Dangers of Mixing Oxycodone and Alcohol


Taking oxycodone in a way that is not prescribed to you is dangerous. But mixing use of the drug with alcohol, even if you are taking oxycodone in the prescribed way, can dangerous effects to become even worse.

Alcohol and Prescription Oxycodone Use

oxy dangers

It is dangerous to mix oxycodone with alcohol.

According to the NLM, “Drinking alcohol or taking prescription or nonprescription medications that contain alcohol… during your treatment with oxycodone increases the risk that you will experience serious, life-threatening side effects.” Even when you are using oxycodone in the right amount by the prescription given to you, the drug will likely cause some kind of respiratory depression. This can be managed if you are taking oxycodone at the right dosage, but with the addition of alcohol in your system, it could become just as risky as actions routinely taken by oxycodone abusers.

Opioids can be used safely with some other drugs, but according to the NIDA, “Typically, they should not be used with other substances that depress the CNS, such as”:

  • Alcohol
  • Antihistamines
  • Benzodiazepines
  • General anesthetics
  • Barbiturates

These drugs, when used with oxycodone and other opioid analgesics, “increase the risk of life-threatening respiratory depression.”

What is Respiratory Depression?

Respiratory depression is the cause of death for many oxycodone abusers who overdose on the drug. Because opioids slow down bodily functions, breathing can be slowed when a person uses them. Even small doses of opioids can affect breathing somewhat. However, when mixed with the effects of alcohol, oxycodone use can cause the breathing to slow down much more, even to the point where the individual stops breathing.

These effects will become similar to those caused by oxycodone overdose which is common in those who are addicted to the drug. It is extremely dangerous, and a person could die because of it.

Other Dangers

According to a study from the NCBI, “The relationship between alcohol and opioid abuse appears to be complex and multifactorial.” Many people who abuse opioids like oxycodone do so with alcohol. They may start, feeling that it helps them once, and then become dependent on the combination of the drugs to get themselves to fall asleep every night. This is very dangerous, and any time someone does this, they are risking respiratory depression and its consequences.

Other dangers that are involved with mixing oxycodone and alcohol are:

  • Oxycodone and opioids or even opioid antagonists may “affect the depth of the alcohol intoxication, although the evidence is not conclusive.”
  • “Mixed opioid and alcohol abusers did poorly in standard alcohol abstinence treatment.”
  • Those who abuse oxycodone and other opioid drugs “appear to have unusually high rates of recognized alcoholism.”

There are many dangers of abusing oxycodone and alcohol together. Even doing it one time can lead to respiratory depression, overdose, and death. There are also systematic issues that seem to involve the abuse of alcohol along with oxycodone and other opioids. While it seems harmless to many individuals, as alcohol is not a prescribed drug, mixing these two substances is actually very dangerous.