Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Suboxone?

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D on July 14, 2021

Medical experts recommend avoiding alcohol while taking Suboxone. Drinking alcohol while taking Suboxone carries serious health risks, including accidental drug overdose and alcohol poisoning.

Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D on July 14, 2021
Can I Drink Alcohol While Taking Suboxone?

Drinking alcohol while taking Suboxone, a drug that contains buprenorphine and naloxone, is not recommended.

Alcohol is a depressant that, when mixed with Suboxone, can enhance negative side effects.

This can lead to cloudy thinking, faster intoxication, and an increased risk of accidental overdose.

Learn more about taking Suboxone for opioid addiction

Risks And Dangers Of Drinking Alcohol While Taking Suboxone

Alcohol is a substance that depresses activity in the central nervous system, which consists of the brain and spinal cord. Suboxone also depresses central nervous system activity.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) label for Suboxone warns that patients taking Suboxone for opioid use disorder should not drink alcohol while taking this medication.

Risks and dangers of mixing alcohol with Suboxone include:

  • enhanced side effects
  • accidental overdose or alcohol poisoning
  • increased risk of substance abuse

Enhanced Side Effects From Mixing Suboxone With Alcohol

Both alcohol and Suboxone are depressants that can cause drowsiness, slower breathing, and cloudy thinking. Drinking alcohol while taking Suboxone can enhance these side effects.

Side effects from drinking alcohol while taking Suboxone might include:

  • sleepiness
  • nausea and vomiting
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • impaired balance
  • blurred vision
  • faster intoxication
  • euphoria
  • slow or shallow breathing
  • slow reaction times
  • stroke
  • coma

Read more about the risks of drinking alcohol while taking Suboxone

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Can You Overdose After Mixing Alcohol With Suboxone?

One of the most pressing dangers of mixing Suboxone with alcohol is the risk of experiencing an overdose. This is a serious condition that can be life-threatening with emergency treatment.

Mixing alcohol with Suboxone increases the risk of accidental opioid overdose due to its complementary effects on the central nervous system.

If someone is showing signs of alcohol poisoning or drug overdose after mixing these two substances, call 911 for help right away.

Signs and symptoms of overdose include:

  • very slow or shallow breathing
  • difficulty breathing
  • unable to talk
  • feeling very sleepy
  • very weak pulse
  • low blood pressure
  • cold, clammy skin
  • tiny pupils (pinpoint pupils)
  • bluish lips and fingernails
  • unresponsiveness
  • loss of consciousness

Overdose after mixing alcohol with Suboxone is treatable. Taken alone, Suboxone is unlikely to cause an overdose. But with alcohol use, this can occur.

Chronic Health Issues From Mixing Alcohol With Suboxone

Beyond the acute dangers of mixing Suboxone with alcohol, the use of both substances can also cause chronic health issues, including higher drug tolerance, dependence, and substance abuse.

Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance in the United States. Drinking alcohol while taking medication for opioid use disorder is not advised.

Drinking alcohol while taking Suboxone can interfere with a person’s treatment, while also risking chronic health issues, such as:

  • physical dependence on alcohol
  • liver and kidney damage
  • weakened immune system
  • increased risk of substance use disorder

If you are taking a medication that contains alcohol, it’s important to tell your prescribing physician about all other medications you are taking while using Suboxone.

Finding Treatment For Opioid Addiction With Suboxone

Suboxone is a medication that is safe to use when taken as advised by a prescribing physician or other behavioral healthcare providers.

Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol while taking Suboxone can be a sign of alcohol abuse or addiction. If you or a loved one is unable to stop drinking alcohol while taking Suboxone, we can help.

Call our helpline today for more information about alcohol abuse and Suboxone, or to find a drug rehab program that offers treatment for Suboxone and alcohol abuse near you.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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