Author: Alex Thompson

Xanax and Alcohol: Side Effects and Risks

xanax and alcohol

When taken together, alcohol and Xanax become more potent than if you take either of them on their own. As a result, you’re at risk of excessive sedation, dangerous accidents, respiratory depression, cardiac issues and loss of consciousness. Drug overdoses are, unfortunately, a common reality in the United States. As of 2019, the fatal drug overdose rate was 21.6 per 100,000 people.

  1. Alcohol played a role in 21 percent of all benzodiazepine-related deaths that year.
  2. It must be mentioned that some individuals may exhibit high physiologic tolerance to one substance in the combination (e.g. Xanax), but low physiologic tolerance to the other (e.g. alcohol).
  3. In 2015, more than 50% of the 176,000 benzodiazepine-related emergency room visits also involved other drugs or alcohol.
  4. As a result, you’re at risk of excessive sedation, dangerous accidents, respiratory depression, cardiac issues and loss of consciousness.
  5. Their goal is to slow down the activity of the central nervous system and produce a calming effect.

Moreover, if dosages of Xanax and alcohol [in the combination] were of relatively equal physiologic potency, the number of side effects (and their respective severities) may be evenly attributable to each substance. Many students with pre-existing anxiety are likely to abuse Xanax or other benzos to relieve the newfound stress and pressures of college life. The perception that partying and substance use is practically synonymous with having any social life has created a self-fulfilling cycle of addiction amongst college students. Those with a Xanax prescription are eager to use and even give out this drug in a social setting with the hopes of gaining popularity.

It is much easier to overdose on this medication when combined with other substances, such as alcohol. People who are trying to feel buzzed or relaxed may intentionally mix Xanax with alcohol to feel sedative effects. These people may include people who regularly misuse drugs and teens or college students, who are more likely to engage in risky behaviors involving alcohol. 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.

What Happens When You Drink While on Xanax?

All you have to do is enter your ZIP code to search for doctors in your area. Even if you’ve been using Xanax for a while with no problems, adding alcohol can trigger unpredictable side effects.

They both have individual sets of side effects that affect a person’s behavior and mental state. When combined, Xanax and alcohol can cause various side effects, some of which can be fatal. This is why experts recommend avoiding taking Xanax and alcohol together.

Withdrawal symptoms may come to include intense aches and pains, insomnia, vomiting, uncontrollable shaking, mental instability and anxiety, and even life-threatening seizures. When taken in larger doses, Xanax can produce a euphoric effect. These characteristics along with the misconception that prescription drugs aren’t harmful makes Xanax an attractive substance for both experienced and novice drug users. One of the most common pairings is to take Xanax or another benzodiazepine with alcohol – a dangerous and potentially lethal combination. Medical detox is often the first step of recovery from alcohol and Xanax addiction. The treatment usually combines medical supervision and medication.

xanax and alcohol

Both alcohol and Xanax have individual sets of side effects that impact an individual’s behavior and mental state. Because of this, the two should never be used together as it can cause life-threatening consequences. It also increases the likelihood of a Xanax overdose, which can lead to respiratory depression, seizures, and potentially even death. An abundance of Xanax and alcohol can relax and slow body functions to the point that the user’s heart stops beating or they stop breathing, again resulting in a coma or death.

Alcohol And Xanax

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. When Xanax and alcohol are combined, they increase each other’s effects.

Assuming this hypothesis were reliable, anyone ingesting 0.50 mg Xanax with 2 cans of beer would incur relatively equal physiologic modulation from each substance. You should also avoid combining Xanax with drugs — even over-the-counter ones — that can make you sleepy, slow your breathing, or cause extreme lethargy. The compounded effects of combining these drugs may be dangerous and put you at risk for health issues or death. If you take this medication as it’s intended — it’s commonly prescribed to treat anxiety or panic disorders — you may feel “normal” after your first dose.

The more the metabolization of the drug that occurs, the more that is needed to experience the desired initial effect. Once withdrawal from alcohol and Xanax in an inpatient treatment center has been effective, rehabilitation is usually the next stage of recovery. The medication belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines. If you see someone experiencing symptoms of an alcohol and Xanax overdose, seek immediate medical help.

xanax and alcohol

This keeps patients safe and comfortable while dealing with the symptoms of withdrawal. Serious withdrawal symptoms can quickly become dangerous and life-threatening for some people. Because of this, alcohol detox usually involves close medical supervision.

Co-administered substances

Additionally, that treatment directory can connect you with thousands of rehabs across the country. This powerful online tool allows you to search by zip code, helping you find local or out-of-state rehabs that suit your needs. You may also consider calling the American Addiction Centers (AAC) addiction helpline. This 24/7 resource connects you with compassionate staff who can help you find suitable rehabs and verify your insurance benefits. Recovery is possible, but the first step involves getting the help that you need. There’s nothing wrong with admitting that you’re struggling and need help.

Xanax and Alcohol Side Effects

As such, Xanax withdrawal also often requires close medical monitoring. BetterHelp can connect you to an addiction and mental health counselor. As both alcohol and Xanax have unique sets of side effects that affect a person’s mental state and behavior, they should never be used together. “The combination of alprazolam and alcohol on behavioral aggression.” Journal of Studies on Alcohol. If you have questions about treatment for alcohol and Xanax abuse, drinking and Xanax or mixing Xanax with alcohol, The Recovery Village can help. When compared directly, there’s significant overlap in the respective pharmacodynamics of Xanax and alcohol.

What does it feel like when Xanax wears off?

Those of the same age group who do not attend college were significantly less likely to drink and exhibited less problematic drinking behaviors. When another central nervous system depressant like Xanax is used with alcohol, the risk of overdose increases. Alcohol abuse overdoses arise when parts of the brain controlling essential life-support functions become overwhelmed with the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream. When mixing Xanax and alcohol, some side effects can be extremely dangerous. Benzodiazepines like Xanax, along with alcohol, significantly slow respiration when taken alone. However, when someone takes Xanax and alcohol together, the combination of both sedative drugs can lead the brain to fail to signal to the lungs to breathe.