Dangers of Combining Benzos and Alcohol

It is important to learn about the dangers of combining Benzos and alcohol and why treatment at a facility such as We Level Up Lawrenceville NJ is often necessary.


Using alcohol and Benzos together is a risky choice that can have serious consequences. Both of these substances can slow down your brain and make you feel relaxed, but when you use them at the same time, their effects can combine in a dangerous way. This combination can lead to extreme drowsiness, difficulty breathing, and even the risk of overdose, which can be life-threatening. This is why it is important to learn about the dangers of combining Benzos and alcohol and why treatment at a facility such as We Level Up Lawrenceville NJ is often necessary.

Medical uses of benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines are medicines we use for:

  • Anxiety: They quickly reduce extreme anxiety that is too much to handle.
  • Sleep problems: They help with serious sleep issues causing big trouble or worry.
  • Seizures: Some types are good at managing seizures, important for epilepsy care.
  • Muscle relaxation: Helpful in easing muscle tightness from different conditions, like some brain-related diseases.
  • Alcohol withdrawal: Useful in easing discomfort from stopping alcohol use, like shakiness or agitation.
  • Before surgery: Given to patients to help them relax before going into surgery.
Dangers of Combining Benzos and Alcohol banner with pills

Among these medicines, the most frequently used are:

  • Diazepam (Valium): Chosen for anxiety, alcohol withdrawal, and muscle tightness.
  • Alprazolam (Xanax): Mainly for anxiety and panic attacks.
  • Lorazepam (Ativan): For anxiety and calming patients before surgery.
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin): Targets seizure control and panic attacks.

Risks with wrong use and mixing with alcohol

Using Benzodiazepines the wrong way or with alcohol is risky. It leads to:

  1. Breathing troubles
  2. High overdose risk
  3. Thinking and moving problems
  4. Getting addicted and quitting

Breathing troubles

Using Benzos and alcohol together can slow your breathing a lot. This mix can make your breathing system fail, which might lead to a coma or worse if not helped right away. Since both calm you down a lot, breathing can become dangerously slow.

High overdose risk

Abusing alcohol and benzos together makes their effects unpredictable and stronger, raising the chance of taking too much by mistake. The double calming effect can be too much for your body, leading to a need for quick medical help.

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Thinking and moving

Both Benzos and alcohol mess with how well you can think and move. Using them at the same time makes these problems worse. You might find it hard to think clearly or move right. This can lead to bad choices and accidents, like driving when it’s not safe.

Getting addicted and quitting

Using benzos and alcohol a lot, especially together, can make your body depend on them. After a while, your body needs them to feel normal. Stopping suddenly can cause hard withdrawal symptoms, from shaking and worry to seizures and confusion. That’s why if you’re thinking about quitting, it’s best to do it with a doctor’s help. They can make quitting safer, lowering the risk of bad side effects.

A person experiencing harmful consequences of mixing Benzos and alcohol
Mixing Benzos and alcohol leads to addiction.

Reasons people use benzos and alcohol in New Jersey

In New Jersey, the struggle with substance abuse, including alcohol and benzodiazepines, is similar to other states but with some unique issues. There have been significant numbers of hospital admissions for treatment and a concerning amount of heavy drinking among the NJ population.

In 2020, approximately 15.2% of adults in New Jersey said they engaged in binge drinking in the past month, a rate slightly below the national average of 15.7%. This rate varied among different demographic groups, with the highest binge drinking rates being among white and Hispanic populations​.

The problem of substance abuse in New Jersey is further complicated when considering the use of benzodiazepines. These medications, while not as frequently involved in overdose deaths as opioids, present a significant risk for addiction and can be deadly when combined with other substances like alcohol and opioids. The state has experienced the adverse impacts of the opioid crisis, which has increased the scrutiny of benzodiazepine prescriptions as well. In response, New Jersey has made efforts to monitor and regulate the prescription of these medications more closely​.

Hospital admissions for substance abuse treatment in 2019 are somewhat troubling, with 98,479 admissions recorded. The most common substances leading to rehab admissions were heroin and alcohol, highlighting the severe impact of these substances on the state’s public health system. The data showed a range of substances being used, with counties like Essex and Camden reporting the highest numbers of overdose deaths​​.

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It’s also challenging to overlook what’s going on around you. Watching friends or others at social gatherings relax with a drink or use benzos to unwind can make it seem appealing, or even normal. This is particularly true if you’re young and feeling the pressure to fit in or curious about the experiences of others.

On those restless nights or when pain seems unending, it’s understandable why you’d consider these substances as a means to help you relax and sleep.

However, it’s important to recognize that what might begin as occasional use can quickly turn into a habit. Alcohol and Benzos have a way of becoming necessities, making you feel like you can’t cope without them. While they might seem like easy fixes, they’re far from being real solutions. Embracing healthier strategies for managing stress, anxiety, and sleep difficulties is vital. Recognizing and reevaluating the role these substances play in your life is a significant first step toward making positive changes.

a man holding his head, being comforted by his partner
Combining Benzos and alcohol will cause you many troubles.

Mixing alcohol and benzos

Using alcohol and Benzodiazepines (Benzos) at the same time is known as polysubstance use. This means you’re adding the effects of one substance on top of another’s, but this combination is harmful. Alcohol and Benzos are a dangerous mix because they slow down your brain. When you mix them, you can relax to the point where thinking and moving become difficult. This increases the chance of accidents because your alertness and coordination drop significantly.

Also, combining these substances increases the risk of overdose greatly. They both slow down your breathing and heart rate. In combination, they can become deadly. Another danger is that each person reacts differently to substances. When you mix alcohol with benzos, the outcome is unpredictable.

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Withdrawal is twice as hard

Regularly using both alcohol and Benzos and then stopping suddenly can be dangerous. Quitting Benzos abruptly can cause anxiety, sleeplessness, seizures, and even psychosis. It’s serious and shouldn’t be underestimated. On the other hand, alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be mild like sweating and tremors, or severe like hallucinations and seizures. It can be deadly in extreme cases.

Quitting both alcohol and Benzos at the same time can complicate withdrawal symptoms. The body has to adjust to the Benzos and alcohol withdrawal as it deeply impacts the brain and leads to severe reactions.

A doctor writing down notes about a patient who mixes Benzos and alcohol
Seek professional help to manage the issues of Benzos and alcohol addiction.

Getting help

When you’re struggling with alcohol and benzo use, you must get professional help. There are addiction centers, such as We Level Up Lawrenceville NJ, that are ready to support you. We understand your struggles and offer the help you need. Treatment can teach you how to handle stress and urges without relying on substances. You’ll discover new ways to cope and tackle life’s challenges, which is key for staying healthy in the long run.

Starting with detox

The process often starts with detox, especially for alcohol use. This step is all about getting alcohol out of your system safely. Many programs for alcohol detox New Jersey specialize in this. They’re prepared to support you through this time. Here is why detox is helpful:

  • Medical care: You’ll have doctors and nurses looking out for you. They monitor your health and help if withdrawal symptoms become intense.
  • Safety: Withdrawal can sometimes be risky. Detoxing with medical help means you’re in a safe place, ready to handle any surprises.
  • Easing symptoms: Withdrawal isn’t easy, but detox programs have medicines and treatments that can help reduce discomfort.
  • Community: You’re not alone. There are others in the program with you, facing similar challenges. This community support can make a big difference when times are hard.
A doctor holding medication used for Benzos and alcohol detox
Alcohol and benzos detox include medicines that will reduce your discomfort.

Moving to inpatient care

After detox, the next step in recovery often involves inpatient care. Inpatient alcohol rehab NJ serves as a dedicated space for deep recovery work. It’s an environment free from everyday pressures and triggers, where the sole focus is on healing from alcohol or benzo misuse.

Key benefits of inpatient care include:

  • Controlled environment: Inpatient rehab offers a safe and structured setting. Your days will be organized around therapy sessions, support groups, and constructive activities, all aimed at aiding your recovery from Benzo and alcohol.
  • Diverse therapy options: These programs provide various therapeutic approaches, including individual counseling, group therapy, and sometimes family therapy. This multi-faceted support helps address the root causes of addiction and develop strategies for maintaining sobriety.
  • Skill development: Rehab is not just about stopping substance use; it’s also about learning to live a rewarding life without dependence. You’ll acquire tools for managing stress, emotional challenges, and discover new, fulfilling activities to replace substance use.
  • Community support: Connecting with others in similar situations offers valuable support. Sharing stories and encouragement in this community can forge lasting bonds that continue beyond rehab.
  • Holistic health focus: Many programs also emphasize physical health, offering nutritious meals and activities like exercise, yoga, or meditation to support overall well-being.

Benzo addiction treatment

Addressing Benzo addiction requires tailored approaches due to the unique challenges of Benzo detox in NJ. Here’s what specialized treatment entails:

  • Medical oversight: Safely discontinuing benzo use is critical. Medical professionals oversee your health, easing withdrawal symptoms to ensure a smoother process.
  • Therapeutic support: Unpacking the reasons behind Benzo use is vital for recovery. Through individual and group counseling, you’ll explore these underlying issues and work on solutions.
  • Peer support: The power of shared experiences in support groups cannot be overstated. During Benzo addiction treatment NJ, they provide an opportunity to exchange stories, advice, and encouragement.

Alcohol addiction treatment

Confronting alcohol misuse requires a supportive environment that recognizes the complexity of the issue. In New Jersey, alcohol treatment programs offer a holistic approach, aiming not just to help you stop drinking but to address the underlying factors of your alcohol consumption. Features alcohol addiction treatment are:

  • In-depth therapy: The heart of these programs is the therapy component, involving both individual and group sessions. The goal is to unearth the root reasons for your drinking, identify triggers, and equip you with healthier coping mechanisms.
  • Dedicated recovery space: The value of a recovery-focused environment cannot be overstated. It provides a respite from external pressures and distractions, allowing you to concentrate fully on your recovery.
  • Community support: Recovery is a collective process. These programs connect you with others who understand what you’re going through. This network of peers offers mutual support and understanding, enhancing the recovery experience.
  • Long-term support planning: Successful recovery extends beyond the treatment period. These programs emphasize aftercare planning to ensure you have the strategies, resources, and community support necessary to maintain sobriety in the long term.
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Quit using Benzos and alcohol and live a healthier life.

Seek professional help and build a healthier life

Mixing Benzos and alcohol is a dangerous thing to do. It can lead to severe sedation, breathing problems, and even the risk of overdose, which can be fatal. Recognizing the signs of misuse—such as using more than prescribed, feeling unable to stop, or mixing substances to enhance effects—is very important. It’s the first step toward getting help. It is important you seek help immediately.

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Source

https://www.chcf.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/SubstanceUseDisorderAlmanac2022.pdf