Medical professionals often treat depression and anxiety by prescribing benzodiazepines (benzos), such as Klonopin, Valium, and Xanax. These medications act as sedatives and have a calming effect to the central nervous system. Benzos are now the most frequently abused drug and form a major part of America’s drug addiction epidemic. The effect benzos have on the physical and emotional state of a person increases the risk of growing a dependence on them. Benzos are easily available and often prescribed by doctors.
Drinking alcohol is harmful to a person’s physical and mental health on its own. When a person drinks alcohol while taking benzos, they put themselves in danger of many health problems, overdose, and death.
Benzos are used to treat anxiety, alcohol withdrawal, insomnia, and muscle tension. Mixing alcohol with benzos increases the risks of harmful effects to the liver, heart, and breathing. This toxic combination can also have negative effects on emotional stability and mental well-being.
Some side effects of mixing benzos with alcohol include confusion, slurred speech, irritability, aggression and short-term memory loss. Some patients take more of the drugs than prescribed to get high. One of the greatest dangers of this lethal combination is that each substance makes the effects of the other more powerful. It is therefore easy for the user to lose track of the amount they are consuming. Mixing any two drugs together will increase the probability of hurting yourself or others and can cause fatal accidents.
Prescription and over-the-counter medications usually have a warning label indicating the harmful effects they have when mixed with other medications or alcohol. Benzos are safe and effective when taken appropriately or as prescribed. Benzos and alcohol taken together can cause serious drug interactions and increase the risk of stomach bleeding, heart attack, stroke, or impaired breathing.
A person who struggles with alcoholism will have a cross-tolerance for benzodiazepine, because both drugs affect the brain in similar ways. People who mix benzos with alcohol might engage in more anti-social behaviors, such as aggression, hostility, and irritability (Mixing Alcohol and Benzodiazepines, n.d.). Read warning labels, know the side effects, and ask a doctor or pharmacist about adverse interactions.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction or substance abuse, get help now. Nexus Recovery Services specializes in treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Our mission is to provide tools and support for every client’s seamless transition into a meaningful and fulfilling life of sobriety. We offer a free and confidential consultation. Call us to get started: 310-881-9151