A study conducted by the Perelman School of Medicine shows that muscle relaxant abuse skyrocketed since 2005 by nearly 70%. With this, substances like muscle relaxers and alcohol contribute negatively to this surge of abuse. Transcend Recovery Community investigates further, giving all the information you must know about this type of abuse and what you can do to get better. Read on to find out more.
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Is It Safe to Take Muscle Relaxers with Alcohol?
As muscle relaxers directly affect the central nervous system, they are not advised to be taken together with alcohol. Apart from heightening the side effects of a muscle relaxer drug, the combination of these two substances also puts you at greater risk of addiction.
Alcohol also has sedative effects which may cause motor impairment leading to accidents and injuries. Therefore, individuals working with heavy machinery or who need focus in their line of trade should never consume muscle relaxers and alcohol together.
It's best to finish your prescription course as recommended by your physician before drinking alcohol to avoid any fatal interactions or incurring other injuries.
What are Muscle Relaxers?
Muscle relaxers are medications prescribed to people for the relief of painful muscle contractions or muscle spasms. While they provide temporary relief, they may also produce certain side effects.
These drugs can be classified into two types:
- antispasmodics - reduces muscle spasms through the central nervous system by blocking the nerve impulses sent to the brain.
- antispastics - a type of skeletal muscle relaxants that zero into skeletal muscles, and the brain or spinal cord. It also helps with cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis (MS).
What Are the Risks of Drinking on Muscle Relaxers?
As people continue combining muscle relaxers with alcohol use, more risks begin to surface affecting their mental health. It also poses serious health problems long-term that we shall tackle in the following sections.
Meantime, here are the various risks of drinking alcohol while taking muscle relaxers:
- Liver damage - One of the most concerning effects of substance abuse tied together with alcohol abuse is the strain on your hepatic health. Your liver works double time in getting rid of unwanted toxins in your body. Therefore, if you mix muscle relaxers and alcohol habitually, it will eventually take a toll on one of your vital organs.
- Increased risk for alcohol poisoning - If you mix muscle relaxers and alcohol, it may cause harmful interactions that may lead to impaired thinking and an eventual overdose. Drinking alcohol also limits your motor control, which can lead to impaired judgment as well.
- Gastrointestinal issues - We all know that alcohol abuse in itself is abrasive and damages your intestines. Prescription medications, on the other hand, also negatively impact our gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, mixing alcohol and muscle relaxers will eventually produce dangerous consequences leading to worsening GI health.
- Addiction - Consuming muscle relaxers other than pain relief for a long time will eventually develop into certain substance use disorders. Pair it with your physical alcohol dependence, and in no time, an individual may succumb to abusing other drugs, especially during a prolonged period.
The continued use of alcohol and muscle relaxers puts a person at an increased risk of developing life-threatening health issues. It's best to consult a medical professional to avoid your health from deteriorating longer term.
Side Effects of Muscle Relaxers and alcohol
Combining two drugs or more with alcohol use, such as with the use of alcohol and muscle relaxers on purpose generates side effects that will surely impact a person's mental health and overall wellbeing.
Here are some of the harmful side effects you may get when mixing prescription medication and alcohol, such as muscle relaxants:
- Risk of seizures/increased risk of drug-induced seizures
- Shallow breathing
- Abdominal pain
- Behavioral changes
- Memory issues
- Overdose potential
- Potential respiratory depression
- Low blood pressure
It's important that when one of these side effects leads to a medical emergency, the individual must be taken to a hospital or treatment center right away to avoid any fatal consequences.
Short-Term Effects of Mixing Muscle Relaxers and alcohol
The short-term effects of muscle relaxers and alcohol include the following:
- Motor issues/dysfunction
- Increased risk for falls, motor accidents, and injuries
- Poor vision
- Engaging in risky activities
Long-Term Effects of Mixing Muscle Relaxers and alcohol
Similarly with Aspirin & alcohol, combining alcohol and muscle relaxers may produce the following irreparable and damaging long-term effects:
- Organ failure
- Fatal overdose
- Renal problems
- Hepatic issues
Is There Muscle Relaxers Abuse?
Muscle relaxers or muscle relaxants aren't commonly related to a person's addiction problem, especially when given the appropriate use. However, mixing muscle relaxers with alcohol puts you at a greater risk of developing abuse.
Certain drug interactions trigger addiction, especially when you drink alcohol all the time when prescribed a muscle relaxant. Here are some of the common triggers of how a muscle relaxer drug develops into full-blown abuse.
- For recreational purposes - Some people intentionally mix muscle relaxers and alcohol to produce that "feel-good high" which causes intense relaxation and euphoria. Some individuals discover this accidentally when mixing other pain relief drugs alongside other substances or medications. It is usually common in young people or patients who have been prescribed for minor conditions such as acute low back pain and muscle spasticity.
- Accidental misuse - Individuals who are not fully aware of the indications that may come with improper muscle relaxer use may find themselves taking these drugs excessively or mixing muscle relaxers with other medications to speed up pain relief.
- Countering side effects - When taking potent prescription medicine that may cause certain side effects, individuals may fall into the notion that using muscle relaxers may help lessen the side effects they are feeling, especially when mixing muscle relaxers and alcohol. Unfortunately, they are not aware that by doing so, they are causing more harm than good.
When a person succumbs to drug and alcohol addiction, the best thing to do is to undergo drug & alcohol addiction treatment that involves alcohol withdrawal or alcohol detox. They may consult with licensed medical professionals to help them choose the appropriate outpatient treatment program for their condition.
Transitional housing also benefits these individuals during their rehabilitation period to help them focus better on their recovery sessions.
Can Transcend Recovery Help with Muscle Relaxers and Alcohol Abuse?
By providing supplemental mental health support, Transcend Recovery Community allows a recovering individuals to fully focus and transition from their addiction. We employ a holistic approach to helping individual gets better every single day.
Through life skills training and various day-to-day activities that allow them to engage with fellow sober living residents, they have instilled confidence, empowerment, and fellowship—vital traits helping them as they go on and have fulfilling lives post-rehabilitation.
Numerous testimonials from past clients and residents can attest to the type of work that we do. Find out more about what Transcend Recovery Community can do to help you get a second chance in life. Contact us right away and get connected with a Recovery Specialist.