It’s dangerous to combine alcohol with any type of prescription medication.
There are many myths about prescription drug abuse, but a definite fact is that these drugs are just as dangerous as illicit drugs. On its own, alcohol can produce a variety of adverse side effects. When combined with prescription pills, not only are these side effects amplified, but alcohol can increase the severity of the medication’s side effects, as well. The same is true for opioids like Vicodin. There are several problems that result from drinking and taking medications together. Our addiction treatment center in Palm Springs is sharing the specific dangers of mixing Vicodin and alcohol and why it should be avoided at all costs.
What is Vicodin?
Vicodin is a prescription opioid that’s usually used to treat severe to chronic pain. Vicodin is similar to other opioids like hydrocodone and oxycodone in how It affects the central nervous system. Vicodin works by attaching itself to opioid receptors in the brain, preventing pain signals from traveling to the brain. In addition, opioids also affect the level of chemicals called neurotransmitters, including a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine plays a role in how we feel pleasure and is linked to our brain’s reward system. The brain releases dopamine when we do something we enjoy, like eating. If you’ve ever done a happy dance when you’ve tasted something delicious, that’s dopamine.
On the other hand, dopamine also plays a role in the development of physical drug dependence. Taking a higher dose of a medication than prescribed or mixing it with other substances can quickly lead to tolerance and addiction. At Banyan Treatment Centers Palm Springs, we’re well aware of the health repercussions that can result from opioid abuse. We offer comprehensive opioid addiction treatment in California that treats these repercussions and helps patients regain their sobriety.
What Happens When You Mix Alcohol and Vicodin?
Polysubstance abuse is when you take more than one substance together. Polysubstance abuse often leads to addiction, which usually begins when people experiment with mixing different drugs and alcohol. Polysubstance abuse is common among people who have friends who also abuse drugs and alcohol. People who like to go to clubs or are often in the party scene are also more likely to use multiple substances at one time. Taking Vicodin and alcohol together is an example of polysubstance abuse that many people have struggled with. A Vicodin and alcohol interaction can result in various uncomfortable and even life-threatening side effects.
The most common side effects of Vicodin and alcohol combination include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Decreased or increased blood pressure
- Irregular heart rate
- Loss of motor coordination and balance
- Impaired judgment
- Abnormal and risky behavior
- Loss of consciousness
- Respiratory arrest
A person’s risk of experiencing a Vicodin and alcohol overdose increases the longer they abuse these substances. Addiction is the most common side effect of substance abuse. Most individuals who engage in long-term substance abuse require drug or alcohol addiction treatment.