A Benadryl and alcohol combo is pretty easy to ingest, even if unintentionally. Benadryl is the usual P.M. component in over-the-counter pain and fever tablets, allergy medications, and cough syrups. The intention may be sound sleep without discomfort. The reality can be a nightmare experience.
Because alcohol is legal to drink and people can buy Benadryl (diphenhydramine) at any outlet, most people assume using them is safe in any situation. In fact, combining alcohol and Benadryl can cause extreme drowsiness, stumbling, falls, mental fogginess or sedation. This is because both drugs depress the central nervous system. The cocktail is dangerous to the elderly, as dizziness and sedation cause falls that can be lethal for senior citizens.
Combining Benadryl and Alcohol Intentionally
Benadryl and alcohol is a heady combination for those seeking an inexpensive high. The experience can be intensely euphoric and hallucinogenic.
Over-the-counter Benadryl tablets for sleep are usually 25 milligrams each. Handfuls of these with shots of vodka can produce such hallucinations that people miss stairs and tumble to the bottom, walk directly into traffic, and operate vehicles with no idea of their surroundings.
Teens Abusing Benadryl and Alcohol
A Winnipeg boy of 16 was recently raced to a hospital after he consumed a handful of Benadryl tablets adding up to 550 milligrams. The young man became progressively delusional and out-of-control, needing restraints before he could be treated.
His mother reported that the boy had watched videos of other teens ingesting large amounts of Benadryl and drinking alcohol.
Pharmacist Barret Procyshyn conducts workshops educating young people about the dangers of over-the-counter medications.
“Teens assume they’re safe, and they’re not. That’s a fact,” said Procyshyn. For these individuals, teen drug rehab may be the only answer.
Addiction to Alcohol and Benadryl
A person calling himself diphenhydramine addict reports that he was addicted to alcohol and now Benadryl. He relates such strange withdrawal symptoms as excessive sleepiness to the point of narcolepsy. “I have to do something, so I go get some diphenhydramine, so I can resume life. It’s a nasty cycle.”
“Drugs and alcohol was my oxygen,” reported another. “Not long ago I went 10 days with 10 hours of sleep total……”
“It is not about the drug,” states Cory Warren, a substance abuse counselor in Lansing, Michigan, “it is about us as humans and what we are looking for.”
Recovery is Available
The Hills Treatment Center is aware that addiction has a mental component. Underlying anxieties and emotional issues are often core complaints that occur before addiction.
The Hills provides quality, individualized therapy to address these issues, providing hours of individual therapy per month in a clinical setting. Emotional regulation skills and stress management competence are just two areas that we address. In addition, we tackle family relationship issues that include full family therapy.