Chronic pain is a problem that millions of people suffer from every day. To help ease this pain, many turn to opioids and alcohol. While pain pills can be an effective way to manage pain, they can also be very dangerous. When taken without proper medical supervision, pain pills can lead to addiction and overdose.
Alcohol is another substance that is commonly abused. When combined with pain pills, the risks of abuse and overdose increase significantly. Alcohol can amplify the effects of prescription medication and make them more dangerous. It is important to be aware of the dangers of mixing pain pills and alcohol before you take either substance.
Pain pills are typically prescribed by a doctor to help manage chronic pain. Pain pills work by depressing the central nervous system. This allows the pain signals to be blocked from reaching the brain.
Alcohol also depresses the central nervous system. When pain pills and alcohol are combined, they can cause the central nervous system to be suppressed to a dangerous level. Pain pills and alcohol can both cause drowsiness and slowed reflexes.
This can make it very difficult to think clearly or react quickly in an emergency. Pain pills and alcohol can also cause nausea and vomiting. If you vomit while taking pain pills, there is a risk that you will inhale the vomit into your lungs and suffocate.
Mixing pain pills and alcohol is extremely dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. If you or someone you know is struggling with pain pill abuse, please seek help from a medical professional.
What are Prescription Pain Pills?
Pain pills, also called opioids, are a type of medication used to relieve pain. They work by binding to pain receptors in the brain and spinal cord, which reduces the feeling of pain. Opioids are typically prescribed for severe pain that cannot be controlled by over-the-counter pain medications.
Types of Prescription Pain Pills
There are two main types of pain pills:
- Opioids: Opioids are a type of pain pill that includes drugs like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl. Opioids work by binding to pain receptors in the brain and spinal cord to reduce the perception of pain.
- Non-opioids: Non-opioids include drugs like acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Non-opioids work by reducing inflammation or blocking pain signals from the brain.
There are many different types of pain pills, but some of the most common are oxycodone, hydrocodone, and codeine.
- Oxycodone: Oxycodone is a pain reliever that is often prescribed for moderate to severe pain. It is available in both pill and liquid form.
- Hydrocodone: Hydrocodone is another pain reliever that is often prescribed for moderate to severe pain. It is available in both pill and liquid form.
- Codeine: Codeine is a pain reliever that is often used to treat mild to moderate pain. It is available in pill, syrup, and tablet form.
What Are the Risks of Taking Pain Pills?
Taking pain pills can be dangerous. Some of the risks include:
- Liver damage
- Kidney damage
- Stomach ulcers
What Are the Risks of Drinking Alcohol?
Drinking alcohol can be dangerous. Some of the risks include:
- Liver damage
- Brain damage
What Happens When You Mix Pain Pills and Alcohol?
Mixing pain pills and alcohol can be dangerous. Alcohol can increase the effects of pain pills and make them more potent. This can lead to overdose and death. Mixing pain pills and alcohol can also cause:
- Liver damage
- Stomach bleeding
- Organ failure
The Prevalence Of the Opioid Epidemic
An opioid epidemic is a term used to describe the rapid increase in the use of painkillers, also called opioids. The overuse of painkillers has led to a rise in opioid addiction and overdose deaths. The rise of deaths from painkiller overdoses began in the late 1990s and has since quadrupled.
Overdose (OD) deaths involving opioids increased 519.38% from 1999 to 2019. 48,006 people overdosed on opioids in 2020. 3.8% of American adults abuse opioids each year.
At least 71.8% and as many as 80% of overdose deaths involve opioids.
Abusing Pain Pills With Other Substances
Pain pills can be mixed with other substances such as alcohol. Doing this can result in several dangers, such as:
- Slowed or stopped breathing
Mixing a stimulant with a depressant can result in erratic, unpredictable, and dangerous behaviors. The effects of pain pills and alcohol depend on many factors, including:
- How much pain pill and alcohol each person takes
- How long they’ve been taking pain pills or drinking alcohol
- If they’ve taken pain pills or drunk alcohol before
- Their overall health
- Whether they’re taking any other medications
Signs of Prescription Drug Addiction
The signs of prescription drug addiction can vary depending on the person. However, some common signs may indicate a problem, such as:
- Taking pain pills in larger doses or more often than prescribed
- Crushing and snorting pain pills
- Diluting pain pills and injecting them
- Using pain pills to get high, rather than to relieve pain
- Continuing to use pain pills even though they’re no longer needed for pain relief
- Stealing or forging prescriptions for pain pills
- Buying pain pills from dealers or online
- Experiencing financial, legal, or relationship problems because of pain pill use
Is There Addiction Treatment for Pain Pills and Alcohol?
Yes, it is possible to recover from an addiction to pain pills and alcohol. Treatment for a pain pill and alcohol addiction typically includes:
- Detoxification: This is the first step in treatment and involves allowing the body to rid itself of the drugs. Medical Detox can be done on an outpatient or inpatient basis, depending on the severity of the addiction.
- Counseling: Addiction therapy is a vital part of treatment and can help individuals understand their addiction and why they turned to pain pills and alcohol in the first place. It can also provide them with tools to avoid relapse in the future.
- Support groups: Support groups provide social and emotional support for people in recovery. They can help maintain sobriety and avoid relapse.
- Medication: In some cases, medication may be used to help with pain pills and alcohol withdrawal symptoms or to treat underlying mental health conditions. Medication should always be prescribed and monitored by a professional.
How Granite Mountain Can Help You Recover
Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare offers pain pill addiction treatment at our inpatient and outpatient facilities. Our pain pill addiction treatment programs are designed to help you recover from pain pill addiction and live a sober, productive life.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a pain pill addiction, help is available. There are many resources available to help you overcome addiction and live a healthy, sober life.