Mixing Xanax and Alcohol: What are the Effects and Dangers?

xanax and alcohol

You might think that because beer has less alcohol, it’s safe, but that’s simply not true. Older adults are also at increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease when using Xanax for longer than six months. In addition to the potential health issues with prolonged use of the medication, the withdrawal that occurs when you abruptly stop long-term use can also be dangerous. 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.

This means your body gets used to both substances and needs them to function without experiencing withdrawal side effects. Withdrawal symptoms can include anxiety, irritability, and seizures in some cases. Xanax is a brand name for alprazolam, a drug used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. Xanax is part of a class of anti-anxiety drugs called benzodiazepines. A person’s BAC during an overdose caused by Xanax and alcohol can be much lower than when a person overdoses on alcohol alone. It doesn’t take as much alcohol for the brain to become life threateningly impaired when the person is already on Xanax.

xanax and alcohol

Benzodiazepines are considered tranquilizers or sedatives and are the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States. The drug’s calming effects and addictive qualities have caused Xanax to be abused by those both with a prescription and those without. It is often misused in combination with another substance, particularly alcohol. While addiction or abuse of either substance can be harmful, when used together the combination is dangerous and potentially fatal.

There are many sources both online and locally that can help you learn about resources in your area to help someone with a substance use disorder. 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. Meanwhile, those without a prescription are inclined to accept the offer as a desperate attempt to fit in.

This means that you should not drink beer, wine or liquor while taking Xanax. 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. It only takes a small amount of Xanax and alcohol to cause a deadly overdose.

Side Effects of Xanax

Seek immediate medical attention for anyone exhibiting severe symptoms such as seizures or difficulty breathing. Individual counseling involves a patient meeting a substance abuse therapist for one-on-one sessions. Participants usually discuss recovery, mental health, and any problems met on the way to recovery. When mixing Xanax and alcohol, some side effects can be extremely dangerous. This risk of death occurs whenever someone takes Xanax in combination with alcohol, other sedatives, opioid prescription drugs, or illicit opiates. It takes a relatively high dosage of Xanax to cause an overdose, but it is possible to overdose, especially if Xanax is combined with alcohol or opiates.

  1. Xanax is part of a class of anti-anxiety drugs called benzodiazepines.
  2. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.
  3. In turn, this can cause both an enhanced high or “buzz” as well as enhanced side effects.
  4. That means the effects of alcohol are more potent when it’s combined with Xanax, and the effects of Xanax are more potent when combined with alcohol.

We tailor our treatment model around you to make sure you get the best possible care. At Oxford Treatment Center, several levels of treatment are offered. We can assist you in transitioning between levels of care and prepare you with an aftercare plan when treatment a parallel recovery concludes. When a dose that small causes such a big impact, it is safe to say that no dose is without risk. When the two are present at once, Xanax is just easier for the body to make use of, and the concentrations of the drug within the body rise accordingly.

Alcohol and 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. This can make muscle control, coordination, and balance more challenging.

Even comedian Jared Freid, who is known for joking about wild behavior, warned against mixing alcohol with Xanax. Writing for TotalFratMove.com, a website targeted to fraternity and sorority members, Freid described his regret from mixing alcohol and Xanax. A synergistic effect means the effects of how to tell when alcohol is affecting your relationships together are greater than the effects of the same substances when taken alone. 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.

One of the most common pairings is to take Xanax or another benzodiazepine with alcohol – a dangerous and potentially lethal combination. If you or a loved one is struggling with polysubstance misuse the dangers of drinking and driving or addiction, it’s important to remember that there is help available. Evidence-based addiction treatment can lead to positive results for those struggling with alcohol and Xanx misuse and addiction.

Adverse Effects and Risks of Mixing Alcohol and Xanax

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. American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand. These sessions are either run by a counselor or self-help groups, such as 12-step addiction programs.

If The Recovery Village is not the right fit for you or your loved one, we will help refer you to a facility that is. The facilities usually structure round-the-clock monitoring of withdrawal symptom progression. Even when taken as prescribed, Xanax can provide discomforting side effects. It boosts the inhibitory signaling of a neurotransmitter known as GABA for the short-term relief of anxiety symptoms. 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. Likewise, when used with alcohol, Xanax can also affect the neural activity or cause one’s heart to stop beating.

Dangers of Mixing Xanax and Alcohol

That’s especially true if you are hoping that alcohol will augment the impact of Xanax, so you can take fewer pills and feel just as good. Additionally, that alcohol.org 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.

The Effects of Mixing Xanax and Alcohol

They both have individual sets of side effects that affect a person’s behavior and mental state. “The combination of alprazolam and alcohol on behavioral aggression.” Journal of Studies on Alcohol. If you suspect someone is experiencing an overdose, call 911 immediately. If you do not have access to a phone contact Web Poison Control Services for online assistance.

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