Updated on August 14, 2023
4 min read

What Are the Dangers of Mixing Steroids and Alcohol?

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 these steroids as performance-enhancing drugs. There are two types of steroids: corticosteroids and anabolic steroids (anabolic-androgenic steroids).

Corticosteroids mimic the hormone cortisol. Meanwhile, 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

If you're taking a short course of steroids, you should avoid alcohol entirely until you finish treatment. Talk to your healthcare provider for medical advice if you want to drink alcohol while taking steroids.

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Dangers of Mixing Steroids and Alcohol

Using steroids under medical supervision is usually safe. However, even legitimate steroid use may have side effects and an increased risk of health complications.

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 can overexert the liver. This prolonged misuse may lead to cirrhosis or liver failure.

Mixing these two substances also leads to high blood pressure, which is a major contributor to organ damage. 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

Mixing alcohol and steroids can lead to other risks and complications. 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

Mixing these substances can also lead to addiction and dependence. If you or someone you know mixes steroids with alcohol, consider seeking substance abuse treatment.

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Steroids Statistics

Various research institutions like the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) have resources on the dangers of alcohol and steroid abuse. Here are some relevant statistics regarding steroid and alcohol use:

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 Substance Abuse & Addiction

Various treatment options are available for drug and alcohol dependence or abuse. These programs offer therapies and medical interventions that can improve your chances of a successful recovery.

However, people respond to treatment differently. Talk to a doctor or an addiction specialist to find the right treatment program for your needs.

Available drug and alcohol addiction treatment options include:

Phone, Video, or Live-Chat Support

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Summary

Steroids are synthetic hormones prescribed to decrease the body's inflammatory response to certain conditions. However, they can also be misused to improve one's performance or appearance.

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.

It can also worsen any existing substance abuse problems or alcohol use disorder. If you need help with alcohol abuse and addiction, several treatments are available.

Summary

Mixing NyQuil and alcohol is dangerous and can have serious consequences. It increases the chance of an overdose, liver damage, impaired immune system, and addiction.

Moreover, you shouldn't use NyQuil as a sleep aid or for long-term treatment of symptoms. If you take more than the recommended dose, you may experience withdrawal symptoms.

Talking to your doctor before taking NyQuil and other medications is best. They can help you understand the possible risks and decide if it's a safe choice for you.

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Updated on August 14, 2023

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