Sometimes, it is difficult to know which substances will interact with each other. When we drink, we often do not take the time to think about what will negatively intermingle with its effects. Alcohol, in combination with both prescribed drugs and illicit substances, can lower our reaction times and lead us to partake in impulsive behaviors that could encourage us in ending up in hazardous situations.

What Drugs React Negatively When Taken with Alcohol?

Just like other drugs, prescription or illicit, alcohol has interactions with many other substances. This can increase or decrease the effectiveness of either substance and harm your body and mind. It can even lead to respiratory distress which can kill you.

One of these drugs is antidepressants, which, when taken in conjunction with alcohol, can:

  • Decrease the effectiveness of your antidepressant.
  • Cause difficulties, such as sleepiness, dizziness, and even an increase in your symptoms of depression.
  • Increase the effects of alcohol, including things like your body’s motor operations, coordination, and a decreased response time.
  • Increase the likelihood of harm to your organs, including your liver.

Consuming specific brands of beer or red wine can lead to an increase in your consumption of tyramine, an amino acid which, when taken with antidepressants in the monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) classification, raises the chance that you could have a stroke or heart attack. This is due to an increase in blood pressure.

Opioids are also dangerous to combine with alcohol. This can lead to decreased breathing rates, heart rate, and blood pressure; suppression of the firing of your neurons at the brain stem; and a decrease in oxygen to your tissues and organs, leading to neuron death and permanent brain damage. Alcohol with opioids can also produce an overdose, possibly even a fatal one. This could be due to something called a “dumping effect,” in which an extended-release opioid drug goes straight into your system, instead of over time as it was intended to. It also increases your chances of alcohol poisoning. The combination can lead to long term effects, such as cancer, cardiovascular problems, liver damage, infectious diseases, neurological problems, and mental health symptoms.

Alcohol and Drug Combinations: A Sure Way to Increase Your Risk of Death

Both dopamine and GABA levels rise when you utilize alcohol and sedatives. Regulating moods, feelings of pleasure, and increased stress levels can happen when you combine sedatives and alcohol. Sedatives, including benzodiazepines and barbiturates, increase the chance of overdosing and alcohol poisoning. Symptoms of this include:

  • Queasiness and throwing up
  • Seizures
  • Cognitive confusion
  • Trouble breathing
  • Low body temperature and a bluish tint to your skin, lips, and nails
  • Unnormal heart rate and pulse
  • Decreased motor coordination and muscle regulations
  • Difficulty staying awake and possible unconsciousness

Where Can I Go for Help Quitting Alcohol, Cannabis, Opioids, or Other Substances?

Do not fall victim to death or allow alcohol to take control of your life. If you are in Burns, Tennessee, Discovery Place has wonderful alternative treatment programs that can help you to recover from a wide variety of substance use disorders. We offer alternative treatments for many substance use disorders, including alcohol, opiates, and cannabis. We know that active addiction is costly so we even offer financing and scholarship opportunities to help you get the assistance you need to obtain sobriety. Give us a call today at 1-800-725-0922. Our trained staff is standing by each and every moment waiting to help you learn skills and techniques to get your life back!


  • Discovery Place was the answer for my son. He did the 90 day and then the step down program and sober living. We give this organization 10 stars. They met my son where he was …emotionally, mentally, physically. They helped him put his life back on track. Discovery Place employees care about their guests. If your son, brother, nephew, grandson or husband needs excellent supportive care THIS is indeed the facility.

    Kim Morton
    Alumni Parent
  • I have remained sober and it is because of DP. DP is the best place there is, hands down. I keep everyone there in my prayers, and I encourage everyone there to take what they are practicing and do it in their lives, after.

    Roy Mantelli
  • Over the past year, I’ve been putting into actin what Discovery Place taught me, and I have experienced a complete perspective change of the world, and the people in it. I get to be a man of service and love today, and for that I am grateful to Discovery Place.

    Matt Kassay
  • Discovery Place means the world to me. They showed me the tools that I’ve tried to use everyday in my life to think less often of myself, and more frequently of others. I am learning to lend a hand when I am able and to have a honest and humble relationship with God and the people around me. Not only am I clean and sober, but also I am happy and fulfilled.

    Tommy Parker
  • Discovery Place and the men who work there made recovery attractive, and more importantly, fun. There is strength in the struggle. I am forever grateful for my time at Discovery Place.

    Creed McClellan
  • When I got to Discovery Place my whole life was in shambles, but I didn’t know it. I spent 6 months in their programs, participating in all three phases, and was met with kindness and love all along the way. It is unbelievable to me, where I am now relative to where I was when I arrived at DP.

    Lance Duke
  • I can never say enough good things about Discovery Place and the people who work there. Before checking in to DP, I was out of options and out of answers. Fortunately, Discovery Place has a solution. Taking suggestions from the staff at DP saved my life, and as a result, I’m now more content and hopeful about life. I’m grateful for Discovery Place showing me how to live a healthy life so that I can become a better man and help the next guy.”

    Tyler Buckingham

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