The combination of alcohol and opioids can put you at risk for dangerous reactions. Opioids give rise to a number of harmful effects when misused, and this potential is worsened when alcohol is added to the equation. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, which means that it slows down brain activity, while opioid pain medications can slow down breathing rate. When the two substances are combined, these effects may be amplified and can lead to coma or death. According to the Center for Disease Control, alcohol was involved in over 22% of prescription painkiller deaths. With prolonged use, both alcohol and opioid medications make their user tolerant to them. This can influence a person to increase their usage without consent from their doctor, possibly leading to inappropriate use or overdose.
How can I do that?
To learn more about the dangers of mixing opioids with alcohol, visit the DrugAbuse website.
By understanding the symptoms and learning to recognize them in others, you can help a friend or loved one find the help they need using our Resource page.