Studies show alcoholics to be 18x more likely to abuse prescription drugs than individuals who use alcohol on a mild to moderate basis… An alarming statistic, especially considering the dangers and risks associated with combined usage. In this entry, we will outline the links and health issues associated with alcohol and prescription medication abuse in an effort to inform and educate our readers of these dangers.
The combination of prescription drugs and alcohol poses numerous risks to users, including vomiting, alcohol poisoning, blackouts, loss of consciousness respiratory depression and even death. In addition, many combination users show an increased likelihood of risky behaviors; engaging in activities that would otherwise feel inappropriate if sober. Common behaviors include unplanned or unprotected sex, DUI and the loss of judgment and inhibition.
Though prescription drugs certainly serve a valuable role in the medical community; when used in excess, or in ways other than directed, the risks associated with use are drastically heightened. Of these substances, the most commonly abused are those in the opioid family (pain medications). Due to ease of access and a perceived level of social acceptance, pain medications are often combined with alcohol to achieve a “better high”. Unfortunately, this high also poses a much higher risk of accidental overdose; with rates higher than both heroin and cocaine combined.
When it comes to user demographics, studies show people ages 18 – 24 posing the highest risk for binge drinking, nonmendical use of prescription drugs (NMUPD) and alcohol use disorders. The risks of NMUPD are heightened substantially among alcohol abusers (22.02%) when compared to individuals who choose to abstain from alcohol completely (1.26%)
Many users choose to combine prescription drug use with alcohol in an effort to intensify the effects of each substance. Though this tactic often provides the user with the desired effect, the risk of experiencing additional and unintended side effects, including nausea, dizziness, increased sedation, drowsiness and even death, are once again drastically heightened. To boot, these risks do not apply solely to long-term users, but to any and all individuals engaged in combined use…. In other words, “one time” may be one time too many.
If you or someone you know are considering, experimenting, or are currently having issues with drug and alcohol use, Above It All’s drug rehab addiction specialists are available to help. One quick call to our beautiful rehab center in Los Angeles, CA, will provide you with the information, education, support and guidance you need to make the right step towards you or your loved one’s recovery. Representatives are standing by 24/7. Call today!