Alcohol And Oxycodone

Roughly 2 million Americans have struggled with Opioid abuse, with over 100 people dying each day. Additionally, there were a reported 58.8 million Oxycodone prescriptions written in 2013; there is high demand for the prescription Opioid. Such increases in Opioids have stemmed from a combination of prescription Opioids and synthetic Opioids. Some patients who once abused prescription Opioids have transitioned to street-grade Fentanyl, Heroin, and Carfentanil as they have developed a tolerance. Once they become dependent on such Opioids, it is extremely difficult to stop use. Alcohol is also a highly abused substance responsible for claiming the lives of Americans daily.

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People can mix alcohol and Oxycodone together to intensify the effects of the drug. Furthermore, people may begin using alcohol or Oxycodone independently; if they have a pre-existing use disorder with either substance, this can lead to experimentation. Depending on the frequency of use and side effects this combination produces on the individual, they can continue using this combination until problems occur. Those who combine alcohol and Oxycodone have an increased risk of respiratory depression and an increased risk of fatally overdosing. Individuals can stop breathing due to the effect the 2 drugs have on the body. High blood pressure and even coma can occur.

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The Effects Of Oxycodone Combined With Alcohol

Oxycodone, also referred to as its brand name OxyContin, is an Opioid used to treat pain. Similar to other Opioids like Heroin, Fentanyl, and Morphine, it is a powerful and addictive substance that has high potential for abuse. It should be taken as prescribed by a doctor and has side effects that can change based on drugs combined with it. Oxycodone can last up to 12 hours and can function to relieve pain. Those taking it can experience:

  • Slowed breathing
  • Nausea
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Fluid in the spine and brain
  • Euphoria
  • Constipation
  • Vision problems
  • Dizziness

Not unlike the use of other Opioids involved in the Opioid crisis, individuals who take Oxycodone can become addicted and choose to feed their addiction with more potent substances. In many cases, those battling an Opioid use disorder who develop a tolerance or dependence are at risk of developing addictions due to the drug’s ability to relax the central nervous system. Lastly, Oxycodone can often be made available for use with Percocet; this can create a highly addictive combination.

Alcohol works to depress the nervous system, producing calming effects for some. In addition to the effects that alcohol produces, like slow reflexes, nausea, and poor coordination, those drinking alcohol with Opioids can become addicted to the feeling the combination produces. Lastly, those who combine alcohol and Oxycodone and are older have a higher risk of respiratory depression.

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Signs And Symptoms Of Oxycodone Withdrawal

Withdrawals occur when someone continuously abuses a chemical, becomes addicted, and then stops. The individual will feel the effects of dependence if they stop using it. In the case of Opioids, someone can experience the following symptoms that include but are not limited to:

  • Cravings
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Panic attacks

The symptoms of withdrawal vary depending on the severity of the addiction. The first 6 to 30 hours can produce feelings of tiredness, sweating, and anxiety; at 72 hours some can experience vomiting, chills, and diarrhea. Combining Opioids with alcohol makes someone more vulnerable to alcohol withdrawal as well as Opioid withdrawal symptoms. Some of the most commonly reported side effects include but are not limited to:

  • Mood swings
  • Delirium Tremens
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • High blood pressure
  • Seizures

The Effects Of Alcohol Withdrawal

In addition to these symptoms, someone may find it hard to stop abusing this deadly combination in an attempt to feel normal. The help of a qualified medical professional could provide the needed support through detox and 24 hour monitored care, getting those in need on track to recovery.

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Combining alcohol with Oxycodone can further inflate symptoms surrounding Opioid use disorders.

Medications For Alcohol And Opioid Withdrawal

Typical medications for withdrawal function to reduce drug cravings and fight against symptoms like depression. Medications like Naltrexone are used for both Opioids and alcohol to relieve cravings. Secondly, drugs like Buprenorphine and Methadone bind to the Opioid receptors in the brain and can help with withdrawal symptoms. Acamprosate is helpful for alcohol-related use disorders and to stop alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Get The Help You Deserve

Suffering a substance use disorder may be challenging, but all hope is not lost. Individuals needing help can access medications and treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy (which uncovers behaviors and teaches healthier behavioral changes), 12-step programs, and counseling. Help is available. Contact a treatment provider today and discover treatment options.



Krystina Murray

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  • Krystina Murray has received a B.A. in English at Georgia State University, has over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience, and over 15 years of overall writing experience. She enjoys traveling, fitness, crafting, and spreading awareness of addiction recovery to help people transform their lives.

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Reviewed by Certified Addiction Professional:

Deborah Montross Nagel

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  • Deborah has a Master’s Degree from Lesley University and has been certified as an Addictions Counselor in PA since 1986. She is currently a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor – CAADC. She is  nationally certified as a MAC – Master Addictions Counselor – by NAADAC (The National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors). Her 37 years of experience and education are in addiction, recovery, and codependency. Addiction affects the entire system around the addict. There is no "bad guy" in the system. Fight the addiction, and help the addict. I help loved ones restore sanity to their lives and hence encourage change. Recovery is possible!

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