Substance Use

Mixing Lortab and Alcohol: Can You Drink on Lortab?

woman drinking wine and taking white pills lortab

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What Are The Dangers of Mixing Alcohol With Lortab?

Mixing Lortab (hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen) with alcohol can intensify both substances’ adverse effects, including sensations of drowsiness, confusion, and impaired cognition. Using both at the same time can lead to life-threatening consequences, such as alcohol poisoning and overdose.

If you or a loved one is struggling to stop mixing Lortab and alcohol or are showing signs of substance abuse or addiction, Zinnia Health can help. Contact us online or call us at (855) 430-9439.

Can You Drink on Lortab?

You should not drink while taking Lortab as it can lead to harmful drug interactions. Lortab is a combination of hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen. Hydrocodone is a slightly modified codeine molecule and is the main ingredient in several prescription pain management medications, such as Vicodin.

Since hydrocodone and acetaminophen both act as central nervous system (CNS) depressants, combining them with another CNS depressant, like alcohol, can intensify their negative effects on the body. In the worst case, this can lead to:

  • Respiratory depression
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Organ damage/failure
  • Overdose

How Long After Taking Lortab Can You Drink Alcohol?

You should wait at least 24 hours after taking Lortab before consuming alcohol. This is to give your body enough time to process the medication and get it out of your bloodstream before you add alcohol to the mix.

If you’re taking Lortab regularly, you should ask your doctor about when and if it’s safe to drink alcohol.

Mixing medications like Lortab with alcohol is one of the most prevalent forms of drug misuse, and it can happen accidentally. However, misuse can turn into an addiction if you begin routinely mixing Lortab with alcohol in order to intensify the sensations caused by these substances.

If you’re finding it difficult to abstain from drinking while taking Lortab, ask a trusted provider about the signs of alcohol addiction and what you can do to prevent or recover from a substance use disorder.

Why Do People Mix Alcohol With Lortab?

Lortab is often abused for the high, even when people don’t have chronic pain, and it’s often taken together with alcohol. Between 1999 and 2019, opioid-related drug addiction deaths increased fourfold. For many people, their initial experience with opioid painkillers began with a doctor’s prescription for pain management medication, such as Lortab.

In fact, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), of the 9.5 million people aged 12 and older who reported misusing opioids in the previous year, 9.3 million had a prescription.

While healthcare providers now understand Lortab and its dangers much better, these medications are still important in the management of chronic pain.

A prescription from a medical professional doesn’t necessarily mean a drug is entirely safe or that a patient will use it exactly as prescribed. If you’re concerned about your Lortab use or that of a loved one, call Zinnia Health at (855) 430-9439. You can also check out our locations online. 

Why Is It Dangerous to Mix Lortab with Alcohol?

Both Lortab and alcohol relieve pain by depressing the central nervous system. Ongoing alcohol use can lead to alcohol use disorder (AUD).

The combined misuse or abuse of alcohol and Lortab together intensifies the intoxicating effects of both substances. The effects of alcohol and hydrocodone together come on faster and more severe than using just one of these substances.

If Lortab is also part of your daily ritual, whether as a pain management routine overseen by your physician or illicitly obtained, mixing it with alcohol is not recommended. In fact, Lortab and alcohol should never be mixed.

By itself, hydrocodone can be effective for chronic pain management. If it’s misused, with or without a prescription, it can lead to addiction and dependence.

What Can Happen if You Drink on Lortab?

If alcoholic beverages are mixed with hydrocodone, associated risks are compounded. Lortab’s main ingredients — hydrocodone and acetaminophen — and alcohol act as depressants and can:

  • Damage the liver
  • Damage the central nervous system (CNS)

When taking Lortab or drinking alcohol, these substances separately produce similar intoxication.

Mixing alcohol and Lortab can:

  • Enhance the euphoria of both substances
  • Slow reaction times
  • Impair judgment
  • Dull pain in the body
  • Lead to extreme highs
  • Cause “blackout” episodes
  • Cause mental health issues
  • Cause alcohol poisoning
  • Increase the potential for dual-dependence
  • Lead to overdose
  • Substantially increase the risk of death

Acetaminophen (commonly known as Tylenol) is known to cause liver damage when used in high amounts, with 3000 mg per day considered the highest safe dose. Lortab, with both hydrocodone and acetaminophen, is especially damaging and risky.

Compounding this risk with alcohol is a grave triple threat with potentially life-threatening results. It can be especially dangerous for a person with substance use disorder or a family history of prescription drug abuse.

If you’re struggling with an addiction to Lortab or alcohol, help is just a phone call away. Zinnia Health’s caring specialists can offer helpful treatment suggestions for your unique situation, whether you need inpatient or outpatient treatment or could benefit from a treatment center therapy program. Reach out online or call (855) 430-9439.

What Are the Symptoms From Drinking Alcohol with Lortab?

Some side effects of Lortab and alcohol when mixed include:

  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Slower heart rate
  • Difficulty breathing
  • High blood pressure
  • Mental health issues
  • Impaired coordination
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Behavioral health problems

In addition to the immediate effects of Lortab and alcohol use listed above, this combination also presents long-term effects.

Long-term effects of mixing alcohol and Lortab include:

  • Seizures
  • Liver damage
  • Liver failure
  • Brain damage

All these effects combined can increase the chances for other side effects, such as car accidents if driving a vehicle or physical altercations — in both scenarios, the potential for great bodily harm exists.

As dependence and addiction form, some of the symptoms you may notice that could point to drug and alcohol abuse include:

  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ear)
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Blurry vision
  • Migraines
  • Depression
  • Seizure

Contact your healthcare provider or emergency department immediately if you notice any of these signs.

How to Get Help For a Lortab Addiction

Struggling with a substance abuse problem or substance use disorder (SUD) isn’t easy — but there’s help and there’s hope in an addiction treatment program. If you or a family member struggles with Lortab addiction or alcohol addiction, you may need a medically assisted detox program.

If you’re ready to get help with Lortab addiction, take these steps:

  • Confide in a trusted friend or family member who can help you talk through your feelings and help you take the next step, like by going with you to your first appointment
  • If you’re not comfortable telling them about your addiction, you don’t have to. Instead, ask them about behavioral and mental health counselors in your area
  • Look for support groups that can help you during the transition into recovery and connect you with additional resources
  • When you’re ready to quit, look for a treatment facility near you that is experienced with Lortab and alcohol treatment

Reach out to us online to learn more about treatment options, or call one of our caring specialists at (855) 430-9439. There is hope. Let us help you take the first step on the road to your recovery.

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