Overdosing slows your breathing rate, which can cause you to lose consciousness, lead to a coma, or even cause death. That’s because overdosing reduces oxygen flow to the brain, which triggers your organs to shut down. Many prescription drugs are slow-releasing, which means that even users who seem okay at first risk overdosing in their sleep as opioids continue to enter their bloodstream.
Some prescription opioids, like Vicodin, also contain acetaminophen, which can damage your liver if taken in large doses. Combining Vicodin with alcohol lowers the threshold at which acetaminophen becomes toxic to the body and significantly increases your risk of liver damage. Beyond liver damage, mixing alcohol and any opioid with acetaminophen in it can cause: