Mixing alcohol with other drugs is never a good idea, especially combining opioids with alcohol. This includes illegal opioids like heroin, and also prescription medications like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine. These substances can have serious effects on their own but as a combination with alcohol, they can enhance their effects to dangerous levels. Mixing the two increases the likelihood of dangerous respiratory distress.
If you find that you often mix alcohol and opioids, you could benefit from outpatient drug rehab in Woodland Hills. Learn more about why mixing these substances is dangerous.
Combining Alcohol and Opioids
When you mix opioids like oxycodone with alcohol, it can cause a dangerous interaction. Both substances are central nervous system (CNS) depressants in the body. Central nervous system depressants slow down the messages between the brain and body, and can cause:
- Affected concentration and coordination
- Slowed response time
- Slurred speech
- Memory loss
- Slowed breathing
- Slowed heart rate
Those who combine opioids with alcohol have an increased risk of respiratory depression and of fatally overdosing. There is no safe dosage for using the two together.
Why Do People Combine Opioids and Alcohol?
There are many reasons why a person may combine opioids with alcohol. Innocently, they do not know any better or do not read the instructions on their prescription medications. However, there are those who mix them knowingly, which is considered substance abuse. Mixing opioids in combination with alcohol can enhance their effects. Those feeling physical and emotional pain may turn to drugs or alcohol to help them cope with their symptoms.
Some people may deal with co-occurring disorders, and combine opioids with alcohol to get a greater effect in an attempt to quickly deal with their issues. Some individuals have also become addicted to either alcohol or opioids and may have built up a tolerance, meaning they need more of the substances to feel the same effect. Combining the two substances can enhance their effects.
Dangers of Combining Alcohol and Opioids
Misusing opioids and alcohol can lead to developing an addiction and abuse. Over time, your body gets used to either alcohol or opioids, or both, becoming dependent. This means that when you attempt to stop using, you develop withdrawal symptoms. This can make it much harder to stop using.
In the short term, there are greater dangers of mixing alcohol with opioids, especially in the elderly. They both slow down breathing and heart rate. When combined, these substances can bring your breathing or heart rate down to dangerous levels. Breathing and heart rate can even stop, causing an overdose. This can lead to coma and/or death. Even if you survive an overdose, there can be permanent damage to your body. Your brain and organs are deprived of oxygen during respiratory or heart arrest, which can lead to permanent brain and liver damage.
Mixing opioids and alcohol will also lower your inhibitions, and could make you more likely to partake in risky behavior. This can include driving under the influence, which could cause an accident. You might also be more apt to have unprotected sex, which can lead to several types of STDs or unwanted pregnancy.
Treatment for Alcohol and Opioid Abuse at Sylvan Detox
If you or your loved ones are struggling with both opioid addiction and an alcohol use problem, a heroin and Rx drug treatment center like Sylvan Detox is your best chance for recovery. Our medication-assisted drug and alcohol detox program can help you safely and effectively withdraw from opioid and alcohol use. Your stay at our Woodland Hills treatment facility during drug and alcohol detox will include 24/7 monitoring and medication assistance.
Through our dual diagnosis program, you can receive treatment for both substance abuse disorders. It is also beneficial for those dealing with other co-occurring disorders that may have been the root cause of your drug or alcohol addiction.
After alcohol or drug detox, you can easily transition into one of our inpatient treatment programs or an outpatient treatment program we have connections with. Every treatment plan is custom-built to fit your needs. Please give Sylvan Detox a call today at (818) 308-3099. The sooner you get help, the better your chances are of leaving your addiction in the past. You can benefit from our Woodland Hills detox treatment program.