Drug Rehabilitation Blog

Opioids and Alcohol: A Deadly Combination

Substance abuse can be an extremely dangerous activity.  Of course, different drugs and alcohol by themselves can harm a person’s body in many ways, but the dangers are even more compounded when the person partakes in several substances in combination.

One of the more dangerous combinations that a person may partake in is that of opiates and alcohol.  Not only can both of these be dangerous in large amounts in their own right, but when combined they can magnify the negative effects of each other.  Both of these substances play off of each other in a few different ways.  For instance, opiates tend to increase the rate of alcohol absorption into the body, increasing its effects, while alcohol increases the depressant effect of opiates.

Each of these has their own unique array of effects that they have on a person.  Alcohol can bring about intoxication, slurred speech, lowered inhibitions, and when a person consumes too much, it can include nausea, vomiting, and even death from alcohol poisoning.  Opiates, as most know, are typically used for medical pain management, but their effects include slowing down or depressing the central nervous system, which alcohol can also achieve.

Effects of Combining Alcohol and Opiates

Both of these substances are depressants, which is in large part why they exacerbate each other’s effects.  The combination of both of these powerful substances can be numerous, including:

  • Irregular Breathing
  • Heart Rate Decrease
  • Respiratory Depression (decreased respiration rate)
  • Lowering of body temperature
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Comatose
  • Death

This combination influences the effects of each substance in various ways.  For instance, alcohol tolerance becomes significantly lower when combined with opiates, which increases the possibility of alcohol poisoning.  Vice versa, the effects of opiates are increased heavily by the presence of alcohol in the system.

The potential for overdose can increase greatly when combining these two substances.  Being that they exaggerate each other’s effects, the person can often consume too much of both.  The result is that they will experience much heavier effects than they would have in taking the same amount of each substance by itself.  This makes the substances hit them much harder and faster than they may have anticipated.  Figures have been reported as high as 98% of opiate overdoses involving alcohol and/or other depressants of the central nervous system.

While the use of any substance can be dangerous when such substances are used to excess, individuals who combine substances have much higher risk.  These people can be putting themselves in grave danger every time they use a concoction of two or more substances.  Just as individuals prescribed medication are told not to mix them with anything, the same could be applied to many mind and physiologically altering substances.  Plus, mixtures like this can create very severe addiction to multiple substances, which is difficult to overcome.  Treatment is typically the best option for individuals in this position.

Attending Best Drug Rehabilitation for Drug or Alcohol Addiction

It can be an extremely difficult proposition to recover from drug or alcohol addiction, but it is far from impossible to recover from it.  Whatever the addiction may be, a person can overcome it with proper addiction treatment.  Best Drug Rehabilitation takes a very unique approach to addiction treatment, in that we customize a program for every single person that is admitted into our program.  This allows us to address the person’s overall addiction, including any underlying factors or issues of it.  Our advisors are standing by to answer any questions that you may have about our program.  Do not wait, give us a call today.

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