Opiates and alcohol are two chemical substances that are frequently mixed – however, both substances can be dangerous and highly habit-forming on their own, and mixing them can result in dire consequences. Before we get into the dangers of mixing these two chemical substances, let us first break down opiate abuse and alcohol abuse separately. Remember that if you or someone you love has been engaging in polydrug abuse, seeking professional treatment is of dire importance. The risk of opiate overdose increases significantly when alcohol is involved. Give Recreate Life Counseling a call for more detailed information.
More on Mixing Opiates and Alcohol
Opiates are a type of naturally-derived opioid narcotic and include the illicit drug heroin and prescription drugs like codeine and morphine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of drug overdose deaths that directly involve opiates like heroin and prescription painkillers has increased a staggering four times from 1999 to 2018. During this period, there were around 450,000 overdose deaths directly linked to opioid narcotics.
While alcohol is widely socially acceptable and a major part of American culture (and most other cultures across the world), it is still responsible for thousands of untimely deaths on an annual basis. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 14.1 million American adults over the age of 18 are currently suffering at the hands of a diagnosable alcohol use disorder. 414,000 adolescents under the age of 18 also suffer from an alcohol use disorder.
Both opiate abuse and alcohol abuse are significant public health threats. Therefore it comes as no surprise that combining these two substances can lead to severe – sometimes lethal – consequences.
Combining Opiates and Alcohol is Dangerous
Combining opiates and alcohol is relatively common, but it is never a good idea. Because both substances have sedative effects and because both can lead to respiratory when taken in high doses, combining the two intensifies both of these effects and leads to a range of serious consequences and side effects including shallow breathing, slowed heart rate, unconsciousness, coma, drug-related overdose, and potential death. Some opiates that are commonly combined with alcohol include heroin, morphine, and codeine.
When opiates are combined with alcohol it can easily result in a fatal overdose, but numerous emergency room visits are attributed to this combination and result from a variety of differing reasons. For example, someone might take several prescription painkillers then have a few alcoholic beverages. The alcohol might provide them with a false sense of confidence, and they might get behind the wheel of a car, thinking in their intoxicated state that they are okay to drive. This risk-taking behavior could easily result in a motor vehicle accident. If you have been engaging in polydrug abuse of any kind, attending a drug rehab is essential.
Rehab for Opiate and Alcohol Addiction
Some rehabs offer treatment for opiate addiction and alcohol addiction. Most reputable drug rehabs focus on tackling all existing disorders and all underlying causes simultaneously. It is important to note that if you have been using opiates and alcohol, you will need to attend medical detox before transferring into a program of recovery. While the withdrawal symptoms associated with heroin are not generally life-threatening, withdrawal symptoms associated with alcohol can be serious and exceedingly dangerous if they are not closely overseen by a team of medical professionals.
Recreate Life Counseling Offers Opiate and Alcohol Rehab
At Recreate Life Counseling, we specialize in providing treatment for men and women who have been engaging in polydrug abuse, meaning that they have been abusing more than one chemical substance at a time. If you or someone you love has been using heroin or a prescription painkiller and alcohol simultaneously, our opiate and alcohol detox program is an ideal solution. For more information, call us today.