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Dangers of Mixing Alcohol and Xanax

What happens when you mix two depressants? The chance of experiencing depressive episodes and negative impacts on the brain and body increases. Xanax is a highly addictive medication, classified as a benzodiazepine. Doctors prescribe the drug to treat anxiety, panic disorders, insomnia, and seizures. Although alcohol is a socially accepted drug that temporarily inflicts stimulant effects, mixing alcohol and Xanax is dangerous to one’s health. 

3 Minute Read | Published Oct 02 2023 | Updated Mar 05 2024 Expert Verified
Emma Collins
Written by
Ashley Bayliss
Reviewed by
Emma Collins
Written by
Ashley Bayliss
Reviewed by

Can You Mix Xanax and Alcohol? 

Yes, alcohol is often used to wash down pills, but the interaction may quickly become life-threatening if a person takes a high dose in a short duration. In addition, drinking on Xanax leads to numerous adverse side effects. Even a small amount of alcohol worsens the impacts of Xanax, which include impaired coordination and severe drowsiness. It also increases the risk of overdose. 

The effects of Xanax and alcohol include: 

  • Cognitive decline 
  • Repository Issues 
  • Intense relaxation
  • Fatigue and drowsiness
  • Liver and Kidney failure 
  • Irritability or aggression 
  • A comatose state of being 
  • Slowed pulse or heart rate

Before overdose, a health problem that follows mixing the depressants includes the drug’s ability to shut or slow down specific areas in the brain or central nervous system (CNS) that enable proper functioning. In addition, since users are fond of the relaxing sensations, calmness, and numbness the drugs provide, tolerance is quickly established. To avoid these risks, benzo addiction treatment, as well as alcohol detox, is highly advised.  

Xanax Withdrawal and Drinking Alcohol

It’s common for people to use alcohol and Xanax together, but then they face potential negative side effects and painful withdrawal experiences. A Xanax withdrawal inflicts anxiety, excessive sweating, tremors, and seizures. Symptoms tend to peak and intensify around forty-eight hours. At first, the drug will reduce anxiety and help people sleep, but when misused, the effects are the opposite. 

A user may experience lingering symptoms besides Xanax cravings that last week to months. Post-acute withdrawal syndrome effects include: 

  • Apathy
  • Depression
  • Sleep problems 
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Increased sensitivity to stress
  • Problems with memory, learning, and problem-solving

Usually, people who are mixing Xanax and alcohol are attempting to self-medicate. Alcohol is often used as a coping mechanism to deal with the withdrawal symptoms that follow stopping the use of Xanax. Alcohol may be used to distract a person from the pain of migraines, numb fingers, and heart palpitations. However, alcohol can make symptoms worse. During this process, an alcohol use disorder can begin, and a user will need to seek medical assistance to detox from both substances. 

Alcohol and Xanax Resources and Recovery at Better Addiction Care 

At Better Addiction Care, we offer the support and guidance you need to establish and follow a treatment plan that works to your benefit. If you or a loved one is struggling with taking Xanax with alcohol and needs medical assistance, our staff is here to offer you the unique programs and therapeutic methods necessary for recovery. Avoid long-term health risks and get started now. 

Speak to a specialist at Better Addiction Care by calling (800) 429-7690 and answer more of your questions by reading our rehab guide here!


bullet National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2021).
"Benzodiazepines and Opioids."
Retrieved on August 30, 2022
bullet U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2021).
"Xanax: Alprazolam Tablets."
Retrieved on August 30, 2022
bullet National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (2021).
"Alcohol’s Effects on the Body."
Retrieved on August 30, 2022
bullet Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2019).
"Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health."
Retrieved on August 30, 2022
bullet Mayo Clinic. (2021).
"Benzodiazepines (Oral Route)."
Retrieved on August 30, 2022
bullet National Alliance on Mental Illness. (n.d.).
"Dual Diagnosis."
Retrieved on August 30, 2022
bullet Drug Enforcement Administration. (n.d.).
"Drug Fact Sheet: Alprazolam."
Retrieved on August 30, 2022

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