Tag: benzo addiction

The Dangers of Mixing Xanax and Alcohol

A Deadly Combination

After Whitney Houston was found dead in a bathtub in 2012 from an apparent alcohol and Xanax-related overdose, the very real threat of mixing benzodiazepines with booze reemerged as a hot topic of conversation. Drug-related overdose has become the leading cause of accidental death nationwide, with death rates increasing by nearly 200% since 2000. In 2014, there were a total of 47,000 recorded overdose-related deaths – and this number only continues to climb as the years go by. Frighteningly enough, out of all the potential chemical combinations out there, few are more lethal than benzodiazepines and alcohol – as has been unwittingly and repeatedly proven by hundreds of addicts nationwide. Why is this combination so life-threatening, and why do hundreds of men and women continue to risk it all despite widespread knowledge of the dangers involved? Let’s find out.

Why is Mixing Xanax and Alcohol So Lethal?

Benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, Klonopin, and Valium, are highly potent sedatives designed to reduce anxiety, induce sleep, and relax the muscles. Those who are prescribed benzodiazepines are advised to avoid drinking while taking them, seeing as combining a tranquilizer with a depressant can result in a host of serious side effects. Combining two central nervous system depressants can (and typically does) result in dangerous unconsciousness, slowed respiratory functioning, and decreased coordination. Both alcohol and benzodiazepines work to reduce the function of several major neurological capabilities, though Xanax only affects one specific brain receptor while alcohol has no limitation. Of course, people tend to pass out long before they can physically overdose on alcohol. When Xanax is involved, the potential for overdose becomes an actuality. Because the effects of alcohol are essentially amplified when Xanax is involved, drinking 3 cocktails is more like drinking 6 – and so forth.

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Risks of Xanax and Alcohol Abuse

Memory is also intensely affected when these two chemical substances are consumed in conjunction. Those who are taking both pills and drinking will often forget just how many pills they have already ingested, or just how many vodka tonics they have already thrown back. It is often common for those taking this combination of substances to feel exceedingly drowsy or disoriented, and attempt to take a shower in order to ‘wake themselves up’. Unfortunately, because they are so heavily sedated, they may be unable to keep themselves awake and upright – leading to accidental drowning. Xanax is the fastest-acting of all benzodiazepines, making it the most dangerous to use in conjunction with ethanol (alcohol). Those who struggle with dual addictions (addictions to more than one chemical substance) are at even higher risk of drug-related injury or death than those who are afflicted with only one dependency. If you or someone you love is battling a cross-addiction, please contact us at Lighthouse Recovery Institute for a comprehensive list of treatment options. Recovery is possible, and help is available.

What is Powerlessness and What Does it Really Mean?

Written By: Fiona Stockard

Definition of Drug Addict

This is the Meaning of Powerlessness

What is the definition of “drug addict” and what does it mean to be “powerless”? These are concepts inherently tied to each other. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the definition of powerless is, “without power, strength, or ability; wholly unable to act, influence, etc.; helpless, impotent.”

Any experience of powerlessness requires a lack of power, of strength, of effectiveness. For me, this experience occurred the first time I did drugs. Of course, I didn’t experience powerlessness at that moment. In fact, I felt whole for the first time in my life. I watched my problems melt away as the soothing effects of opiates took control. In this haze, I knew that as long as I felt like this for the rest of my life, I’d be okay. An “addict” definition may vary from person to person, but those who find themselves to be powerless before drugs may very will meet the definition of “drug addict.”

addict definition

It occurs to me that I didn’t experience powerlessness while on drugs. Rather, I was powerless when my drugs ran out. I remember the anxiety of being without pills. I had a benzo addiction, an opiate addiction, a cocaine addiction, and an alcohol addiction. Basically, you name it and I needed it to survive.

From that point on, I was powerless over my addiction. I met the definition of “drug addict” and I didn’t like it. I experienced powerlessness in a way I didn’t know existed. I was completely without power, without strength, without any ability to control how much I used.

I also lacked power over my obsessive thoughts about drugs. Pills and powder were constantly on my mind – and that’s part of the “addict” definition. Wherever I went, I thought about them. Once I began using, I had no control over the amount I’d take that day. Sometimes, I’d only use a little. Mostly, I’d use however much I could get my hands on.

Learn how the obsession to use drugs/alcohol can be removed

Powerlessness implies a lack of control. Looking back, it’s as if from the moment I took that first drug, I had no control over my addiction. Now, as I grow in my recovery, I realize how little control I have over most situations.

I can’t control my roommate’s perception of something when we’re trying to compromise. I can’t control whether or not I get that awesome job. It’s easy to wonder what the point of recovery is at all. Of course, the answer is glaringly obvious if you work a twelve-step program!

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The answer is that my power comes from a much greater force acting in my life. Yes, I’m powerless, but I have a Higher Power with a much better plan!

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