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The Harmful Effects Of Alcohol and Opioids

Mixing alcohol and opioids can be a dangerous game. The effects of both of these substances can lead to severe consequences and result in long-lasting effects on health and overall well-being. The risks being taken when mixing the two substances can far outweigh the good feeling that may be experienced. It is best practice to avoid mixing the two in order to avoid severe consequences.

Alcohol and Opioid Statistics

Approximately 250 lives are lost on a daily basis due to the use of drugs, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In 2019, 50% of those deaths involved multiple substances. Mixing alcohol and opioids can be life-threatening and lead to fatality. Alcohol is a depressant, and mixing it with other depressants, such as opioids, can lead to heightened effects of both substances. Opioids affect the central nervous system (CNS) and can affect breathing, motor movements, and slow blood pressure. When mixing alcohol and opioids, these effects can be heightened leading to coma, and even death.

Short Terms Effects of Mixing Alcohol and Opioids

The short-term effects of mixing alcohol and opioids can include a euphoric feeling. Opioids themselves create a sense of euphoria in users, and alcohol creates a sense of intoxication. Mixing the two substances can cause these sensations to be heightened. Mixing them could also result in the effects of the substances being felt a lot quicker than without mixing them. This could result in a dangerous overdose of either or both substances.

Both substances are depressants and can affect a person’s breathing. Mixing alcohol and opioids can cause breathing to become more shallow than it would if the substances were not mixed together.

Long-Term Effects of Mixing Alcohol and Opioids

The long-term effects of mixing alcohol and opioids can affect several parts of a person’s body and its systems. These are vital bodily systems that are crucial to digestion, breathing, and the breakdown of toxins within the body. Prolonged use of these substances can cause liver damage. Both opioids and alcohol have negative effects on the liver, mixing the two can lead to this damage occurring more rapidly, and drastically. Mixing these two substances can also cause gastrointestinal damage. This can cause stomach ulcers and bleeding. It can also lead to further issues with constipation and digestion.

Mentally, mixing alcohol and opioids can lead to cognitive functionality issues as well as mental health concerns. Using alcohol in conjunction with opioids long term can lead to memory problems, and difficulty with attention, concentration, and decision-making. Mental health-wise, mixing the two substances can cause mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and mood disorders.

Risks of Mixing Alcohol and Opioids

It is best practice to avoid mixing alcohol and opioids. The risks and consequences of this can be severe and long-term. Fatal overdose can occur as a result of combining these two substances. Even prescribed medications should not be mixed with alcohol. Prescriptions are usually labeled stating not to drink alcohol while taking the medication, as it can cause severe complications and interactions. Impacts on health and potentially life-threatening consequences as a result of drinking alcohol and using opioids is a risk no one should take.

The biggest risk associated with combining alcohol and opioids is fatal and nonfatal overdose. Because both substances are depressants, they can cause severely shallow breathing, and this can lead to a lack of oxygen. As a result of mixing the two substances, a person could enter into a coma from lack of oxygen. This can also cause organ failure because the person is not receiving enough oxygen. Those that are struggling with alcohol and opioids should seek professional help as soon as possible to avoid these complications.


When a person becomes dependent on these substances, stopping the use of them can become complicated. It can be challenging as the body needs these substances in order to function. Both alcohol and opioids have a high risk of addiction and dependence, so when a person abruptly stops taking them it can lead to some severe and uncomfortable symptoms. These withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening, and it is best to undergo alcohol and opioid detox with professional and medical monitoring. This can help to prevent some of the life-threatening complications from occurring, as well as make the process of detox a lot more comfortable for the individual going through it. Muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, restlessness, and blood pressure changes can lead to severe repercussions and should be medically monitored in order to prevent any life-altering complications.

Getting Better at Lexington Addiction Center

Struggling with alcohol and opioids can lead to pretty severe consequences and outcomes. It can affect every aspect of a person’s life. Jobs, family relationships, interpersonal relationships, and social acceptability can all be affected by struggles with alcohol and opioids. The dangers associated with mixing the two can lead to lifelong hindrances. The struggle doesn’t need to continue. There is help. At Lexington  Addiction Center we offer professional care to help those who are struggling. Call us today and begin living a new life.