Can You Safely Mix Alcohol and Xanax?

Another danger of mixing Xanax and alcohol is the inconsistencies of reactions. Some people may take a low dose of Xanax, have half of a drink, and have a severe life-threatening reaction. Other people may be able to have 10 drinks and a high dose of Xanax and not have any reaction at all. You may be able to have 10 drinks and a high dose of Xanax one day but try to get another time, and you could have a life-threatening reaction.

  1. However, when individuals take high doses of Xanax or mix the drug with another substance such as alcohol, dangerous and potentially deadly interactions can occur.
  2. Read on to find out about side effects, overdose, and long-term effects of combining Xanax and alcohol.
  3. If you’re prescribed Xanax and want to have a glass of wine with dinner one night, you’re likely wondering how long after taking Xanax can I drink?
  4. In a separate study published in the American Journal on Addictions, researchers found that a prescription was present in 52.5 percent of Xanax overdose deaths.

If you suspect that someone you know is struggling with an alcohol and Xanax addiction, it is important to learn how to identify symptoms of abuse and other red flags. There are many sources both online and locally that can help you learn about resources in your area to help someone with a substance use disorder. If you or a loved one is mixing Xanax and alcohol, seek help immediately from an addiction treatment facility.

Xanax is potent on its own, but when it is mixed with alcohol, the risk of overdose greatly increases — 1 in 5 benzo-related deaths was due to alcohol. It has been found that those who are enrolled in a full-time college program are more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs like Xanax than those who don’t attend college. Along with focusing on recovery from alcohol and drug addiction, some rehabilitation schemes treat co-occurring mental health disorders as part of a broader treatment plan. Medical detox is often the first step of recovery from alcohol and Xanax addiction. The treatment usually combines medical supervision and medication.

Mood and behavioral effects

The CDC reports that from 2019–2020, overdoses of benzodiazepines like Xanax rose by 24%. Overdose deaths from alcohol rose by 25% within the same time frame. Unfortunately, misusing Xanax poses great risks, especially since people tend to mix Xanax with alcohol or stimulants. When a person mixes early signs of liver damage from alcohol, their system is faced with a major burden. It becomes much harder for their system to process both, and it takes longer for the drugs to exit the system completely.

What does Xanax feel like if you’re using it recreationally?

Contact our professionals with any questions you may have and start your path to treatment today. Of course, when a person is involved in poly-drug use, they can become addicted to both substances and experience major withdrawal symptoms. It is licensed to treat anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), anxiety with depression and panic disorder with or without agoraphobia.

Finally, if doses of each substance are high and of relatively equal physiologic potency, likelihood of interaction effects and/or synergistically-mediated side effects will increase. These people may also require higher doses to overdose, but there is no safe amount of Xanax that can be combined with alcohol. Even people with a high tolerance to one substance can overdose if they take it with a small dose of the other substance. This means your body gets used to both substances and needs them to function without experiencing withdrawal side effects. Withdrawal symptoms can include anxiety, irritability, and seizures in some cases.

Xanax and Alcohol: Why They Should Not Mix

A 2018 animal study suggests the presence of ethanol, the main ingredient in alcoholic drinks, can increase the maximum concentration of alprazolam in the bloodstream. Taking Xanax with alcohol will intensify the side effects of both substances. Xanax and alcohol can have dangerous side effects when taken together, enhancing their individual effects. These are the most serious warnings from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

That’s why stopping “cold turkey” or suddenly quitting Xanax is not recommended. Instead, you’ll need to work with a medical professional to gradually taper back your dosage. When you’re given a prescription for Xanax, you’re also provided with guidelines that tell you how much of the substance to take and when to take it.

The reason the medical community agrees about Xanax and its dangers is the risk of developing a tolerance and dependence on the drug. Even when using it as prescribed, Xanax can have disastrous consequences. Even worse, when you mix the drug with other depressants like alcohol, it could be fatal.

Additionally, people who have combined xanax and alcohol will often report that they cannot remember how much of the drugs they consumed or even where and when. The inability to control how much alcohol one is consuming means that one cannot make balanced decisions and are likely to end up drinking far more units of alcohol than is safe. These are central nervous system (CNS) depressants, CNS stimulants, hallucinogens, dissociative anesthetics, narcotic analgesics, inhalants, and cannabis.

Overdosing on Alcohol and Xanax

Call now to connect with a treatment provider and start your recovery journey. It might be easy to assume that people who died were taking illicit Xanax that was combined with some other illicit drug substance. Other studies suggest, however, that even pure Xanax can cause death when combined with alcohol.

This means that users will crave increasingly large doses of both alcohol and Xanax. When you consume both Xanax and alcohol, you’re asking the liver to take on a serious task. Since the liver is only capable of so much at a time, it means that both substances stay in the body for longer. Worse still, it can become so taxing that it causes liver damage or even complete liver failure. Certain substances, like prescription drugs or alcohol, take a particular toll on the liver.

Dependence leads to the onset of severe withdrawal symptoms that are uncomfortable and even life-threatening. Upon admission, medical intervention is often necessary for recovery. Combining alcohol and Xanax is sure to lead to dependence after multiple uses. Unfortunately, untangling the severe withdrawal symptoms that this drug combination can induce isn’t easy. Understanding those withdrawal symptoms and the detox process as a whole is an important step in getting help.

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