What Are The Dangers of Mixing Alcohol With Fentanyl?
Drug abuse and addiction are public health issues in the United States. Dozens of addictive substances increase a user’s risk of complications, and when combined, the potential dangers often skyrocket — this includes mixing alcohol and fentanyl. Drinking alcohol while taking fentanyl can intensify the effects of both substances and lead to serious health consequences.
Quitting fentanyl and alcohol is difficult because of how these substances affect the brain. As a result, people who try to quit fentanyl and alcohol often experience withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, depression, and irritability. However, treatment options are available.
Can You Drink on Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid, up to 100 times more potent than morphine, and when combined with alcohol, the effects can be deadly. Taking these substances together increases the risk of severe complications, including overdose and death.
It is never recommended to drink alcohol while on fentanyl — whether it’s prescribed or not. No dose of fentanyl is safe when combined with alcohol based on its potency.
How Long After Taking Fentanyl Can You Drink Alcohol?
If you have a fentanyl patch for severe pain or chronic pain, you must abstain from alcohol. If you take fentanyl in a way other than prescribed, the same rule applies. While the initial effects of fentanyl are short-lived, that doesn’t mean it’s eliminated from your body. Since this drug is detectable in urine for up to 72 hours, you should avoid alcohol for at least that period.
If you’re at the point where you’re combining alcohol and fentanyl, it’s time to seek professional help from a healthcare provider. This combination can quickly become deadly.
Why Do People Mix Alcohol With Fentanyl?
People mix alcohol with fentanyl to enhance the effects of both substances. This is incredibly dangerous and not worth the risk. People who regularly mix alcohol with fentanyl are at risk of liver damage due to the strain on the organ. Additionally, regular alcohol use with fentanyl can lead to dependence, resulting in severe withdrawal symptoms.
Despite these consequences, individuals struggling with addiction find it challenging to stop using these substances. For this reason, professional support is highly recommended at the first sign of an issue.
Why Is It Dangerous to Mix Fentanyl With Alcohol?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends not mixing alcohol with other substances. This applies to illicit drugs and many prescription medications. Alcohol can cloud your judgment, increasing the risk of fatal accidents and accidental overdoses. When combined with other substances, life-threatening effects can develop.
Alcohol and fentanyl are central nervous system depressants, which slow down your breathing and heart rate. Mixing them together can amplify each other’s effects, leading to serious consequences.
You may experience the following side effects:
- Memory loss
Fentanyl on its own can be just as dangerous. Fentanyl is a highly addictive drug; regular abuse can lead to dependence and tolerance. Tolerance occurs when someone needs increasingly larger doses of a substance to achieve the desired effect.
As tolerance develops, people who abuse fentanyl may take higher doses more frequently, leading to addiction and other serious health consequences. These include respiratory depression and respiratory arrest, which cause opioid overdose and death.
What Can Happen If You Drink on Fentanyl?
As discussed, combining alcohol and fentanyl can be fatal based on how they influence the central nervous system. After a prolonged period, dependence and addiction can develop, resulting in severe withdrawal symptoms.
People who try to quit using both substances typically experience withdrawal symptoms such as:
Quitting “cold turkey” can also be extremely dangerous and even life-threatening due to the severity of the withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, medical detoxification is always recommended for people who are addicted to both alcohol and fentanyl.
Alcohol addiction and fentanyl addiction can cause tremendous hardship for both the addict and their loved ones. However, there is hope. There are treatments available that can help people overcome their reliance on addictive substances and live healthy lives.
Zinnia Health is a treatment center specializing in helping people recover from addiction. We offer various substance abuse treatment options, including individual and group counseling, family counseling, and more. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please call us at (855) 430-9439. We are here to help.
What Are the Symptoms From Drinking Alcohol With Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a potent drug. Common side effects associated with using it, even as prescribed, include:
- Dry mouth
- Itching or redness at the application site
When mixed with alcohol, users can experience an increased risk of overdose from both substances because each amplifies the other’s effects.
A fentanyl overdose can be a life-threatening emergency — with or without alcohol. If you think someone has overdosed on fentanyl, acting quickly and calling for medical help immediately is essential. An overdose occurs when a drug produces serious adverse effects and potentially fatal symptoms.
When people overdose on fentanyl, their breathing can slow or stop. This can cause hypoxia when the amount of oxygen that reaches the brain is decreased. Hypoxia can lead to loss of consciousness, coma, permanent brain damage, and even death.
Naloxone is a medicine that can treat a fentanyl overdose immediately. If you think someone has overdosed on fentanyl, don’t wait. Contact medical professionals immediately.
How to Get Help For a Fentanyl Addiction
Quitting fentanyl and alcohol can be extremely difficult, especially if you have been using the substances for a long time. Fentanyl is a powerful opioid often used as a pain reliever and can be addictive. Alcohol is also highly addictive and depresses the central nervous system.
When you mix the two substances, they can have a powerful effect on your body and your mind. Quitting both substances can be challenging because of the withdrawal symptoms that you may experience.
At Zinnia Health, we specialize in helping individuals struggling with substance use disorder find sobriety. Depending on each individual’s needs, we offer detox services and inpatient and outpatient treatment programs.
Our goal is always to provide comprehensive care that addresses the addiction and any underlying mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, or trauma. With our help, it is possible to achieve long-lasting sobriety. Contact us today or call (855) 430-9439 to learn more about how we can help.