Hydrocodone and Alcohol: A Recipe for Disaster | Banyan Texas

Hydrocodone and Alcohol: A Recipe for Disaster

Hydrocodone and Alcohol: A Recipe for Disaster
 

If you’ve ever been prescribed painkillers, then you may remember your doctor saying to avoid drinking alcohol while taking it.

On its own, alcohol acts as a central nervous system depressant, producing a sense of relaxation and well-being, commonly referred to as a “buzz.” However, when it’s mixed with other drugs, it can intensify the side effects of the medication unpredictably and dangerously. The same is true about mixing hydrocodone and alcohol. While opiates make great pain relievers on their own, when taken with alcohol, it becomes a recipe for disaster.


What Is Hydrocodone?

Commonly sold under the brand name Zohydro ER, hydrocodone is an opioid used to treat pain, manage severe coughing, or alleviate discomfort after major surgery. Hydrocodone is also an active ingredient in other commonly used medications, such as Vicodin, Anexsia, Lorcet, and Norco. Like other opioids, hydrocodone works by binding to opioid receptors on the surface of nerve cells, depressing the central nervous system.

While this drug’s powerful pain-relieving properties make it effective in treating chronic pain, they also make it a common drug of abuse. Not only does hydrocodone alleviate physical discomfort, but it also stimulates the release of dopamine and the reward system to produce a sedative and euphoric high, especially when taken in high doses. As a result, it’s one of the many drugs that have contributed to the opioid epidemic and the growing demand for inpatient drug treatment.


What Are the Side Effects of Taking Hydrocodone With Alcohol?

If you’re still wondering, “can you drink alcohol on hydrocodone?” the answer is a resounding no. Mixing alcohol with hydrocodone is extremely dangerous because they’re both central nervous system depressants. Alone, each can produce sedation and cognitive impairment, but together, their side effects are intensified to the point where they can potentially become life-threatening.

Some common side effects of mixing hydrocodone with alcohol include:

  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Fluctuation in blood pressure
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Impaired judgment
  • Abnormal behavior
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Shallow, slow, or ineffective breathing (respiratory depression)
  • Coma

Additionally, because both hydrocodone and alcohol are addictive when abused, using them together for long periods often leads to addiction. However, despite their dangers, people take them together for the relaxation, calmness, and euphoria they produce. But while you’re riding this high, these substances are slowly producing damage that becomes more noticeable over time.


Hydrocodone and Alcohol Overdose Symptoms

When taken together, alcohol and hydrocodone intensify each others’ side effects, causing you to lose your motor skills, coordination, and ability to think clearly. Because both drugs are depressants, they also slow your heart rate and breathing down to the point where you don’t get enough oxygen to the brain, causing you to lose consciousness.

The most prominent danger of this combination, however, is overdose. When a person overdoses on hydrocodone and alcohol, they may experience symptoms like:

  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Respiratory depression
  • Coma
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Limp body
  • Awake, but unable to talk
  • Pale or clammy skin
  • Blue lips, fingernails, and skin
  • Slow, erratic, or unidentifiable pulse
  • Slowed or stopped breathing
  • Choking sounds (“death rattle”)
  • Nausea and/or vomiting

Drinking alcohol with hydrocodone or other opioids is also dangerous because opioids affect your inhibitions or ability to make sound decisions, causing you to drink too much or take too many pills. This further increases your risk of overdosing. Moreover, because hydrocodone contains acetaminophen, long-term alcohol and hydrocodone abuse can lead to liver toxicity, disease, or failure.

It’s also important to keep in mind that alcohol and hydrocodone intoxication can occur even if you don’t mean to take them together. If you drink hydrocodone while alcohol is still in your system, then you may experience the side effects mentioned above. If you aren’t careful, you could become accustomed to this combination and develop an addiction or overdose. Repeatedly overdosing on opioids and alcohol can lead to permanent brain damage in the long run.


Alcohol and Opioid Abuse Treatment

Addiction, in general, can also impact your career, finances, and relationships. But no matter how long you’ve been addicted, you’re never far from hope. Your recovery can begin with the help of our Texas rehab. We usually start our patients off with medically monitored detox to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and help them manage drug cravings. Then, they can move on to their opioid rehab program, where they may receive counseling and therapy to overcome their addictions.

If you’re interested in getting help for yourself or a loved one, call Banyan Treatment Centers today at 888-280-4763 to learn more about our drug addiction treatment in Texas.


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Alyssa
Alyssa
Alyssa who is the National Director of Digital Marketing, joined the Banyan team in 2016, bringing her five-plus years of experience. She has produced a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. Through strategic marketing campaign concepts, Alyssa has established Banyan as an industry leader and a national household name.