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What You Need to Know About Mixing Medication and Alcohol

The summer cookout season is upon us. Burgers are on the grill, drinks are in hand, and with those new activities comes a new set of considerations. Almost half of American adults who drink also use medications that can interact dangerously with alcohol, according to a recent study by Dr. Rosalind Breslow and her colleagues at the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). The U.S. Deptartment of Health and Human services also reports that as of 2011, alcohol and medication interactions are responsible for about a quarter of all emergency room admissions in the United States. 

Dr. Breslow gathered information about alcohol and prescription drug use from over 25,000 adults.  She found that the most common medications taken include drugs for diabetes, high blood pressure pills, sleeping pills, and painkillers.

If you're concerned about the effect of alchohol and any medications you might be taking, the NIAAA has provided a chart that shows the potential effects of mixing alcohol with various over-the-counter and prescription drugs.

For more information on alcohol/medication interaction, you can also contact the Substance Abuse program.

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