A woman experiencing Xanax and alcohol side effects.

The Dangers of Mixing Xanax and Alcohol

Struggling with an alcohol use disorder is like any other debilitating disease. It can drain your strength and leave you feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and, at times, completely defeated. And trying to manage your alcohol abuse on your own, without the guidance of a qualified clinical treatment facility, leaves you vulnerable to dangerous side effects and overdoses.

During times when you’re abusing alcohol, mixing different types of drugs and substances can place your overall health at greater risk. Understanding the ways in which substances like Xanax and alcohol impact your body, and interact when ingested together, is essential to identifying the dangers associated with their use and their potential lethality when taken together.

The Quick Facts on Xanax

Xanax is a medication that belongs to the benzodiazepine class of drugs and is typically prescribed to people dealing with excessive anxiety. It is a central nervous system depressant that slows brain activity and produces a calming effect, but it can also have a significantly harmful impact when misused, abused or combined with other depressants, such as alcohol.

Other symptoms associated with Xanax use include:

• Drowsiness
• Dizziness
• Slurred speech
• Decreased coordination
• Low blood pressure

Is Mixing Xanax and Alcohol Dangerous?

Since both alcohol and Xanax are considered central nervous system depressants, using them together can have dangerous consequences – such as severe memory loss, respiratory depression, excessive sedation, loss of consciousness and even cardiac arrest.

Alcohol and Xanax can each harm the body, but the damage significantly increases when they are combined. Since both substances are depressants, they can greatly relax muscles and bring the central nervous system to a crawl, which can result in unconsciousness or even a coma.

Their effect on the immune system can also increase the likelihood of life-threatening infections and accidents, especially those related to driving.

Abusing these two substances in great quantities has been attributed to massive organ failure and even death. Other common symptoms that are typically experienced when combining Xanax and alcohol include:

• Shallow breathing
• Faint heartbeat
• Lack of coordination
• Increased risk of aggression
• Heart arrythmia
• Anoxic brain injury
• Increased risk of suicide

Xanax and Alcohol Side Effects

As previously stated, the dangers associated with combining alcohol and Xanax can range from confusion to severe heart issues to death. Depending on the amount ingested and longevity of use, the impact of combining these two substances can significantly damage multiple areas of the body and potentially prove fatal.

Some of the known side effects associated with Xanax and alcohol abuse include:

• Mood disorders
• Cirrhosis
• Increased risk for accidents and aggression
• Interpersonal problems
• Noticeable declines in work performance
• Memory loss
• Shallow breathing
• Liver cancer
• Alcoholic hepatitis
• Cardiomyopathy
• Stroke
• Mouth and throat cancer
• Breast cancer
• Pancreatitis

Both acute and chronic alcohol intake, in combination with Xanax, can significantly increase sedation throughout your brain and body, causing the respiratory system to falter and the overall functionality of your brain and heart to diminish.

This type of reaction has been shown to cause an individual to stop breathing at times and even induce a comatose state.

Is Xanax and Alcohol Memory Loss a Real Thing?

People who mix Xanax and alcohol will routinely experience difficulty forming new memories and recalling old ones. This is due to the fact that mixing any benzodiazepine with alcohol increases the risk of experiencing a blackout – where a person may still be responding to the environment but later have no memory of what actually occurred.

This is the result of both the drug’s and the alcohol’s inhibitory ability to decrease neurotransmission and overall functionality of the brain.

Is it Time to Get Clean? Life-Changing Help is Out There

There is no time like the present to begin your journey back to health, happiness and homeostasis. Making the decision to confront your addiction with the help of qualified treatment professionals is the best way to increase your odds of achieving both personal success and long-term sobriety.

By incorporating a holistic approach, you will not only identify the negative influences impacting your life and exacerbating your addictive impulses, but you will also create an individualized treatment approach to aid in overcoming your substance use disorder while healing the physical and emotional damage inflicted throughout the course of your addiction.

Now is the time to embrace change and begin moving forward on your recovery journey.

Individualized, Holistic Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

The self-perpetuating cycle you’re caught up in doesn’t have to rule your life forever. You can face your co-occurring hurdles head-on with professional help and individualized support at Ranch Creek

Learn more about our dual diagnosis treatment program or contact us today to get your questions answered and learn more about our all-encompassing approach to co-occurring disorder treatment.

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