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Effects of Mixing Alcohol and Methadone

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Combining methadone and alcohol can lead to serious and harmful effects. The risk of getting addicted to alcohol is increased when you use it together with methadone. The mixture of methadone and alcohol is just a classic example of two substances that produce unwanted and undesirable effects. Medical intervention should be given for those people who are addicted to methadone and alcohol.

Effects of Combining These Drugs

In a nutshell, methadone and alcohol have independent functions, but it is important to note that the two drugs affect the central nervous system (CNS) together. Contrary to what some people think, alcohol is a depressant; it is never a stimulant. As a CNS depressant, it has the ability to slow down the message conveyance from the brain to the body and vice versa. This is the reason why a person’s response to external stimuli is slowed down. Alcohol can alter a person’s coordination and concentration.

Methadone is also a depressant. It belongs to the opiate class, which is used to relieve extreme pain. It slows down the body’s pulse rate and can cause hypotension, since it can lower the blood pressure. One of the most common side effects is constipation.

Being addicted to methadone and alcohol can further increase the chances of being more addicted to alcohol. According to a study conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, there is an increase of about 500 percent in methadone overdose from 1999 to 2005, which resulted in 4,000 casualties. Mixing methadone and alcohol only increases intoxication, so if you are already drunk, then expect to be heavily intoxicated afterwards when you combine both. Some characteristics of severe intoxication are the following:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Decreased breathing pattern
  • Coma
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Overdose
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Shallow breathing
  • Death

Severe intoxication, if not paid immediate medical intervention, can lead to fatal consequences. If you know someone dealing with an addiction to alcohol and methadone and showing signs and symptoms of severe intoxication, call 911 immediately.

What are the Consequences?

Combining methadone and alcohol, as well as other drugs, may affect each substance’s function in the body. According to Canada’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, alcohol can affect the rate of the body’s metabolism. When a person is using methadone for maintenance, alcohol can reduce the drug’s therapeutic effect. You might end up wanting to get another dose even before maximum effect is achieved.

Alcohol and methadone have the ability to increase the heartbeat of a person, which may lead to cardiac problems if not monitored well. This is a possibility even if the person who is addicted to methadone and alcohol does not have any history of cardiac-related problems.

Several reports indicate that methadone is used with marijuana. This combination may have minimal effects compared to the combination of methadone and alcohol. However, there are still some side effects that need to be considered. Marijuana is a relaxant, but it can cause anxiety and depression. This situation may prompt a user to take lorazepam, an antidepressant drug that is extremely dangerous when combined with methadone. Taking two antidepressants together will have a cumulative effect on the brain, potentially leading to coma and even death.

Treatment for Methadone and Alcohol Addiction

The purpose of treatment is to safeguard the liver. The treatment for this addiction can be complicated. Fortunately, there are some modifications involved in the treatment plan of a patient addicted to methadone and alcohol. Modern inpatient and outpatient rehab centers now practice treating the two addictions together or the alcohol problem first and then the methadone addiction.
“Alcohol and methadone have the ability to increase the heartbeat of a person.”
If you are considering or actively seeking addiction treatment for your addiction to methadone and alcohol, please feel free to call us at . Our compassionate counselors are available 24/7 to provide assistance.


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