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Mixing Alcohol and Clonidine

  1. Article SummaryPrint
  2. What Is Clonidine?
  3. What Is Alcoholism?
  4. Risk Factors
  5. Dangers of Mixing Clonidine With Alcohol
  6. Effects of Addiction
  7. Treatment Options
  8. Signs of Addiction


Mixing alcohol and clonidine is dangerous and can be life-threatening. The withdrawal symptoms from mixing drugs for an extended period of time can be harsh. If you or someone you know is addicted to clonidine and alcohol, it's important to find a treatment facility that can help. Call our toll-free helpline at 1-888-287-0471 to get some help in finding the treatment center that is best for you.

What Is Clonidine?

Clonidine is typically prescribed to treat high blood pressure. The medication can be given orally or in patches applied to the skin. The drug works by relaxing blood vessels and decreasing the heart rate. This allows blood to flow more easily through the veins and arteries. Clonidine users can experience several side effects, such as headache, weakness, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting. More severe side effects such as hives and difficulty breathing or swallowing have been reported. Individuals experiencing more severe side effects should seek medical assistance. Clonidine is not a habit-forming drug; however, combining it with alcohol makes it appealing to those struggling with alcohol addiction. They can then become addicted to clonidine and alcohol.

What Is Alcoholism?

AlcoholismAlcoholism is a disease. It affects people from all walks of life. Alcoholics are unable to control or manage their alcohol consumption. Those afflicted with the disease suffer physical symptoms when alcohol is not consumed. They feel compelled to drink and cannot stop even if they want to. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cite the number of deaths related to alcoholic liver disease at 15,183 for 2009. Also, the number of alcohol-induced deaths, excluding accidents and homicides was 24,518.

Risk Factors

According to the Mayo Clinic, some people are at a higher risk of alcoholism than others. Risk factors include:

  • Regular drinking over time can make a person physically dependent on alcohol.
  • Individuals who begin drinking at an early age have an increased risk of becoming dependent on alcohol.
  • Men are more likely than women to abuse alcohol.
  • Those with a family history of the disease are more likely to become alcohol dependent.
  • Depressed individuals and those with mental health issues are more likely to develop alcoholism.
  • Having friends or family members who abuse alcohol increases a person's risk of doing the same.


Alcoholism develops gradually. Consuming alcohol over time changes the balance of chemicals in the brain. Eventually, the body will crave alcohol to restore the chemicals which produce pleasurable feelings.

Dangers of Mixing Clonidine With Alcohol

"Mixing clonidine with alcohol affects the chemistry of the blood and can result in a drastic drop in blood pressure. "
Those addicted to clonidine and alcohol are endangering their lives. Alcohol intensifies the side effects of the medication, producing a hazy or lightheaded feeling. In some cases, patients experience dizziness, hallucinations, loss of consciousness and seizures. Mixing clonidine with alcohol affects the chemistry of the blood and can result in a drastic drop in blood pressure. Strokes, heart attacks, and death are possibilities.

Did You Know?

There is a difference between alcohol dependence and alcohol abuse. Alcohol abuse is the harmful use of alcohol. Signs of alcohol dependence include increased tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, constantly seeking alcohol, alcohol cravings, and returning to drinking after a period of quitting.

Effects of Addiction

  • Drowsiness
  • Faintness
  • Change in heart rhythm
  • Swelling
  • Delayed reactions
  • Confusion
  • Shortness of breath

Treatment Options

"A treatment program will focus on both physical and emotional healing."
Inpatient treatment is recommended for those addicted to clonidine and alcohol. For help locating a top inpatient treatment program, call 1-888-287-0471. Medications are usually prescribed to lessen the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Patients will be weaned from clonidine gradually. If the patient requires medication for high blood pressure, an alternate type will be prescribed. A treatment program will focus on both physical and emotional healing. Group therapy and support groups are often effective options for those recovering from alcohol and clonidine addiction.


Clonidine is used to lessen withdrawal symptoms in patients addicted to opiates, nicotine, and other drugs; however, it is not effective in treating those addicted to alcohol.

Signs of Addiction

Individuals addicted to clonidine and alcohol will exhibit symptoms similar to those of alcoholics. They may also seem confused, disoriented, or lose consciousness. If you, or someone you know, exhibit any of these symptoms, please call 1-888-287-0471 for your best treatment options.

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  1. Question: What is a physical addiction?Submitted By: Arlene B.

    • S.F.

      A physical addiction is where the body becomes tolerant to a drug and requires more to function normally. The body stops producing certain chemicals because the drug is creating them. Once the drug is withdrawn, the body will take a while to restart production of these chemicals.

  2. Question: What is a psychological addiction?Submitted By: Gordon B

    • Project Know Answer:

      A psychological addiction is where person feels as though he or she cannot function without the drug, particularly in stressful or social situations.

  3. Question: Why is cough medicine addictive?Submitted By: KY

    • Regina G

      A number of cough medicines contain dextromethorphan, also known as DMX, or codeine, which are addictive substances.

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      Call 1-888-287-0471 now and get the help you need.

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