Alprazolam and alcohol are two very commonly used substances in America. Alcohol is part of nearly every celebration and is commonly used to ease discomfort after a common workday. Alprazolam, commonly known by the brand name Xanax, is also used to ease anxiety and depression. Alprazolam is a schedule IV drug which indicates a low potential for abuse, though tolerance and dependency have been found within the first week of use, even at low dosages.

When mixed, alcohol and Alprazolam are known to cause problems. However, it's also been shown that Xanax is 15 times more likely to be prescribed to heavy drinkers. Since both drugs are purported to ease anxiety and depression, this is little wonder. However, doctors may need to be more careful and do a more thorough vetting of their benzodiazepine-using patients and patients looking for anxiety or depression relief need to understand what taking these two together can do to them.

What is Alprazolam?

Alprazolam is a benzodiazepine that is more commonly known as Xanax. It is prescribed to patients who have high anxiety, including panic attacks. Some patients also receive limited prescriptions for specific situations such as pending air travel, public speaking engagements, or any other unavoidable event that causes extreme anxiety. The drug is also prescribed for those with depression, which often co-exists with high anxiety.

However, though Xanax and the benzodiazepine family of medications is intended to treat the symptoms of anxiety and depression, it does not cure them. In fact, many report that, once they cease taking the medication, they experience a rebound of all the anxiety the drug was used to suppress. The drug is also highly addictive.

In fact, addiction can set in after as few as three days of use. With prolonged use, users experience higher tolerance levels and they increase their chances for a difficult withdrawal period. The chances for overdose and other problems also arise, especially when Alprazolam is mixed with alcohol.

Common Side Effects of Alprazolam

Since Alprazolam is a sedative, one of the chief side effects is drowsiness. Users also report feeling light-headed, sadness, and clumsiness. It may also make users forgetful, unable to concentrate, and it may interfere with sleep cycles.

Other side effects include, but are not limited to:

  • Irritability
  • Lack of pleasure or interest
  • Feeling discouraged
  • Loss of muscle control
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty with ordinary tasks
  • Memory loss
  • Seizures

One of the worst side effects is addiction. This side effect seems unavoidable and is not due to any failing on the part of the user. Rather, the nature of the drug encourages a physical addiction and patients with valid prescriptions are often subject to increased tolerance leading to withdrawal symptoms within the first week of use. Even patients who were prescribed very low doses have reported this side effect.

Interactions of Alcohol and Alprazolam

When Alprazolam users take their medication, they are advised to do so only under the advice of a qualified medical professional. They are also advised to avoid taking any other drugs while the benzodiazepine is in their system, including alcohol. While some may take Alprazolam and alcohol for the exact same reasons, stress and depression, the combination can cause even more problems. In fact, it's been found that heavy drinkers are more likely to have a prescription for Alprazolam or another benzodiazepine. Thus, it is important to know the risks inherent in this mixture.

When alcohol and Alprazolam are mixed, each drug tends to heighten the effect of the other. In fact, this is often why many do mix the two. However, this mixture, and the enhanced effects, can quickly raise tolerance levels and create a toxic cocktail in the body of the user. The largest concern with this is that the user will overdose.

Users may also find that their original depression and anxiety actually increases as a result of this drug abuse. After all, the hangover from alcohol alone is likely to cause depression. Then, when problems arise from the substance abuse, anxiety and other psychological problems will surely elevate.

Alcohol Poisoning and Alprazolam Overdose

Doctors are now warning that overdose is far more likely when mixed with alcohol. That's because both drugs act as depressants on the user's central nervous system. The immediate outcome of such a mixture is that the user becomes highly intoxicated. Thus, judgement, coordination, and memory can be negatively impacted. Users might decide that driving is a good idea or that they can perform certain physical feats, including walking, without fail. Further drinking or pill popping will cause them to enter a blackout state and forget much of their evening, or other period of use.

Doctors note that mixing the drugs alcohol and Alprazolam does great damage to human organs. The heart, lungs, liver, and nervous system can all incur injury. Over the long haul, users may become psychotic or suicidal.

An acute overdose can include, but is not limited to, symptoms such as:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizure
  • Tremors
  • Delirium
  • Depressed heart rate
  • Loss of coordination
  • Death


If an addict becomes cross addicted to alcohol and Alprazolam, they will someday need to undergo withdrawal, or else they face potentially terrible consequences. The detoxification process for these drugs is very dangerous, and potentially fatal. Anyone who wishes to detox from one or both of these substances needs to consult a medical professional and will likely need medical supervision when they make the attempt.

When the user's body begins to clear out the toxins, they may first become shaky and experience tremors in their hands, if not throughout their body. Some will begin to experience delusions and possibly hallucinations. They are highly likely to become increasingly anxious, and this anxiety could result in heart attack. Unfortunately, common medical practice is to calm the anxiety with more benzodiazepines. With this in mind, discuss any Xanax use or addiction with the doctor. The sedative may be unavoidable, but the doctor needs to make a fully informed decision to make sure you receive the best treatment and best chance of recovery possible.


Once addiction is evident, it's imperative to begin the process of treatment and rehabilitation. When it comes to Alprazolam and alcohol addiction, it's imperative to discuss the matter with a healthcare professional. Whether the addiction involves one or both drugs, the outcome of detoxification can include death. It's advised that all alcohol and/or Alprazolam addicts check into a medical detoxification clinic.

Once the detoxification process is complete and the patient is nearing time to check-out, they should seek a recommendation for a local drug rehabilitation facility. Detoxification clinics often coordinate with local rehabs and they can make the transition smooth, if not seamless. Even if you do not want to attend an in-patient rehab facility, you should still get in touch and start out-patient treatment. Once checked in to a long-term rehab, Alprazolam and alcohol addicts can begin to unravel the root causes of their anxieties, depression, and their subsequent substance abuse.

After all, Alprazolam and alcohol addicts have been acting as though their problems can only be muted by drugs. To seek a lasting solution to psychological issues they need a solution that involves neither toxic substances nor any other means of numbing their feelings.