Author: James Anderson

Alcohol-Medication Interactions: Potentially Dangerous Mixes National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism NIAAA

valium and alcohol

Misusing both of these drugs can affect multiple areas of your body, leading to long-lasting health problems. Mixing alcohol with Valium also damages the liver, which is essentially the body’s filter. Liver damage can end with other, sometimes fatal, conditions such as cirrhosis, or hepatitis. When Valium is being prescribed to treat symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, be sure that your loved one is leaving enough time in between the two substances to avoid danger. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, alcohol is involved in over a quarter of all ER visits for benzodiazepine abuse. More troublingly, the CDC found that alcohol played a role in about 20% of deaths attributed to benzodiazepines.

  1. It’s true, not everybody gets help for an addiction, even though it might be risky to continue living with one.
  2. Any drug that is potentially harmful to your liver may be dangerous when mixed with alcohol.
  3. People who mix Valium and alcohol may do it intentionally or accidentally.

As previously mentioned, some people mix Valium with alcohol without understanding the danger. As time goes on, a people might become unable to handle reality without a drug. They might take the drug so much, that they start building up a tolerance, which means that they need more of the drug than when they first started using it.

The Dangers of Mixing Alcohol with Valium (Diazepam)

This medicine may cause some people, especially older persons, to become drowsy, dizzy, lightheaded, clumsy, unsteady, or less alert than they are normally. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert or able to think or see well. Acute withdrawal will often include a wide range of physical, mental, and neurological symptoms. In 2009, 23.5 million persons aged 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem.

They may begin to experience rebound anxiety after a relatively short period of not using Valium. People who take more than 100 mg of Valium a day are more likely to experience severe withdrawal symptoms and complications. Alcohol abuse comes with a long list of both short- and long-term side effects, which vary based on the amount of alcohol consumed over a given period. For instance, low to moderate consumption can result in fewer and less severe effects than those who habitually drink in larger quantities. Depressant withdrawal may be worse if you’ve been through it before because of something called kindling. When you go through withdrawal from something like alcohol or Valium, it can cause long-lasting changes in the brain.

valium and alcohol

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 and Valium are different chemicals, but they work in the brain in similar ways. Depressants interact with your brain’s chemical messaging system to slow down activity. Your brain and nervous system communicate in complex ways, but two major functions of the chemicals in your brain are to be excitatory or inhibitory. Inhibitory chemicals slow down activity to make you feel relaxed and at ease.

These two substances are closely linked, affecting similar parts of the brain. If users stops use of one substance, but continues to abuse the other, be it alcohol or Valium, they will be at a high risk for relapse. For instance, continuing to use alcohol after recovering from Valium addiction may lower inhibitions to the point that it leads to relapse.

Find The Best Treatment To Help You Stop Using Drugs

Doctors should also watch out for signs of sedation or respiratory depression. As mentioned, Valium is a type of benzodiazepine that impacts the chemicals in the brain in a way that reduces anxiety, muscle spasms, and causes sedation. Valium increases the activity of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), an amino acid and neurotransmitter that acts as a depressant in your central nervous system. It usually doesn’t happen after one night of drinking or a single Valium pill, but it can happen after a few weeks of consistent or excessive use. Both of these substances slow down the activity in your nervous system, and your brain may adapt by adjusting your brain chemistry to counteract these effects.

valium and alcohol

Valium is a benzodiazepine often used to treat anxiety, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and muscle spasms, as well as a sedative given before specific medical procedures (again for anxiety). Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs that act as tranquilizers and are among the most frequently prescribed substances in the United States. These types of drugs are formulated to have a direct impact on the central nervous system (CNS), reducing anxiety levels and promoting muscle relaxation.

Diazepam (Oral Route)

Both Valium and alcohol can cause potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms. To avoid complications like seizures, you should speak to a doctor before quitting abruptly or cutting back after a long period of dependence. Substance use disorders that involve depressants are often treated with medical detox, which involves 24-hour care from medical professionals. Through detox, you may receive medications to help you taper off alcohol or Valium. Benzodiazepines, including Valium, are sometimes used to help people taper off depressants. If you only have a mild chemical dependence, you may be able to taper at home with the help of a doctor.

The first is to treat individuals with anxiety disorders, as diazepam directly addresses the chemical imbalance that may be responsible for the condition. Valium is also used to treat muscle spasms and alcohol withdrawal symptoms due to alcohol addiction’s impact on the body’s central nervous system. In some cases, though notably less common, Valium may be used in combination with other medications to treat seizures. In closing, combining alcohol with certain medications, particularly those with sedative effects, can increase the risk of adverse events, including falls, driving accidents, and fatal overdoses. The more alcohol a patient consumes, the greater the risk for alcohol and medication interactions. Universal screening, careful prescribing choices, and patient education can help minimize the risks of combining alcohol with certain medications.

If an opioid may have been involved, naloxone can be used to reverse the overdose. Naloxone is carried by paramedics, and it’s sold over the counter in some places. There is no obligation to enter treatment and you can opt out at any time.

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. 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.

Your doctor may want you or your child to gradually reduce the amount you are using before stopping it completely. 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. Using this medicine during the later pregnancy may cause problems in your newborn baby (eg, sedation or withdrawal symptoms). If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.

This can make you feel like you’re becoming tolerant to the alcohol or Valium, which means that it doesn’t seem to be as effective as it was when you first started taking it. An overdose can be treated, but if someone stops breathing, they need treatment immediately. 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. Long-term alcoholism is also tied to various kinds of cancer, including cancers of the mouth, throat, larynx, esophagus, liver, colon, rectum, and breast.