In this article, I’m going to educate you on the subject of mixing codeine and alcohol. Taking codeine and alcohol together is a bad idea. Back in my “party days” I combined codeine and alcohol along with marijuana on a regular basis.
This made me feel “oh so good,” but I was in my 20’s and didn’t value my health as I do today.
Over the past few decades, there has been a superabundance of teenagers and adults that have mixed codeine and alcohol and died as a result of this potentially lethal combination.
I’ll provide you with information on why this drug combo could be potentially dangerous for you in multiple ways in the next section…
Codeine and Alcohol – A Potentially Harmful Combination
I’ll never forget the first time I washed a few RX opiate pills down with a six pack of beers. It made me feel so euphoric.
I was seriously on “Cloud 9. ”
It was pure bliss.
However, these days I’m over seven years clean off opiates, and I really value my physical, mental, and emotional health so much that I don’t do anything to jeopardize them.
Why is the combination of codeine and alcohol not recommended?
There are two main reasons.
Codeine and Alcohol Danger #1:
- For starters, both drugs are central nervous system (CNS) depressants.
- Alone, both codeine and alcohol have the ability to cause significant respiratory depression. Used together, this combination results in synergy.
- Codeine/alcohol synergy is when the combined effect is greater than the sum of the effects of these two CNS depressants.
When you combine two CNS depressants, in this case, codeine and alcohol, this significantly increases the chances of respiratory depression and can ultimately lead to death from your body not breathing anymore.
Codeine and Alcohol Danger #2:
- Codeine contains acetaminophen and drinking alcohol along with acetaminophen has been shown to be undesirable to both the liver and kidneys.
- Studies have shown an increased risk of liver and kidney problems when combing acetaminophen with alcohol on a regular basis.
Codeine and Alcohol – Final Thoughts
Honestly, if you just take one codeine with a beer or glass of wine one time or once in a blue moon, this probably won’t lead to significant negative consequences.
However, if you’ve never used this combination before, the synergy may really affect you and it could cause some problems if you’re driving, taking care of children, operating heavy machinery, etc.
As a former substance abuse counselor at an Opiate Treatment Program (OTP) and a current Opiate Recovery Coach, I’ve always been outspoken about the potential dangers of mixing opioids with other CNS depressants.
There is even a warning label on the codeine prescription to inform you that you’re not supposed to mix the medication with alcoholic beverages.
If you have any comments or questions about the topic of mixing codeine and alcohol, please post them in the comment box below. Be safe, and take care of yourself.