People who drink alcohol while using medications that interact with it are higher risk of harm from overdose, falls, and traffic accidents. In recent years, there has been a documented increase in alcohol-related adverse drug reactions and acute emergency room admissions. One group of medicines, known as central nervous system (CNS) depressants, was implicated in over 40% of alcohol-related adverse drug reactions between 2005 and 2011. CNS depressants include the ‘sedative─hypnotic’ medications (anxiolytics and sleeping medications) as well as prescription opioids such as hydrocodone and oxycodone.
To further investigate the interplay of alcohol and prescription medications, researchers at Washington University have assessed the changing prevalence of CNS depressant use among regular drinkers. They analyzed data