Hydrocodone and Alcohol: The Dangers of Mixing Them

Table of Contents

Mixing hydrocodone and alcohol can cause a dangerous chemical reaction that can create potentially dangerous and even fatal side effects in the body. 

Chemically, a combination like alcohol and hydrocodone can have dangerous unpredictable side effects mentally and physically and can put others in close proximity at risk as well as the individual can become quite irrational and heavily inebriated.  

If an overdose occurs or is suspected, the best thing to do is immediately call 911. On a chemical level, alcohol lowers the heart rate and therefore increases the sedative effects of opioids. 

Does Alcohol Interfere with Opioids?

Yes, alcohol interferes strongly with opioids. Strong prescription painkillers like hydrocodone, morphine, Norco, or oxycodone are synthesized from different opiate alkaloid precursor substances that are taken from the opium poppy. 

While opioids may be very useful for those who have just had a recent surgery or are suffering in pain, they can also be addictive and dangerous, especially mixed with alcohol or used recreationally. The sedative effect can also become quite appealing to some, increasing the chance of misuse, addiction, and overdose.

However, not only can mixing opioids like hydrocodone with alcohol make the person feel very uneasy and sedated, it can potentially cause serious damage or death. 

A man sits with his head in his hands to represent the question: can you mix hydrocodone and alcohol?.

What Happens If You Drink Alcohol After Taking Painkillers?

Drinking alcohol while taking painkillers like hydrocodone can increase the sedative effects and risk of overdose that the drug would typically have. This increase can lead to serious side effects or even death if the dose of either or both of the drugs is too high. Taking too high of a dose can often happen by accident as even a prescription amount of painkillers can become dangerous from the exaggerated effects that alcohol will create. 

Some of the interactions that can occur by mixing alcohol and opioids include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dehydration 
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Irregular heart rate and rhythm 
  • Dizziness
  • Abnormal behavior
  • Loss on conscience 
  • Respiratory arrest 
  • Coma 

Are All Drugs Dangerous to Mix With Alcohol?

While some drugs like the opioids mentioned above can create dangerous chemical reactions when taken with alcohol, not all drugs are dangerous to mix with alcohol. 

For example, taking other forms of pain meds like Tylenol or Advil while consuming alcohol will produce a completely different effect. Tylenol and Advil do not have the same properties as other opioid medications like hydrocodone, and while they may cause a minor stomachache, the combination will not kill you. 

If you are unsure whether a drug you’re taking will interfere with alcohol, it’s best to consult your prescribing doctor about whether you should avoid mixing them or not. Over-the-counter medication should have this information on a warning label or on their website if you should not mix it with alcohol. 

How Long Should I Wait to Drink Alcohol After Taking Hydrocodone?

It is not recommended to combine hydrocodone with alcohol at all. The amount of time hydrocodone stays in your body varies from person to person, and therefore there is no definitive answer as to when it actually safe to consume alcohol.  

Some experts say that most should be in the clear after waiting at least 12 hours from the time of the last consumption of a painkiller to consuming alcohol, but of course, this is not ideal either. It’s best to wait 24 hours, or not consume alcohol at all while on prescription painkillers like hydrocodone. If you’re struggling to avoid mixing hydrocodone and alcohol it may be best to reach out for help from a trusted loved one or recovery program.

Mixing Hydrocodone and Wine

Many people who drink wine habitually should be aware that if you are taking hydrocodone, it’s best to avoid the negative side effects of mixing hydrocodone and wine by avoiding the drink altogether. If you’re struggling to quit drinking wine while on hydrocodone, it may be time to reach out to a recovery center, trusted friend, or addiction counselor for help with substance use.

a woman looks out at a sunset to represent prescription opioid addiction treatment.

Get Treatment for Opioid Addiction at Ohio Recovery Centers

At Ohio Recovery Centers, we know how complex addiction can become. From people, places, and things, to lifestyle habits and routines, addiction problems like drinking on hydrocodone can take hold fairly easily and begin weaving its way into your life, including mixing hydrocodone with alcohol.

Whether you or your loved one are struggling with an alcohol addiction, opioid addiction, or both, at Ohio Recovery Centers, we can help. Our staff of addiction treatment professionals is here to help you regain your life from addiction, one step at a time. 

With compassion-based treatment, effective therapies, and a community of others on their journey to sobriety like you, Ohio Recovery Center is the perfect place to find freedom from the weight of addiction. 

Reach out to our team at (949) 694-8305 and let us help you get your new drug-free life started today.  

Table of Contents

an image of author Joe Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
An image of Ohio Community Health staff

Christopher Glover CDCA

My name is Christopher Glover, and I am from Cincinnati, Ohio. I am currently in school and working to grow in competence to better support our community. As a recovering individual I know the struggles that you or a loved one can go through and that there is help for anything you may be struggling with.

The hardest part is asking for help and we are here as a team to best support you and your decision to start your journey towards a better future. Connect with Chris on LinkedIn

An image of Ohio Community Health staff

Amanda Kuchenberg PRS CDCA

I recently joined Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers as a Clinical Case Manager. I am originally from Wisconsin but settled in the Cincinnati area in my early 20s.  My career started in the fashion industry but quickly changed as I searched to find my drive and passion through helping others who struggle with addiction. 

As someone who is also in recovery, I wanted to provide hope, share lived experience, and support others on their journey.  I currently have my Peer Recovery Support Supervision Certification along with my CDCA and plan to continue my education with University of Cincinnati so I can continue to aid in the battle against substance addiction. Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn.

An image of Ohio Community Health staff

Patrick McCamley LCDC III

 Patrick McCamley (Clinical Therapist) is a Cincinnati native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2019. Patrick received his bachelors degree in psychology from University of Cincinnati in 2021 and received his LCDC III (Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2022. Patrick has worked in Clinical Operations, Clinical Case Management, and Clinical Therapy throughout his career.

Patrick has tremendous empathy and compassion for the recovery community, being in recovery himself since 2018. Patrick is uniquely qualified to be helpful because of the specific combination of his academic background and his own experience in recovery.

An image of Ohio Community Health staff

Bill Zimmerman CDCA

Bill Zimmerman is a Greater Cincinnati Area native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2018. Bill received his (Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2020.

Bill has worked in Clinical Operations in both support and supervision, and Program facilitating and 12 step recovery support during his career. Bill has a passion for the recovery community, having been in recovery himself since 1982. Connect with Bill on LinkedIn

An image of Ohio Community Health staff

Taylor Lilley CDCA, PRS

Growing up in Louisiana with addiction running rampant on both sides of my family. A life away from drugs and alcohol seemed impossible for someone like me. I remember what it was like sitting across from someone thinking there is no way they could ever understand what I was going through.

Sharing my experience offers a credibility and a certain type of trust with clients that only someone who has walked down this road can illustrate. To immerse myself further into the field of addiction, I am currently studying at Cincinnati State for Human and Social Services.  I hope I never forget where I came from, if I can do it, so can you!

An image of Ohio Community Health staff

Thomas Hunter LSW

Hello my name is Thomas Hunter. I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am a licensed social worker.In my scope of practice I have worked in the areas of mental health and recovery for thirty years. The clients I have worked with in my career have ranged in age from seven to seventy.

I strive each day to serve my purpose of helping those in need and I believe I do so by utilizing all of my experiences to accomplish my goal of supporting those who desire to establish their sobriety and maintain it in their recovery. Connect with Thomas on LinkedIn.

An image of Ohio Community Health staff

Mary D.Porter,LICDC

 My name is Mary D. Porter. I received my Masters of Social Work in 2008 from The University of Cincinnati. I received My Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor Licensure in 2001. I retired from The Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center on April 14, 2014. Currently, I am the Associate Clinical Director for The Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers in Cincinnati.. Due to the fourth wave of the Opioid Epidemic in 2019,  I decided to enter back into the workforce to assist the addicted population.

The overdoses were astounding and I wanted to help.  I consider myself  to be an advocate for the addicted population. My compassion, resilience, empathy, wisdom, knowledge, experience and  love I have for this forgotten population goes beyond words. I consider what I do for the addicted population as a calling versus a “career,” because I too was once an “addict and alcoholic.” Today I am 45.5 years alcohol and substance free.

An image of Ohio Community Health staff

Ben Lemmon LCDC III

Hello, my name is Ben Lemmon, and I’m the Vice President and Clinical Director at Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers. I’ve been working in the addiction and mental health field since 2013 and decided to enter the field after overcoming my own challenges with addiction.

When I first meet a client, I always explain to them that the reason we are meeting is because they are not capable of obtaining or maintaining sobriety, and my goal is to create a person that can maintain sobriety. I believe a person’s personality is made up of their thoughts, feelings and actions and my job is to help clients identify the thoughts, feelings and actions that have them disconnected from recovery and provide them with the tools to live a healthy and happy life. Connect with Ben on LinkedIn