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  • Mixing Alcohol & Opana (Oxymorphone) | Effects & Dangers

    Mixing Alcohol & Opana (Oxymorphone) | Effects & Dangers

    Oxymorphone is an opioid analgesic or pain reliever, that can treat forms of chronic pain and severe pain in the short term. It is commonly sold as the prescription drug Opana

    Mixing alcohol and Opana can lead to severe respiratory depression, impairment, and other life-threatening side effects.

    The side effects of mixing alcohol and opioids are caused by their interactions in the body. Healthcare providers prescribing oxymorphone likely warn their patients not to drink alcohol. If you mix the two to get a more intense high, it is also a form of substance abuse.

    Drinking alcohol and taking oxymorphone can be harmful to your health in the short term and the long term.

    Effects Of Mixing Alcohol & Opana

    Ethanol, the main ingredient in alcoholic drinks, has unique drug interactions with opioids. Taking Opana and alcohol together can increase the amount of oxymorphone that ends up in your blood, without increasing the dose of oxymorphone taken by mouth.

    Higher Concentrations Of Oxymorphone

    Higher oxymorphone concentrations in your blood caused by alcohol is known as dose-dumping. Dose-dumping can be a problem for extended-release versions of oxymorphone, as a dose that was meant to be absorbed into your body over a long period of time can enter your body all at once.

    More Intense Effects

    More oxymorphone in your blood can lead to more intense effects of oxymorphone. Intense side effects you may feel include:

    • low blood pressure
    • impairment
    • loss of coordination
    • sedation
    • lightheadedness
    • drowsiness
    • constipation

    Dangers Of Mixing Alcohol & Oxymorphone

    The long-term effects of mixing alcohol and oxymorphone can be dangerous or hazardous to your health, including an increased risk for overdose and substance use disorder.

    Respiratory Depression

    Respiratory depression is a serious side effect of opioids. It is a state of slowed or stopped breathing and can be fatal if it is not treated in time. 

    Opioids are central nervous system depressants, and severely slowed activity in the CNS can cause vital functions like breathing to shut down.

    Respiratory depression can be a sign of an opioid overdose. Dose-dumping caused by alcohol can make a standard dose of oxymorphone dangerous, leading to an overdose. Signs of severe respiratory depression include trouble breathing, slowed heart rate, and coma.

    Newer formulations of oxymorphone are meant to be resistant to dose-dumping. Studies on these versions suggest that alcohol has less of an effect on abuse-resistant Opana. However, the risk of respiratory depression caused by alcohol and opioids is still there.

    Substance Use Disorders

    Some people mix alcohol and opioids to experience more intense sedation, pain relief, and impairment. This is a form of substance and alcohol abuse. Doing this over a long period of time may be a sign of a larger health problem known as a substance use disorder (SUD).

    Substance use and alcohol use disorders (AUDs) are mental health problems where drug or alcohol use starts to take over your life. Addiction, dependence, withdrawal, and mental health problems are common aspects of substance use disorders.

    SUDs and AUDs can be hard to treat on your own. Professional treatment programs can help teach you coping skills while weaning you off habit-forming substances.

    Treatment Options For Opioid & Alcohol Abuse

    Alcohol was involved in over 14 percent of opioid overdose deaths in 2017. Prescriptions given out for opiate pain medications are trending down, but opioids and alcohol are still common all across the United States.

    Medications like naloxone can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Getting help for an opioid or alcohol addiction problem can reduce your risk of an overdose before it happens.

    A treatment program for alcohol and opioid addiction can include a detox to cleanse your body of harmful substances, monitoring of withdrawal symptoms, and counseling. 

    To find addiction treatment that can help you and your loved ones, please contact our helpline today.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.
    Medically Reviewed by
    Kimberly Langdon M.D.
    on May 21, 2022
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