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Mixing Alcohol and Prescription Drugs

Mixing Alcohol and Prescription Drugs

Millions of Americans take some type of prescription drug to treat a medical condition or prevent illness. However, some prescription drugs carry a potential for abuse and addiction. It is dangerous to take prescription drugs if a doctor has not prescribed them for you, or in ways other than they were originally prescribed. Prescription drugs can also have unpredictable effects and even be dangerous when mixed with alcohol. Mixing alcohol and prescription drugs can lead to accidental harm or injury, illness, and even death. Learning more about the dangers of mixing substances can help keep you safer. Still, if you or a loved one deliberately mixes alcohol and prescription drugs, it may be time to seek treatment from a polysubstance abuse treatment program.

Why Is Mixing Prescription Drugs and Alcohol so Dangerous?

The main reason that mixing prescription drugs with alcohol can be so risky is that the outcomes are hard to predict. The prescription drug has an effect on the body, and so does alcohol, and those effects may or may not strengthen or weaken one another. Some of the main types of drug and alcohol interactions are:

  • Depressants – Alcohol is a depressant, so when it is mixed with other depressants, such as benzodiazepines, the depressant effects can be significantly strengthened. This can lead to a person becoming far more intoxicated than they intended and can even cause death.
  • Stimulants – When stimulants such as Ritalin, Adderall, or other similar medications are mixed with alcohol, they can mask the effects of the alcohol. This means the person mixing them may consume a dangerous amount of alcohol without feeling as intoxicated as they expect. This can cause alcohol poisoning, which can be harmful and even fatal.
  • Opioids – Prescription pain medicine is dangerous on its own, but when mixed with alcohol, it can cause the person’s body to slow or even stop breathing. This is clearly a very dangerous state of affairs and should be treated as a serious and potentially life-threatening situation.

How Can a Polysubstance Abuse Treatment Program Help?

Alcohol and substance use disorders are serious disorders that need professional treatment in order to start the recovery process. For a person who has been mixing prescription drugs and alcohol, it is vital to receive proper treatment from professional clinicians experienced in polysubstance abuse. Studies have shown that people who participate in substance or alcohol abuse treatment programs do much better at maintaining their recovery over time, returning to work and school, and repairing interpersonal relationships.

Alcohol and many other drugs can also require a period of withdrawal, which can be challenging. When participating in a polysubstance abuse treatment program, clinicians can help ease that process of detox and withdrawal with medications and treatment. While clients are navigating that process, they will also be offered psychological help to support them and guide them as they begin their recovery journey. This type of support is critical, especially in the early stages of recovery.

Greater Boston Recovery Centers Can Help With Polysubstance Abuse Treatment

Our compassionate staff of highly trained and knowledgeable clinicians has the experience and understanding to help clients who are struggling with polysubstance abuse. At our treatment center, clients can access a wide variety of supportive programming designed to start the healing process and build a robust support system to help keep them on track as they live a life of meaningful sobriety. If you or someone you love has been dealing with polysubstance abuse, do not wait to get help. Reach out to our caring and compassionate staff today at 877.920.6583 and learn how we can help you start your recovery journey.