Author: Alex Thompson

Mixing Valium Diazepam and Alcohol: Dangers & Effects

valium and alcohol

We defined the study period as the 12-month period centered around (6 months before and 6 months after) each patient’s clinic visit in which the first AVS screening occurred. We excluded patients with noncontinuous KPNC coverage during the study period (eAppendix Methods [eAppendix available at]). Use of these data was approved by the institutional review boards of KPNC and the University of California, San Francisco.

  1. Not everyone mixes alcohol with Valium to intensify the effects of each drug—sometimes it happens by accident.
  2. Respiratory depression is when your breathing is slowed to a dangerous degree.
  3. Using a drug to feel normal is a type of unhealthy coping, and it can be extremely dangerous.
  4. Paramedics and first responders can help as soon as they arrive, and they can take them to an emergency room for further treatment.

We hypothesized that people drinking at unhealthy levels, compared with low-risk drinkers and abstainers, would be less likely to receive benzodiazepines and would receive prescriptions of lower doses and shorter durations. These results should be interpreted in the context of several limitations. Additionally, our results may not be generalizable to uninsured populations. Substance use disorders that are related to Valium or alcohol can increase your risk of experiencing an overdose and other dangerous consequences of drug misuse. Substance use disorders can involve chemical dependence and addiction.

What Is Diazepam?

In 2016, a report in the journal called Mental Health Clinician revealed that benzodiazepine misuse had reached significant levels. The report estimated that 2.3% to 18% of Americans misuse sedatives like Valium in their lifetimes. Like alcohol, Valium is a central nervous system depressant, which means that it achieves its effects by slowing down activity in your brain and body.

Dependence is characterized by uncomfortable and even dangerous withdrawal symptoms when you try to quit. Addiction is identified by compulsive drug use despite consequences to your health, relationships, and other aspects of life. Substance use disorders can be difficult or dangerous to deal with on your own. This study is the first to our knowledge to examine the association of unhealthy alcohol use with benzodiazepine use, dosage, and prescription duration in a large primary care sample. Notably, 7.5% of patients in this cohort were dispensed a benzodiazepine in a 12-month period.1,27 In addition, women, older adults, and white patients were more likely to use benzodiazepines.

Outcome: Benzodiazepine Use

Behavioral therapies are common, especially cognitive behavioral therapy. You may also go through individual, group, and family therapy sessions. If an opioid may have been involved, naloxone can be used to reverse the overdose.

valium and alcohol

Some may mix a prescription benzodiazepine like Valium with alcohol intentionally. Potentiation is a dangerous consequence of mixing these chemicals, but it also causes a more intense euphoria in smaller doses. While it’s likely to make you feel sleepy and sedated, people may try it to achieve a more intense high. Valium and alcohol misuse is likely to cause some acute, short-term effects, but mixing them may also cause some dangerous long-term effects. Misusing both of these drugs can affect multiple areas of your body, leading to long-lasting health problems.

Comparing Valium & Alcohol’s Side Effects

This negative charge shuts down certain activities and has the overall effect of allowing you to rest and digest. Alcohol may have an effect on these channels to enhance the effect of GABA. In chemistry, alcohol is a broad term that can refer to many different kinds of chemicals, most of which would kill you if you drank them. The kind of alcohol you can drink is called ethyl alcohol, or ethanol. Humans may have adapted to be able to drink alcohol because it’s naturally produced by plants and fruit that we eat through fermentation. If you drink more than one beverage in an hour, ethanol will get past your liver and make it to your brain.

A lot of people start using depressants like Valium or alcohol to feel normal. But normal may be a term used for feeling relaxed, getting enough sleep, and so on. Using a drug to feel normal is a type of unhealthy coping, and it can be extremely dangerous.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements. If you’re ready to seek treatment for you or a loved one, American Addiction Centers (AAC) is here to help. As parent company to, we offer a network of nationwide treatment facilities focused on providing hope and recovery for those in need. Through these levels of care, you may go through many different therapy options that address your specific needs.

Dangers of Mixing Valium and Alcohol

A cross-sectional analysis of 2,089,525 Kaiser Permanente of Northern California outpatients screened for unhealthy alcohol use in primary care between November 1, 2014, and December 31, 2016. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) outlines the criteria for the diagnosis of alcohol use disorder. To receive this diagnosis, you must meet at least 2 of the 11 diagnostic criteria over the course of a 12-month period. The more criteria you meet, the more severe your condition, making more crucial the need for changes in your life. Another potentially dangerous complication is the aspiration of vomit. Since alcohol and Valium overdose can cause nausea and a loss of consciousness, you may be at risk of vomiting while you’re asleep and aspirating it.

Still, long-term misuse may have some damaging effects, especially on your liver. Misusing Valium and other benzodiazepines can increase your risk of becoming chemically dependent on the drug. Many benzodiazepines can cause dependence and substance use disorders after just a few weeks of regular use. Since alcohol is also a central nervous system depressant, the two drugs have some similar effects. Valium may cause some effects that are similar to alcohol intoxication, lowering inhibitions, making you feel relaxed, and causing impairment of your motor skills, cognition, and memory. Because Valium can cause these effects, it’s sometimes used as a recreational drug.

If you or your child develop any unusual or strange thoughts and behavior while taking diazepam, be sure to discuss it with your doctor. Some changes that have occurred in people taking this medicine are like those seen in people who drink too much alcohol. Other changes might be confusion, worsening of depression, hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there), suicidal thoughts, and unusual excitement, nervousness, or irritability. Among patients in an integrated healthcare delivery system who were screened in primary care for unhealthy alcohol use, we examined cross-sectional benzodiazepine use patterns. Alcohol misuse can contribute to high blood pressure, strokes, and heart disease. Depressants manipulate some parts of the brain that are related to automatic functions like heart rate and blood pressure.

Dependence occurs because your brain adapts to the presence of these chemicals. Several other drugs can be dangerous for the same reason that Valium is when mixed with alcohol. Other central nervous system depressants can cause the same potentiation with alcohol that Valium can.

If you are taking sedatives or opioids and alcohol is involved, never do it alone. If you start to notice that it’s difficult to move, speak, think clearly, or stay awake, try to let someone know that you need help. Alcohol is potentially dangerous when mixed with a variety of substances.

Paramedics and first responders can help as soon as they arrive, and they can take them to an emergency room for further treatment. If an opioid or benzodiazepine like Valium is involved, there are medications that can counteract those drugs in the body. If necessary, a person who stops breathing can be given oxygen or intubated until the drug wears off.