The Dangers of Mixing Prescription Drugs with Alcohol

As this blog and the facts on this website demonstrate, there are real health risks associated with prescription drug misuse. These dangers are due to how prescription drugs interact with our bodies, for example, by slowing down our breathing and heart rate. However, these chemical interactions can become even more dangerous and fast-acting when prescription drugs are used with alcohol.


Just as different prescription medications carry their risks, when these various types of prescription medications are mixed with alcohol, the effects will differ. For example, when painkillers like oxycodone are mixed with alcohol, they can cause breathing to slow down or even stop, the results of which are fatal. On the other hand, benzodiazepines like Xanax and Valium are sometimes taken with alcohol as both have a similar feeling in the body. Still, by mixing them, these feelings become enhanced. The dangers of this include an increased risk of overdose because the benzodiazepine will stay in the body’s system for a lot longer. In contrast, the body first tries to metabolize, or break down, the alcohol. Another risk is that response time decreases, making actions like driving or decision-making much more dangerous and less thought-out.

Another type of prescription drug, stimulants such as Adderall, pose their threats when mixed with alcohol. For example, they can lead to an increased chance of over-drinking and alcohol poisoning because Adderall and other stimulants dull the effects of alcohol, prompting individuals to drink beyond their limit and what is safe or healthy. This combination can also increase heart rate and lead to an irregular heartbeat.

Furthermore, a general danger of mixing prescription medications with alcohol is that the combination may worsen the mental health condition that the prescription medication is prescribed for. For example, Adderall is prescribed and taken to treat Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which can present as restlessness and an inability to focus. However, when Adderall is mixed with alcohol, the alcohol may contribute to heightened feelings of stress, lack of concentration, and restlessness.

In conclusion, this post aims to emphasize that, while both prescription drug misuse and alcohol abuse are very much discouraged due to the harm they can cause to our health, it is crucial in all situations where these substances are present that we take care not to mix them and discourage others from doing so as well.


Written by Anika
Last Updated: September 17, 2021

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