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Updated on December 2, 2022
4 min read

Can You Drink Alcohol With Steroids?

Steroids are synthetic versions of hormones that occur naturally in the human body. Doctors often prescribe them to decrease the body's inflammatory response in people with:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Systemic vasculitis
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus

However, some athletes misuse steroids to boost performance or improve their appearance. There are two types of steroids: corticosteroids and anabolic steroids. Corticosteroids mimic the hormone cortisol, while anabolic steroids are human-made versions of testosterone.

Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Steroids?

The main concern about mixing steroids and alcohol is that alcohol can worsen the side effects of steroids.

However, there is no clear answer to whether it is safe to drink alcohol while taking steroids. The effects will depend on several factors, including:

  • How large the dose of steroids is
  • Whether the treatment course is short or long-term
  • How much alcohol the patient usually drinks
  • Other medical conditions a person has

Someone taking a short course of steroids should avoid alcohol entirely until they finish their treatment. If you want to drink alcohol while taking steroids, it’s best to speak to your healthcare provider for medical advice.

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Dangers of Mixing Steroids and Alcohol

Using steroids under medical supervision is usually safe. However, even legitimate steroid use may come with side effects and increased risks.

Likewise, moderate drinking doesn’t usually lead to problems for most people. Yet misuse of either steroids or alcohol consumption can lead to severe health problems. Combining steroid and alcohol use significantly increases the risks linked to either substance.

Organ Damage

Long-term steroid use can cause organ damage. Mixing steroids and alcohol, it can overexert the liver. This prolonged misuse may lead to cirrhosis or liver failure. People with an alcohol use disorder (AUD) are at high risk for these side effects.

Mental Health Issues

Steroids have been associated with mental health issues, such as mania, psychosis, and other mood swings. When you combine steroids with alcohol, these issues worsen. 

For instance, dangerous situations are likely to occur when mixing steroids and alcohol. This can increase the potential for violence and physical harm.

Other Side Effects of Mixing Steroids With Alcohol

There are several possible side effects of mixing steroids with alcohol. These include:

  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Weakened immune system
  • Weight gain
  • Brittle bones
  • Changes in blood sugar levels
  • Dehydration
  • Chest pain
  • Heartburn
  • Mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety
  • Allergic reactions
  • Increased appetite
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Steroid-induced diabetes

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Steroids Statistics

100%

Higher

People who abuse anabolic steroids take doses 10 to 100 times higher than those prescribed for medicinal reasons.

25

Percent

Of men treated for opioid use disorders reported prior use of anabolic steroids.

32

Percent

Of people who misuse anabolic steroids become physically dependent on them.

Treatment Options for Alcohol Abuse & Addiction

Here are some of the best treatment options for alcohol use disorder (AUD):

Inpatient programs 

Inpatient treatment is an option for alcohol addiction treatment. These intensive programs are usually 30, 60, or 90 days. However, they can be longer in some instances.

Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs)

Partial hospitalization programs are also called intensive outpatient programs or IOPs. They're like inpatient programs, but you return home after each session.

Outpatient programs

Outpatient programs are less intensive and offer a more flexible treatment schedule. They're best for people who have responsibilities at work, home, or school and are highly motivated to achieve sobriety.

Medication-assisted therapy (MAT)

Certain people qualify for medication-assisted therapy. Medications can help you detox, reduce cravings, and normalize bodily functions.

MAT is most effective when combined with other treatment therapies.

Support groups

Support groups are peer-led groups that help people stay sober. They can be a first step in overcoming alcoholism or a component of an aftercare plan.

Many of them follow the 12-step approach. However, there are also secular options that don't follow the 12-step approach.

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The best treatment is one that works for YOU. An addiction specialist can answer your questions and guide you through your options. Get the help YOU need today.

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Summary

It's best to avoid drinking alcohol while taking steroids. Mixing the two substances can increase your risk of organ damage, mental health problems, and other side effects. If you need help with alcohol abuse and addiction, several treatments are available.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you drink alcohol while taking antibiotics and steroids?

It’s best to avoid drinking alcohol when taking antibiotics or when you’re feeling unwell. However, it’s also unlikely that consuming alcohol in moderation will cause issues when taking the most common antibiotics.

To reduce any health issues and increased risks associated with consuming alcohol, it is recommended not to drink more than 14 drinks a week (men) or 7 drinks a week (women).

Seek medical advice from your healthcare provider when you’re given a prescription for antibiotics if you’re unsure whether you can drink with it or not.

Do steroids make you fat?

Steroids change how your body deposits fat and slows down your metabolism, therefore causing weight gain, especially in the abdomen.

Can you have a beer on steroids?

Drinking one beer while taking steroids is OK. However, you should not drink heavily because side effects can develop. These side effects include gastrointestinal problems, stomach ulcers, a weakened immune system, weight gain, chest pain, dehydration, and mental health issues, among others. In severe cases, it can cause liver damage.

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Updated on December 2, 2022

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