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Alcohol and Xanax

Taking Xanax and drinking alcohol together suppress the functions regulated by the central nervous system; slowing down any one of these processes affects overall well-being.

  • Both are central nervous system depressants that interfere with normal breathing and heart rates.
  • Mixing these two depressants doubles their adverse effects.

Mixing just one pill with an alcoholic drink may cause extreme drowsiness and unconsciousness, blackouts, and uncontrollable muscle tremors as the brain struggle to communicate with the body.

  • Alcohol and any benzodiazepine are among the most dangerous of all drug combinations.
  • Even seasoned drug users tend to avoid mixing these two simply because the risk of suffering from a deadly overdose is just too high.
  • The main ingredient in it is alprazolam, a potent benzodiazepine.

Since it is fast-acting, it usually peaks in the blood within two hours of taking a dose. As a result, any calming effect of mixing it with alcohol increases anxiety, loss of consciousness, or both.

Taking these two together has the potential to produce notable symptoms. Still, the experience differs from the feelings of marijuana, cocaine, or meth.

  • Both drugs are sedatives.

When taken on their own, benzodiazepines can cause a variety of side effects that are similar to alcohol’s products, including;

  • blurred vision
  • dizziness
  • slurred speech
  • nausea
  • extreme tiredness

Mixing these two powerful drugs causes what’s known as potentiation. That means taking them magnifies the side effects of this drug and vice versa. It is why it’s not uncommon for people combining wine, beer, or spirits with benzodiazepines to experience extreme symptoms of fatigue, weakness, and confusion before blacking out.

People suffering from severe anxiety and panic disorders commonly take it or some other benzodiazepine. They take it because anxiety and recurring panic attacks are frightening and debilitating. As a result, they may take more than their doctor prescribes. As a result, tolerance can build up quickly.

  • Tolerance means higher doses are required to feel its sedative effects. When users can’t persuade their doctors to give them more than a monthly prescription at one time, they may turn to alcohol to maximize and enhance the drug’s depressant qualities.

When abusers cannot access a prescription, they may resort to the streets for dealers selling it. In addition, since they don’t know when to find their next batch of pills, abusers will usually tend to increase the feelings by taking the medication with alcohol.

Even having one or two drinks while taking this drug can cause respiratory distress from the depressant qualities.


Overdosing on alcohol and Xanax may stop breathing or breath so slowly, oxygen supply to the brain is compromised. It could lead to a seizure causing permanent brain damage, cardiac arrest, and death.

  • It is easy to forget how much of these two drugs taken is the primary reason for accidental overdoses.

Nervous system depressants inhibit neuronal signaling in the brain, making it hard for abusers to remember how many pills they have taken or how much alcohol they have consumed.

Depressants interfere with memory. It’s possible to take two pills and drink alcohol, only to forget 30 minutes later.


In addition to slurred speech, confusion, and drowsiness, signs of an impending overdose include:

  • Muscle weakness/inability to stand or even sit up
  • Markedly reduced coordination
  • Hypotension (decreasing blood pressure can lead to shock)
  • Dangerously slow heartbeat and respiratory depression
  • Drooling/vomiting
  • Muscle twitching/tremors/shaking
  • Blueness to the lips and fingertips

Call 911 at the first indication of an overdose

Unless someone gets emergency medical treatment, a person overdosing could lapse into a coma or suffer cardiac arrest as the combination of depressant drugs forces cessation of nervous system processes. Therefore, the process is to pump the stomach, administer saline/IV fluids, and ensure the airway is clear of vomit are the primary treatment measures taken by ER physicians for overdose. In addition, the drug flumazenil may help reverse the effects of an overdose.


Several recent, high-profile celebrity deaths connect to this combination, including singers Whitney Houston and Amy Winehouse.

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