Is There a Connection Between Prescription Opioid Abuse and Binge Drinking?

Michelle Rosenker

October 18, 2019

Prescription opioid abuse has been steadily on the rise for nearly the past decade. Today, 130 people die each day as a result of opioid overdose. In 2017, more than 47,000 people lost their lives to opioid addiction.

And while opioid abuse is more prominent than ever before, there are several other substances that continue to be abused at an unhealthy rate. For example, alcohol is the most abused mind-altering substance in the United States. Out of the 21 million Americans who are struggling with a substance use disorder, approximately 15 million of them have alcohol use disorder.

Unfortunately, there are countless individuals who are abusing both prescription opioids and alcohol at the same time. This is known as polysubstance abuse, and it can be extremely dangerous.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of the 4.2 million people who abused prescription opioids between 2012 and 2014 also participated in binge drinking. The results of this new study show that there is a strong connection between prescription opioid abuse and binge drinking, especially among people age 26 and older. Specifically, two out of every three people in this age group abuse both substances. Also, prescription opioid abuse is much more common in binge drinkers than non-drinkers.

Dangers of Binge Drinking and Prescription Opioid Abuse

Nothing good ever comes from abusing one or more mind-altering substances. Both prescription opioids and alcohol are central nervous system depressants, which means that they work to slow down the functions of the body.

Abusing more than one depressant at a time can increase one’s risk for suffering an overdose or other life-altering repercussions. When prescription opioids are being abused while binge drinking, users put themselves at risk for several consequences, including the following:

  • Respiratory distress
  • Respiratory failure
  • Impotence
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Anxiety and/or panic
  • Coma

Binge Drinking and Opioid Use

The next time that a person abuses prescription opioids while binge drinking can be his or her last. That is how dangerous this type of polysubstance abuse is. Both alcohol abuse and prescription opioid abuse can be deadly on its own, never mind when combined together.

Getting Help  

If you are abusing prescription opioids and alcohol, the most important thing you need to do is get help immediately. Depending on how severe your abuse is, stopping this type of abuse cold turkey can be dangerous and potentially fatal. By reaching out for professional help, you can safely end your polysubstance abuse and begin your journey towards recovery.

If you need help, do not wait another second. Call us right now. We can help you.