If I am Addicted to Alcohol, Can I Use Prescription Pills?

If I am Addicted to Alcohol, Can I Use Prescription Pills?

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), the warning labels that appear on most medications should be read carefully and adhered to closely. Mixing alcohol with certain medications can cause the following problems:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Drowsiness
  • Fainting
  • Loss of coordination

Mixing alcohol with some medications can put you at risk for internal bleeding, heart problems and difficulties breathing.

How Alcohol Affects Medication

The NIAAA raises the following issues that users should seriously consider:

  • Alcohol can make a medication less effective or even useless. If you are taking a prescribed medication, alcohol may interfere with its potency
  • Alcohol may make a medication harmful to the body. This is a concern for your overall health, and you should consult your doctor about drinking while taking medication
  • Alcohol may interact with over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements, so speak to your pharmacist or physician before taking these products
  • Many people believe it is ok to drink long after taking medication and vice versa, but this is not the case

Alcohol and Medication Considerations

Many over-the-counter and prescription medications contain more than one ingredient that reacts with alcohol. If you are going to drink while taking medications, investigate the medications to ensure that they do not increase the risk of danger. Also know that certain medicines contain up to 10 percent alcohol, including cough syrup and laxatives.

The NIAAA also advises that older people take special care with this issue, as the aging process slows down the body’s ability to break down alcohol. Many older people also take more than one medication, so they need to make sure they can take all these medications on top of being careful about alcohol.

Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

You may know your alcoholism has damaged your life in many ways. Addicts may struggle to keep a job, find joy in everyday life, engage in meaningful relationships and maintain a healthy body.

There are several treatment options for alcohol addiction. Even if you are not committed to rehab for alcohol addiction, you can learn about these different programs so that you can move forward quickly when you do choose treatment. Consider attending the following programs:

  • Alcoholics Anonymous – this 12-step program offers group support and a structured recovery
  • Individual counseling – provides focused attention to your needs
  • Outpatient treatment – offers flexibility for your schedule and responsibilities
  • Inpatient treatment – blends the best of all of these programs

Help for Alcohol Addiction

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol, you need information about detox and rehab services. While recovery from alcoholism is difficult, it is possible and we can help, so please call our toll-free helpline today. We are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about rehab. We are here to help.