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Mixing Xanax and Alcohol - Threats and Dangers

Your Recovery from addiction is not a race. 
Xanax is commonly prescribed for anxiety and panic disorders, but mixing it with alcohol can have dangerous consequences. Since 2017, Miracles Asia has been helping people who are struggling with substance abuse problems. If you or a loved one are stuck a vicious cycle of addiction, our alcohol rehab in Thailand may be the step needed for a long-lasting recovery.

Table of Contents

Xanax is a medication that is most commonly prescribed in cases of anxiety and panic disorders. As a central nervous system depressant, it slows down your breathing, speech, reflexes, motor skills, heart rate, and so on, providing the person taking it with a sense of relaxation that helps calm down their anxiety.

Some people decide to take Xanax and drink alcohol simultaneously, thinking that it will make the feeling of relaxation even stronger. However, that's not actually the case. 

While both Xanax and alcohol are central nervous system depressants, taking both alcohol and Xanax can be quite a dangerous combination.

In this article, we will talk about why you shouldn't mix Xanax and alcohol, how to know whether someone you know is doing it, and answer some of the most frequent questions about these depressants.

Why Shouldn't You Mix Xanax and Alcohol

There are several reasons why drinking alcohol while on Xanax is a bad idea. First of all, there is no amount that could be considered "safe". There's no telling how one will react to the mixture - some can drink a few beers and be completely fine, while others will drink not even one beer and feel terrible. 

On top of that, even people who already tried mixing the two substances and felt fine that time could have a terrible reaction next time.

Mixing drugs and alcohol makes your liver work extra hard, as they are both broken down by the same liver enzymes. This means that it might take longer for your body to get rid of the toxins, which, in turn, means that the negative effects have more time to kick in.

When you mix alcohol with Xanax, you increase the potency of both of them. Instead of just becoming relaxed, you can end up feeling exaggerated tiredness, or, in extreme cases, you can even become unconscious or stop breathing. 

What's more, Xanax and alcohol abuse also impact your memory, which is why you might forget, for example, how much you drank or if you already took Xanax, leading to taking another pill or drinking more, simply because you couldn't remember what you've already done.

The effects of mixing alcohol with Xanax can also have long-term consequences, especially on your memory, causing both short-term and long-term memory losses, which can negatively impact your everyday life. 

Abuse of these two substances can also lead to problems with your liver, such as fatty liver or cirrhosis of the liver, which can require a liver transplant or even be fatal.

Xanax and alcohol can intensify depression symptoms, including respiratory depression, which results in slow breathing and not enough oxygen reaching one's lungs. In severe cases, it might lead to cardiac arrest or brain damage.

Finally, constant substance abuse can lead to addiction - by mixing Xanax and alcohol long-term, you can become dependent on either of them.

What Happens When You Mix Xanax and Alcohol

How you feel after mixing Xanax with alcohol will usually depend on which one of the two you've taken more of. For example, if you've drank more alcohol, you will most likely feel extreme lethargy and sedative effects. 

You can also become irritated or be in a depressed mood. 

If, on the other hand, you've consumed more Xanax than alcohol, you will also feel the sedative effects, but you're more likely to experience a sense of euphoria.

Here is a short list of symptoms you might experience when mixing Xanax and alcohol.

Physical Effects

Slowed breathing.
Sleepiness, tiredness.
Poor coordination and delayed reactions.
Lower heart rate.
Dizziness, lightheadedness.
Slurred speech.
Blurred vision.

Behavioral Effects

Irritability and hostility.
Agitation and aggression.
Memory impairment.
Other unusual behavior

How To Tell Someone Is Abusing Alcohol and Xanax

Identifying Xanax misuse and alcohol addiction can be very difficult, considering that some of the symptoms are normal effects of taking this specific prescription medication. 

That's why probably the easiest approach would be to look for signs of alcohol addiction, which include:
Choosing alcohol over other responsibilities, such as work or school.
Drinking alone or in secret.
Changes in appearance or in behavior.
Comprehensive evaluation and treatment planning.

What Happens When You Stop Abusing Alcohol and Xanax

If you or your loved one have been abusing Xanax and alcohol, then chances are that you will go through a withdrawal once you stop using the substances. 

How strong the symptoms will be depends on several factors, including how long you have been abusing the drugs, how much of them you usually take, what's your overall physical health, your age, and more.

You may experience symptoms like the following.
Chills and sweating.
Confusion and/or loss of consciousness.
Delirium tremens.
Erratic breathing.
Fast or fluttering heartbeat.
High blood pressure.
Nausea and vomiting.
Tingling in extremities.
The alcohol and Xanax withdrawal symptoms will usually start on the first day you stop using the drugs, with the peak falling between the second and seventh day. However, the psychological symptoms can be present for weeks or even months - this is also known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) and can include anxiety, confusion, fatigue, insomnia, irritability, low mood, and more.

PAWS happens because your brain needs time to "readjust" itself. When you abuse alcohol and Xanax your body becomes used to relying on them to produce certain chemicals. Once you stop, your body needs to re-learn to produce the necessary amounts of those same chemicals.

How To Treat Alcohol and Xanax Addiction

The first step to overcoming addiction is admitting that you have a problem.

It's important to know that you should never try to quit cold turkey, as it can be quite dangerous. Life-threatening withdrawal symptoms can turn out to be more than you can deal with - getting out of an addiction is often a slow process that requires time and the help of a medical professional

One of the best ways to overcome an alcohol addiction, drug addiction, or any other type of addiction is through going an Addiction Treatment Center, like Miracles Asia. When you arrive at our rehab in Thailand, you will have professional help, that you can reach out to whenever you feel like giving up.

Xanax and Alcohol Abuse - Frequently Asked Questions

How does Xanax misuse happen?
Xanax is an anti-anxiety medication that, when used properly, can be of great help to someone suffering from an anxiety or panic disorder. However, some people misuse it, which can lead to several negative symptoms. 

The misuse can happen in several ways, including:

1. Taking Xanax but not in the way it is prescribed.
2. Taking a higher dose of Xanax than you were prescribed.
3. Taking Xanax when you haven't been prescribed it.
4. Taking Xanax with other drugs and substances.
Can you overdose by mixing alcohol and Xanax?
Yes, you can overdose on Xanax. Alcohol slows down the metabolism process of the drug, which can result in high concentrations of Xanax staying in the organism. And if you're wondering if a fatal overdose can happen, the answer is yes. In some cases combining Xanax and alcohol can be deadly.

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