Substance Use

Suboxone and Alcohol Substance Abuse

TABLE OF CONTENTSTable of Contents

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Mixing Alcohol With Suboxone: What Are the Dangers?

Suboxone is a narcotic usually prescribed as a painkiller, but it is also used in drug addiction recovery treatment for individuals withdrawing from opioids. However, the use of Suboxone in drug addiction recovery is controversial since Suboxone itself can be addictive.

Especially for people with a history of drug abuse, the combination of Suboxone and alcohol can be dangerous. Alcohol intensifies the effects of Suboxone and can lead to the rapid development of dependence and tolerance, putting an individual at an increased risk of 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 Healing on our website or call us today at (855) 430-9439 for more information. 

What Is Suboxone?

Suboxone, a brand of buprenorphine, is a prescription painkiller frequently used to ease the withdrawal symptoms of people recovering from opioid addiction and dependence. Opioids attach to receptors in the brain, altering brain chemistry and making addiction recovery extremely uncomfortable and difficult.

Suboxone cannot lessen the drug cravings that accompany opioid addiction. Yet, withdrawal symptoms ranging from depression and paranoia to nausea, vomiting, and anxiety can all be reduced with the careful administration of a drug like Suboxone during medication-assisted treatment.

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. While not as strong as other opioids, Suboxone can have addictive qualities, especially when combined with another substance like alcohol. This can worsen both drug addiction and alcohol abuse.

What Are the Risks of Mixing Alcohol With Suboxone?

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 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.

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 Healing on our website or call us today at (855) 430-9439 for more information. 

Side Effects of Mixing Alcohol With 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.

Recovering From Mixing Alcohol With Suboxone

Mixing alcohol with Suboxone can result in long-term and permanent side effects. Because the combination amplifies the effects of both drugs, the body will quickly adapt to the stronger sensations. With a few uses, a person will have to take more of one or both to feel the same effects. 

As tolerance develops and a person begins taking more Suboxone and/or alcohol, it’s only a matter of time before dependence forms. Dependence is marked by physical dependence, followed by psychological dependence. Dependence typically leads to individuals exploring more powerful drugs and combining them to continue experiencing stronger effects. This behavior can lead to drug and alcohol addiction and overdose. 

Drug dependence also complicates the recovery process, as quitting “cold turkey” can lead to uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. 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.  

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, like those with Zinnia Healing.

Zinnia Healing Can Help

If you or someone you know is currently experimenting with Suboxone or another substance, getting the right people on your side is crucial to lasting recovery. Without it, quitting a drug addiction is both difficult and dangerous.

At Zinnia Healing, 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 Healing can help you on your path to recovery, contact us on our website or call us at (855) 430-9439.