man passed out with bottle and pills

Prescription drugs are finicky substances that often come with an abundance of possible side effects.

While it is easy to believe that any serious side effects from the drug won’t happen to you, if you combine the prescription drug with other substances, the chances of something going wrong increases. Instead of ignoring the fine print, it is important to be cautious of these warnings. Benzodiazepines may be fine on their own, but mixed with alcohol, they can become problematic.

What Are Benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines or benzos are medications typically prescribed to treat ailments like anxiety or insomnia. Some common benzos include Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, Restoril, Ativan, and others. Unfortunately, some people abuse these medications. The result could be an addiction that requires benzo detox and treatment as well as some dangerous health implications.

The Problems with Mixing Alcohol and Benzos

Many people who abuse these drugs may be unaware of the dangers associated with mixing benzodiazepines and alcohol or not understand the severity of this combination. While it may be easier to ignore the warnings, mixing benzos and alcohol can lead to serious problems that you need to be aware of.

Both benzodiazepines and alcohol are depressants, meaning they slow down the central nervous system and the body’s organs. By themselves, benzos can cause lethargy, drowsiness, memory impairment, mental confusion, and depression. Mixing benzos and alcohol increases the intensity of the depressant effects and cause other problems including:

  • Memory loss
  • Poor coordination
  • Mood swings
  • Severe depression
  • Increased possibility of accidents
  • Intense nausea
  • Unconsciousness
  • Organ failure
  • Coma
  • Death

Unfortunately, up to 95% percent of patients admitted to a drug and alcohol rehab for benzos are also found to abuse another drug and about 25% of the time, this drug is alcohol.1 As a matter of fact, one study found that those in the study who qualified as having unhealthy alcohol use were 15% more likely to use benzos than moderate drinkers or those who do not drink at all.2 For alcoholics who have yet to detox from alcohol and get sober, benzodiazepines can be especially hazardous.

Taking drugs not as they are prescribed or combining them with other substances can be dangerous. Stop putting yourself in danger or standing by as you watch a loved one do the same.

Get the first step to getting clean with Banyan Detox Stuart. To get more details on our programs, reach out to us immediately at 888-280-4763.


  1. SAMHSA - Admissions Reporting Benzodiazepine and Narcotic Pain Reliever Abuse at Treatment Entry
  2. University of California San Francisco - Problem Drinkers Have Higher ‘Benzo’ Use, UCSF-Kaiser Permanente Study Shows

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Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.