Can You Die from Combining Methadone and Xanax?

For some people, the desire to achieve an ultimate high often leads them to polydrug abuse, a form of substance abuse whereby an individual uses two or more psychoactive drugs in combination to achieve a particular desired effect. Polydrug abuse can involve the pairing of any two substances. For example, alcohol and tobacco is a form of polydrug abuse that many individuals partake in to feel relaxed and to take the edge off.

Unfortunately, for many people who have a problem with addiction, they are always looking for the next high, a way to achieve a level of euphoria that is unlike anything they have ever experienced before, which can lead to experimenting with new drugs and also combining them. One of the newest trends in polydrug abuse entails combining Methadone and Xanax, both of which are classified as central nervous system depressants. In this article, we will explore the dangers of combining these two medications and what motivates people to do so.


Separately, methadone and Xanax both carry a high risk for addiction and abuse; however, these risk factors increase exponentially when the two are paired together based on how they affect the user’s brain. To further put this into context, when taken together, methadone and Xanax can trigger central nervous system depression, which is a condition characterized by a decreased rate of breathing, decreased heart rate, and loss of consciousness.

These physiological changes could lead to coma or death. It is also worth noting that in 80 percent of cases involving Xanax and other benzodiazepines users will combine the drug with opioids like Methadone, according to the American Family Physician, a biweekly peer-reviewed medical journal published by the American Academy of Family Physicians. So while combining Xanax and Methadone is common when it comes to polydrug abuse, other medications in the same class can cause similar health problems and may also prove fatal.


To better understand how polydrug abuse affects the body, let’s take a moment to familiarize ourselves with the role of the central nervous system. Any form of drug abuse can adversely affect how the central nervous system functions; however, polydrug abuse can make matters worse.

In short, the central nervous system (CNS) is comprised of a network of complex nerve tissues that control the activities of the body, namely respiration, blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature. Methadone and Xanax, even when taken as prescribed, can disrupt the normal function of the CNS. However, when these medications are abused, either independently or collectively, they can further disrupt how the CNS functions.


In simple terms, Methadone is a full opioid agonist that works to activate opioid receptors in the brain, which can trigger feelings of euphoria, especially when taken in large amounts. Conversely, when taken as prescribed, Methadone is an effective pain reliever for those who are struggling with chronic pain. It is also regularly used by rehab facilities to treat addiction to other opioids.

It is also worth noting that Methadone is long-acting, meaning it slowly produces a steady level of the drug within the brain, which, in turn, prevents it from triggering the immediate high that many users seek. However, to bypass this design, many people will combine Methadone with benzodiazepines, namely Xanax. In doing so, they’re able to derive a quicker and more pleasurable high.


Classified as a benzodiazepine, Xanax is often prescribed to treat anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, seizures, and alcohol withdrawal. However, like Methadone, many individuals also abuse this drug as well. Xanax can have a profound effect on the CNS due to its potency and relatively short-half life. But that is not enough to dissuade those pursuing the drug for its euphoric effects to stop using and abusing it.

According to, an online resource for drug rehab, treatment modalities, and other information regarding addiction, Xanax ranks as one of the most commonly abused benzodiazepines. It is also the benzodiazepine most likely to be used by those who engage in polydrug abuse.

In summation, there are a variety of reasons why individuals choose to combine drugs. In some cases, they may be seeking to boost the high from one drug by pairing it with another. In other cases, they may be trying to overcome the limitations of their preferred drug by pairing with another one that allows them to achieve a faster and more pleasurable high, which is often the case when it comes to Methadone and Xanax. If you have a problem with polydrug abuse and need help overcoming your addiction, consider speaking with one of our caring and professional representatives today at (866) 840-6411.