A wide array of medications gives warnings about not using them with alcohol. This is because alcohol is a psychoactive substance that can trigger effects on the mind and body, and it can interact with medications that also act on the body’s systems. If you want to learn more about the health risk of combining benzos and alcohol, keep reading.
If you or a loved one mixes drugs and alcohol, reach out to the addiction treatment center in Texas for help.
What Are Benzos?
Benzodiazepines, or benzos, are a category of medications initially developed to relieve depression, anxiety, sleeping problems, and seizures. These drugs have also found uses in other areas. Benzos act as barbiturates and represent some of the most prescribed drugs in the country. Its development was inspired by the need to develop a sedative that was not addictive. Despite this, it still poses a threat of developing substance dependence.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, all benzodiazepines are controlled substances. So this includes many drugs used widely today, including:
Benzos are a medicine type that can have a potentially dangerous interaction when mixed with alcohol. This happens because these substances slow down the messages from the brain and cause mental and physical reactions that may endanger your life. Just like alcohol, it is also a depressant to the central nervous system and affects the inhibitory neurotransmitter amma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA).
Taking Benzos and Alcohol Together
Benzodiazepines are commonly misused in combination with other drugs and pain medications. In recent years, there has been a rise in hospital emergency admissions that are caused by mixing benzos and alcohol together.
Since alcohol can easily be bought by adults, this combination becomes readily accessible in social situations, including parties. Many women and men facing alcohol use disorders are usually under the impression that this prescription medication is safe to be used in combination with drugs or alcohol, but this can’t be any farther from the truth.
There are many risks associated with mixing alcohol and benzodiazepines, and this can even be seen in the warnings on each container of these drugs. Doctors also do not fail to instruct patents to avoid alcohol with this prescription drug. The risks of combining the two substances are as follows:
These two substances have the same mechanism, so it naturally enhances the effects of one another. This means that when the two are taken together, the effects are significantly more intense compared to the use of either substance alone.
When a person mixes central nervous system depressants, they place themselves at a greater risk of overdose. This can have serious and deadly ramifications such as organ and brain damage.
The amount of alcohol that can lead to an overdose is decreased when somebody takes benzodiazepines, and vice versa. When an individual drinks alcohol, their system metabolizes this substance before others. This means that benzodiazepines and other drugs stay in the system for a longer period if consumed with alcohol, and therefore, puts users at risk of having dangerous levels of benzos in the body.
Because of the effects of benzos and alcohol, people that mix them experience a decrease in their cognitive abilities. This means that they are putting themselves at risk for dangerous situations brought about by a loss of inhibition and risky decisions. When one can’t control reasoning and emotions, they can also become aggressive and may experience a blackout.
Not only that, benzos and alcohol can also affect one’s physical reactions, including decreased motor coordination and response time. The ability of someone to perform actions or routines is also affected.
Risk of Physical Conditions
Mixing benzos and alcohol for a long time increases the risk for the development of health problems such as:
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Liver damage
- Neurological issues like dementia
- Cardiovascular issues
- Kidney damage
Combining Benzos and Alcohol Is Dangerous
These are just a few of the important reasons why drug labels of benzodiazepines strongly advise against mixing them with alcohol. Taking benzos and alcohol together, even occasionally, can ruin your life and make way for adverse long-term effects. If you or a loved one needs help, do not hesitate to contact Right Step DFW now at 1.844.768.1161.