What Happens When you Mix Depressants and Alcohol?

Drugs and alcohol are two substances that should never be combined, but unfortunately, it happens every day. Some people combine stimulants with alcohol or opioids with alcohol, but mixing alcohol with other depressants also occurs. Benzodiazepines like Valium and Xanax are some of the most common depressants that are mixed with alcohol, due to their recreational effects.

This is why it’s not typically recommended to combine alcohol with other depressants, but unfortunately, many people aren’t aware of the dangers until it’s too late. If you’re currently struggling with depressant abuse or addiction, whether it involves alcohol or not, help is available.

What Are Depressants ?

Depressants, which are sometimes referred to as “downers,” are drugs that are prescribed to reduce symptoms of mental illness, due to their tranquilizing effects. Some depressants, such as alcohol, don’t require a prescription. As the name implies, depressants physiologically depress the central nervous system (CNS). They essentially lower levels of awareness in the brain. This can result in a decreased heart rate, decreased breathing rate and even loss of consciousness (at higher doses).

Depressants are among the most widely used drugs in the world, with alcohol as one of the most commonly abused legal depressants. Although CNS depressants all have the ability to reduce activity in the central nervous system, the various types of depressants differ from each other in many ways. The specific reasons that these drugs are prescribed also vary from depressant to depressant. Some are prescribed as sleep aids while others are prescribed for anxiety.

Some of the most common depressant brands include:

  • Xanax
  • Valium
  • Halcion
  • Ativan
  • Klonopin
  • Librium
mixing depressants and alcohol

What Are the Side Effects of Depressants and Alcohol?

Abusing depressants and alcohol can result in both short-term and long-term effects, some of which can be irreversible. While many people use depressants due to their relaxing effects, the gravity of the negative effects far outweigh the temporary feelings of relaxation. Some of the side effects of depressants and alcohol abuse include:

  • Seizures
  • Low blood pressure
  • Slurred speech
  • Fatigue
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Unconsciousness
  • Impaired coordination and motor skills
  • Slowed breathing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Coma
  • Death

There are a number of non-physical effects of depressant abuse as well. Many depressant abusers experience problems with finances, employment, friends, and family. Of course, the physical effects can easily put others at risk, such as if an intoxicated person is behind the wheel or operating machinery.

Dangers of Mixing Depressants and Alcohol

Many people drink alcohol socially and responsibly, in small amounts, while others drink it excessively. For many people, alcohol consumption is a means of self-medicating for various mental disorders, such as depression or anxiety. Since no prescription is required for alcohol, it can be easily abused while taking a prescribed depressant, under the pretense that the negative effects will be enhanced.

Mixing depressants with alcohol, or mixing any other two depressants together, can have catastrophic effects. The side effects of any two depressants can be enhanced, which means the chances of intoxication and overdose are greater. This, of course, means that the risk of death is also greater when mixing alcohol with another depressant.

Treatment for Depressants and Alcohol

Are you struggling with an addiction to alcohol with another depressant or do you know someone who is? Are you concerned about your safety or that of a loved one as a result of depressant abuse? If the answer is yes, we want to help. The Recovery Village takes an advanced approach to treatment for various substance abuse cases, including those that involve both drugs and alcohol.

Our advanced medical care, wellness programs and holistic treatments are intended to not just treat drug and alcohol abuse, but heal the whole self. Each center is staffed with a team of caring, experienced professionals who want nothing more than to see each and every patient get well and stay well. Our alcohol rehab facilities are safe and secure with a variety of indoor and outdoor amenities. Give us a call today to speak with one of our intake coordinators, and get started on the road to recovery.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

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