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Effects And Dangers Of Mixing Serax (Oxazepam) And Alcohol

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

Medically reviewed by

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

May 10, 2019

Serax is a prescription benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety disorders. Mixing this drug with alcohol can have serious health risks and side effects. These include short-term memory loss and coma.

Oxazepam, also known by its brand name Serax, is a prescription medication that is part of the benzodiazepine family. This drug is most commonly prescribed in the treatment of anxiety disorders and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

Serax works by increasing the amount of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA is responsible for slowing down brain activity. This creates a calming effect that can reduce anxiety.

Taking Serax as prescribed on its own is typically safe. However, mixing this drug with other substances like alcohol can have a number of adverse effects. These adverse effects include extreme intoxication and overdose.

Side Effects Of Mixing Serax And Alcohol

Mixing Serax with alcohol can put people at risk for several side effects. One of these side effects is an increased level of intoxication. High levels of intoxication can result in unconsciousness or even coma.

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Other side effects of mixing alcohol and oxazepam include:

  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • coma
  • slurred speech
  • decreased inhibitions
  • decreased hand-eye coordination
  • drowsiness
  • trouble walking
  • stupor
  • diarrhea

The more of each substance a person takes, the more likely he or she is to experience these negative side effects.

Dangers Of Mixing Alcohol And Oxazepam

Both alcohol and Serax are central nervous system (CNS) depressants. As such, they work by slowing down the brain and body and limiting certain brain activity.

When taken together, these two drugs can reduce the ability of cells in the brain to communicate. This can create feelings of relaxation and increase levels of intoxication and sedation.

A person who mixes alcohol and Serax is at an increased risk of participating in dangerous behaviors. Due to the increased level of intoxication, many people who mix these drugs experience lowered inhibitions. As a result, someone may do something, such as drive under the influence, that can be potentially harmful and dangerous.

Mixing oxazepam with alcohol also increases a person’s risk of overdose on either of the drugs. Each drug can increase the potency of the other drug’s side effects. This can overload the body and brain with the substances and lead to fatal levels of the drugs in the system. An overdose on alcohol or Serax can be fatal if not treated properly.

What’s more, mixing these two substances can put people at a heightened risk of developing a dependence and addiction to the drugs. Someone can become physically reliant on both alcohol and Serax. This means that they need to consume these drugs to feel “normal.” Abuse and dependence on Serax and alcohol can quickly lead to addiction, which can negatively impact every aspect of a person’s life.

Getting Help For Serax And Alcohol Addiction

If you are struggling with an addiction to Serax and alcohol, seeking treatment is the best decision you can make. There are a number of treatment options available for overcoming addiction and reclaiming your life.

Many people who are addicted to both Serax and alcohol will need to attend a medically supervised detox program. This will ensure that they safely and comfortably withdraw from both substances. Detox program after round-the-clock support as well as medication management and treatment if needed.

Inpatient treatment will likely be recommended after completing a detox program. Inpatient programs are often seen as the most successful form of addiction treatment. These programs offer customized plans for recovery to suit each patient’s needs.

To learn more about the effects and dangers of mixing Serax and alcohol, contact a treatment specialist today.

MedlinePlus - Oxazepam

MedicineNet - Oxazepam

Mayo Clinic - Oxazepam (Oral Route)

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