We often hear ‘Don’t mix this medication with alcohol’, this is because the mixture can create entirely unaccounted-for effects that have the potential to be dangerous. Two scenarios are possible according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the alcohol may change the function of your medication or the latter can change how you feel the effect of the alcohol.
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Alcohol can change the way medicine is absorbed in the digestive tract. Additionally, it could also raise the concentration of the medicine in your blood which can heighten its effects or go as far as reaching toxic levels, this is especially true for daily drinkers who are prescribed medications for everyday use. Here are some medications you should avoid mixing with alcohol:
Stimulants are a direct counter to sedatives. As such it can be extremely difficult to gauge the extent of either one’s effect when consumed together. This means that it could be easy to underestimate the quantity consumed of either drug which makes it extremely dangerous as it can cause seizures and in the worst case overdoses.
This combination is also dangerous because it could facilitate the creation of drug use disorders as the simultaneous use of these substances ‘balances each other out’ which makes it easy to become a functioning substance abuser.
Anti-anxiety medication (benzodiazepines)
Benzodiazepines are some of the most used sedatives in the psychiatric field and some of the most commonly abused. Anti-anxiety medications can have severe side effects when used at higher doses; they can induce a euphoric effect that is accompanied by slowed breathing, impaired motor control, and most dangerously impaired judgment. When these substances are mixed with alcohol the user’s impaired judgment can cause them to overconsume both substances which can cause memory loss and impulsive and erratic behaviour that is known to lead many people to make decisions under the influence which they would never otherwise make.
Cold and Flu medication
Cold and Flu medications often carry drowsiness and dizziness as side effects. These also happen to be the effects of alcohol which means they are intensified when the substances are concurrently consumed leading to an even more impaired focus, judgement, and coordination. People often underestimate the drowsiness that comes from such medication and end up consuming alcohol alongside them which can lead to serious consequences.
Verywellmind.com: The Dangers of Mixing Alcohol and Medications