Drug abuse is a bad idea when it involves just one substance. It stands to reason that mixing two substances is an even worse idea. Two drugs that are terrible to combine are Xanax and alcohol. It’s important to know more about these drugs and why using them together is dangerous.
About Xanax and Alcohol
Xanax is a brand name for alprazolam, which is a benzodiazepine or benzo. Doctors use it to treat anxiety and panic disorder but may use it to relieve symptoms of other conditions. The drug slows down the central nervous system (CNS), which produces a calming effect. Alcohol is a widely available drug and is also a central nervous system depressant.
Mixing the two drugs compounds the dangers they pose. They both increase the activity of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). This neurotransmitter mutes excitement in the brain, so increasing its activity can cause sedation. Oversedation is a problem that can cause coma or death.
Benzos and alcohol also have addictive properties, and abusing them one at a time has dangerous side effects. When people develop an addiction, they require a full spectrum of treatment that includes detox and rehab. While the alcohol detox timeline is typically one week, the schedule for Xanax detox is usually two weeks. Rehab can take one month to more than one year.
Side Effects of Mixing These Drugs
Combining Xanax and alcohol increases the side effects of each drug. Some of these include memory loss, slowed breathing, dizziness, drowsiness, and loss of coordination. Blackouts are also frequent for people who mix these substances. Because of that, they tend to make poor decisions but later don’t remember what happened.
Increased Risk of Overdose
People increase their risk for overdose when they drink alcohol while using Xanax. The main reason is that drinking a little goes a long way when benzos are involved. People who use both drugs and experience overdose have a much lower blood alcohol content.
When people suffer from Xanax and alcohol overdose, they can exhibit confused and reckless behavior. They can also experience forgetfulness, cold and pale skin, and vomiting. Breathing fewer than eight times per minute is also common. Some people even stop breathing altogether.
Long-Term Side Effects
Prolonged abuse of alcohol and Xanax can cause dangerous long-term effects. Memory loss, brain injury from lack of oxygen and mood disorders are a few examples. Others include:
- Alcoholic hepatitis
- Breast cancer
- Liver cancer
- Throat or mouth cancer
Since these drugs are CNS depressants, an increased risk of suicide is possible as well. Lower-than-usual blood pressure and faint heartbeat can occur too.
Get Drug Abuse Treatment Today
Do you have a problem abusing Xanax, alcohol or both? Get help at Serenity House Detox before it’s too late. We offer alcohol and prescription drug detox programs. We also provide services for other substance use disorders, including:
Don’t hesitate to seek help for substance abuse, specifically if you’re mixing Xanax and alcohol. Take the brave step toward recovery today. Call the Serenity House Detox staff for more information at 866-294-5306.