Substance Use

Muscle Relaxers and Alcohol: The Dangers Of Mixing Them

muscle relaxers and alcohol

The Dangers of Mixing Muscle Relaxers and Alcohol

Many people take muscle relaxers to treat muscle spasms, stiffness, and pain. If you have been prescribed muscle relaxers by your doctor, it’s important to check with them before consuming alcohol. Mixing alcohol and muscle relaxers can lead to severe side effects like respiratory depression and overdose. 

Muscle relaxers are effective for pain relief caused by certain conditions, but taking them with alcohol could lead to dangerous side effects.

Since alcohol and muscle relaxers depress the central nervous system, you should never mix them. Here’s what you need to know about alcohol use, muscle relaxers, and substance use treatment.

If you or someone you love is drinking too much, Zinnia Healing can help. We offer treatment for alcohol abuse to help individuals overcome addiction and get on the path to living a long, fulfilling life. Ready to learn more? Call our drug addiction hotline at (855) 430-9439 and get answers to your questions.

What Are Muscle Relaxers?

Muscle relaxers are a type of medication prescribed to treat muscle spasms, stiffness, and pain.

There are two main types of muscle relaxers, one of which works on the brain and the other on the spinal cord. Both reduce muscle tension and promote relaxation.

1. Central-Acting Muscle Relaxants

Central-acting muscle relaxants work by blocking signals sent between the brain and spinal cord. These medications are typically prescribed for pain, stiffness, and spasms. Some examples of central-acting muscle relaxants include baclofen, carisoprodol, and tizanidine.

2. Peripheral-Acting Muscle Relaxants

Peripheral-acting muscle relaxants impact muscles directly and they work to reduce muscle contractions, but they can also interfere with motor control.

These medications are often used for conditions that cause spasticity, like spinal cord injuries and cerebral palsy. An example of a peripheral-acting muscle relaxant is dantrolene.

Why Do People Take Muscle Relaxers?

Muscle relaxers may be prescribed for a variety of conditions, including back pain and injury. However, before taking a muscle relaxant, it’s important to speak to your healthcare provider about the risks and side effects.

Some people try to self-medicate with muscle relaxers, which can have dangerous consequences.

Especially when it comes to mental health conditions like anxiety or insomnia, trying to use the sedative properties of muscle relaxers to calm your body and put you to sleep could lead to accidental death. It can also have long-term health implications.

If you’re taking muscle relaxers without a prescription, reach out to your doctor to discuss the reasons why. If needed, they can help you get a proper diagnosis for mental health disorders so that you can find the safest medication that works best for you.

Side Effects of Muscle Relaxers

Muscle relaxers can be very effective at treating conditions that cause acute low back pain along with pain, stiffness, and spasticity throughout the body, but they generally aren’t taken over the long term.

Muscle relaxers may also be used in conjunction with techniques like physical therapy, due to their side effects and risks.

Some of the most common side effects of taking muscle relaxers include:

  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Fatigue and drowsiness
  • Dry mouth, which can contribute to dental problems
  • Headaches
  • Weak muscles to the point of collapse or shakiness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Allergic reactions

After taking a muscle relaxer, you’ll start to feel the effects rapidly. Generally, the effects will stick around for 4-6 hours, but it depends on the exact medication you’re taking and your dose.

Are you worried about addiction? Zinnia Healing can help. Our team of addiction specialists can answer your questions on substance abuse and alcohol use. If you’re ready to take the next step, call our helpline at (855) 430-9439 for more information.

Can You Mix Muscle Relaxers and Alcohol?

If you have been prescribed muscle relaxers by your doctor, it’s important to ask them before consuming alcohol. Typically, alcohol should never be mixed with prescription medications, especially a muscle relaxer.

If you find yourself thinking about combining these two substances, it’s important to consider why. Most people who are drinking alcohol and taking prescription medications are trying to amplify the effects of alcohol, which is a sign of alcohol addiction.

Dangers of Mixing Muscle Relaxers With Alcohol

The reason why mixing muscle relaxers and alcohol is dangerous is that both act as central nervous system depressants. This means that both have a sedative effect on your body by slowing your breathing and reducing your heart rate.

The other dangers of mixing muscle relaxers and alcohol include:

  • Reduced coordination
  • Impaired judgment
  • Respiratory depression
  • Liver damage
  • Memory problems

Whenever you mix two depressants, you put yourself at an increased risk of overdose or alcohol poisoning.

Signs of Alcohol Addiction

The short-term effects of mixing alcohol with muscle relaxers can amplify feelings of intoxication, but it also puts a lot of strain on your body, including your liver, and it puts you at an increased risk of overdose.

You might be suffering from a substance use disorder if any of the following describes what you’re doing:

  • Mixing alcohol with prescription medications to amplify the effects
  • Drinking alcohol with your medications even though you know you’re not supposed to
  • Suffering from alcohol withdrawal when you try not to drink
  • Overlooking the long-term effects of alcohol use, even when combining it with medications like muscle relaxers that increase your risk of seizures and serious side effects

It can be hard to admit that you’re facing alcohol addiction, and it can be even harder to take the first step to overcome it. Fortunately, a variety of treatment programs exist that can help you through the process.

Mixing Muscle Relaxers and Alcohol? We Can Help

Drug abuse looks different for everyone. If you or someone you love is misusing alcohol or prescription drugs, it’s important to get help before they suffer the consequences of a harmful interaction.

At Zinnia Healing, we believe in offering personalized, confidential care for every individual. Our treatment optionsinclude:

  • Flexible inpatient and outpatient programs
  • Individual, group, and family counseling
  • Multiple therapies, including music and art therapy
  • Extensive support even after you finish your program

We believe addiction treatment should address the whole individual, which is why we’ll work with you to come up with a program that addresses your unique needs and goals.

Ready to take the next step? Zinnia Healing is standing by to help. Our team is available 24/7 to answer your questions. Just dial (855) 430-9439 to get started.

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