Mixing Oxycodone and Alcohol
Abusing alcohol or opioids can have severe negative drawbacks; however, when combining the two, even if in small amounts, can be fatal.
What Is Alcohol?
Unlike oxycodone, alcohol is not used for medicinal purposes but mainly for its effects on mood. It works by working through the central nervous system and depressing various parts of the brain, consequently causing effects like slower reflexes. Other effects of alcohol intake include:
- Impaired decision-making skills
- Nausea or vomiting
- Loss of consciousness
- Impaired motor skills and coordination
The lack of awareness and euphoria that can be felt when drinking alcohol can lead to alcohol addiction. Alcohol dependence can be very dangerous, and withdrawal symptoms from this can be fatal if not provided with support from medical professionals.
Do I Have an Alcohol Addiction?
Alcohol addiction is a very serious illness and can spiral out of control very fast. It can not only cause health issues but affect interpersonal areas of a person’s life. Some of the signs of alcohol use disorder are:
- Experiencing extreme mood swings
- Making an excuse to drink for relaxing or winding down
- Letting alcohol affect relationships
- Choosing alcohol over duties and responsibilities
- Drinking in private or being secretive about it
There are plenty of treatment centers that will provide help for alcohol addiction, but it is vital to seek medical help as soon as you feel you may be abusing alcohol.
What is Oxycodone?
Oxycodone is a prescription opioid that is used as pain relief for severe pain. Unlike other drugs, the effects of oxycodone can last for up to twelve hours due to its time-sensitive nature. Some effects that oxycodone can have are:
- Chronic fatigue
- Slower heart rate and breathing
- Low blood pressure
Although originally intended as prescription painkillers, the euphoric feeling these prescription opioids can give means this is classed as a Schedule II controlled substance. This addictive substance has been acknowledged as dangerous for decades, hence opioid addiction is a very prevalent drug addiction in the United States to this day.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that over two million Americans abuse opioids and with 75% of all drug-related deaths involving an opioid, there is an opioid overdose crisis in the United States. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seventy-eight people die every day from an opioid overdose, many of which are due to the individual combining alcohol with it.
Although prescribed, it is also used recreationally by many. Street names for oxycodone include Oxy, Percs, Roxis, and Killers.
Do I Have a Drug Addiction to Prescription Opioids?
Substance abuse for prescription drugs like oxycodone is common due to the effects being similar to heroin. You may have an oxycodone addiction if you:
- Take opioid medication for longer than your doctor has recommended
- Chew, inject, or snort oxycodone
- Taking more than originally prescribed
Due to oxycodone being a prescription medication to ease physical pain, it is difficult to tell when someone has an addiction. When drug use starts to interfere with everyday life, you may be suffering from a substance use disorder. When someone is suffering from addiction to two or more substances, they have co-occurring disorders.
If you feel you have an addiction, it is best to get in contact with a medical provider immediately.
Dangers of Mixing Opioids With Alcohol
Oxycodone and alcohol can be a potentially lethal combination. Due to both substances depressing the central nervous system, there is an even greater increased risk of fatal side effects. Both oxycodone and alcohol slow your breathing down so mixing both can cause respiratory depression. This is where breathing becomes very minimal or stops temporarily. If respiratory depression is left untreated, brain damage can occur. Other side effects may be an increased risk of a heart attack and changes in blood pressure.
When mixing alcohol with drugs, it is much more likely to increase your chance of death. Reports of deaths from opioids usually involve other substances like alcohol. An individual may not realize how intoxicated they are due to the mixture of oxycodone and alcohol. This could lead to alcohol poisoning and requires immediate medical help.
Unfortunately, elderly people are more at risk. If they just drink alcohol or take an opioid painkiller, or combine both they are at risk of suffering severe falls from losing their balance. Another effect of this can be memory loss or an increase in the effects of dementia.
Other Common Drug Combinations
Oxycodone and alcohol are not the only common drug combinations. Those with an oxycodone addiction also mix with marijuana, benzodiazepines, and stimulants usually used together to heighten or reduce the effects of the opioid.
Oxycodone can be a gateway drug to substances like heroin. This may happen when the prescription can no longer be obtained, so individuals resort to abusing similar drugs like heroin, as the effects are alike.
Treatment For Alcohol and Drug Abuse
There are plenty of options for addiction treatment: attending a treatment facility, outpatient rehab, and support group meetings are all things that can help with your recovery journey.
In the addiction treatment process, it is usually suggested to have an alcohol detox as well as remove other drugs from your system. Due to the danger of this, it is best to do detox under medical supervision. Withdrawal symptoms can include:
- Delirium Tremens (DTs) – a life-threatening condition that is usually alcohol-related, causing symptoms like seizures
- High blood pressure
Therapy will follow once an individual has rid the body of oxycodone and alcohol. When someone has an addiction, they usually have another mental illness like depression; thus treatment centers usually include therapy and support groups to identify and resolve the root of the problem.
Support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous are also beneficial to develop a support system and find people who understand how you feel.
A treatment center may offer other treatment options like medication which can help with drug cravings, and medications such as methadone or buprenorphine are used to aid withdrawal symptoms. These work by binding to the same receptors in the brain as opioids do. Naltrexone is another medication that completely blocks opioid receptors, and taking this can help with preventing relapse.
Get Help Today
If you feel you are suffering from alcohol abuse and substance addiction, a treatment center like Ebb Tide can help you get back to normality with professional treatment advice and a tailored plan to your needs. Call today to start back on the road to health.