Alcohol is found in most grocery and convenience stores around the country, and its accessibility makes many people forget how dangerous the substance can be. Alcohol is a depressant, and when mixed with other drugs it can have serious negative effects. Individuals who abuse alcohol are more likely to consume other substances at the same time. Do you understand how alcohol addiction can result in co-occurring substance use?

Understanding Alcohol Addiction

In direct terms, alcohol addiction is the inability to manage drinking – resulting in a physical and mental dependence on the substance. Oftentimes, people experiencing alcoholism need to consume larger amounts as time goes on to prevent withdrawal and get the experience they desire. Alcohol can harm your physical and mental health, but can also cause strain on personal relationships. When you rely on alcohol it makes it harder to maintain friendships, romantic relationships, and work responsibilities. 

Common signs of alcohol addiction include:

  • Inability to limit alcohol intake
  • Desire to cut down on drinking, but unsuccessful attempts
  • Spending significant time drinking, acquiring alcohol, or recovering from alcohol use
  • Strong urge to consume alcohol
  • Failure to meet responsibilities due to alcohol use
  • Continued alcohol use despite negative consequences
  • Sacrificing social and work activities for alcohol use
  • Drinking in unsafe situations (when driving, working, etc.)
  • Increased tolerance to alcohol
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not drinking

Sometimes it may be hard to recognize signs of alcohol addiction because many people struggling will introvert themselves and withdraw from those around them.

Mixing Alcohol with Common Substances

Consuming alcohol with other drugs can be detrimental to your health. Common substances mixed with alcohol include

  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Opioids
  • Sleeping pills & other prescription medications

Cocaine is a stimulant that increases blood pressure and heart rate. These effects make alcohol reach your brain faster, giving you intense feelings of pleasure. When taken together it may result in heart attack or overdose, both of which can cause death. 

Unlike cocaine, heroin is a depressant just like alcohol. When consumed with alcohol, heroin can cause difficulty breathing and slowed breaths. If taken in large quantities your heart rate can become incredibly slow and the risk of overdose is high.

Opioids may be prescribed in limited quantities by doctors, but they are easily addictive. Whether prescribed or purchased on the street, if consumed with alcohol your risk of liver damage and potential liver disease are highly likely.

Sleeping pills and other prescription medications can be intensified when consumed with alcohol. Many prescription medications are also depressants, causing drowsiness, dizziness, and low motor function. Like other substances, mixing alcohol and prescription medications can result in overdose.

How Dual Diagnosis Treatment Can Help Co-Occurring Addiction

Dual diagnosis treatment programs can be used to treat co-occurring addiction and mental health conditions, as well as multi-substance addiction. Participants work with a medical team and a therapy provider to target addiction from alcohol and other drugs. Dual diagnosis treatment should always begin with medically supervised detox

Take Charge of Outcomes

If you or someone you know is experiencing alcohol addiction in any form, we’re here to help. Solution Based Treatment is an experienced detox and rehabilitation center focused on helping patients become the best, healthiest version of themselves. Connect with our admissions team anytime and start taking charge of the future.

About Solution Based Treatment

Solution Based Treatment is a national leader in detox and rehab programs. We offer inpatient medical detox, substance rehab, intensive outpatient programs, partial hospitalization programs, faith-based recovery, and sober living options. We maintain a 2:1 client to staff ratio to offer the best support possible to our patients within upscale living environments. At Solution Based Treatment, we support better living for brighter futures, all starting with our detox and rehab services. For more information visit our website at or give us a call at (833) 999-1941.

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