Benzodiazepines, also known as “benzos,” include medications such as Valium, Klonopin, and Xanax. They are a class of sedatives that are statistically the most abused, yet are commonly prescribed to treat insomnia and anxiety.

Teetotalers, or people who never drink alcohol, and moderate drinkers, are less likely to take “benzos” than problem drinkers. When taken while heavily drinking, benzodiazepines may increase the risk of accidents, overdoses, and intensify psychiatric conditions.

Studies found that patients with problematic drinking behaviors were 15% more likely to use benzodiazepines than their moderate or non-drinking counterparts. Unhealthy, or problem drinking behaviors, involve consuming at least 15 drinks per week for men under the age of 65, and at least seven drinks per week for women under age 65.


Underlying Issues

Patients using prescription “benzos” may be unaware of the harmful interactions between their drinking behaviors and their medication use. Furthermore, physicians prescribing these medications may be unaware of their patient’s unhealthy alcohol use behaviors. In most cases, patients utilizing prescription benzodiazepines have done so for years and might believe that they are harmless


The Impact of “Benzo” and Alcohol Interactions

Since both alcohol and “benzos” act as depressants on the central nervous system, overdoses are a high possibility when using them. The effects of their interaction include coordination reductions resulting in falls and accidents, as well as impacts in judgment and decision-making.

Long-term use leads to more extreme issues involving harm to the liver, kidneys, cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal system, and neurological structures. Furthermore, in those people with pre-existing psychiatric conditions, the interaction between drinking and benzodiazepine use can lead to suicidal ideation and psychosis. Long-term “benzo” use also exacerbates the risk of dementia.


Looking for Help with Addiction to Drugs or Alcohol?

Benzodiazepines are some of the most prescribed and most abused prescription medications. Sadly, “benzos” interaction with alcohol is a dangerous combination that leads to physical, mental, and psychological issues.

To make matters worse, doctors prescribing these medications to treat anxiety or insomnia in their patients may not be aware of their patient’s alcohol use. If their patients are not honest with them about their alcohol use, then doctors will not know that they are risking the health of their patients. 


At Alta Loma Transformational Living, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  Alta Loma uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues.

No treatment is one-size-fits-all, where you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 866-457-3843.