Oxycodone and Alcohol Substance Abuse
Oxycodone is a powerful opioid pain medication often prescribed for moderate to severe pain. It works by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord, changing how the brain perceives pain. While oxycodone and similar prescription medications are effective painkillers, they also come with a risk of abuse and addiction.
Oxycodone is a Schedule II drug, which means it has a high potential for abuse and dependence. One of the most common ways oxycodone is misused is by mixing it with alcohol. Not only is this behavior dangerous, but it can increase the risk of someone developing a substance use disorder.
What Are The Dangers of Mixing Alcohol With Oxycodone?
Oxycodone is addictive and deadly on its own, but many people struggling with substance abuse will combine it with alcohol in order to enhance the experience or make the high last longer. This practice can be hazardous and cause severe side effects like respiratory depression and even death.
Can You Drink on Oxycodone?
It is not safe to drink alcohol while taking oxycodone. Oxycodone is a powerful pain medication that can cause drowsiness and slowed breathing. Alcohol can also cause drowsiness and slowed breathing or respiratory depression. As a result, mixing alcohol and oxycodone is extremely dangerous.
Since both substances are central nervous system depressants, they slow down brain activity and can cause drowsiness, slurred speech, impaired judgment, and slowed reflexes. When taken together, these effects are increased and can lead to serious injury, alcohol or opioid overdose, and even death.
Oxycodone is commonly known by the brand name OxyContin. Another brand name is Percocet, which combines acetaminophen and oxycodone. If you are taking any medication that contains Oxycodone, you should not drink alcohol.
How Long After Taking Oxycodone Can You Drink Alcohol?
If you are taking oxycodone, you should not drink until the drug is completely out of your system. How long this takes depends on many factors, including your physiology and the size of the dose you take.
In general, oxycodone begins to take effect within 15 to 60 minutes. The peak effects of the drug usually occur within two to three hours. The duration of oxycodone’s effects can also vary depending on the individual. However, most people will experience relief from pain for four to six hours after taking a single dose. For some people, the effects of oxycodone may last even longer.
After taking oxycodone, the drug will begin to be metabolized by the liver and eventually excreted in the urine. The half-life of oxycodone is around four hours, which means it takes about four hours for the body to remove half of the drug from the system.
This means that it can take up to 24 hours for the body to eliminate oxycodone completely. However, this does not mean that the effects of the drug will last for 24 hours.
Oxycodone can stay in your system for up to three days if you have taken a high dose or have been taking the medication for an extended period of time. With this in mind, you should avoid taking alcohol for as long as Oxycodone is in your body in order to avoid amplifying the effects of alcohol or introducing complications with the prescription painkillers you’re taking.
Why Do People Mix Alcohol With Oxycodone?
People who abuse oxycodone may take it in ways other than prescribed, such as:
- Crushing them
- Snorting them
- Taking them with alcohol
Taking oxycodone can make alcohol more potent, increasing the risk of drunkenness and accidents.
When abused with alcohol, oxycodone can also create a feeling of intense euphoria. However, the combination increases the chance severe risks and the potential for unpredictable side effects.
Why Is It Dangerous to Mix Oxycodone with Alcohol?
One of the most well-known side effects of oxycodone is its effect on cognitive function. Oxycodone can cause drowsiness and impair judgment, making it more difficult to make safe and effective decisions. These effects can make driving or operating machinery dangerous while taking oxycodone and they are only amplified when it’s mixed with alcohol.
Other effects of oxycodone and alcohol include:
- Extremely low blood pressure
- Abnormal heart rate (bradycardia)
- Changes in behavioral health, such as aggression
As a result, it is crucial to be aware of the potential risks before taking oxycodone with alcohol. If you are prescribed oxycodone or a similar prescription opioid, follow medical advice and monitor your reaction to the medication.
What Can Happen if You Drink on Oxycodone?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), chronic abuse of oxycodone by itself can lead to liver damage, kidney failure, and respiratory problems. When alcohol is added to the mix, these risks are significantly increased. Chronic abuse of both substances can lead to death.
Long-term effects of mixing oxycodone and alcohol include:
- Liver damage
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Kidney damage
- Cardiovascular problems
- Neurological problems
- Increased risk of cancer
Are you looking for a confidential treatment program that can help you overcome drug addiction or get your alcohol consumption in check? Zinnia Health can help. Call our team today at (855) 430-9439 to learn more about our treatment options.
What Are the Symptoms From Drinking Alcohol with Oxycodone?
Quitting oxycodone can be difficult because it is such a powerful drug, and the addictive tendencies can be even more intense for someone combining it with alcohol.
Oxycodone is an opioid, which means it binds to the body’s opioid receptors. These receptors are located in the brain and spinal cord, and they are responsible for pain relief and feelings of pleasure. When someone takes oxycodone, it activates these receptors, leading to a sense of euphoria. This feeling is short-lived, however, and it is followed by feelings of drowsiness and relaxation.
As a person continues to take oxycodone and alcohol, they will develop tolerance to the substances, meaning they will need to take higher and higher doses to get the same effect. This can quickly lead to addiction.
When someone tries to quit oxycodone, they experience withdrawal symptoms, including:
- Muscle aches
These symptoms can be challenging to manage and often lead people to relapse. Along the same lines, when a heavy or regular drinker tries to quit drinking, they will experience alcohol withdrawal, which comes with its own set of symptoms and risks.
If you think you are addicted to any substance, it’s important to get help from a medical professional when quitting oxycodone. With appropriate treatment options, it is possible to overcome addiction and live a healthy life.
How to Get Help For an Oxycodone Addiction
Withdrawal symptoms can be highly unpleasant, making it difficult for users to quit. In addition, both oxycodone and alcohol are readily available and relatively affordable, making it easy to relapse. These factors make it clear why quitting oxycodone and alcohol is such a challenge for many people.
When it comes to alcohol abuse and drug addiction, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. However, if you or someone you know is struggling with an oxycodone addiction or alcohol use disorder, there is help available. Look into the following:
- Advice from your healthcare provider on dosage and tapering
- Inpatient treatment centers, including hospitals and residential facilities
- Outpatient treatment programs specific to opioid or alcohol addiction
- Support groups that can supplement any care you’re receiving
Are you looking for a confidential treatment plan that can help you overcome prescription drug addiction or get your alcohol consumption in check? Zinnia Health can help. Call our team today at (855) 430-9439 to learn more about our treatment options.