taking Xanax and alcohol together, the effects are amplified because they stay in the body longer.
When taken together, the combination of both chemicals becomes more potent than if they were taken individually. This can result in severe drowsiness, making you accident-prone, and you could quickly fall unconscious and stop breathing.
Both medications have the potential to impair your memory. You might think you’ve already taken a pill or be unsure about how many drinks you had. As a result, you may take another pill or drink without even realizing how many you’re taking because you can’t recall.
There are also long-term consequences of using both drugs. Both have a significant impact on memory, as we previously stated. Combining them frequently might lead to serious short- and long-term memory loss, limiting your ability to function at work, school, and socially. You can also harm your liver, starting with fatty liver, which is generally reversible, and progressing to advanced liver cirrhosis, which may be fatal and necessitate a liver transplant.
The danger of developing an addiction to both substances is another significant concern. Xanax and alcohol are two of the most harmful medicines to detox from, and they can also have deadly effects. Both might induce delirium tremens, a medical emergency that may result in convulsions, coma, and death. It’s not something to take lightly.
Polydrug abuse is the misuse of several medicines, and it necessitates expert treatment to recover from substance dependence. If you’re taking Xanax with alcohol, get help as soon as possible before your symptoms become irreversible. Both are legal, yet both are addicting and hazardous, especially when combined.
Is it okay to use anti-anxiety pills and alcohol?
To quiet anxiety, some people consume alcohol, and some take Xanax. A few glasses of wine, for example, maybe taken with Xanax. However, according to doctors and pharmacists, alcohol abuse and Xanax are not a good ideas. It may not be harmful to take Xanax with alcohol, but it is unwise. Xanax is a central nervous system depressant that works by regulating the release of the brain’s gamma-aminobutyric acid neurotransmitters.
Why? First of all, the two substances are central nervous system depressants, which means they act similarly and can negate each other’s effects. As a result, you might feel the side effects of Xanax more intensely when drinking simultaneously. The combination can be life-threatening, with your body unable to control critical functions such as breathing and heart rate.
Combining Alcohol with Anxiety Medicines
The term benzodiazepines refer to a group of medications that Xanax (alprazolam) and other well-known anti-anxiety drugs such as Ativan (lorazepam) and Valium (diazepam) fall into. Combining Xanax and Alcohol is Dangerous. When taken in therapeutic dosage range, Xanax is generally considered to be safe.
Benzodiazepines are a sedative that can negatively interact with other central nervous system depressants, including alcohol, antihistamines, and anti-depressants. As a result, drinking too much or mixing Xanax with certain types of drinks may be risky.
Both are sleep aids. Individually, they can relax muscles, put you to sleep, and decrease feelings of panic, dread, and agitation. Together, they do all of these things at a greater intensity. That is not to say, however, that the combination does nothing else. Specific frightening adverse effects may be amplified when taken together, including respiratory depression (also known as hypoventilation).
Mixing Xanax and alcohol can also result in you experiencing the more severe side effects of both medications. These include drowsiness, memory loss, confusion, irritability, and depression. Drinking on top of already taking a Valium (diazepam) may result in extreme fatigue and impaired judgment. Interaction like this can lead to a coma.
Unfortunately, mixing alcohol and prescription medications are common enough that this worst-case scenario is not entirely implausible. Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent mental illness in the United States, affecting 18.1% of adults at least once a year, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
Furthermore, as benzodiazepines are increasingly used for light to moderate anxiety when intended only for severe or acute anxiety, doctors may be misusing them.
The main thing to take away from this is that if you’re taking a benzodiazepine for anxiety, make sure you’re using it correctly.
Substance use disorders are a set of problems that are caused by substances such as alcohol, nicotine, or other drugs. Substance use disorders are usually chronic and involve a high level of tolerance and withdrawal. They can also lead to dependence on the substance.
Blurred vision is a condition where a person’s eyes become blurry. Allergic reactions are a type of immune response that causes inflammation in the body. Sedative effects are caused by a substance that produces a calming or soothing effect. Fatal overdose is when someone takes too much of a substance and dies. Treatment process is the way a substance use disorder is treated. It includes things like counseling and rehab.
Both Xanax and alcohol carry risks if suddenly stopped. clonazepam can cause side effects, including drug abuse and dependence. Please do read a Guide to Teen Anxiety and Substance Abuse guide. Our addiction treatment facility offers best program for deaddiction and rehab.
If you notice symptoms of alcohol and Xanax overdose, you should call your doctor immediately.