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The Dangers of Combining Xanax and Alcohol

Mixing Xanax with other drugs or alcohol can be a deadly mistake. Although Xanax has been known to help individuals regain control over their anxiety when taken responsibly, the combination of Xanax and alcohol can have significant, extremely dangerous consequences in both the short-term and the long-term.


What is Xanax?


Xanax is a short-acting benzodiazepine that is commonly prescribed to help individuals who suffer from anxiety disorders. The drug may be prescribed to help control seizure activity, ease muscle spasms, and relieve insomnia. It can also be used to wean individuals from alcohol dependence by minimizing or eliminating alcohol withdrawal. Xanax is sold in generic form as alprazolam.


Xanax is classified as a benzodiazepine, which means that it has a sedative effect. Benzodiazepines are intended to produce a calming effect by slowing down the activity in a person’s central nervous system. Benzodiazepines have also become increasingly known for their strong addictive potential when used in the long term; despite this risk, Xanax is the single most common psychiatric medication prescribed in the United States. 


How is Xanax Used Recreationally?


Prescription rates for Xanax have continued to rise steadily since 2008; an estimated 70% of teens who become addicted to Xanax acquire their supply of the drug from their family’s medicine cabinet. Its physiological effects can appear within minutes as the drug enters the bloodstream and tend to peak within hours, causing users to enter a prolonged state of pleasure and euphoria. Because of the rapid onset of its effects, the majority of people who use Xanax now use it for recreational purposes rather than medical purposes.


Due to its recent surge in popularity and relative ease of access, Xanax has quickly become a well-known street drug that is used to enhance the effects of alcohol. Xanax abuse can induce pleasurable effects such as lightheadedness, a dreamlike sense of surreality, emotional numbness, and euphoric sexual energy. Although the drug has proven to be effective in a medical context, its widespread abuse and related fatalities have surpassed its positive uses in the eyes of many treatment centers and recovery facilities. 


What Are the Side Effects of Combining Xanax and Alcohol?

Xanax and alcohol are broken down by the same enzymes, causing it to take longer for your body to cleanse its system when the two are ingested together. This means that when you take both Xanax and alcohol, your body is more likely to keep both substances in your system for a longer time, prolonging the recovery of your brain from their combined negative consequences.


Combining Xanax and alcohol can also cause both drugs to be more potent than they would have been if used alone. Alcohol and benzodiazepines both work to reduce brain activity by slowing signals throughout the central nervous system. When used independently, they each induce a relaxing state; when used together, the effects of both drugs tend to build upon each other, causing an oversedating effect that can result in coma or death.


What Are the Short-Term Effects of Xanax and Alcohol?


People usually mix Xanax and alcohol to achieve a euphoric high. This is extremely dangerous, and can result in the following effects:


  • Sedation: Alcohol and Xanax are both substances that have sedative properties. When combining these drugs, a person may feel fatigue ad drowsiness to a degree that creates extreme impairment.
  • Mood and behavior change: Although you may obtain a euphoric feeling at first, this combination can also trigger depressive episodes and suicidal thoughts. In some cases people may experience sudden, intense bouts of rage, aggression, and hostile behavior. 
  • Memory loss: people who mix Xanax and alcohol have often reported “blacking out”. This is when a person cannot remember making decisions or engaging in behaviors for a period of time while under the influence of these substances. 


What Are the Long-Term Effects of Xanax and Alcohol?


Although mixing these drugs comes with immediate short-term dangers, they can cause serious long-term effects as well. Lasting consequences of combining Xanax and alcohol can include:


  • Memory loss and cognitive difficulties
  • Liver damage and failure
  • Personality changes
  • Depression
  • Changes in weight
  • Heart disease
  • Anxiety
  • Vertigo
  • Addiction


What Kind of Help Can I Receive for Xanax and Alcohol?


If you or someone you love has been abusing Xanax and alcohol, chances are high that they have formed an addiction to these substances that will require professional assistance. Withdrawal symptoms can occur with intensity, and may pose life-threatening dangers. It is not recommended for anyone to fight this battle alone or attempt to quit cold turkey. Medically assisted detox can help minimize the risk of experiencing potentially fatal results. RECO Intensive provides treatment services in Delray Beach, Florida. Our state-of-the-art facility is equipped with professionals who offer 24-hour assistance. Conquer this battle and get your life back.

Taking prescribed Xanax to help treat your anxiety or for other medical reasons comes with significant benefits. This medication should only be taken as prescribed, as its side effects can be dangerous even to those with professional medical supervision. Although it’s rare for users to overdose on Xanax at first, once you start mixing Xanax with other substances such as alcohol, the chances of death become extremely high. It is simply not worth it. If you or someone you know has been mixing Xanax and alcohol, there’s assistance out there designed to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and help you to detox safely. Trying to quit cold turkey from Xanax addiction can be life-threatening or result in irreversible consequences. Detox should take place under strict medical supervision to ensure your health and safety. RECO Intensive aims to be there to help you throughout this battle. You deserve more than the life you’re living now. Call us at (561) 464-6533 to learn more.

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