Get help today 888-744-0069 or sign up for 24/7 text support.
American Addiction Centers National Rehabs Directory

Concurrent Alcohol and Norco Abuse

prescription bottles with alcohol bottles

Norco, which is the brand name for hydrocodone, is a narcotic pain reliever. If you are misusing Norco, your body may be dependent on the drug, ultimately resulting in addiction. Concurrent alcohol and Norco abuse occurs when someone is using both Norco and alcohol. While there are strict guidelines against using these substances together, many people still do. Not only is this extremely dangerous for your health and your life, but it can increase your risk for substance abuse and addiction (Kreek, 1984).

One of the little known facts about drinking and Norco use is that their short-term effects increase your risk of becoming addicted to both substances. Once you become addicted, it is very difficult to cut back, though not impossible. Topics such as dangerous side effects, symptoms of addiction and how to get support for recovery are discussed below.

Signs and Symptoms

There are many signs associated with alcohol use and addiction, as well as with abusing the narcotic Norco. Additionally, there are some signs that are present when both of these substances are used at the same time.

Symptoms may include (The American Psychiatric Association, 2013):

  • A higher tolerance, which requires more use of the drug.
  • Not being able to control your use.
  • Lying or cheating to obtain the drug and alcohol.
  • Knowing the risks and choosing to combine these substances anyway.
  • Avoiding family or friends while using them or hiding the substances from them.

There are also other side effects of abuse, including (See Julien et al., 2011):

  • Drowsiness.
  • Dizziness.
  • Memory issues.
  • Coordination problems.
  • Shallow breathing.

If you or someone you love is exhibiting these signs, get help. There are many ways to help a Norco addict. To learn more about addiction or locate treatment for yourself or a loved one, contact an admissions navigator with American Addiction Centers (AAC) free at .

Combined Effects of Norco and Alcohol Abuse

Concurrent alcohol and Norco use has many dangerous short-term and long-term side effects.

Alcohol affects the metabolism (breaking down) of Norco and other opioids, which means that the effects of the drug can be much more potent when it is used with alcohol (McCance-Katz et al., 2010). Many of the so-called overdose deaths from opioid use are in fact cases in which alcohol has also been used (Krrek, 1984).

Other harmful reactions to taking alcohol and Norco together include:narcotic-overdose-woman-on-ground-with-spilt-pills

  • Poor coordination.
  • Overdose.
  • Slowed heart rate.
  • Shallow breathing.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Dizziness.
  • Alcohol poisoning or overdose.

Combining alcohol with Norco can also enhance the toxic effects of acetaminophen and negatively affect liver function (Woodward, 2009).

Treatment for Co-Occurring Alcohol and Norco Addiction

When you begin looking for treatment for your substance use problem, look for an addiction treatment program that specializes in dual diagnosis or co-occurring addictions (McCance-Katz et al). These programs work with both addictions separately and together. You may have other mental health disorders you need treatment for, such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorder or depression. Dual diagnosis programs will treat mental health and substance abuse issues concurrently. Mental health disorders are very common among people dealing with substance abuse and addiction.

The rehab center you choose should understand the dangers of combining drugs and how to best to give you treatment.

Call different centers to find out about the detox programs they offer and learn more about the withdrawal process, what activities the treatment center provides and the type of counseling and rehab programs they offer for this type of addiction. The more you find out, the more likely it is that you will find the right facility to meet your needs.



The statistics for both alcohol addiction and Norco addiction are startling. In the United States, approximately 1.8 million people are addicted to hydrocodone, such as in the case of Norco. It is among the top most used and abused prescription medications.

There are over a billion people drinking alcohol, but approximately 76 million who suffer from alcoholism. This points to a huge risk of abuse and addiction when people are combining these two substances.

Approximately 20% of the people abusing prescription drugs, including Norco, were originally prescribed the drug.

Learn more about prescription opiate misuse.

Teen Drinking and Norco Abuse

If you have found your teen abusing Norco and alcohol together, you are not alone. Many other parents and guardians are dealing with the same problem, but there was a marked decline in the use of both alcohol and opioids between 2009 and 2014 among high school students (NIDA, 2014). However, now you know the signs and effects of combining these substances, as well as what addiction looks like, so you know what to look for.

Talk to your teen if you have any suspicions and bring them to a treatment facility right away. Prescription drug misuse is a growing problem among the youth, but a long, healthy life is possible when you get help now. To find the treatment you need, call for free at now.

You can also learn more about teen alcohol and drug misuse.

Resources, Articles and More Information

You can learn more about Norco and alcohol use in the following articles:

To learn more about rehab programs and addiction treatment options, contact a caring admissions navigator with American Addiction Centers (AAC) free at .

Addiction Treatment Levels of Care

Recommended Drug and Alcohol Rehab-Related Articles

Was this page helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.

American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand.

Read our full editorial policy

While we are unable to respond to your feedback directly, we'll use this information to improve our online help.