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.
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:
- nausea and vomiting
- impaired balance
- blurred vision
- faster intoxication
- slow or shallow breathing
- slow reaction times
Find the right treatment program today.
Call to be connected with a treatment specialist. 100% Free and Confidential.(844) 616-3400
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
- 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.
Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.
These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.
- Tennessee Department of Health—TDH Finds Some Overdose Deaths Associated with Buprenorphine
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus—Buprenorphine Sublingual and Buccal (opioid dependence)