Alcohol is a drug that can greatly alter the effects of other drugs when consumed simultaneously. This effect is intense and can quickly become dangerous, yet it is still very common for some people to combine alcohol with other drugs either intentionally or unintentionally.
Oxycodone is certainly no exception to this fact, as alcohol can change or intensify the effects of the drug dramatically. While some individuals may consider this intensity to be a rush or a different kind of high, there is a hidden danger that can strike without warning.
Understanding Substance Abuse
Substance abuse is somewhat of a broad term when it comes to defining the threat that drug use may play on an individual’s life. The ‘term drug’ abuse has much less to do with the amount, type, or frequency of drug use, and much more to do with the behavior or relationship between an individual and drug use.
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While it is true that someone who partakes in drug use on a daily basis could fall in the category of ‘drug abuse’, their thoughts and actions in relation to the drug use is what would truly be identified by a psychiatrist or counselor who specializes in drug abuse.
When considering drug abuse with alcohol, or alcohol abuse, there are certain actions that would stand out as a red flag to a professional trying to treat an individual. Risky behaviors, such as drinking and driving or stealing from a store, would be an example of these actions. Other red flags could include aggression or depression while drinking, ignoring health issues like hangovers due to drinking, falling behind on responsibilities in lieu of drinking, etc.
Mixing alcohol with any other type of drug is also considered a red flag for alcohol abuse. This would be considered a risky, abusive behavior that could be categorized as drug abuse. Alcohol is indeed a drug, despite its legal status and ease of access for most of-age Americans. Unfortunately, there are many fatal cases involving mixing alcohol with other drugs where someone underestimated the potency and danger of alcohol.
Intentional vs Unintentional Polysubstance Use and Abuse
The outcome of drug mixing can vary dramatically from drug to drug, and even from individual to individual. There are many combinations that can be potentially lethal, and even a few that are completely safe. With all of the dangers surrounding combining drugs, why would anyone want to take the risk?
Intentional Polysubstance Abuse
Polysubstance abuse is defined as “taking two or more drugs simultaneously”. There are two types of polysubstance abuse, intentional and unintentional. Some people may mix drugs intentionally for a few reasons. First, of course, is recreational use. Some individuals get a different or more intense type of high when they mix two or more drugs, which is why they choose to intentionally mix drugs.
There are others, however, who choose to mix drugs because they are not achieving the results from their prescribed drugs that they used to. This is generally a result of tolerance being built up over time. While mixing another drug with prescription drugs may amplify the effect and achieve the desired result, it is still extremely dangerous and overlooks the signs of tolerance and addiction that are beginning to form. Always talk to your doctor before making any changes to a prescription you are on, especially if it is an opioid pain reliever like oxycodone.
Unintentional Polysubstance Use
Believe it or not, it is very easy to unintentionally mix drugs if you are not actively thinking about what is going into your body. Long-term prescriptions, such as pain management regimens that call for opioid pain relievers daily, can easily become such a part of your routine that you forget the significance of what is going into your body.
When you take a prescription every morning, it is easy to forget about it by the time the afternoon rolls around. This makes it easy to accidentally have an afternoon cocktail while your body is still feeling the effects of your morning prescription. This combination can be lethal, and often it can take you by surprise.
Signs And Symptoms Of Mixing Alcohol With Oxycodone
As an opioid, oxycodone becomes a depressant of the nervous system once it enters your bloodstream. What this means is the oxycodone actually slows your nervous response down in your brain, including blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate. All opioids have this depressant effect on the nervous system, which is one of the reasons they are so incredibly dangerous.
Alcohol is also a depressant, as it can suppress brain activity and cause slurred speech, blurry vision, issues with fine motor skills, difficulty walking, slow breathing, and can even cause unconsciousness. It is possible to consume enough alcohol to cause death, also known as alcohol poisoning, and it essentially suppresses the body’s natural functions too much for the body to continue to function.
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Both drugs on their own hold the potential to be incredibly dangerous, but combining them can take this danger to a whole new level.
Symptoms of mixing alcohol with oxycodone may include:
- Loss of coordination, feeling of dizziness
- Drowsiness, an overwhelming need to sleep
- Severe depression or anxiety
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sweating, shaking in the extremities
- Changes in blood pressure
- Sudden changes in blood sugar, which can lead to seizures
- “Spacing out”, inability to concentrate
- Dehydration, cotton mouth
- Irregular heart rate
- Unconsciousness, unresponsiveness
Get Treatment For Alcohol and/or Oxycodone Addiction Today
Are you aware of a loved one who is combining alcohol, oxycodone, or other drugs to create a new high? Do you worry about someone who is not safe when it comes to their prescription opioid routine? If so, we can help.
Our addiction treatment specialists are specifically trained to help guide you or your loved ones to a drug treatment program that suits them best. Our specialists always keep calls 100% confidential, and they are available around the clock to answer any questions to may have about rehabilitation for yourself or for a loved one. Let us help you, give us a call today.