Why It’s Dangerous to Mix Alcohol with Medications for Mental Illness

For one, it may decrease the effectiveness of the medication

Gillian May
5 min readFeb 23, 2021

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Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

My father died almost five years ago from liver failure due to alcoholism. He also struggled with a horrible depression that went on for most of his life. My father didn’t get a little down; he lost all ability to function when he was depressed. And, of course, the more depressed he got, the more he drank. He also took several medications for his depression.

As for me, I followed in my father’s footsteps with depression and alcoholism as well. I spent the better part of my adult years depressed and drunk. I write about this story a lot, but I leave out one piece of information. This is because it requires a whole article on its own.

The truth is, if you have depression or any mental illness — mixing booze and mental health medication is dangerous for many reasons. I’m very confident my father’s death was sped up by his mixing alcohol and pills. As a former mental health nurse, I knew that combining the two was bad, so guess what I chose? Booze.

Mixing alcohol with mental health medications is very problematic, and I’ll attempt to explain why. This is for anyone who wants to understand more about medications and co-occurring mental health and addiction…

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Gillian May
Mental Health and Addictions Community

Former nurse turned alcohol & health writer/researcher. I teach people about alcohol addiction, trauma, mental health. Join my Substack: https://bit.ly/3PuVhXJ