Why You Shouldn't Mix Xanax with Alcohol

Mixing Xanax and alcohol is extremely dangerous. Learn about the relevant negative side effects and available treatment options here.

What Is Xanax?

Xanax is primarily a panic and anxiety disorder treatment drug. The drug boosts the effect of a brain chemical known as gamma-aminobutyric acid, which stimulates calmness and helps reduce tension.
Alprazolam is the major component of Xanax, and it belongs to the drug class of Central Nervous System (CNS) depressants.
Also, you should know that anxiety and panic attacks can happen to anyone at any time, and you should know the signs of an anxiety-induced panic attack.3

As such, some of its symptoms are:
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Heightened apprehension
  • Heart palpitations
  • Aches
  • Trembling
  • Startling
  • Flushing
  • Sweating
  • Clammy hands
Mixing Xanax with Alcohol


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How Long Should I Wait to Take Xanax After Alcohol?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that the half-life of Xanax is roughly 11.2 hours. However, like most benzodiazepines, complete clearance isn’t fixed but depends on several factors ranging from age to dosage, metabolism, and even medical history.

So, the detection time varies between individuals, resulting in variable half-lives ranging from 6 to 27 hours. Therefore, it takes roughly 4 or 5 half-lives to eliminate Xanax from your system.

However, it would be best to play it safe when mixing Xanax with alcohol. You should delay alcohol intake until after Xanax is eliminated from your system to prevent Xanax and alcohol interactions.

Xanax is popularly referred to by its generic brand, Alprazolam, available for over 30 years now. Individuals develop tolerance which prompts them to demand higher doses, hence its highly addictive nature. Unlike younger people, older people are very sensitive to its side effects.

Also, for a fact, mixing Xanax with alcohol will worsen the side effects of the drug.

Does Xanax Help With Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms?

Xanax primarily works as a sedative, so it’s occasionally prescribed to treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms, including seizures. The drug relaxes you; alcohol also works as a sedative, hence the increased risk of overdose when mixing alcohol with Xanax.

Why You Shouldn't Mix Xanax With Alcohol

Xanax and alcohol are a recipe for danger. There are numerous dangerous consequences that can result from combining the two substances.

Mixing Xanax and Alcohol Side Effects

It is scientifically proven that mixing Xanax with alcohol can aggravate intoxication, impair brain functionality, and increase the risk of injury even from normal routines and domestic activities.

Mixing Xanax and alcohol side effects can be further categorized into two, namely:

Short Term Side Effects of Mixing Xanax and Alcohol

It’s not recommended you take Xanax after alcohol as it can result in some of these side effects:
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Low blood pressure
  • Slow heart rate
  • Temporary memory complications
  • Loss of consciousness

Serious or Long Term Side Effects of Mixing Xanax and Alcohol

Chronic use of Xanax and alcohol increases the risk of substance abuse that can cause poly-substance addiction over time. So, a person can develop acute withdrawal syndrome to reduce or halt use.

Long-term use may cause severe heart and respiratory problems in extreme cases, resulting in delirium or fatal brain injury.5

Dangers of Mixing Alcohol and Xanax

Aside from these side effects of mixing Xanax and alcohol, there are other dangers of mixing alcohol and Xanax that pose significant mental and physical health threats.
Such dangers include:
  • Memory loss
  • Heart palpitations
  • Poor neural activity
  • Respiratory depression
  • Respiratory seizures
  • Kidney or liver damage
  • Brain injury
  • Coma
  • Death

Signs That Your Loved One is Mixing Xanax and Alcohol

Xanax mixed with alcohol can be very addictive. Thankfully, there are signs of Xanax and alcohol interactions that can prompt you to seek immediate medical help for your loved one.

These signs are:

  • Behavioral signs: individuals that combine both substances experience behavioral changes such as disorientation and temporary memory loss.
  • Physical signs: these are the easiest indicators of mixing alcohol and Xanax. Some of the observable physical symptoms include dry mouth, headache, drowsiness, poor coordination, nausea, constipation, and low libido.
  • Psychological signs: common signs of long-term abuse and include confusion, sudden aggression, irritability, memory loss, recurrent fatigue, and difficulty concentrating, among other things.
Mixing Xanax with Alcohol

Xanax and Alcohol Overdose

Mixing Xanax and alcohol can lead to intoxication and overdose; they synthesize each other’s effects.

Xanax and Alcohol Overdose Amount

You should always, at all times, adhere to your doctor’s prescription. You may also want to track your Xanax consumption in a journal to be sure.

Xanax prescriptions usually range from 1 to 10 mg daily doses based on each individual and the Xanax drug type. However, an overdose amount falls into a range that exceeds your doctor’s prescription.

Lethal Dose of Alcohol and Xanax

A reaction to Xanax alone will not be the same as combining Xanax and alcohol.

So, a lethal dose of alcohol and Xanax is dependent on several factors such as:
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Weight
  • Pre-existing medical conditions
  • Using additional medication or substances

Xanax and Alcohol Overdose Symptoms

Symptoms of overdose because of mixing Xanax with alcohol are:

  • Drowsiness
  • Poor reflexes
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Confusion
  • Loss of coordination
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Coma (in extreme cases)6

You should immediately seek emergency medical services if you or a loved one is experiencing an overdose.

Addiction Treatment Programs

If you or a loved one is suffering from substance abuse, it is important to note that there are treatment programs available.


It would be best not to resort to self-medication or abruptly stop the intake of Xanax as you could experience severe withdrawal symptoms. Instead, you should seek professional assistance immediately. Our team of health professionals is trained to help you attain your detox goals and get you back on track.

Detoxification is often associated with discomfort. But Concise Recovery changes that. Nestled in the best facilities and staffed by leading experts, desiring persons can undergo a largely seamless but efficient Xanax and alcohol detox process.

Residential Inpatient

Based on the degree of substance abuse, inpatient treatment usually takes 1 to 18 months and requires an individual to reside at a rehabilitation center for the entire treatment duration.

At Concise Recovery, our residential inpatient program offers one of the best addiction treatment services. Our health services are designed to guide you throughout your journey to staying clean and attaining full recovery.

Outpatient Programs

Outpatient treatment is similar to counseling, but it requires meeting with a counselor or joining a group therapy session. This treatment may span roughly 1 to 2 hours once or twice a week.

Get Help Now

If you have a problem with mixing Xanax and alcohol, don’t panic, you have come to the right place. Concise Recovery offers you the best opportunities for recovery today through any of our treatment programs.