Substance Use

Mixing Suboxone and Alcohol: Can You Drink on Suboxone?

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What Are The Dangers of Mixing Alcohol With Suboxone?

Alcohol intensifies the effects of Suboxone and can lead to the rapid development of dependence and tolerance. Since both substances suppress nerve activity in the central nervous system, the combination can also lead to severe drowsiness, impaired judgment, respiratory suppression, loss of consciousness, and overdose.

If you or a loved one are currently using Suboxone and combining it with alcohol or another drug, it’s important to understand the risks and get help achieving recovery. Contact Zinnia Health on our website or call us today at (855) 430-9439 for more information.

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Can You Drink on Suboxone?

Suboxone is a narcotic usually prescribed as a painkiller. Like other narcotics, mixing Suboxone with alcohol can be dangerous.

Suboxone, a brand of buprenorphine, is a prescription painkiller frequently used to ease the withdrawal symptoms of people recovering from opioid addiction and dependence. However, the use of Suboxone in addiction treatment programs has become very controversial since Suboxone in itself can be addictive, potentially contributing to a substance use disorder.

If you find yourself wanting to mix Suboxone and alcohol, you should reach out to your healthcare provider to discuss your cravings and the risks of drug abuse.

How Long After Taking Suboxone Can You Drink Alcohol?

Anyone taking Suboxone as part of a substance abuse treatment program should avoid alcohol as it can lead to serious interactions, relapse, and overdose.

If you are taking Suboxone for any other reason, you should wait at least 24 hours after your last dose before drinking alcohol. This is to give your body time to clear the drug out of your bloodstream before you add alcohol to the mix.

Why Do People Mix Alcohol With Suboxone?

While not as strong as other opioids, Suboxone can have addictive qualities, especially when combined with another substance like alcohol.

Since Suboxone is not very strong compared to true opioid agonists like morphine or heroin, a person may combine it with alcohol in order to intensify its effects and get high. However, this can worsen both drug addiction and alcohol abuse.

Why Is It Dangerous to Mix Suboxone With Alcohol?

Alcohol functions as a central nervous system depressant, which means it can lead to a slowed heart rate and feelings of sedation. Suboxone is also a central nervous system depressant, and it can lead to similar side effects, especially when taken in large quantities.

Mixing Suboxone with drinking alcohol is a method of substance abuse that’s particularly dangerous.

The dangers of mixing alcohol with Suboxone are rooted in the fact that Suboxone multiplies the effects of alcohol and alcohol multiplies the effects of Suboxone. This combination can rapidly lead to tolerance, dependence, and a very dangerous situation for the individual due to the heightened side effects of drug and alcohol use.

The combination of any two substances is known as “polydrug use,” and it’s hard on the body. It also puts an individual at an increased risk of overdose.

During recovery, polydrug use increases the risk of relapse. For this reason, healthcare providers must be closely involved in the recovery process, along with other treatment providers.

What Can Happen if You Drink on Suboxone?

Suboxone in itself can cause a number of uncomfortable symptoms, especially when taken in high doses. Common side effects of Suboxone include constipation, drowsiness, vertigo, and lethargy.

When mixing alcohol with Suboxone, these symptoms are only worsened, which can put an individual at greater risk of bodily injury.

Because both Suboxone and alcohol are depressants, taking too much of either can lead to respiratory suppression. The combination can also lead to:

  • Dizziness, confusion, and impairment
  • Changes in heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure
  • Organ damage due to reduced oxygen supply
  • Loss of consciousness, fainting, coma, or even death
  • Changes in behavioral health, including depression and anxiety
  • Higher risk of alcohol poisoning due to the effects of Suboxone on the body

If a person is already suffering from an underlying health condition, combining Suboxone and alcohol can have unpredictable and permanent side effects. For instance, alcohol and Suboxone use can cause mental health problems to develop or worsen.

The combination can also put substantial stress on major organs like the kidney and liver, especially if an individual has abused alcohol in the past.

If you or someone you know is experimenting with drug use or combinations, such as Suboxone and alcohol, it’s important to get help. Contact Zinnia Health on our website or call us today at (855) 430-9439 for more information. 

What Are the Symptoms From Drinking Alcohol With Suboxone?

Mixing alcohol with Suboxone can result in long-term and permanent side effects. As tolerance develops and a person begins taking more Suboxone and/or alcohol, it’s only a matter of time before dependence forms. Drug dependence also complicates the recovery process, as quitting “cold turkey” can lead to uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

If you’re worried that someone is mixing alcohol and Suboxone, look for the signs of drug abuse and addiction, which can include:

  • Changes in mood and behavior
  • Increased irritability and agitation
  • Strong cravings for drugs and alcohol
  • Weight loss
  • Muscle aches
  • Excessive drinking
  • Withdrawal from hobbies and social circles
  • Depression, anxiety, and/or paranoia

Withdrawal can even be life-threatening, especially in the case of powerful drugs or polydrug users. That’s why finding a team of knowledgeable professionals is an important first step in recovering from drug use.  

How to Get Help for a Suboxone Addiction

Treatment options for Suboxone addiction include residential rehab centers and a guided detox. However, Suboxone treatment looks different for every individual. That’s why it’s important to find caring professionals specializing in Suboxone abuse.

The best treatment facilities will make you feel heard and safe without passing judgment. When looking for help with your drug or alcohol consumption, keep these considerations in mind:

  • You can undergo the initial detox process at a treatment center or hospital, depending on your needs and preferences
  • Following detox, you can transition into a residential rehab facility, halfway house, or into outpatient programs
  • The best providers will work with you to find programs and a schedule that works for your needs and lifestyle
  • Since recovery is an ongoing process, you should seek out a team that will always help you via phone and text support on the tough days

At Zinnia Health, we know that the drug recovery process can be intimidating, but that’s why we have a trained team of dedicated professionals standing by to offer guidance and support at every turn. If you’re interested in learning more about how Zinnia Health can help you on your path to recovery, contact us on our website or call us at (855) 430-9439.

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(855) 430-9439
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