Substance abuse can lead to many life-threatening complications, including overdose or addiction. Using multiple addictive substances can increase the risk of dangerous complications, long-term harm, or death.

Heroin and Xanax are powerfully addictive substances. Combining these drugs can have many hazardous short and long-term effects. It is important to understand the danger of combining these drugs and take steps to get treatment as quickly as possible.

This article will explore the effects and risks of Xanax and heroin. You will learn about the dangers of mixing heroin and Xanax and where to find addiction treatment.

Heroin: The Effects and Risks

Heroin is a potent, illicit drug derived from morphine. It is a product of a specific type of poppy. It is most commonly available as a white or brown powder. People use heroin by heating and injecting it. Some users snort or smoke it.

Heroin is an opioid. Once someone ingests it, it enters the bloodstream and quickly reaches the brain. It binds to opioid receptors in areas of the brain related to pain control, emotional regulation, and pleasure.

Users may experience short-term effects that include:

  • Sedation
  • Euphoria
  • Slow breathing
  • Nausea
  • Impaired cognitive functioning
  • Dry mouth
  • Warm or flushed skin

Heroin users may “nod off,” which means that they pass in and out of consciousness. Using heroin puts people at risk of accidents, assault, and other harm.

Heroin and other opioids are highly addictive. People may become addicted to heroin in a very short period. Some research suggests it’s possible to develop psychological addiction after using heroin just once.

Over time, people who regularly use heroin may find they need to use more to get the desired effects. Using higher doses of heroin increases the risk of overdose. Using heroin and other drugs, including prescription medications, has a high potential for overdose and other complications.

An opioid overdose is a life-threatening emergency. People experiencing an overdose require immediate medical treatment.

Xanax: The Effects and Risks

Xanax is the brand name for a prescription drug called alprazolam. Doctors may prescribe Xanax to help patients with anxiety or panic disorders. Xanax is a benzodiazepine medication and may be addictive.

Xanax enhances the function of a brain chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA slows central nervous system (CNS) activity. Taking Xanax can help people feel less anxious and more calm.

When taken as prescribed for anxiety, the risk of addiction is low. However, many people misuse Xanax because of its pleasurable side effects, which may include sedation and euphoria.

Xanax misuse includes:

  • Taking a larger dose of Xanax than prescribed
  • Using it for a longer period than prescribed
  • Taking it more frequently than prescribed
  • Using Xanax without a prescription

Misusing Xanax can lead to unwanted side effects, including:

  • Slow, shallow breathing
  • Fainting
  • Hallucinations
  • Risk-taking behaviors
  • Increased energy
  • Seizures
  • Agitation
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Double vision
  • Jaundice

People who misuse Xanax or other prescribed benzodiazepines are at risk of overdose and other complications. Comprehensive treatment and support are necessary to manage withdrawal symptoms and avoid relapse.

The Dangers of Mixing Xanax and Heroin

Xanax is a benzodiazepine that slows central nervous system activity. Xanax is a benzodiazepine that also slows CNS activity. These drugs can be dangerous on their own, but mixing them increases the risk of complications and overdose deaths.

Mixing benzodiazepines and opioids can enhance the effects of both substances. People who combine heroin and Xanax may have life-threatening side effects, including:

  • Excessive drowsiness and sedation
  • Loss of balance
  • Poor coordination
  • Extreme confusion
  • Fainting
  • Muscle weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Disorientation
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Dangerously slow or shallow breathing

A Xanax and heroin overdose can depress people’s breathing so much that their brains do not get enough oxygen. This can lead to coma or death. In 2021, nearly 14% of overdose deaths that involved opioids also involved benzodiazepines.

Mixing central nervous system depressants can be life-threatening. If you or someone you love is addicted to opioids or benzos, you must seek treatment as quickly as possible to avoid life-threatening complications.

Treating Polysubstance Abuse

When someone is addicted to more than one substance, it is called polysubstance addiction or polydrug addiction. Polydrug addiction is a complex condition. Treating polysubstance abuse can be challenging, but effective treatment can give people a fresh start toward a healthier future.

Treatment for polysubstance abuse typically begins in a medically supported detox program. During detox, medical and mental health specialists provide medications and emotional support to manage withdrawal symptoms. This treatment allows people to remain safe and comfortable throughout the detox process.

After completing detox, people must participate in a comprehensive addiction treatment program. Addiction treatment programs include evidence-based and holistic therapies. A polysubstance abuse treatment plan may include:

  • Individual, group, and family therapy
  • Medications
  • Mental health treatment
  • Relapse prevention education
  • Coping skills
  • Exercise, art therapy, mindfulness, and other holistic therapies
  • Aftercare planning

These therapies can help people identify and treat the roots of their substance use and develop the skills to prevent relapse.

Find Treatment Now

If you or someone you love struggles with heroin or Xanax abuse, you are not alone. Find effective, comprehensive treatment at First Step Behavioral Health. Contact us now to learn more or schedule an intake appointment.

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