Painkiller addiction is a substantial problem in the United States. Mixing alcohol with painkillers can lead to severe consequences for your health and well-being. You can receive help for your painkiller and alcohol addiction at Sunflower Wellness Retreat in Osawatomie, Kansas. In the meantime, learn more about the dangers of mixing alcohol with painkillers and other medications.
Dangers of Mixing Painkillers and Alcohol
Alcohol interacts with medications in various ways. Some of these interactions are unpredictable and vary from person to person. Here is a rundown of some of the ways that combining alcohol and painkillers or other medication can harm you:
- Alcohol often makes painkillers and other medications less potent.
- Alcohol can create a toxic reaction with other medications in your body.
- Mixing alcohol with painkillers creates new side effects that can make you very sick.
- Alcohol amplifies the side effects of some medications.
- Painkillers and other drugs can increase the effect of alcohol on your body.
Our alcohol addiction treatment program also addresses co-occurring drug addictions. Let us help you find your way back to living sober.
Who Is Most Vulnerable?
Women have lower tolerances for alcohol and may need to take extra care to avoid alcohol while taking painkillers. Specifically, men have higher alcohol dehydrogenase levels, which break down alcohol, so men often process alcohol more quickly than women.
Furthermore, as you age, your body has a harder time breaking down alcohol. Since it sticks around in your blood longer, older people on painkillers should limit their alcohol intake to avoid a bad reaction.
Medications to Avoid Mixing with Alcohol
Painkillers top the list of medications to avoid mixing with alcohol. However, many other medicines can interact badly with painkillers and alcohol. In fact, you should also avoid mixing over-the-counter painkillers with alcohol. For example, taking ibuprofen (Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve) and drinking can lead to ulcers, stomach upset, and stomach bleeding.
Drinking alcohol while taking opioid painkillers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and codeine poses an even greater risk. Taking prescription painkillers with alcohol can have severe consequences. Our opioid addiction treatment program can help you break the habit if you have become dependent on prescription painkillers.
Doctors prescribe prescription painkillers for people recovering from oral surgery, injuries, post-surgical care, and migraines. When you combine prescription painkillers with alcohol, it can slow your breathing and cause excessive drowsiness. In some cases, it can even cause death. It’s essential to avoid all alcohol while taking prescription painkillers.
Let’s look at the effectiveness of taking alcohol and other medications.
Anti-Anxiety Medications and Sleeping Pills
If you have an alcohol addiction and anxiety disorder, you may use alcohol to numb the fear and discomfort associated with chronic anxiety. However, if you also take anti-anxiety medication or medication to help you sleep, drinking alcohol can complicate your side effects.
The following drugs are examples of anti-anxiety medications:
- Alprazolam (Xanax)
- Diazepam (Valium)
- Lorazepam (Ativan)
- Clonazepam (Klonopin)
The medications above are sedatives. Drinking alcohol while taking sedatives can leave you unconscious and create a life-threatening situation.
Our dual diagnosis program can help you address your mental health and physical addiction if you have a co-occurring anxiety disorder and drug and alcohol use disorders.
If you have a painkiller addiction, mixing antidepressants with opioids can have severe consequences. If you also drink alcohol while taking antidepressants, it can result in the following symptoms:
- Deepening depression
- Liver damage
- Mobility Issues
- Serious heart health effects
If you’re suffering from a polysubstance use disorder, the team at Sunflower Wellness Retreat can help.
Learn More at Sunflower Wellness Retreat
At Sunflower Wellness Retreat in Osawatomie, Kansas, we offer personalized addiction treatment programs. We can address your problem of taking painkillers with alcohol and any underlying mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. If you have developed alcohol addiction or painkiller addiction, we can help you reclaim sobriety and get back on track with a productive life. Contact us at 855.730.8825 to enroll or find out more about our facility.