Alcohol and muscle relaxants consumed together can be a deadly mix. They can cause serious health issues such as severe sedation and decreased cognitive abilities in the long term. The statics says that the use of muscle relaxers for non-medical purposes is an ongoing crisis in the country. This article discusses the effects of alcohol and muscle relaxers when consumed together, how it has turned into an addiction across the USA, how it can be treated and prevented altogether.
Health Effects Of Alcohol Combined With Muscle Relaxants
Muscle relaxants are generally used to control skeletal muscle functions as treatments to spasms, chronic pain from and to reduce spasticity from upper motor neuron syndromes such as cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis. What happens when muscle relaxants mix with alcohol is that they directly affect the central nervous system of the body and cause strong sedative effects. Alcohol combined with muscle relaxants can be particularly dangerous, taking baclofen and alcohol together for instance, since the chemical agents in alcoholic beverages can drastically increase the sedative effect of relaxants. The combination of the drugs and ethanol has strongly adverse effects, including the possibility to put somebody into a fatal stage.
What is the result of taking a skeletal muscle relaxant with alcohol? Following are some of the side effects that can occur when a muscle relaxant and alcohol are combined, especially is high doses.
- Severe sedation
- Slowing down the respiratory system
- Depressed central nervous system
- Reducing the effectiveness of the relaxants
Statistics On Use Of Muscle Relaxants With Alcohol
One of the most widely abused muscle relaxant-alcohol combinations is Soma and alcohol. Soma is commonly used to treat skeletal muscle spasms mostly in the lower back area. Following are some of the key statistics when it comes to the Soma muscle relaxant+alcohol abuse seen in the USA over the years.
- Soma – or Carisoprodol – accounted for over 20% of overall relaxant prescriptions within the USA in the year 2000. (Luo et al. 2004)
- The number of people using drugs similar to Soma for non-medical reasons was reported to be over 3.69 million in the year 2-12.
- Drug Enforcement Administration announced that in the year 2013, over 8.5 million Soma and other Carisoprodol products were dispersed all across the country.
Due to the relatively easy access to medicines of the benzodiazepine family that is prescribed for the short term relief of mild to moderate anxiety, it is common to see the consumption of valium and alcohol or diazepam and alcohol which can have similar adverse health effects on the body. They are central nervous system depressant drugs which are commonly abused by many that have been observed to eventually lead to the abuse of the stronger alcohol muscle relaxant effects. Other similar combinations which people get addicted to that work as “gateway drugs” for the more severe muscle relaxant with alcohol abuse include Advil and alcohol, which is a type of ibuprofen used to treat pain and inflammation. Mixing barbiturates and alcohol is also a commonly seen abuse of central nervous system depressants.
Overdosing On Muscle Relaxants And Alcohol
Skeletal muscle relaxants and alcohol can become a deadly mix. They both slow down the pace and the frequency of breathing to dangerously low levels and eventually lead to stopping altogether which causes death. Moreover, alcohol might interfere with some of the muscle relaxing drugs and decrease their efficacy. Thus, the user will likely take more of the pills to feel their pain relieving effect, increasing the likelihood of overdose.
There are also other similar combinations leading to similar results which are important to know since they happen accidentally or unknowingly most of the time. Drinking alcoholic beverages while on antihistamines that treat allergies, Allegra and alcohol for instance can lead to severe sedation. Another combination that is often debated is alcohol and steroids, which can cause peptic ulcers and high levels of liver toxicity when overdosed. Apart from a large number of negative health effects caused by nicotine consumption, mixing alcohol and nicotine can multiply the damage drastically especially for a regular user.
Muscle Relaxants For Alcohol Withdrawal And Addiction
One of the most commonly asked questions about this subject is, does muscle relaxant help with alcohol withdrawal? There are many people who draw similar comparisons between the skeletal muscle relaxants and alcohol high. Using them tend to give a temporarily euphoric feeling, and some people assume that they can take relaxers to help keep them away from alcoholic beverages especially when they have reached the extreme addictive levels alcoholism.
Treating Alcohol And Muscle Relaxants Addiction
The abuse of muscle relaxers for non-medical purposes and the addiction to drinking mixed with muscle relaxant are becoming extremely prevalent in the country. There are, however, many successful ways of treating this addiction for those who are seeking help.
There is no best alcohol for a muscle relaxant. It is all about completely preventing drinking and relaxant interactions as much as possible since they can soon turn into a deadly mix. There is no direct or definite way of drawing the line where it is appropriate and where it becomes dangerous. The use of particular muscle relaxers to treat alcoholism should also be closely monitored by a medical professional in the rehab center to prevent misuse.