does alcohol increase depression

Connection Between Alcohol and Depression

Does alcohol increase depression symptoms? In a word, yes. Read on to learn more about the impact of alcohol on depression.

It is very hard to suffer from the effects of depression. Your days are cloaked in a gray haze, and you have little energy or motivation to do anything at all. In fact, the symptoms of depression can be so hard to deal with that drinking alcohol helps to numb them.

But self-medicating the depression with alcohol only makes the depression worse. When alcohol consumption increases, the risk of becoming alcoholic also rises. Depression coupled with alcohol use disorder (AUD) can be a deadly combination, with suicide rates high in this cohort.

Learn how drinking alcohol can increase depression severity. If you struggle with the dual diagnosis of depression and AUD, a program that provides dual-diagnosis treatment can help.

alcohol and depression

About Depression

The DSM-5 lists nine criteria to determine if someone has clinical depression. For this diagnosis, the person presents with at least five symptoms, and these persisted for more than two weeks. The symptoms include:

  • Feelings of sadness and despair most of the time.
  • Slowed motor and cognitive functions.
  • Sleep problems.
  • Sudden weight change.
  • Loss of interest in things once enjoyed.
  • Feelings of guilt or shame.
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble making decisions.
  • Thoughts of death or suicide.

Those with moderate to severe depression may look to alcohol to help them manage the difficult symptoms. When drinking becomes chronic, it can lead to a dual diagnosis.

Depression and Alcoholism

It is like being caught in a vicious cycle. You feel sad and hopeless, have trouble sleeping, and struggle with guilt, so you drink. You may use alcohol as a means to mask the mental pain, to numb your sadness. The problem is you begin to need it more and more as time goes on. This can lead to depression with co-occurring AUD.

Effects of alcoholism and depression dual diagnosis:

  • Divorce or relationship issues.
  • Loss of custody of children.
  • Loss of a job.
  • Failing school.
  • Financial problems due to job loss or legal fees.
  • Legal problems, such as getting a DUI.
  • Health problems, such as liver disease, pancreatitis, heart disease, and cancer.
  • Accidents that result in injury to self or others, or damaged property.

According to data, of the 20 million adults who had a substance use disorder about 17% also had a major depressive episode. Of that group, the substance most often used was alcohol.  Of that segment, only 7.7% of those with a dual diagnosis of major depression and AUD received dual diagnosis treatment.

How Alcohol Increases Depression Symptoms

Alcohol is a sedative that slows down the central nervous system. This also causes slowing of the breathing rate and heart rate. When someone is already depressed, drinking only enhances the symptoms of depression. This is because alcohol lowers the serotonin and norepinephrine levels in the brain, causing low mood.

Other ways that alcohol makes depression worse might include disrupted sleep, making you feel lousy the next day. The more you drink the less you want to get outside and exercise or to bother eating healthy foods. Alcohol abuse also leads to more isolation.

The Risk of Suicide

People with both depression and AUD have an increased risk of suicide. About 32% of all suicides involve people with blood alcohol limits at or above the legal limit. Also, SAMHSA found that 50% of those who took their own life had suffered from depression.

Alcoholism puts a person at a ten-fold higher risk for suicide when compared to the general population. According to a study of alcoholics, the lifetime risk of suicide is 10%-15%. Findings also showed that depression and alcoholism were comorbid in 85% of 100 completed suicides.

What is Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

Exploring the root issues that might have factored into the depression is key to recovery success. Many factors can cause depression, including genetics and biology—things outside one’s control. But there are other factors and life events that also may play a role. These include childhood trauma, the death of a close loved one, divorce, a job loss, or a serious health event.

A comprehensive program will address the mental illness and the AUD at the same time. Specialized rehab programs are focused on dual diagnosis treatment. They will have psychiatric services included in the program.

Dual diagnosis treatment will include:

  • Medical detox. Detox from alcohol is closely observed, as there are some risks involved.
  • Psychotherapy. One-on-one talk sessions allow the person to explore any behaviors and thought patterns that need changing.
  • Group therapy. Peer group sessions allow members to share their own experiences and support each other.
  • Family therapy. Family members can learn how to best support their loved ones in recovery.
  • Medication. Meds may be prescribed to help manage the mental health challenge.
  • Classes. Learning more about how an AUD develops, and how to prevent relapse.

This integrated approach can help the person battling Alcohol and depression. They will learn how to manage stress with new coping tools learned in therapy. Some of these are techniques that help them relax, like yoga and mindfulness.

Lifestyle changes are also taught during the rehab process. Being taught the importance of eating healthy foods and getting regular exercise can help them create new healthy habits. Learning how crucial it is to get good, quality sleep is another recovery tip that will improve wellbeing.

You may notice your, or a loved one’s, depression symptoms getting worse. If drinking is involved, you may wonder does alcohol increase depression. Know that there is help for treating both these disorders at a dual diagnosis rehab.

Rehabs Malibu Provides Treatment for Dual Diagnosis

Rehabs Malibu offers help for people who want to free themselves from depression and alcoholism. Our team of caring psychiatric and addiction experts is here to guide you to health and wellness. Reach out today to start down the pathway to recovery. Call us at (888) 429-7279.

luxury substance abuse treatment facilities

The Many Benefits of Alcohol Rehab Centers With Private Rooms

“Can I have my own room when I go to rehab? Yes, you can.

When starting the process of looking for an addiction treatment program, you will find there are many options available. People looking for alcohol rehab centers with private rooms will be happy to find this option is one of them.

Starting the recovery journey is hard enough. It becomes harder if you also must endure a roommate that may not be a good match. By finding an alcohol rehab with private rooms, you sidestep that issue and can just focus on getting better.

rehab with private rooms

Luxury Rehabs with Private Rooms

Who doesn’t enjoy the best things in life? When getting help for alcoholism it is great to know you can do so in the lap of luxury. Premier rehabs offer many perks, helping to make getting treatment a more pleasant experience.

One of the perks includes private rooms. This can truly make or break the decision about going to rehab. Some people do not wish to bunk with a stranger while they are already feeling anxious about treatment. Knowing you can get your own private room makes all the difference.

High-end rehabs not only have private rooms but also many other attractive features. Deluxe rehab centers offer more privacy, as well as a gorgeous setting in which to begin your new life journey. There are often spa-like services and gourmet meals, all set in a beautiful private home setting.

Why Seek a Private Room for Alcohol Rehab?

When making the life-saving choice to go in for treatment you are bound to feel mixed feelings. It can feel a bit scary when you think about going through detox and making a total change in your life. Having a private room removes the added stress of dealing with a roommate.

Rehabs that feature private rooms provide the space for a bit of alone time after a busy day of treatment. At the end of a long day, going off to sleep in your own room can offer a quiet respite.

Alcohol Rehab Centers with On-Site Detox

Getting much needed help for an alcohol use disorder begins with detox and withdrawal. Although someone might dread this step, it is something that can’t be skipped. Going through detox under the care of a trained detox expert ensures that you will receive the support you deserve.

As withdrawal symptoms emerge, the detox team will provide meds to help reduce discomfort. Detox involves three parts, the emerging, peak, and subsiding stages. They also offer psychological support, which is crucial for those winding through detox. The detox will take about one week to complete.

Treatment for Alcoholism

After you are done with detox, you start the treatment process. This is the part of rehab that helps you shift into a new sober lifestyle. The treatment gives you the tools to stay sober and also helps you to embrace a new lifestyle.

Treatment includes:

  • Psychotherapy. You will engage in CBT and/or DBT to learn better ways of handling triggers, emotions, and stress. These therapies help you to change the patterns that kept you locked into the alcohol disorder.
  • Group Work. In group therapy, you join peers in rehab to discuss topics that revolve around recovery.
  • Classes. You will learn how to make a relapse prevention plan, as well as other new coping skills.
  • Holistic Methods. You will learn new ways to relax your mind and body, such as through yoga classes, meditation, and deep breathing.
  • Twelve Step. A.A.’s 12-Step program is often woven into the rehab schedule.

Getting Well in Recovery

It is a whole new world after you have finished the detox and rehab program for alcoholism. Each day brings new pleasant surprises as you become stronger and healthier in recovery.

There are many actions to take to help cement a new sober lifestyle. Getting well doesn’t just happen, it is a process that unfolds over time. To aid that process, consider these healthy lifestyle actions:

Begin a Fitness Routine.

Nothing jumpstarts recovery like getting in shape. If working out has not been on your radar lately, it is time to put it back there. Try out various activities to find a couple you will stick with, like hiking, cycling, rowing, running, or taking walks.

Improve Sleep Quality.

Without good sound sleep all other efforts to get healthy will be very challenging. Focus on getting better sleep quality. Try cutting down on caffeine, sticking to a regular bedtime, and unplugging from your smartphone an hour prior to bedtime.

Make Healthy Food Choices.

Science is telling us daily that what we eat has a huge impact on how we feel. Avoid sugar and salty snacks, and load up on lean proteins, veggies, fruits, low-fat dairy, and whole grains. Also, drink lots of water.

Nurture New Friendships.

As social creatures, we thrive when we share life experiences with friends. It can be hard to drop certain people from your life and start new friendships in recovery. Push through and seek out settings where you can make some new sober friends.

Learn to Relax.

Finding healthy ways to reduce stress is key to sobriety. Include these methods into your daily or weekly routine to keep stress under control. Try yoga, mindfulness, or massage.

Stay Connected to your Sober Support Network.

Health and wellness will depend on staying sober. Keep up with your aftercare actions. Go to group support sessions, see your therapist, and join a local recovery community.

But it all begins with getting the treatment you need. Staying in a private room allows for a more peaceful experience. If you are seeking a calm, quiet setting, look for alcohol rehab centers with private rooms.

Rehabs Malibu Alcohol Treatment Center that Offers Private Rooms

Rehabs Malibu provides the full spectrum of treatment options for alcohol use disorder. Not only do we feature luxury rehab with private rooms, but also the finest evidence-based treatment. Start your recovery journey today by calling Rehabs Malibu at (888) 429-7279.

private drug rehab

Private Drug Rehab Centers

Restore and renew your spirit in a private drug rehab setting.

When beginning the search for a drug rehab program, you may be a bit surprised by the wide range of choices. Rehabs vary quite a bit in the number of beds, services offered, and level of expertise.

A client-centered, private treatment program offers immense benefits. These programs tend to have a small number of beds and higher levels of care. These small, intimate rehabs are gorgeous private homes located in beautiful settings. Just the setting itself offers the perfect vibe for healing.

When seeking a high quality upscale rehab there are several things you should look for. Keep reading to learn all about the benefits of private drug rehab.

private rehab centers

What Are Private Rehabilitation Programs?

What Sets a Private Drug Rehab Apart? The benefits of a small, private luxury rehab setting are many. Not only is the upscale living space uplifting, but a higher standard of care is very common in these settings. The higher standard of care allows the treatment team to tailor the program to meet each person’s unique needs.

Someone who has made the life-changing choice to lead a life free from drugs may feel somewhat anxious. It is quite common to feel stressed when you first start a rehab program. A crowded, institutional-feeling rehab can increase that stress level. Stress can block progress in treatment, even leading some to quit or resist engaging in therapy. Those one-size-fits-all treatment programs don’t address the special features of each person’s SUD. A private rehab can.

Private Rehab Benefits & Amenities

The benefits of a small-scale, private rehab program include:

  • A family-like, caring vibe.
  • A sense of safety.
  • A tailored treatment plan.
  • A holistic approach.
  • A higher level of care.
  • A focus on self-empowerment.
  • A focus on health and wellness.

A private rehab near me offers many special services, outings, and fun activities, too. These programs are much like a retreat or spa, and offer:

  • Private rooms.
  • Premium accommodations.
  • Pet friendly policies.
  • Holistic methods, like massage and equine therapy.
  • Pools and spa.
  • Nutritionists
  • Gym

What to Expect in a Private Luxury Rehab

Seeking treatment at a smaller venue means clinicians have fewer clients to tend to, and more time to spoil them. This translates to a higher level of support per client. This added support allows treatment plans to be tweaked and refined along the way, as clients make progress.

A treatment plan that is designed to address a client’s unique needs will be more effective in the long run. Some clients may respond well to group therapy, and others may do better in one-on-one talk therapy sessions. Some clients might favor a classic 12-step program, while others may prefer an alternative. All of these tailored treatment aspects result in a more engaged client.

A private rehab setting caters to creature comforts. Why shouldn’t rehab be something you not only learn from but enjoy? You will find that your stay at the rehab is homelike and comfortable. High-end decor, a state-of-the-art kitchen, and a backyard with stunning views only add to the experience.

What is a Holistic Approach to Addiction Treatment?

A holistic approach to SUD treatment involves treating all aspects of the person. This includes the mind, body, and spirit. The concept is that when one of these facets is not healthy, the others will suffer, too. Each part affects the other.

Holistic treatment can help clients go a little deeper learning about the issues that might be driving the SUD. Using these methods, the person gains new insights that can enhance the impact of treatment as a whole.

Private rehabs offer holistic therapies as a central focus of treatment. These methods help reduce stress and help the person learn how to relax. As part of treatment, this works well to help reduce the anxiety many people feel while in rehab.

Later, in recovery, these actions can be used to manage stress in daily life. Stress can lead to relapse, which is why it is so crucial to be able to control it. Techniques like deep breathing and keeping a journal can be very helpful to someone in recovery.

Holistic methods do come second to the core therapies, like CBT, but still, play a useful role in overall treatment success.

Examples of these holistic therapies include:

  • Yoga
  • Guided meditation.
  • Massage therapy.
  • Acupuncture
  • Deep breathing.
  • Infrared sauna.
  • Tai Chi
  • Equine therapy.
  • Garden therapy.
  • Journaling
  • Amino acid therapy.
  • Sound healing therapy.
  • Art and music therapy.
  • Outdoor exercise activities.

Why Do Evidence-Based Treatments Matter?

The evidence-based protocols for SUD recovery are thought to be the highest standard in treatment. These are therapies that have been studied, tested, and supported by data as effective in treating SUDs. In fact, the SAMHSA promotes evidence-based therapies as best practices for addiction treatment.

Evidence-based therapies for treating SUD include:

  • Medical detox
  • CBT
  • DBT
  • Contingency Management
  • Motivational Enhancement Therapy
  • Solutions-Focused Therapy

Adding to the array of therapies, A.A.’s 12-step program themes are also widely used in treatment programs. The 12-step program has been shown to be of value to people in recovery. While A.A. is not a holistic treatment, the social support and sober network it provides can protect against relapse.

Why a Private Drug Rehab is Desirable

When deciding which rehab setting is best for you it is important to pay heed to your own unique needs and preferences. You need to select a treatment center that you will feel safe and comfortable in. While the resort-like services might be important, privacy and confidentiality are even more crucial.

Getting help for a substance problem is a life-saving step. When searching through rehabs, try to focus on the ‘must haves’ that align with your own needs. Check the rehab’s credentials, their ratings, and read client reviews. A private setting that strives to keep patient data safe is the number one factor when making this important choice.

Rehabs Malibu is a Premier Private Rehab

Rehabs Malibu offers all the benefits of an intimate, upscale treatment program where privacy is honored. Rehabs Malibu offers the perfect blend of many types of therapies. Our top-notch staff will guide you every step of the way. As well, our stunning setting will surely assist in the healing process. Call us today with any questions at (888) 429-7279.

private addiction services

Private Addiction Services in Malibu

Finding a rehab that honors patient privacy is a top concern for many seeking treatment.

Seeking out life-changing treatment for a substance use disorder (SUD) can be very stressful. When you finally get to the point that you know your future depends on it, choosing a rehab is not as easy as it seems.

Most people want a safe, private addiction treatment center that will protect their data. You need treatment but you might not want your friends or employer to know you are in rehab.

It is possible to locate the perfect blend, a rehab that offers top-notch treatment within a private and confidential space. These programs tend to be high-end and located in a more private spot. Clients are well attended to at these upscale rehabs and receive the best of care.

Benefits of a Private Luxury Treatment Center

There are many special perks offered at a high-end rehab center. Because these rehabs tend to be smaller, the level of care is higher. Clients receive special support and enjoy the upscale features offered. Other benefits of a luxury treatment center include:

  • Seclusion. These premier rehabs are often located in a very private setting. Being in a more remote locale simply makes them a more private rehab option.
  • Private pay option. Those who can afford a high-end rehab program also tend to be well to do. They are able to use the private pay option, which means they do not access their health insurance plans to cover the expenses. In this way, the client is able to remain free of the system and maintain privacy.
  • Resort-like features. Small private rehabs offer resort-style features for clients to be able to receive treatment in the lap of luxury. These programs offer spa-like services and the finest living spaces.
  • Tailored treatment plans. Each client has unique treatment needs based on the features of their SUD. Rehabs should never use a one-size-fits-all model. A high-end rehab can pay closer attention to client needs and will design a custom plan based on those needs.

Why is Privacy Important?

For some, if there is any chance of their privacy being breached at a treatment center they will not put themselves at risk. This is true for high-profile people who are well-known and in the public eye. These clients will go to great lengths to ensure that their identity is not revealed.

This is key because they need to protect their name and reputation. Sadly, SUDs still carry a stigma. People fear a backlash that could impact their careers if it becomes known that they spent time in treatment. That’s why deluxe rehabs take such care to protect their clientele’s private data its part of the private addiction services.

What to Expect at a Private Addiction Center

Treatment programs are tasked with the job of guiding a client toward sobriety within a safe and secure setting. Part of that job is keeping client data secure. Each rehab center will have clearly stated policies that outline the ways that it will protect client records.

There are laws that protect clients from data breaches. The HIPAA Privacy Act of 1996 outlines federal law for patient privacy rules. Those who work in the treatment field are required to follow the dictates of this law. They are bound by law to protect your private data and health records. Rehabs must comply with HIPAA to retain their license and avoid lawsuits. In most cases, the laws do provide a great deal of safety for clients.

Blending Evidence-Based with Holistic Methods

The evidence-based approach is thought of as the most effective treatment protocol. These refer to the treatment methods that have been studied, tested, and gathered data to support treating SUDs. In fact, SAMHSA promotes these practices with a list of them on its website. Some evidence-based treatments might include psychotherapy, group therapy, MAT, and 12-step programs.

Deluxe treatment centers now blend evidence-based practices, such as CBT, DBT, family-centered treatment, and MET, with resort-like features. The result is a private addiction services program that is a powerful source of comfort, support, and healing.

A recent trend within the upscale rehab niche is the holistic aspect of treatment. These are methods that promote treating the whole person, body, and soul. It is believed that these actions can enhance treatment outcomes and support recovery.

Holistic practices enhance one-on-one therapy and group therapy. Many of these methods assist the client in delving into their feelings, something that is hard to do for some.

The activities are designed to heal the mind, body, and spirit of the person who has struggled with a SUD. When they engage in these actions it may reveal new insights that can help them during treatment.

Holistic methods include:

  • Massage therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
  • Yoga
  • Journaling
  • Reiki
  • Art therapy
  • Music therapy
  • Dance therapy
  • Equine therapy
  • Gardening therapy
  • Rock climbing
  • Adventure therapy

An added layer to today’s upscale rehabs involves diet and fitness. Restoring health in recovery should be a high priority. For this reason, meals at the rehab will be healthy and nutritious, and physical movement will be encouraged.

How to Ensure Your Privacy While in Treatment

There are many good aspects to choosing a private drug treatment center.  Not only is discretion a top concern at these upscale centers, but also a high level of care. With a high staff-to-client ratio, it can make it easy to offer the very best of care. Added to the high level of service, using the private pay option will further ensure that your stay is kept completely private.

Rehabs Malibu Private Luxury Rehab

Rehabs Malibu offers help for people who want to free themselves from a substance use disorder. Spend time healing in this tranquil Malibu setting, the perfect place to get a fresh start in life. Reach out to begin your pathway to recovery in a setting that honors client privacy. Call us today at (888) 429-7279.

luxury rehab los angeles

Luxury Rehab Treatment in Los Angeles

When it’s time to change your life for the better, a luxury rehab in Los Angeles offers the perfect setting for starting over with a fresh, clean slate. There you will learn a whole new way of life that centers on fitness, health, and wellness.

Luxury rehabs are not just reserved for the wealthy and famous. These premier programs are there for any person who desires the very best. Start your new life in recovery at an upscale rehab venue.

All About Luxury Rehab Los Angeles

When you decide to start treatment for a substance use disorder (SUD) you will have some choices to make. You must ask yourself which type of treatment center will appeal to you, as there are so many options out there. If you are seeking both creature comforts and expertise, the luxury segment is a good option.

Upscale rehabs feature a smaller, more intimate treatment setting. These posh venues are often located in stunning settings. There you can enjoy the gorgeous features of your surroundings while being treated for the SUD.

These boutique programs are able to provide a higher level of personal attention to clients, tending to their every need. The welfare of the client, as they work through the treatment process, is of utmost concern. To further enhance the treatment experience, there are resort-like services and gourmet meals.

rehab in la

What to Look for in a Luxury Rehab

Aside from all the nice extras, you can expect from an upscale rehab, those are just the icing on the cake. The cake must be high quality and tasty, too! While seeking a luxury treatment program that is truly top-notch, make sure it has these marks of excellence:

  • Custom treatment plans. A hallmark feature of high-end rehab programs involves tailored treatment plans. These custom treatment plans are able to focus more intensely on the unique features of the person’s SUD.
  • Confidentiality. For many people who need to obtain treatment, the concept of privacy is a top priority. Look for a rehab that honors and respects client confidentiality.
  • Evidence-based treatments. The best rehabs will use proven treatment methods as the basis of the program.
  • Expertise in the field. Check the license and certifications held by the treatment center. Make sure the staff has the expertise in the field that will ensure your time and treasure are not wasted.
  • Dual diagnosis treatment. The treatment program should have the ability to also treat co-occurring mental health issues. If these problems are not addressed during treatment, the chance of relapse is very high.
  • Well-rounded program. Ask to see their weekly schedule so you can ensure they offer a wide range of treatment elements. A multi-modal approach helps clients because it offers diverse treatments. This raises the chances that one or more will click with the client and help them make substantial changes.
  • Aftercare services. Inquire about their aftercare program. They should have access to sober living housing and outpatient therapy at a minimum.

All of these features add to the success of a program. The more that are present at the Los Angeles rehab you are researching, the better your chances are of success.

Holistic Methods to Aid Recovery

The mind-body connection is very strong. Daily stress can upend all efforts to remain sober unless you learn new coping skills to help reduce the effects of stress triggers. More and more rehabs now include holistic methods in their program menu. These methods can be learned while in rehab, and then practiced throughout your life in recovery.

The premier rehabs are known for adding holistic activities to their programs. The spa-like services help reduce anxiety and allow the client to relax during treatment. Some of these include:


Getting a nice massage can really help you relax. Massage helps to reduce muscle tension, which then will release toxins from the body.

Yoga classes.

Yoga can be practiced indoors or outdoors. It involves slow, steady movements and sustained poses, while also having a focus on breathing. Combined, these actions lead to a deeply calm and relaxed state.


Working out gets the blood pumping and the muscles working. It is well known that daily movement is key to mental health, too. Rehabs now include fitness programs at their treatment centers.


Our minds can keep us in a constant state of distress if we let them. Learning how to meditate can help you clear your mind from noisy thoughts and to sit still in a tranquil and peaceful state.

Art and music therapy.

Because some clients have a hard time trying to express themselves in talk sessions, using art and music can be helpful. Through these channels, they are able to describe feelings and achieve new insights.

Equine therapy.

Caring for someone or something other than oneself can help shift the focus away from self in recovery. Caring for horses through equine support programs has been found to be very healing.

Deep breathing skills.

A quick way to reduce stress is through deep breathing methods. By using these skills when a trigger has unleashed stress you can swiftly lower your blood pressure and heart rate.

All of these holistic healing methods are easily accessed after the treatment program has ended. It is advised that you include at least a few of these in your daily routines to help battle stress triggers that could threaten recovery.

Luxury rehab Los Angeles offers many special features to a drug recovery program. Why not make your choice to get well be the best experience it can be?

Rehabs Malibu Luxury Treatment in Los Angeles

Rehabs Malibu offers the most effective addiction treatment with the benefit of high-end trappings. Spend time healing in this tranquil Malibu setting, the perfect place to turn your life around. Decide to embrace wellness today. You will never regret the choice to become healthy and sober. Reach out to us with any questions about our program at (888) 429-7279.

xanax and alcohol

Mixing Two Depressants Like Xanax and Alcohol is Dangerous.

Even though Xanax acts swiftly to calm the nerves, some people will also use alcohol with the drug. Either of these, Xanax or alcohol, can be a dangerous substance. But mixing benzos like Xanax with alcohol is very risky. The fact that both of these substances affect the central nervous system in similar ways, an overdose can occur.

Having advanced warning about the dangers of mixing Xanax and alcohol is so needed. Many are simply not aware of the fact these both sedate the central nervous system and can then cause breathing distress. In the worst cases, it can cause death.

Learn about the effects of alcohol on the body while taking Xanax, and why you should never combine these two.

Xanax Facts

Xanax is the brand name for alprazolam, a sedative in the benzo family of drugs. Of all the benzos, Xanax is the most prescribed brand. Xanax is a fast-acting drug prescribed mostly for people dealing with anxiety or insomnia. Xanax works by how it increases the brain’s GABA levels. GABA helps to calm us when we are afraid or stressed, so Xanax can help create a calming effect. It also can have a euphoric effect at higher doses.

As are all benzos, Xanax is highly addictive. Some may begin to think they can’t manage any stressful event at all unless they take Xanax. Because of the tolerance that builds quickly, the person may begin to take higher or more frequent doses. Over time, the brain stops producing GABA and relies on Xanax to provide it.

Xanax is often misused by pairing it with alcohol. This is done in order to feel an enhanced sedating effect since alcohol also sedates. But this combo can be harmful, even lethal, and should be avoided. In fact, in 2019 nearly 11,000 overdose deaths in the U.S. involved Xanax or other benzos.

Why Mixing Xanax and Alcohol is Dangerous

Alcohol abuse presents its own dangers. When coupled with Xanax, the effects that result can be quite harmful. The two work on slowing the body’s systems, resulting in:

  • Can slow the heartbeat too much.
  • Can slow the breathing rate too much.
  • Can impede brain functions.
  • Can cause brain damage.
  • Can lead to coma.
  • Can cause death if the heart stops beating or the person stops breathing.

Not every person who chooses to combine alcohol and Xanax does so with the intent to get high. Sometimes the person takes the Xanax at bedtime so they can get a good night’s sleep. They might then decide to enjoy some wine. They may not realize that they are putting themselves in danger by having both these depressants in their system. But it is a fact that each of them increases the effects of the other. This causes these symptoms:

  • Makes you feel drowsy.
  • Makes you clumsy and loss of balance.
  • Makes you feel fatigued.
  • Makes you feel weak.

There is no safe level of alcohol for people who take Xanax. If too much of either substance is taken, the combined effect could cause an overdose death.

alcohol and xanax

Xanax Addiction

With or without the alcohol, Xanax is a drug to be very careful with. The benzo group of drugs has highly addictive properties, which is why they are not intended for long-term use. Once you get addicted to Xanax it is very hard to break free from its grip. In fact, if you or a loved one has a Xanax use disorder it is very important to get them the expert help they will need.

Signs of Xanax addiction include:

  • Doctor shopping
  • Obsessed about having Xanax on hand.
  • Blurred vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Taking more frequent or higher doses.
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Increased salivation
  • Constipation
  • Lightheadedness
  • Lack of coordination.
  • Decreased libido
  • Lying about how much Xanax you take.
  • Irritable
  • Manic moods
  • Forgetful
  • Apathy
  • Try to stop taking Xanax but can’t.
  • Experience withdrawal signs when not taking the drug.

Getting Help for a Xanax Addiction

Once you have made your mind up to get help for the Xanax problem, you will need to address the detox process. Xanax detox is tricky. You can never just stop taking these drugs without a doctor guiding the process. This is because the body will become very unstable and a seizure could result.


When you are ready to begin treatment the first step will be to complete a detox. This must be done under a doctor’s care. The doctor will create a detox plan that involves stepping the Xanax dosing downward slowly over a period of days. This allows the body to adjust as the drug is weaned out of the system. Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Fever.
  • Headaches.
  • Muscle cramps.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Increased anxiety or panic attacks.
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Raised heart rate.
  • Raised breathing rate.
  • Stomach cramps.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Confused thinking.
  • Hand tremors.
  • Sweating.
  • Jerky movements.
  • Insomnia.
  • Seizures.


When you have finished the detox part of treatment it is time to begin the work of recovery. You can get help at either an outpatient or residential program. Check out both types of rehabs as each will have pros and cons to think about.

Treatment consists of many types of therapy. The goal is to help you to learn to manage stress or fear triggers without needing to reach for a pill. To achieve this goal you will be joining small process groups to learn how to make better choices. One-on-one therapy will allow you to delve more deeply into any personal emotional issues. The therapist guides you to examine what feelings or issues are driving the Xanax and alcohol problem.

You will also need to learn techniques that help you relax your mind and body. Because stress was what triggered the need for the Xanax and alcohol, learning how to de-stress is key. You will learn how to use yoga, deep breathing, and meditation to relax yourself.

Rehabs Malibu Offers Treatment for Xanax and Alcohol Addiction

Rehabs Malibu offers help for people who want to free themselves from a Xanax and/or alcohol addiction. Just reach out to begin down the pathway to recovery. Call us today at (888) 429-7279.