Hydrocodone and Alcohol: A Dangerous Combination

norco with alcohol

Like many other opiates commonly mixed with alcohol, hydrocodone is a depressant. Both alcohol and opiates can lead to depressed breathing, drowsiness, delirium and nausea. Furthermore, taking these substances together can enhance the effects of both, so even someone with a tolerance for them can go overboard and accidentally overdose. If you are prescribed any form of hydrocodone as a pain reliever, the best course of action is to take the medicine exactly as prescribed and only for the length of the prescription. Drinking water with your pill is the safest and most reliable way to ensure you do not have any type of adverse reaction to the medicine.

Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Taking too much acetaminophen may cause serious (possibly fatal) liver disease. Adults should not take more than 4000 milligrams (4 grams) of acetaminophen a day. People with liver problems and children should take less acetaminophen. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how much acetaminophen is safe to take. Hydrocodone is a potent drug with many potential side effects, even when it is taken as directed.

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While this medication can be effective when used as prescribed for short periods, it is also one of the most widely abused prescription opioids. It can be especially addictive when abused alongside other drugs, especially other central nervous system depressants, such as alcohol. While opiates make great pain relievers on their own, when taken with alcohol, it becomes a recipe for disaster. If you notice any of these symptoms and suspect an individual is suffering from an overdose either from mixing hydrocodone with alcohol or from taking illegal drugs, call immediately. Immediate medical treatment is needed for this life threatening situation. Do not drink alcohol, take prescription or nonprescription medications that contain alcohol, or use street drugs during your treatment.


Fueled to epidemic status by widespread prescription abuse, opioids remain among the most abused substances yearly. Outpatient and inpatient treatment programs have a wide range of services that can be tailored to fit your needs. You may be offered a variety of mental health therapies, including behavioral, family, group, and individual therapies. Hydrocodone is sometimes combined with acetaminophen, which is an over-the-counter pain reliever.

Before using this medication, women of childbearing age should talk with their doctor(s) about the risks and benefits. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you plan to become pregnant. During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may slightly increase the risk of birth defects if used during the first two months of pregnancy. Also, using it for a long time or in high doses near the expected delivery date may harm the unborn baby. To lessen the risk, take the smallest effective dose for the shortest possible time.

Hydrocodone and acetaminophen treat pain differently and may be effective when combined for certain types of severe pain. Respiratory depression is one of the major causes of overdose and may result in slowed or stopped breathing and loss of consciousness. Opioids are a class of drugs that include prescription drugs and illicit drug heroin. Prescription painkillers are usually used to treat severe pain, post-operative pain, and cough. Any form of substance abuse resulting in addiction is known to change the structure of a person’s brain as well as their priorities, behavior, and personality.

Treatment for Co-Occurring Alcohol and Norco Addiction

There are over a billion people drinking alcohol, but approximately 76 million who suffer from alcoholism. This points to a huge risk of abuse and addiction when people are combining these two substances. The formulation of acetaminophen with hydrocodone eco sober house rating may enhance the effects of hydrocodone taken alone, but also increases the health risks of abusing drugs like Norco. Hydrocodone comes as an extended-release (long-acting) capsule and an extended-release (long-acting) tablet to take by mouth.

Using multiple CNS depressants at the same time can cause many negative side effects, so it’s risky for someone to take hydrocodone and drink alcohol simultaneously. Many medicines also contain alcohol, which can cause someone to unknowingly mix hydrocodone with alcohol. When a person mixes alcohol with hydrocodone — whether purposely or unintentionally — they may be putting themselves in danger. Mixing norco and alcohol can result in a number of side effects that can be dangerous to the user.

norco with alcohol

Both alcohol and hydrocodone risk addiction, resulting in painful withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit. When taken alone, opioids like hydrocodone can cause slowed breathing, shortness of breath, extreme drowsiness and coma. Mixing even moderate amounts of alcohol with hydrocodone increases the risk of severe side effects like trouble breathing and overdose, which can be fatal. An overdose involving both alcohol and hydrocodone may be more difficult to reverse than an overdose on either of the substances on their own.

Mixing Hydrocodone & Alcohol Effects & Health Risks

Combining alcohol with Norco can also enhance the toxic effects of acetaminophen and negatively affect liver function (Woodward, 2009). You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies. Swallow the extended-release capsules or extended-release tablets one at a time with plenty of water. Do not presoak, wet, or lick the extended-release tablets before you put them in your mouth. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so.

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When taken together, alcohol and hydrocodone intensify each others’ side effects, causing you to lose your motor skills, coordination, and ability to think clearly. Because both drugs are depressants, they also slow your heart rate and breathing down to the point where you don’t get enough oxygen to the brain, causing you to lose consciousness. Additionally, because both hydrocodone and alcohol are addictive when abused, using them together for long periods often leads to addiction.

How Opiates Affect the Brain

The U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) warns against any amount of alcohol being introduced while taking a product containing the potent opioid. The onset of hydrocodone’s effects is slower to begin than alcohol’s effects, which means a person may keep drinking or taking more of the drug to try and feel the euphoric high. Hydrocodone interacts with the same receptors in the brain as heroin. Since it has a significant effect on the body, it can begin to form a strong chemical dependency after only being prescribed its use for a week. This means that even in such a short time as 5 days of prescribed use, stopping hydrocodone can begin to bring on withdrawal symptoms.

norco with alcohol

The Dangers of Using Hydrocodone With Alcohol – Both alcohol and prescription opioids are frequently abused in the United States. The risks of abusing either substance by themselves are considerable, but when the substances are combined, these risks are dramatically increased. The statistics for both alcohol addiction and Norco addiction are startling.

We offer residential treatment programs with around-the-clock medical support and outpatient treatment programs for those needing less intense care. We also connect you with long-term aftercare designed to aid in your transition back to everyday life. Our addiction specialists will assess your unique situation and recommend the appropriate level of care for you.

  • This can lead to symptoms of drowsiness, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, lightheadedness, and impaired thinking, judgment, and decision-making.
  • Hydrocodone, sold under the brand name Zohydro ER, is a prescription opioid pain reliever.
  • Moreover, because hydrocodone contains acetaminophen, long-term alcohol and hydrocodone abuse can lead to liver toxicity, disease, or failure.
  • Many of these deaths were caused by mixing prescription drugs like hydrocodone with alcohol.
  • It is even commonly prescribed to children and teens in certain circumstances.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances. There are 612 drug interactions with Norco (acetaminophen / hydrocodone). Before having any laboratory test (especially those that involve methylene blue), tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking hydrocodone. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body’s response to hydrocodone. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

Even over-the-counter medications like Tylenol and ibuprofen can have deleterious side effects when mixed with liquor. Narcotic painkillers, however, are even more susceptible to negative effects when mixed with alcoholic beverages. Mixing hydrocodone and alcohol can be a deadly combination, which is why physicians recommend not drinking at all while under the influence of this medication. One of the biggest concerns about mixing hydrocodone with alcohol is its effect on your breathing and heart rate.

norco with alcohol

As a result, effects of the opioid can be heightened, leading to possible toxicity. When you’re dealing with alcohol and opiate addictions, you need help from people who understand substance misuse and dependence and can lend a compassionate hand as you work through this difficult time. AppleGate Recovery gets it, and we’ll take you through detox and help you get on the road to recovery.

When this system fails, your heart rate and breathing rate may decrease to exceedingly hazardous levels. It’s also important to keep in mind that alcohol and hydrocodone intoxication can occur even if you don’t mean to take them together. If you drink hydrocodone while alcohol is still in your system, then you may experience the side effects mentioned above. If you aren’t careful, you could become accustomed to this combination and develop an addiction or overdose.

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). You must immediately dispose of any medication that is outdated or no longer needed through a medicine take-back program.. If you do not have a take-back program nearby or one that you can access promptly, flush any hydrocodone tablets or capsules that are outdated or no longer needed down the toilet. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.