The Dangers of Combining Methadone and Sedatives

Participants on methadone for opioid dependency treatment must be aware of the risks of combining common sedatives—including alcohol—and methadone. Drug interactions can be fatal.

Deadly Drug Interactions

People facing opioid dependency often experience other mental health challenges, such as anxiety and sleeping disorders. Individuals may self-medicate with alcohol, or they may be prescribed sedatives, to address these issues. However, the combination of alcohol and some sedatives—benzodiazepines—can be deadly.

Methadone should never be combined with:

  • Xanax
  • Valium
  • Diazepam
  • Lorazepam
  • Klonopin
  • Alcohol

These drugs—and methadone—are all central nervous system depressants; they work to slow down the heart and respiratory rate. When combined, they can cause a person to go to sleep, stop breathing and never wake up.

Finding Alternatives

Per federal regulations, methadone may only be prescribed by pain clinics (for chronic pain management) and medication-assisted treatment programs for opioid dependence. These types of clinics, like Duke City Recovery Toolbox in Albuquerque, understand the risks and have protocols in place to decrease the potential for drug interactions and overdoses. However, physicians who prescribe sedatives for anxiety are likely not familiar with methadone and/or medications that may clash with it.

Duke City Recovery Toolbox will work with your prescribing physician to find alternative medications for anxiety, sleep disorders or other medical and mental health conditions so that you can safely continue methadone treatment.

Self-medicating should never be an option. We offer a variety of therapies to help you identify triggers, healthy coping strategies and replacement behaviors. However, if you are in distress and need someone to help now, please call Duke City Recovery Toolbox or seek emergency assistance from National Suicide Prevention Hotline or 911.

Never combine methadone with sedatives. For alternatives to prescribed anti-anxiety medications, contact Duke City Recovery Toolbox at (505) 224-9777.

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