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Methadone and Beer: A Dangerous Mix

by Nick

Consuming a combination of alcohol and Methadone medication is a hazardous activity that can lead to serious health problems or death. Methadone is an opioid medication prescribed for pain relief or, more commonly, used in medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder. Methadone, like other opioid drugs and medications, alters the way the brain and central nervous system respond to pain eliminating painful withdrawal symptoms and cravings. 

Why Do Some People Mix Methadone With Beer?

Methadone is an effective medication for preventing withdrawal symptoms during recovery from opioid dependence. However, it can have various side effects if it’s mixed with alcohol. It’s vital to avoid drinking beer while on Methadone. Unfortunately, up to 25 percent of patients who have misused opioids for pain relief also get involved in heavy alcohol consumption.

Most people who mix Methadone with beer or other alcoholic drinks want to experience a more significant sedative effect. Some people also do it to get quick relief from depression or pain. Alcohol dependence may develop while developing an addiction to opioids. Consequently, during Methadone treatment, a patient may continue drinking and end up mixing their Methadone medication with beer.

What Are the Side Effects of Taking Methadone and Beer?

According to data published by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the heavy consumption of beer and other alcoholic beverages has serious side effects, with about 88,000 people dying from the side effects of alcoholism every year in the United States. When combined with Methadone, excessive beer drinking can lead to the following side effects:

  • Fainting or losing consciousness
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Having blurred vision
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Poor judgment
  • Slow speech
  • Severe fatigue
  • Constant sweating
  • Breathing difficulties

Also, there are adverse effects that ruin the health of the patient gradually. These include irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure and cirrhosis of the liver. Death may eventually occur when the patient experiences very shallow breathing.

The Dangers of Consuming Methadone and Alcohol

If a patient was used to moderate beer drinking before receiving a prescription for Methadone, it’s better for them to completely abstain from consuming alcohol after they start taking Methadone.

Research published by the National Institutes of Health shows that combining alcohol with Methadone reduces cognitive performance (the ability of the brain to function correctly). Drinking alcohol can lead to depression of the central nervous system along with the contraction and destruction of brain cells. Methadone can also boost the rate of intoxication in some people and increase the adverse effects of alcohol.

Get Treatment for Methadone and Beer Misuse Today

If you or your loved one is struggling with alcohol and Methadone misuse, you should get help immediately. Since most of the adverse effects of mixing beer and Methadone can be treated, it’s advisable to get professional help now. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Take the next step and contact the nearest Health Care Resource Centers location today.

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