Substance Abuse – Why Sleeping Pills and Alcohol Are a Dangerous Mix

Why Sleeping Pills and Alcohol Are a Dangerous Mix

Drugs alone can be dangerous to your health. When you mix a drug with alcohol, the combination can be deadly. Mixing sleeping pills and alcohol is one such combination. Combining the two can double the chances of needing intensive medical care – according to a study done by the American Journal of Therapeutics. The people who suffer from a sleeping pill addiction often decide to drink alcohol even though they are somewhat aware of the risks involved.

In this article, we will look at why mixing alcohol with sleeping pills is so dangerous.

Common Sleeping Pills that Should Not Be Mixed With Alcohol

The majority of prescribed sleeping medication has warnings about combining a dose with alcohol. Many of these pills contain zolpidem, which should not be used with alcohol. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the following are some of those most used sleeping pills that have adverse effects when alcohol is consumed:

  • Restoril
  • Prosom
  • Lunesta
  • Sominex
  • Unisom

Health Risks of Mixing Sleeping Pills and Alcohol

There are several health risks involved with combining sleeping pills with alcohol. Since they both affect the central nervous system, the risk of overstimulation is high. One of the biggest health risks is respiratory depression that can lead to cardiac arrest as breathing stops entirely. The risk of death as a result of respiratory depression is high.  This is also a risk in people with a pill addiction to various sleeping medication due to overdose.

Furthermore, reports of medications such as Ambien mixed with alcohol have caused some people to become involved with dangerous behavior, such as driving when the person was in no condition to. This often happens in a sleepwalking state.

Memory and motor function impairment is another problem related to taking sleeping pills and alcohol together. Some people may completely forget what happened the previous night.

Who is more at Risk?

While mixing the two substances can be dangerous even for someone in good health, there are some groups of people that are more at risk than others. Women tend to be more affected by the combination of alcohol usually affects women more. Another reason is that women are more likely to get prescription sleeping pills than men are. The elderly are also more at risk of adverse effects for the same reasons.

Furthermore, people who suffer from a sleeping pill addiction often consume more of the substance due to a tolerance. The increased amounts of the chemicals along with alcohol can be deadly.

Getting Help

If there is a situation where someone may have taken sleeping pills together with alcohol, it is best to find medical assistance as soon as possible. In this case, it is better to be on the safe side than risk cardiac arrest. In emergency care, the individual can be looked after until the effects have subsided.

A person suffering from a pill addiction can find it difficult to stop alone due to the effects of an addiction. If a loved one is believed to be addicted, an intervention can be held to make them aware of their actions and how it is affecting those around them.

Once a person has decided to find professional help, an evaluation can occur and a tailor-made treatment plan can be set into motion. Through behavioral and alternative therapies, it is possible to recover from an addiction.

Mixing sleeping pills and alcohol may seem like a good idea to the person at the time, but the dangerous side effects can result in death. Find help for you or a loved one today by calling WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470.

Sources:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/mixing-alcohol-prescription-drugs-result-addiction-accidental-death/

http://journals.lww.com/americantherapeutics/Abstract/2011/07000/Zolpidem_Misuse_With_Other_Medications_or_Alcohol.7.aspx

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.