"...it can also be fatal to take opiates and alcohol together."If you take opiates, you should be aware of the effects of mixing opiate and alcohol. Although mixing these two drugs can give you an extreme high, it can also be fatal to take opiates and alcohol together. If you can't stop drinking while on opiates, you may have an addiction problem. Consider calling 800-861-9454 or filling out a quick contact form so you can free yourself of this addiction and lead a healthy and productive life.
Are You Addicted to Opiate and Alcohol?
Doctors sometimes prescribe opiates to help you manage severe pain following surgery or an injury. However, most medical personnel are aware that opiates can be extremely addicting and monitor your use of the drug. You may have an addiction problem if you exhibit any of the following symptoms:
- You up the dose of your medication without consulting your doctor. Long-term opiate use is problematic because your body builds a tolerance to the medication. This means that you need higher doses of the medication to feel the same effects. If you decide to up your dose on your own, especially if you don't tell your doctor at your next appointment, you may be dealing with an addiction to opiates. Upping your dose can be dangerous because eventually you'll need so much of the medication to feel its effects that you will overdose.
- You take the medication in a different way than directed by your doctor. Doctors usually tell you to swallow opiate pills. However, this method of taking the pills doesn't provide as much of a high as other methods. If you snort, chew or inject opiates to increase your feelings of euphoria, you are probably addicted to opiates.
- You continue taking the medication after your doctor has discontinued its use. Your doctor may tell you to stop taking your opiates because your injury is healed or because long-term use can lead to addiction. If you save your pills and take them anyway even though your doctor has told you to stop, you may be addicted to opiates.
- You associate the medication with feelings of pleasure or depend on it to relieve all pain. Opiates are meant to numb you to severe short-term pain. Euphoric feelings can be a side effect of the medication, and some users become addicted to that feeling and feel they can't experience pleasure without taking the medication. Others use the medication inappropriately to relieve other, less severe pains. If you feel you need the medication on a daily basis to feel pleasure or relieve all pain, you may be addicted.
- You mix opiates and alcohol despite your knowledge of the risks. Drinking while on opiates can be fatal. Both alcohol and opiates are depressants - drugs that slow down the central nervous system. If you take these drugs together, your heart and lungs could slow down too much or stop altogether, causing your death. If you can't resist drinking while on opiates despite these risks, you may be addicted to one or both drugs.
"Drinking while on opiates can be fatal."
Treatment for Addiction to Opiate and Alcohol
If you want to stop taking opiates, you first have to go through a detoxification program in a hospital. Opiate use causes biochemical changes in your brain so that you are unable to function normally without the drug, and abrupt withdrawal can make you ill or cause serious medical complications. During detoxification, you gradually withdraw from the drug while under the care of doctors who specialize in opiate withdrawal. Your doctors will help relieve physical symptoms of withdrawal and may prescribe alternative medications to help manage your symptoms. Detoxification takes at least seven days.
Inpatient Alcohol Rehab
Inpatient alcohol treatment that includes acute detoxification is often the only way to begin the rehabilitation process for an alcoholic who has been consuming large amounts of alcohol on a regular basis. In-patient alcohol rehabilitation also takes alcoholics who are ready to recover away from pressures and situations that could make them break their resolve, so that inpatient treatment is the most advantageous way of starting the healing process after long-term or severe alcohol addiction.
Once you've completely detoxified from the drug, your next step is to complete an inpatient rehabilitation program. While living at a rehabilitation center, you'll learn tools to help you avoid opiate and/or alcohol use. Most rehab programs offer group and individual therapy sessions and you may also have the opportunity to participate in 12-step programs to get extra support with your sobriety.
After you complete rehab, you'll need to attend an after care program for at least a year - an outpatient program that allows you to live at home while attending therapy sessions and other treatments at a rehab center or hospital. After care is important to help you stay sober once you're out of rehab and interacting with people in your daily life.
If you're worried about the effects of mixing opiate and alcohol on your life, consider getting this kind of help. You don't have to live with the shame and fear associated with opiate addiction. Call 800-861-9454 to get the help you need to live a happy, productive life.