The Health Risks of Combining Alcohol and Hydrocodone

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January 30, 2018 | chris

It is a known fact that taking too many drugs or drinking too much alcohol could be dangerous for your health. But even drinking a small amount of alcohol can be harmful when mixed with prescription pain medication. Doctors caution that if you are taking a pain medication that contains hydrocodone, you should never mix this drug with alcohol.

What is Hydrocodone?

Hydrocodone is the most prescribed pain medicine in America. Hydrocodone is an opioid-based medicine that helps mask pain and can help people overcome surgeries and ailments. While it can help people get back on their feet without suffering from pain, the side effects of the drug can feel a little too good. A sense of euphoria and bliss can be felt, causing people to continue taking it even when they are not in as much pain as they were before. When someone takes hydrocodone for a long period of time, the euphoria can lessen because the body develops a tolerance to the drug. It takes more and more of the drug to achieve the same effect and it never feels as pleasurable as it did the first time you took it. Prolonged misuse can cause an addiction, which can lead to a series of undesirable events.

What are the Side Effects of Hydrocodone and Alcohol?

Abusing hydrocodone is harmful to your body, but when it is combined with alcohol, the results can be deadly. Mixing the two can lead to a host of severe health problems ranging from hearing loss and lack of motor control to heart failure and coma. Some short-term and lasting side effects of combining hydrocodone and alcohol include:

  • Shallow breathing
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Impaired judgement
  • Liver damage
  • Hearing loss
  • Seizures
  • Heart failure
  • Overdose
  • Coma
  • Death

It is important to note that this isn’t only an issue with hydrocodone becoming more dangerous when mixed with alcohol. It goes both ways and the effects of the alcohol are intensified as well. Alcohol creates a sedative effect and, when combined with certain medications, the effects can be heightened. This can cause trouble with concentrating and difficulty with coordination. Combining hydrocodone with alcohol makes it more likely you’ll be involved with an accident or injure yourself. Both substances alone impair judgement but when taken together the chances of you being unable to safely operate a vehicle dramatically increase. Crashing a vehicle would bring harm to yourself and to anybody near you at the time and would most certainly lead to legal trouble. If you are prescribed any form of hydrocodone as a pain reliever, the best course of action is to take the medicine exactly as prescribed and only for the length of the prescription. Drinking water with your pill is the safest and most reliable way to ensure you do not have any type of adverse reaction to the medicine. It is never wise to combine any medication with alcohol, but the combination of hydrocodone and alcohol poses a severe and potentially deadly risk. Talk to your doctor about your lifestyle habits and whether or not alcohol is a part of your daily routine. It is imperative that your doctor knows what your situation is in order to prescribe you the most efficient and safest medication. If you need a painkiller, but are not ready to give up drinking alcohol, speak to your doctor. It is crucial that you are honest from the beginning to avoid any major risks to your health and overall well being.

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