Dangers of Mixing Benzodiazepines and Alcohol
When I think of benzodiazepines and alcohol I think “Black Out.” The standard combination is Xanax and alcohol. Benzodiazepines or “benzos” are sedatives and tranquilizers that treat insomnia, anxiety and sleep deprivation. Combining alcohol and benzos intensifies their depressive qualities. This jeopardizes the users physical and emotional abilities. Both alcohol and benzos perform a nearly identical function; depressing the central nervous system. This combination is lethal. They inhibit the user’s judgment, cause seizures, comas, decrease mobility, attack the central nervous system and can result in death. In young adults this is alluring because they can drink less and feel drunk faster.
Why Benzodiazepines and Alcohol Can be a Lethal Combo
It is feasible to have bad judgment while drunk, and a lot easier when on benzos and alcohol. The black out can happen quickly. A couple minutes prior to the black out your body feels warm, comforted and things start feeling fuzzy. During the blackout the user loses all sense of time and space. After the black out you wake up (come to) in a totally different place and time, unaware of events that happened several hours before. Anything can happen while in a black out. Users will drive in a black out which is how accidents happen. Even though their blood alcohol level may not be high the Xanax comes in, undetected and multiplies their appearance of being drunk. Due to inhibited judgment many engage in destructive dangerous behaviors that would normally be avoided such as theft, physical altercations, spending frivolously, unsafe sexual interactions and other various decisions the user regrets upon awakening.
Medical complications arise when alcohol and benzos are mixed. Some side effects are: nausea, irritability, slurred speech, confusion, aggression and depression. In addition, users forget the drugs they have taken causing them to take more, leading to possible comas and deaths. Both Benzos and alcohol have their own health repercussions, so to combine the two is hazardous. Not to mention, that withdrawal from benzodiazepine and alcohol can cause death.
The reason why this is dangerous among young people is easy accessibility. Many benzos are found in the average medicine cabinet. Also this is very common in high school, college and the party scene. Binge drinking is popular for younger adults, this combination provides a short cut for their desired effect.