When you need treatment for an anxiety-related condition, that is when you might receive a prescription for benzodiazepines (benzos). Like many other medications, there is documentation that you receive regarding the dangers of mixing benzos with alcohol. Due to the interactions between benzos and alcohol, those who mix the two could face severe health risks. Therefore, it's necessary for anyone taking benzos or struggling with substance use disorder to make sure they find the right substance abuse treatment program. Potential Side Effects of Benzos It is not uncommon for benzos to be the prescription of choice for those who are suffering from anxiety disorders. However, if these prescriptions are misused, they can become addictive. Even though they are a class of drugs that physicians prescribe, there is still the potential for side effects. Examples can include: \tConfusion \tCoordination impairment \tDepression \tDrowsiness and fatigue \tIssues with cognitive function \tMemory issues \tSlurred speech About Alcohol Use and Addiction A guide published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in 2018 indicates that 139.8 million Americans drank alcohol. While alcohol consumption typically acts as a depressant, there are situations where small amounts could produce a stimulant-like feeling. In a separate study conducted by SAMHSA, we learn that 66.7 Americans ages 12 and older have binge drank within the previous month. Those findings also reveal that, during the previous month, 17.3 Americans ages 12 and over drank heavily. Potential Side Effects of Alcohol Use and Misuse While some can handle small amounts of alcohol at social gatherings, that does not mean it does not come with its own host of side effects. Some examples of these include: \tBreathing issues \tCoordination issues \tDecreased cognitive function \tDepression \tHeart arrhythmia \tInsomnia About the Dangers of Mixing Benzos and Alcohol As you can see, the side effects of benzos and alcohol are extremely similar. That means, when people use them at the same time, those side effects can compound and feel much worse. Alcohol is one of the most often used substances in conjunction with benzos. There is a broad range of risks associated with mixing benzos and alcohol. Some of these risks include: \tDecreased physical reactions: Because both substances produce enhanced effects, that leads to a significant reduction in the ability to perform complex or routine actions, motor coordination, and response times. Increased risk for developing acute conditions: Combining benzos and alcohol could lead to an increased risk in heart attack, psychosis, seizures, stroke, and suicidal tendencies \tOverdosing: When mixing two substances that depress the central nervous system, there is a heightened risk of overdosing on one or both of them. That could lead to severe health issues, including death \tSide effects: Mixing benzos and alcohol also increases the likelihood of experiencing side effects. Some of these effects include allergic reactions, lethargy, nausea, and vomiting Accidental Mixing There are times when people use benzos and alcohol together accidentally. That means they are not aware of the dangers of using these prescriptions when attending social gatherings that have alcohol. In those cases, you can share information about the dangers of mixing benzos and alcohol. If you believe that they have a problem with alcohol, then it might be a good idea to look for resources to help talk to them about a treatment program. It is not possible to solve a problem regarding mixing these two substances without first addressing the alcoholism. Final Thoughts Are you currently mixing benzos and alcohol and are worried about the side effects? Do you know someone who is doing this and are worried about how they might be damaging their body? Now is the time to contact to learn more about the dangers of mixing these substances and how we can help.