Dangers of Mixing Alcohol With Opioids: Warning Signs and Effects

mixing alcohol with opioids

There is an insidious danger plaguing America, mixing alcohol with opioids.

One in eight American adults is an alcoholic. Overusing alcohol is insidious, given that it’s a part of many social situations. There’s the bourbon in a marinade, the meme about drinking wine, the time-honored tradition of a cold beer at the grill.

However, the side effects of drugs and alcohol start to creep up on you. Nausea, headaches, vomiting, binging, blackouts, and more all take their toll. Over time, this can result in consequences such as DUIs and liver damage.

On the other hand, 10.1 million Americans abuse opioids in a given year. Many cases of opioid abuse start with innocuous prescriptions provided by doctors to combat pain.

Most people are familiar with the opioid crisis, expected to cost the economy $250 billion per year. This equals over 46,000 overdose deaths in a given year. 

Even avoiding the possibility of an overdose, opioid abusers suffer from a laundry list of issues. These include liver damage, amnesia, heart infections, a compromised immune system, and more. 

Taken separately, both alcohol and opioids can be harmful or fatal. Whether it’s an overdose or alcohol poisoning, both can result in tragedy.

But what happens when you blend alcohol and opioids? We’ve assembled a guide to the dangers of mixing drugs and alcohol.

Mixing Alcohol with Opioids is Dangerous 

Experts say that over fifty percent of people who abuse opioids also engage in binge-drinking behavior. The separate issues caused by each often overlaps with each other. 

For instance, the heart damage caused by both opioids and alcohol is worsened when the two substances are combined. This can cause heart failure. 

Other compounded issues include permanent mental or physical impairment, brain damage, liver damage, low testosterone levels, and more.

Both opioids and alcohol have a strong euphoric effect, which is why people take them. However, when combined, they depress central nervous system activity.

What does this mean? The heart and breathing rate both slow drastically. When this happens, the body must prioritize. 

When prioritizing, the amount of oxygen sent to other parts of the body is reduced. This causes them to shut down, which causes a cascading effect through the rest of the body.

Alcohol and opiates are also known to interfere with solid decision-making skills. They also destroy your ability to maintain solid balance and coordination, making walking, driving, or taking stairs a deadly proposition.

Another reason this combo is so deadly is that it’s difficult to treat. One of the main dangers of drugs and alcohol is that it’s not caught in time. But even when it is, it takes two separate treatments.

Drugs and alcohol treatment takes naxolone, stomach pumping, and activated charcoal. Naxolone stops overdose symptoms, but alcohol must be purged from the body in different ways. 

That’s why drugs and alcohol advice is clear: never mix the two.

Dealing with Drugs and Alcohol

Even it’s never what you originally intended, drugs and alcohol can change your life faster than you ever intended. There is a serious issue with mixing alcohol with opioids If you’re suffering from this issue, it’s time to get help. We offer drugs and alcohol rehab, intended to help you detox and change. Contact us today!