The Dangers of Mixing Muscle Relaxers and Alcohol

Do you often find yourself or a loved one mixing muscle relaxers and alcohol? If you feel you’ve reached physical dependence on this extremely dangerous combination, it may be time to seek recovery. Doing so can be the foundation for a sober, clean, and healthier life.

Keep reading to find out more about this dangerous mixture, and how to find effective treatment at Pathfinders Recovery Centers now!

What Are Muscle Relaxers?

Muscle relaxers are prescription medications designed to relieve muscle spasms. One of the best things about them is that they rarely cause liver damage.

Healthcare professionals often recommend them to address two conditions:

  • Muscle spasticity from upper motor neuron syndromes like multiple sclerosis
  • Painful muscle contractions from peripheral musculoskeletal diseases or acute low back pain

Remember, different muscle relaxants offer various efficacy levels and side effects. For this reason, it’s always best to consult a doctor about your symptoms.

Common Muscle Relaxer Names

Baclofen - Common Muscle Relaxer

Some of the most common muscle relaxer generic trade names include:

  • Baclofen: Doctors often prescribe this medicine for muscle spasticity. To date, no study can link it to liver injury.
  • Carisoprodol: This muscle relaxer blocks pain sensations between the nerves and the brain. Specialists typically recommend it to treat skeletal muscle conditions.
  • Chlorzoxazone: Individuals looking for pain relief may find comfort in this medication. It’s ideal for general acute pain and tension headaches.
  • Cyclobenzaprine: This muscle relaxant is one of the most effective central nervous system depressants. However, it is not ideal for addressing cerebral palsy symptoms.
  • Dantrolene: Instead of acting on the brain or spinal cord, these muscle relaxers work peripherally on the muscle. Overdosing on dantrolene brands can cause dangerous consequences that may turn fatal.
  • Metaxalone: Ideal for hepatic injuries, this medicine acts on the central nervous system. It can relieve pain for particular muscle and bone conditions.
  • Methocarbamol: Healthcare professionals endorse this muscle relaxer for short-term musculoskeletal pain. However, it’s not effective in treating back aches.
  • Orphenadrine: Closely related to diphenhydramine, this medication can help with motor impairment issues. Like most muscle relaxers, it works on the central nervous system for an individual to feel its effects.
  • Tizanidine: People who need instant results will likely receive prescriptions for this medicine. It’s ideal for acute muscle spasms.

Potential Muscle Relaxant Side Effects

Muscle Relaxant Side Effects

Even if you don’t mix muscle relaxers and alcohol, using too much can lead to various side effects. Below are some of the most common.

  • Heartburn: Some muscle relaxers cause acid reflux, allowing stomach acid back into the esophagus. This may lead to heartburn.
  • Nausea: Another side effect individuals complain about with muscle relaxers is feeling abdominal pain that may lead to vomiting. If you experience these symptoms regularly, consult a doctor about your medication.
  • Extreme fatigue: Many prescription medications can make you feel tired, including muscle relaxers. Ask your physician about which types cause more drowsiness than others.
  • Dizziness: Muscle relaxers are effective against painful muscle contractions, but they might leave you feeling dizzy for a prolonged period.
  • Tingling sensation: Many consumers report numbness or pain in the hands or feet after taking muscle relaxants.
  • Dry mouth: Often, medications that affect the nervous system can leave your lips feeling grainy. The list includes muscle relaxers, antidepressants, and stimulants.
  • Constipation: People who start taking muscle relaxers may notice changes in their bowel movements. Medical practitioners can recommend dietary adjustments to address this condition.

If you’re one of the two million American adults who use skeletal muscle relaxants, you may experience at least one of these common side effects. However, once you mix muscle relaxers and alcohol, you increase the risk of acquiring serious health problems.

The Dangers of Mixing Muscle Relaxers and Alcohol

Muscle Relaxers and Alcohol

Mixing muscle relaxers and alcohol boosts the effects of the former — and not in a good way. This potentially lethal combination can lead to a medical emergency. Watch out for the following hazards:

  • Increased risk of overdose and death: Both muscle relaxers and alcohol can lead to substance use disorder. Toxic amounts will boost the chances of serious consequences.
  • Impaired judgment: Medications with sedative effects can leave you feeling groggy and confused. Too much alcohol has a similar effect on the body and amplifies this property. 
  • Motor skill impairment: Compromised movement is one of the dangers of mixing high concentrations of muscle relaxers and alcohol. These substances will negatively impact your coordination.
  • Vision troubles: Muscle relaxers and alcohol can weaken eye muscles, resulting in a slower reaction time. This condition might eventually cause permanent poor vision.
  • Difficulty breathing: Muscle relaxers and alcohol depress the nervous system and cause slow respiration. These two substances combined can cause labored breathing.

Now that you understand how dangerous combining muscle relaxers and alcohol is, it’s time to stop the deadly habit with the help of a reliable recovery center. No matter the circumstance, there is always hope for people struggling with substance abuse.

What are the Warning Signs of Substance Abuse?

Unintentionally mixing alcohol and muscle relaxers may not lead to fatal consequences immediately. However, prolonged use can eventually lead to overdose and death.

Before this happens, individuals struggling with substance abuse will show early symptoms, including the ones listed below.

Irresponsible Behavior

One of the first signs to watch out for is irresponsible behavior. For instance, people mixing alcohol and muscle relaxers will not hesitate to drive or engage in unprotected sex while under the influence. They might start getting into legal, professional, or home troubles.

Physical Warnings

Physical Warnings of Substance abuse

In most cases, people dealing with substance dependency start neglecting their needs. For this reason, mixing alcohol and muscle relaxers can impact how a person looks.

They sometimes experience changes in their sleep patterns and appetite. They might also emit unusual smells on their breath, body, or clothing. In extreme cases, they may even have bloodshot eyes with larger or smaller pupils than usual.

Behavioral Signs

Individuals mixing alcohol and muscle relaxers might start engaging in suspicious behaviors. For instance, they might suddenly drop their favorite hobbies and friends for new, unexpected ones.

Psychological Warnings

People who regularly abuse alcohol and muscle relaxers will likely suffer from co-occurring disorders. For this reason, they might show unexplained personality changes. Sometimes, they might display angry outbursts, mood swings, and irritability even without a rational trigger. They may also appear paranoid, fearful, or anxious for no apparent reason.

If you or a loved one notice these warning signs from drinking alcohol and muscle relaxers, there’s a high chance of addiction. Recognizing the problem is the first step to recovery, and our specialists are here when you’re ready to seek treatment.

Treatment Options for Substance Abuse

If you find yourself regularly drinking alcohol and taking muscle relaxers, the best thing to do is to find a reliable recovery center near you. It might be tempting to self-medicate, but doing so will only worsen your problems in the long run. Instead, we recommend consulting with a specialist to learn the ideal relaxers-and-alcohol addiction treatment.

The goal of medical care is to reduce substance dependence, maximize life functions, and prevent relapse instances. Below are some of the treatment options for people dealing with this condition.

Behavioral Counseling

Behavioral counseling refers to a broad range of techniques experts use to change behaviors. Ultimately, the goal is to reinforce good habits in place of bad ones. Below are some therapies ideal for those regularly taking muscle relaxers and alcohol:

  • Applied behavior analysis (ABA): Also called behavioral engineering, this strategy applies an empirical approach to change behaviors.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): This psychological treatment aims to address the symptoms of mental health conditions, particularly depression and anxiety.
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT): Like CBT, DBT offers a psycho-social approach to treatment. However, experts prefer using it for people with intense emotions.
  • Exposure therapy: With this psychological treatment, clients can understand and confront their fears.
  • Rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT): An action-oriented treatment form, REBT aims to resolve emotional and behavioral disturbances. It helps people lead happier, more contented lives.
  • Social learning theory: Psychologist Albert Bandura developed this technique to emphasize the importance of observing and imitating behaviors in recovery.

Medication Assisted Forms of Treatment

Medication Assisted Forms of Treatment

Our team sometimes recommends medication-assisted treatments to minimize withdrawal symptoms. This strategy may prove effective for people dealing with muscle relaxer and alcohol abuse.

Below are some medicines that can modify brain chemistry and help with recovery:

  • Methadone: This powerful drug is effective against pain relief and substance dependence problems.
  • Buprenorphine: People who want to stop using muscle relaxers and alcohol can use this opioid. Clients can take it under the tongue or through a skin patch.
  • Naltrexone: We recommend this medication to fight feelings associated with muscle relaxers and alcohol, like extreme euphoria and intense relaxation.
  • Acamprosate: Along with counseling, this medication can help people fight alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
  • Disulfiram: Like acamprosate, this medicine also works wonders against alcohol withdrawal. It causes unpleasant sensations when taken with alcohol.

Medical Devices and Applications

Nowadays, healthcare professionals use medical devices and applications to complement treatment plans. For instance, there are stimulation devices in the market designed to minimize withdrawal symptoms and pains.

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, our specialists use the latest equipment and techniques to help people struggling with their dependency on medical relaxers and alcohol.

Evaluation for Co-Occurring Mental Health Issues

People with dependency issues on at least two substances have an increased risk of co-occurring mental health issues. These conditions reflect symptoms of mental illness and substance use issues simultaneously.

For treatment to be effective, someone with a dual diagnosis should address both conditions. Treating one and ignoring the other is not conducive to recovery. A specialist can recommend the best course of action for such cases.

Aftercare Planning and Long-Term Follow-Up

Aftercare Planning and Long-Term Follow-Up

Reliable recovery centers offer various treatment options for people dealing with their dependence on muscle relaxers and alcohol. The list includes several outpatient and inpatient treatment solutions.

However, no matter what plan a specialist recommends, it usually involves long-term follow-up. Remember, recovery is a process, not something anyone can achieve overnight.

This phase depends on different factors and can last anywhere between three months to five years.

Start Your Recovery with Pathfinders Recovery Center

The first step to recovery from addiction is to acknowledge that there is a problem. This task may seem simple, but it takes a lot of courage and strength.

If you’re looking for a reliable premier addiction and dual diagnosis treatment center, Pathfinders Recovery Center is here for you. Our skilled professionals use cutting-edge technologies and strategies for people who need treatment.

We have over 25 years of experience helping individuals seeking freedom from addiction and co-occurring disorders. Call 877-224-0761 now to start your journey toward recovery!


  • 7580 E Gray Rd Suite 201 Scottsdale, AZ 85260
  • (877) 224-0761
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