Dangers of Mixing Oxymorphone and Alcohol
Oxymorphone is an opioid pain reliever. Opioids are derived from or chemically similar to drugs made from the opium poppy like heroin and morphine. It is a central nervous system depressant, and combining oxymorphone with alcohol is a very dangerous practice because alcohol is also a nervous system depressant.
Mixing Oxymorphone and Alcohol Increases Overdose Risks
Alcohol will intensify the sedating effects of oxymorphone. The patient information required to accompany prescriptions of Opana ER (a brand name formulation of oxymorphone) notes that patients must not consume alcoholic beverages or take other opiate medications while using the drug, because it may increase plasma levels of oxymorphone and lead to a potentially fatal overdose. Respiratory depression is a common cause of opioid overdose fatalities, but cardiac arrest, circulatory collapse and hypotension may also contribute. Possible oxymorphone overdose symptoms include the following:
- Shallow, slow or difficult breathing
- Muscle weakness
- Chest pain
- Slow or irregular heart rate
- Severe drowsiness
- Cold and clammy skin
- Pinpoint pupils
Oxymorphone overdose is a growing national problem. A 2011 Drug Alert Watch issued by the U.S. Department of Justice reported oxymorphone-related fatalities occurring in a number of states and metropolitan areas. At least nine people died of oxymorphone-related causes in Louisville, Kentucky in a four month period and five people died in Newport, Tennessee within a three-month period.
Negative Social, Emotional and Physical Results of Mixing Oxymorphone and Alcohol
Overdose is not the only danger of combining oxymorphone and alcohol. A 2007 article published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence examined results of the National Alcohol Survey to evaluate simultaneous use of alcohol and drugs in the United States. The authors determined that concurrent use of alcohol and other drugs was related to negative outcomes including social consequences, alcohol dependence and depression. They also noted that the trend of combining drugs and alcohol is being seen in increasingly younger users. In 2011 the Drug Abuse Warning Network noted that combining alcohol and other drugs is associated with increased risk of suicide, risky sexual behavior and health problems.
Get Help for Oxymorphone or Alcohol Abuse
If you are struggling with an addiction to oxymorphone, alcohol or both, get help before irreversible consequences occur. Counselors are available around the clock to help you assess your current situation and understand your treatment options. All calls are free and confidential. Let us help.