Author: James Anderson

Xanax and Alcohol: Is It Safe To Mix? Dangers & Side Effects

xanax and alcohol

Lastly, because alcohol and Xanax are potentially addictive, mixing them may increase your risk of developing an addiction to one or both substances. As a controlled substance, Xanax carries an increased risk of abuse, addiction, dependence and health consequences. When you’re given a prescription for Xanax, you’re also provided with guidelines that tell you how much of the substance to take and when to take it. You might think it’s reasonable to combine Xanax with alcohol as long as you don’t take more Xanax than your doctor prescribes. Unfortunately, research suggests that even sticking to a prescription won’t keep you safe.

Normal Xanax use involves taking the medication as prescribed by a medical professional, for a valid medical diagnosis. The researchers found that after 120 minutes, Xanax concentrations increased by 642 percent when alcohol was also present. This is a huge increase, and it demonstrates just how dangerous it can be to combine alcohol and Xanax.

xanax and alcohol

The treatment usually combines medical supervision and medication. This keeps patients safe and comfortable while dealing with the symptoms of withdrawal. Despite these dangers, it is not uncommon for people to mix alcohol with substances of abuse.

Long-term Effects of Xanax Abuse

Over time, a person’s brain depends on getting the neurotransmitter GABA from the medicine and stops making it on its own. Alcohol, as a sedative, tends to slow down heart rate and brain activity. We’re here 24/7 to help guide you or your loved on through rehab and recovery. Submit your number to receive a call today from a treatment provider. Since both Xanax and alcohol withdrawal are managed similarly, medical detox is recommended.

xanax and alcohol

Depressants slow everything down – motor skills, speech, reflexes, breathing, heart rate – essentially reducing arousal and stimulation. Xanax, one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the US, is used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and panic disorders. Tapered doses of benzodiazepine sedatives, such as chlordiazepoxide and valium, may also help patients detox safely.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Xanax has an estimated elimination half-life of around 11.2 hours. Multiple half-lives are required to eliminate medication from the body completely. It takes approximately four to five half-lives, 44–55 hours or two days, to be cleared from the body. Using them together can be harmful, leading to over-sedation and even deadly overdoses.

What Happens When You Combine Alprazolam (Xanax) and Alcohol

In a separate study published in the American Journal on Addictions, researchers found that a prescription was present in 52.5 percent of Xanax overdose deaths. This means even people who take Xanax straight from a pharmacy face very real overdose risks. Specific medicines such as naltrexone, acamprosate, or disulfiram may discourage alcohol abuse. Others may manage any underlying anxiety or other mental health issues.

  1. What might be fine for one person can have an adverse effect on another.
  2. We’re here 24/7 to help guide you or your loved on through rehab and recovery.
  3. This relapse is likely because of the difficult side effects that occur as the effects of the drug wear off.
  4. Inpatient or residential rehabilitation involves a stay at a medical facility during the continuation of treatment.
  5. For someone with an anxiety-related mental illness, the effects of Xanax can make it possible to function normally and avoid debilitating panic attacks.

Alcohol is so dangerous, in terms of abuse, because it is so very common. Because it is so easy to find, alcohol can seem completely harmless, and that means people might mix it with all sorts of other substances without realizing the dangers involved. The first step to treating any addiction is reaching out to a treatment center (or professional) to find the right treatment program for you.

Physical side effects

The appearance of Xanax tablets varies depending on the dosage and manufacturer. A 2mg tablet comes in the form of a pill shaped like a bar, however, 2mg ER tablets come in a roundish circle. Xanax in .05mg doses usually come in either ovals or circles and range in color from yellow to even green or white.

Tolerance occurs when the body no longer responds to the drug in the same way that it initially responded, requiring more of the drug to receive the desired effect. The more the metabolization of the drug that occurs, the more that is needed to experience the desired initial effect. Withdrawal symptoms from Xanax share many of the same symptoms as that of alcohol withdrawal. As such, Xanax withdrawal also often requires close medical monitoring. It boosts the inhibitory signaling of a neurotransmitter known as GABA for the short-term relief of anxiety symptoms. The medication belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines.

Whether an inpatient or outpatient rehab, patients may attend individual and group therapy sessions. Even when taken as prescribed, Xanax can provide discomforting side effects. Nearly 17.7 million patients aged 12 or older used Xanax in 2018. Of this group, 5.1 million people misused Xanax in the same year. You can find an addiction specialist through the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s Find a Doctor search feature.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), there were over 34.6 million alprazolam prescriptions dispensed in the U.S. in 2021. Oxford provides evidence-based therapies for polysubstance addiction as well as treatment for co-occurring disorders. Specialized services are also available for couples, Veterans, and first responders. During addiction treatment, a person is typically past the acute withdrawal phase and can begin working more intensely on their recovery. This article will cover the effects of mixing Xanax and alcohol together and how to get help for Xanax and alcohol misuse. The two drugs work together to overwhelm delicate systems that keep people breathing normally and experiencing the world as they should.

Abuse of either substance is harmful, but if taken together the consequences can be fatal. There are various treatments available for Xanax and alcohol addiction. If you see someone experiencing symptoms of an alcohol and Xanax overdose, seek immediate medical help.