What Happens When You Mix Oxycodone and Alcohol?

Oxycodone and alcohol are both strong drugs on their own that should be consumed, only with the utmost care and responsibility. Alcohol is the most widely used drug in the United States, with about 70 percent of Americans drinking on at least one occasion in the past year. Oxycodone is a highly prevalent prescription pain medication for Americans. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) indicates that about 81 percent of the world’s oxycodone supply is in the United States.

On their own, both
alcohol and oxycodone have the potential for abuse along with a plethora of negative side effects. However, when combined (especially in excess), they can create a lethal brew, resulting in impaired judgement, respiratory distress or even death.

What Is Oxycodone?

A powerful prescription opioid, oxycodone is one of the most universally prescribed medications used to treat moderate to severe pain. While it can be very helpful for some patients, the drug does come with significant risks, including a host of side effects ranging from drowsiness and nausea to dry mouth and loss of appetite. The narcotic medicine also has the potential for misuse, making it one of the most abused prescription medications. When used in excess, it creates feelings of euphoria that take the user outside of their normal cognitive abilities, making normal activities, like driving, dangerous.

mixing oxycodone and alcohol

What Are the Side Effects of Oxycodone and Alcohol?

There are stringent warnings against mixing oxycodone with alcohol, and for good reason. While both substances can have negative side effects on their own, they are only compounded when mixed. There are major risks associated with combining oxycodone and alcohol, meaning that the risks of interactions highly outweigh any potential benefits, especially for those who may be overusing either substance. Some of the side effects of combining oxycodone with alcohol may include:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Impaired thinking and judgement
  • Low blood pressure
  • Respiratory distress
  • Fainting
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Impaired breathing
  • Liver problems
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Coma
  • Death

Dangers of Mixing Oxycodone and Alcohol

Because drinking alcohol is part of daily life for some people, they may not even realize that they should discontinue use while taking prescription narcotics. When given a prescription, always consult your doctor about potential side effects and dangerous combinations.

Both oxycodone and alcohol carry significant dangers, including the potential for addiction, especially for those with a family or personal history of mental illness and substance use disorder. Addiction can lead to a lifetime of heartache for you and your family and friends. Using either substance can impair judgement, meaning that you could accidentally take even more than you realize. Combining substances can also lead to opioid overdose or alcohol poisoning and even death. While products like Narcan are available to help relieve opioid overdose, there is no medical antidote for alcohol poisoning. You should contact emergency services if you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of either overdose or alcohol poisoning.   

Treatment for Oxycodone and Alcohol

There are a variety of resources available to those who may be misusing oxycodone and alcohol, including addiction treatment centers like The Recovery Village. With facilities across the United States, The Recovery VIllage is well equipped to care for a variety of substance use and co-occurring disorders (addiction and mental and behavioral health issues together). During treatment for alcohol and oxycodone, you’ll undergo medical detox under the supervision of a trained clinical staff before transitioning into an inpatient or outpatient program. During this time, you’ll learn how to live life without the confines of drugs and alcohol. Contact an intake coordinator to take the first step toward healing with The Recovery Village.

Mixing Oxycodone and Alcohol
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