A study found that over the past 20 years, deaths resulting from mixing prescription medication and alcohol have increased 3000%.
One of the most common—and dangerous—risks of mixing opiates and alcohol is that both drugs are categorized as depressants. When combined, certain side effects—notably slowed breathing—can be exacerbated. This puts you at risk of going into respiratory arrest.
Part of the problem is lack of education and awareness. Shortened hospital stays in an effort to decrease medical costs means that people who at one time may have been under the direct care of a doctor and receiving 24 hour medical supervision while taking powerful painkillers are now taking these prescriptions home with them. These drugs are out of the hands of doctors and nurses and now in the hands of someone with no medical background who may not truly understand the dangers of these medications.
Of course the other issue is the prevalence of prescription medication, especially opiates such as Oxycontin and Vicodin. For many, it is much easier (any much more socially acceptable) to use prescription opiates than heroin even though both drugs create very similar effects and can be equally powerful. We are seeing a huge increase in the number of college students abusing different types of prescription drugs, most notably Adderall, a medication used to treat ADHD, and prescription opiates. Adderall is a stimulant—not entirely unlike cocaine—that many students will use to help them stay up late and study. When Adderall is mixed with alcohol, individuals are often able to drink more than they normally could. When you drink, you become tired and eventually pass out. This is your body telling you that you have had too much. Using stimulants interferes with this process, placing you at risk to drink too much without realizing it and possibly suffering from alcohol poisoning. Another danger is students who have been drinking and then, not thinking clearly, take prescription drugs that dangerously interact with alcohol.
If you are concerned that you or someone you love may be abusing drugs and alcohol, call Recovering Souls today to learn more about how you can get help. You don’t have to abuse drugs and alcohol for years before experiencing the dangerous and even deadly consequences of addiction. And you don’t have to lose years of your life to addiction. Call 1-800-832-5250 to learn more about affordable treatment options.