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Subutex: To Drink or Not to Drink

I was recently scrolling websites where people blog or chat about their addiction(s) to drugs and/or alcohol. As someone who works in the field, I think it’s important to continue not only my formal education but also to research and find the pulse of how others feel regarding addiction and alcohol drug treatment programs. So, I stumbled upon this chat and well, although I knew this information already it is interesting to read other peoples’ opinions.

The person who started the chat had asked the simple question of whether or not he can drink alcohol while taking Subutex. It seems a basic enough question, and I noticed right away the person wanted to be sure to distinguish between alcohol and beer. To me, as both a layman and a professional, I don’t see the difference between the two. The person even goes so far as to mention that in the leaflet given with his Subutex that mixing alcohol with the drug can cause death.

For me? That would be the final word on whether or not to mix the two, but then again, it has been many years since I’ve been in the throes of active addiction – drugs, alcohol or otherwise. Don’t get me wrong – still an addict here, just not physically active one.

My belief? Well, I don’t think that having one beer or alcohol drink with Subutex would kill me. I understand that through studies the manufacturers, Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals, Inc., have found there is a possibility, so they need to place it in the literature. It doesn’t mean that it will kill me, but there is a chance. Am I willing to take that chance anymore – NO. But, there are also chances that I can get hit by a car today while crossing the street. But I still take a chance.

What to do? I am not this person’s doctor or therapist, but my educated guess tells me this person is Subutex for a reason – addiction. In every case I’ve dealt with, a person dealing with and issue besides the physical addiction to drugs, he may have also gone through an alcohol drug treatment program of sorts (Subutex is taken for opioid addiction or dependence). He should be dealing with the emotional side of his addiction through therapy or a twelve step program. So, mixing the two is bad news on both levels. Take the Subutex and get to a meeting or counseling.