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What Happens When You Mix Xanax (Alprazolam) and Alcohol?

Mixing Xanax with alcohol increases the risk of serious, even fatal complications such as respiratory depression. That’s because both Xanax and alcohol depress the central nervous system, creating synergistic effects that can prove deadly. Many people suffer adverse consequences after mixing drugs, such as Xanax and other tranquilizers, either alone or before drinking alcohol.


Xanax, also known as alprazolam, is a trademarked prescription drug. It’s classified by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) as a benzodiazepine drug, or tranquilizer, which acts as a central nervous system depressant. Doctors often prescribe Xanax to treat people who suffer from panic attacks and anxiety, and, in some cases, to control seizures. Official labels warn users not to mix Xanax with alcoholic beverages or other tranquilizers.


Xanax simulates the release of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which relaxes the user, giving rise to a tranquil feeling (hence the term “tranquilizer”) that can calm the symptoms of panic disorder. The anti-anxiety prescription drug also facilitates the release of dopamine into the brain. As dopamine levels increase, it can create a euphoric state to help people better deal with their anxiety or panic disorder.


Alcohol is also considered a depressant. Many of the side effects of abusing Xanax are similar to those of abusing alcohol. It is important to remember, abusing just one of these drugs can lead to serious dependency issues and increased health risks. The long-term effects of abusing both alcohol and Xanax may include everything from insomnia and agitation to depression and addiction.

Combining Alcohol and Xanax Can Be Deadly

Combining both Xanax and alcohol further amplifies the health risks and dependency upon the drugs. Since the effects are intensified, the likelihood of an accidental overdose is greater. Furthermore, the effects experienced and dangerous consequences of consuming both together become even more pronounced.

For an addict, the amount of Xanax and alcohol needed to achieve certain feelings, like numbness, euphoria, relaxation, or drowsiness requires taking greater amounts of Xanax and consuming more alcohol. This can lead to more serious risks, including:

  • Loss of Consciousness
  • Black Outs
  • Memory Loss
  • Prolonged Dizzy Spells
  • Respiratory Problems
  • Central Nervous System Problems
  • Impaired Cognitive Functions
  • Coma
  • Death

What if I Skip Xanax Doses to Consume Alcohol?

You should never skip taking prescribed doses of Xanax in favor of consuming alcohol. Even skipping one dose here and there, and believing you can consume alcohol, is dangerous to your health and well-being. Xanax is a time-released drug and can remain within your body for several days after fully stopping the medication.

Additionally, you should not discontinue your Xanax prescription without consulting your physician. The withdrawal symptoms are similar to those of people suffering from alcoholism. Rather, it is better to follow the advice and recommendations of your healthcare provider to be weaned from Xanax.

How Xanax Dependency Relates to Alcoholism

How Xanax Dependency Relates To Alcoholism

Some people who previously took Xanax and miss the feelings they experienced can turn to drinking as a substitute drug, even if they did not consume alcohol while taking Xanax. In order to achieve the same effects, people tend to consume a larger amount of alcohol and eventually become alcoholics. In some cases, their dependency on Xanax is so strong they could also attempt to purchase the drug illegally.

In conclusion, if you are prescribed Xanax, you should not drink alcohol while taking this drug because of the dangers to your health and well-being. If you feel you have developed a dependency for either Xanax or alcohol, or are using both drugs simultaneously, it is important to seek help from our Orange County rehab center. Our treatment program is designed to treat a range of drug addictions, as well as alcoholism.

Overcoming addictions requires proper support systems and guidance in a caring environment, like here at Yellowstone Recovery’s treatment centers in southern California. Contact us at (888) 941-9048 for help with your drug abuse problem now!


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