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The Risks of Mixing Lorazepam and Alcohol

Lorazepam and alcohol should not be mixed. When alcohol and Ativan are combined, adverse effects like decreased breathing may become fatal.

Lorazepam with alcohol is one of the most popular and dangerous combinations that people experiment with. When combined, the result may be disastrous.

The drug has many benefits, including treating alcohol withdrawal, epilepsy, and delirium tremens seizures. Still, it is linked with a high likelihood of physical dependence.

So, if you’re wondering about the negative effects of combining lorazepam with alcohol on mental and physical health, keep reading.

Key Takeaways

Combining lorazepam with other drugs is risky. A sedative-hypnotic drug like lorazepam can have unpredictable effects when combined with alcohol, prescription drugs, or street drugs. Taking many medicines at once raises the risk of overdose, loss of consciousness, coma, or death.

Lorazepam is sold under the brand name Ativan.

Lorazepam is a benzodiazepine that depresses the central nervous system.

When alcohol and Ativan are combined, adverse effects like decreased breathing may become fatal.

If you or a loved one wants to get clean, call The Recovery Team at (800) 817-1247.


Lorazepam is the generic name for Ativan. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized this medication in 1977. Lorazepam (Ativan) is a drug that belongs to the benzodiazepine class of drugs.

Lorazepam alters the central nervous system (CNS) and slows brain activity. This medication likewise works by boosting the effects of a natural substance in the body (GABA).

It is used to treat panic attacks and anxiety in the short term. Lorazepam has relaxing properties, which is why it is used as a muscle relaxant in treating anxiety disorders. It’s also used to treat insomnia, mild anesthesia, and seizures.

Symptoms of Lorazepam Abuse

Lorazepam addiction includes the following signs:

Using the substance compulsively even when you don’t want to.

Using the drug in a way that is against your doctor’s instructions.

Mixing it with other drugs, particularly alcohol, to increase drug potency.

Chewing, snorting, or injecting tablets to increase the speed you feel the medication’s effects.

Withdrawal Signs of Lorazepam

If you have difficulty after stopping Ativan, you may be physically or mentally addicted and suffering withdrawal symptoms. These sensations may lead you to seek additional substances, like alcohol. 

You may use other drugs to alleviate your discomfort. However, if you are physically reliant on Ativan, seek the help of expert medical professionals and professional medical advice.

Some of the most common withdrawal signs from Ativan are:





Rapid heartbeat

Blood pressure changes

Risks of Mixing Lorazepam and Alcohol

Starting a new medication makes it easy to forget the warnings and drink without thinking about it. An accidental drink isn’t going to endanger your life, especially if you catch it before you overindulge.

Not everyone with an alcohol addiction who takes lorazepam does so on a prescription. The use of benzos for purposes other than those prescribed for them is not uncommon, but it doesn’t make it any less harmful. 

Lorazepam is a depressant, as are other benzos. Alcohol is a depressant as well. When used together, you may worsen the adverse effects of both.

While alcohol cannot induce an overdose in the sense that most people believe, benzos may. Combining these two may result in you taking too much without recognizing it due to the impaired thinking caused by both drugs.

As mentioned above, benzo overdoses are rarely lethal on their own, although they can be when mixed with other substances.

Side Effects of Combining Lorazepam and Alcohol

Both alcohol and lorazepam already have their own serious side effects. If you take the two in combination, some of their individual side effects worsen, and combined severe side effects can occur too. Moreover, some side effects are life-threatening.

Here are some of the short-term common side effects:


Passing out

Impaired balance

Difficulty breathing

Memory impairment

Extreme drowsiness

Coordination impairment

Here are some of the long-term effects:

Brain damage

Increased tolerance

Loss of consciousness

Increased risk of accidental overdose

Risk of developing mental illness

Moreover, additional risks are linked to combining lorazepam with alcohol and other drugs. Lorazepam can produce signs comparable to alcohol intoxication, like a buzz or a sense of drunkenness. 

Lorazepam is known as a safe medicine when used under the supervision of a physician.

While you may not be hooked to lorazepam with alcohol, combining it with alcohol or exceeding the authorized dose can lead to mental disorders and physical dependence. 

When you take lorazepam for long periods, your body develops a tolerance to it. When this occurs, you will need more lorazepam to obtain similar effects. Furthermore, you may also need to treat withdrawal signs.

Lorazepam and Alcohol Overdose

Benzodiazepine overdoses killed about 3,000 people in the first half of 2020. Each year, around 2,200 people in the United States die from alcohol abuse. Overdosing is one of the many issues that may arise from combining drugs.

When both lorazepam and alcohol are present in the bloodstream, the body may slow down significantly. A diminished capacity to breathe can result in asphyxiation. Asphyxiation can cause brain damage or death.

Signs of Lorazepam and Alcohol Overdose

Overdosing with lorazepam and alcohol can be fatal and need immediate medical attention.

Here are some of the overdose signs:

Extreme drowsiness.

Slowed heart rate.

Nausea or vomiting.


Clammy hands.

Difficulty breathing.

Loss of consciousness.

Lorazepam and Alcohol Withdrawal

Withdrawal symptoms from alcohol and lorazepam abuse vary from person to person. The symptoms also depend on how long the person combines the substances and the level of addiction. 

However, some of the common symptoms are as follows:







Sleep problems

Nausea and vomiting

Treatment for Alcohol and Lorazepam Addiction

Treatment for substance abuse is possible. Medical detox is the first step in the recovery process for any drug addiction. Getting the drug out of your system may help you begin your healing path. 

Medical doctors at a treatment facility support you whenever you need it. They also ensure that your detox and withdrawal signs are treated safely.

You can proceed to inpatient or outpatient therapy after detox, based on the amount of care you need. Both provide individual and group therapy sessions and other activities that may help you gain the skills and abilities you need to heal. 

Inpatient treatment allows you to stay on-site during rehab, which can benefit people who may have triggers or stress at home. Outpatient treatment permits you to go home at the end of the day while following the same treatment plan.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How long after taking lorazepam can you drink alcohol?

Lorazepam has a half-life of 12 hours. Lorazepam will not be eliminated until 60 hours following the last dose since drugs have five half-lives. The combination of lorazepam with alcohol can be fatal. As a result, it is advised that you wait at least three days following your last lorazepam dose before consuming alcohol. This guarantees that the drug is completely removed from your system.

Can I have a glass of wine with lorazepam?

No, it is not advised to have a glass of wine with lorazepam. Because lorazepam and alcohol depress the CNS system, their combined use can enhance and worsen signs of intoxication. It also makes a person feel the adverse effects of both substances more rapidly and intensely.Dangerous side effects include a slower heart rate and shallow breathing. These effects can rapidly worsen and may result in a medical emergency for someone who has consumed both drugs.

How much alcohol can you have with Ativan?

It is advisable to avoid alcohol entirely. Depending on your tolerance for alcohol, one or two drinks may not be a problem. However, if you are also taking benzodiazepines, you may be surprised by your body’s reaction to this combination.Because of the increased adverse effects, healthcare providers do not advocate consuming any amount of alcohol while taking lorazepam. Avoiding alcohol while taking these drugs reduces your chance of significant risks and adverse side effects.

What can you not mix with lorazepam?

Drinking or taking other illicit drugs while taking lorazepam enhances your chances of experiencing these life-threatening adverse effects. So, it is not advised to drink alcohol or other drugs while taking lorazepam.It is unsafe to combine lorazepam with alcohol. Both of these drugs release Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA). The liver removes the GABA. However, when these two drugs are combined, the liver cannot perform as it should. 
Because the liver cannot function effectively, the overdose risks are considerably increased. Many people are unaware of this, and as a result, they overdose.

Effective Addiction Treatment with The Recovery Team

If you or someone you love is struggling with lorazepam abuse, alcohol, or both, get medical assistance at The Recovery Team. Our mission is to empower every patient who walks through the door of our rehab center.

The vision of our facility is to provide structured support in an evidence-based clinical setting. We aim to break the stigma of addiction and help our patients find a path to a lifetime of recovery.

We provide multiple treatment options like medically-supervised detox, treatment programs, and therapies to beat addiction. Our doctors provide various therapies, including CBT, DBT, EMDR, individual therapy, and many more.

To get the best treatment for your addiction, call us at (800) 817-1247.