4 Common Drug Interactions

Last Updated: Feb 24th 2020

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky

Often, drug use is harmful, but substance combinations pose an even bigger risk. Overall, drugs can interact with one another and worsen symptoms and health risks. Unfortunately, many drug users combine substances to intensify their high. Explore four of the most common drug interactions to avoid considering combining them.

1. Methadone + Antidepressants

Some individuals rely on Methadone as an opiate addiction alternative. While Methadone has fewer side effects, dependence is still debilitating. Overall, combining Methadone with prescription antidepressants is common for people struggling with depression while trying to remain sober.

Unfortunately, this combination is very dangerous. Mixing Methadone and antidepressants reduces the effectiveness of the Methadone, making you crave more of it. Additionally, this combination causes drowsiness and difficulty breathing.

2. Sedatives + Alcohol

Sedatives slow the central nervous system, affecting breathing and circulation. Adding alcohol intensifies the effects of the sedatives. This dangerous drug interaction may lead to coma and the central nervous system can shut down. Most importantly, in serious overdose cases, this combination leads to death.

3. Benzodiazepines + Opiates

Taking opiates and benzos together intensifies the worst symptoms. Even if individuals regularly take the drug’s prescription versions, mixing them has dire consequences.

Adding opiates to benzos increases sedative effectiveness, which slows heart rate and makes breathing difficult. The drug interaction also leads to severe hallucinations, which can develop into paranoia, aggression, or violence.

4. Opiates + Alcohol

Generally, a person with a drug addiction may still turn to alcohol to increase or intensify the effects of their drug of choice. Often, those using prescription opioid drugs drink alcohol socially. Unfortunately, combining opiates with alcohol poses many health risks.

Taking alcohol with opiates shuts down the central nervous system. Respiratory failure may occur and large enough doses of either substance can lead to sudden death. Above all, you should never combine opioid drugs with alcohol under any circumstances.

Avoiding Common Drug Interactions by Working Toward Recovery

You can avoid these drug interactions by carefully researching what you can safely ingest while using other drugs. However, a much more effective approach is permanently ending substance abuse. At 1st Step Behavioral Health, you can work toward ending your drug addiction once and for all. In order to achieve this, we offer the following comprehensive treatment methods and strategies:

These common drug interactions highlight the dangerous potential of combining addictive substances. At 1st Step Behavioral Health in Pompano Beach, Florida, you can break free from combining drugs once and for all. If you’re ready to turn over a new leaf and transform your life call (866) 319-6126 today.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky

Brittany PolanskyBrittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is a Primary Clinician at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.