Why Are Xanax and Alcohol Dangerous?Xanax falls under the class of benzodiazepine. As such, it acts as a depressant on your central nervous system. Doctors prescribe Xanax to treat depression, panic attacks, or anxiety. On rare occasions, a treatment center may prescribe it to help your withdrawal symptoms during detox. Alcohol is simultaneously a stimulant and a depressant. In the first few moments after you drink alcohol, it stimulates the release of dopamine in your brain. This creates feelings of pleasure or excitement. Soon after, however, alcohol will act as a depressant and slow your nervous system down. This is why you feel intoxicated when you drink it. The stimulant in alcohol counters the effects of Xanax. The depressant in alcohol can reinforce the effects of Xanax causing an intense depression in your central nervous system. As a result, you may feel drowsy, dizzy, disoriented, or even pass out. If you are heavily sedated, you risk numerous side effects.
Side Effects of Combining Xanax and AlcoholWhen you take Xanax or alcohol independently, you will experience a relaxed or mildly sedated feeling (assuming that you take the recommended amount of each). Together, however, Xanax and alcohol side effects may include:
- Fainting or feeling dizzy
- Depressed respiratory function
- Inability to breathe
- Slowed motor skills (slurred speech)
- Memory loss