Mixing any opiate based medications with alcohol is definitely dangerous, especially for an addict who has an increased tolerance for either substance and is constantly taking greater and greater quantities in order to catch a better high.
The problem is that both opiate medications and alcohol can suppress various systems in the body, and when working in combination with each other those effects are multiplied. This is particularly dangerous from a medical standpoint because there is a danger of going into a coma state from the combination of the two substances.
If you are struggling with both alcohol and opiate medications at the same time then this is a pretty clear sign that there is physical dependence and full blown addiction going on. As such, you may want to take action in terms of fixing your problem.
How do you go about fixing a problem like this? My number one suggestion would be to check yourself into a drug or alcohol rehab center. There they can safely detoxify you from both alcohol as well as the opiates, and do so in a way that keeps you fairly comfortable in the process. Now I say “fairly comfortable” because you may still experience a slight amount of discomfort as you detox, but this is normal and you need to have a bit of that so you have a disincentive to go back and relapse later on. If there is no pain or discomfort in withdrawal then what incentive is there to stay clean and sober?
On the other hand, detox centers have come a long way in terms of how they are able to treat your withdrawal symptoms. What is even more important is that they can keep you safe from seizures when withdrawal from alcohol occurs, something that was not always easy to do in the world of treating alcoholics. Coming off of alcohol can be quite dangerous in terms of overstimulating your nervous system. Coming off of strong opiates, such as Methadone, can be dangerous as well if it is done cold turkey. This is another reason why going to inpatient treatment is my number one recommendation for you in terms of getting clean and sober.
Keep in mind that as you abuse alcohol and opiates your body becomes more and more dependent on them, which will eventually lead to a nasty withdrawal when you inevitably cannot use your substance of choice. Now you may be thinking to yourself: “that’s no problem, I plan to keep drinking and taking opiates forever, with absolutely no gaps at all in medicating myself, so therefore I don’t have to worry about withdrawal.”
This is not realistic. Every single addict and alcoholic will eventually go through periods when they cannot get enough drugs or alcohol into their system when they want them. It may because you land in jail, it may because you end up in a hospital bed, it may because you are physically sick at home and you cannot get any new supply because you can’t even get out of bed. You may be healthy and lucky enough to avoid all of these outcomes today, and you may avoid them all tomorrow, but eventually you will face a period of abstinence in your addiction. It may only last for a few days, but that could be enough to experience devastating withdrawal symptoms, some of which can even be fatal.
The solution to this impending threat is to take a proactive approach and deal with your problem right now. Do not create the illusion within yourself that you can just deal with your addiction later on when it is more convenient.
The truth is that the timing will never be any better to get help for your addiction problem.
Now your brain will make all sorts of excuses as to why this is not the right time to try to get clean and sober. Maybe you set a date to get sober like next Tuesday. But as soon as next Tuesday starts getting closer, your brain will start to notice all sorts of drama happening in your life, and it will convince itself that this is just not the right time to try to get sober.
The truth is that there is no “extra drama” going on when your quit day gets closer….it is just normal life drama. There are always things going on in your life, there are always both positives and negatives going on with your specific life situation, and nothing special is going on just because you decided to quit drinking and taking drugs. But your brain is a stubborn and scared cornered animal when you threaten to take the drugs and the alcohol away, and so it will manufacture all sorts of fear and anxiety in order to convince you to keep medicating yourself.
If you pay attention you can realize this for yourself. Simply watch the mind. Watch your thoughts, observe them causally, as if you are seeing them from the outside. Watch your mind try to convince itself that it needs to keep drinking, that it needs to keep taking drugs. Learn to watch your brain attempt to rationalize the addiction to itself.
If you want to turn your life around then you need to derail the addictive mind by taking massive action. How do you do this? Go to inpatient rehab. Pick up the phone, right now, and call up a rehab center. It really can be as simple as that. You just need to put one foot in front of the other and get yourself into an inpatient rehab facility where you can detoxify safely. Once you do that you can begin to learn about the tools of recovery and start to get a handle on rebuilding your life in recovery.
Anyone who is struggling with both alcoholism and drug addiction concurrently should definitely consider inpatient rehab. To be sure, there are other options. But none of those other options are as good as simply picking up the phone and calling a treatment center. If you force yourself to take this one simple step then it can create a chain reaction of positive events that will give you your freedom, happiness, and serenity back.
Of course it all takes work, and real effort, which will come to you with time. But you need a starting point, and you need a safe environment in order to get started, and that safe environment is at a medical detox facility. If you are hooked on both alcohol and opiates then you will almost certainly want to attend a treatment center that has a medical detox facility in it. Some treatment centers have a detox unit and some do not. Make sure you ask them when you call if they have a detox center that can help you safely get off of alcohol and opiate medications.
From there your life will only get better and better, and one day you will look back at this moment when you picked up the phone and realize that this was when everything changed for you. You only need to take the initiative to make one call and the rest of the dominoes will fall right into place for you. Sure, there will be challenges involved during your journey. But keep in mind that there will be challenges involved if you decide to stay stuck in addiction as well. So no matter which path you choose you will face hardship and challenge, but one path–the path to recovery–involves a tremendous reward as well. The path of addiction only offers you chaos and misery in the long run.
Which path will you choose?