Xanax and alcohol are two substances that should never be mixed together. There have been countless cases of people who overdose by combining the two, primarily because each exaggerates the effects of the other. And, both suppress your respiratory system and central nervous system, which can easily lead to overdose, coma, and death.
Xanax and alcohol are both technically legal, and they are also easy to obtain. This makes both substances readily available, and many people are under the mistaken impression that because they are legal, they are safe. This could not be further from the case.
The Danger of Mixing Xanax and Alcohol
Xanax and alcohol are both depressants. Meaning, they more or less slow everything down – your motor skills, speech, reflexes, breathing, heart rate, etc. Put together, they exaggerate one another’s effect, and even in small doses, this can lead to a dire situation. One of the issues with combining these substances is that there is no magic amount that is safe. One person may be able to have ten beers, on top of Xanax, and be fine. A second person could have half a beer after ingesting Xanax and have a terrible reaction. Also, it can vary from day to day depending on your situation, so even if you have done it in the past, it doesn’t mean you will always be safe.
Alcohol and Xanax – also known as alprazolam) are broken down by the same liver enzymes. So, when you ingest both, your body, namely your liver, works extra hard to break down the compounds, and it takes longer for your body to get rid of the excess and detoxify itself. It is extremely rare for Xanax to cause a fatality by itself, but when mixing it with other substances you get into dangerous territory. Xanax and alcohol, when taken together stay in the body longer, giving it more of a chance to have a negative effect.
Together, both substances become more potent than if they were taken alone. This can lead to exaggerated sedation, make you accident prone, and you can easily become unconscious and stop breathing. An added danger is that both substances impact your memory. You may find yourself unsure if you already took a pill, or unclear about the number of drinks you had. As a result, you might take another pill or drink without even realizing how many you are taking simply because you can’t remember.
There are significant long-term effects of taking both substances also. As we mentioned above, both have a significant impact on memory, so taking both regularly can lead to serious short and long-term memory loss, hindering your ability to function at work, school, and even socially. You can also cause severe issues with your liver, starting with a fatty liver which is often reversible, and leading all the way up to cirrhosis of the liver, which can be fatal and requires a liver transplant.
Another significant danger is the possibility of becoming addicted to both substances. Out of all the drugs out there, Xanax and alcohol are two of the worst to detoxify from, and can even have dangerous consequences. Both can cause delirium tremens, a medical emergency that can cause seizures, coma, and death. It isn’t something to be played around with.
Abusing multiple drugs is called polydrug abuse, and it requires professional treatment to learn how to live sober. If you are combining drugs like Xanax and alcohol, it is important to get help as soon as possible before the effects become irreversible. Even though they are legal, both substances are addicting and dangerous, even more so when they are combined.