|Alcohol and Prescription Drugs Are a Dangerous Mix|
Alcohol was commonly involved in emergency department (ED) visits resulting from the abuse of opioid pain relievers (OPRs) or benzodiazepines as well as in deaths related to these drugs, according to a new CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), based on data from the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN).
|Alcohol with Opioid Pain Relievers or Benzodiazepines Increases Overdose Risk|
OPRs and benzodiazepines are the prescription drugs most commonly involved in overdose deaths and ED visits. When these drugs are combined with alcohol, the risk for overdose increases. In 2010 DAWN data, alcohol was involved in 18.5% of OPR and 27.2% of benzodiazepine drug abuse-related ED visits and over 20% of both OPR and benzodiazepine drug-related deaths. Men had a higher percentage than women of alcohol involvement in ED visits for both OPRs and benzodiazepines. More can be done to educate providers and the public about the dangers of combining these substances.
Read the MMWR to learn more about the risks of combining alcohol with OPRs or benzodiazepines.