Alcohol is the most commonly abused drug behind tobacco, and opioids are the most widely prescribed medications in the world. It should come as no surprise that mixing these two potentially deadly substances is common for drug users. The act of combining two depressant drugs, however, can make the effects of each drug individually much more potent. If you are prescribed opioid medications for pain, you must speak with a physician before consuming alcoholic beverages.
Opioid medications like oxycodone and alcohol are central nervous system (CNS) depressant drugs. While the mechanism of action of opiates and alcohol involves different neurotransmitters, both substances work together by activating some of the same neurotransmitters, such as dopamine. A majority of people who consume alcohol will use opiates to enhance the effects of alcohol. It can be a dangerous and deadly combination that should be avoided at all costs.
Central nervous system depressant drugs slow down the functioning of neurons in the central nervous system. It produces a relaxing euphoria and sedation in higher doses. Individuals who chronically use opioids and alcohol together will develop a physical dependence on both substances, which can create severe physical dependence. Those who consume opioids recreationally set themselves up for a life of addiction.
There are several types of opiate drugs that vary in strength. Many opioids are available by prescription, while others are illicit drugs that do not possess therapeutic effects. The most common opiate drugs include:
There can be severe effects resulting in mixing opioids with alcohol. If you consume opioids and alcohol in conjunction with one another, you put yourself at an increased risk of overdose, or in some cases, death. Below we will highlight some of the most significant problems you may face with this potentially deadly cocktail.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.). Alcohol. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/alcohol
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.). Opioids. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, March 6). Prescription CNS Depressants. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/prescription-cns-depressants
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.). Is there a difference between physical dependence and addiction? Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/frequently-asked-questions/there-difference-between-physical-dependence
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.). Drug Misuse and Addiction. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/drug-misuse-addiction