Cocaine is an illicit stimulant that can be dangerous to take before, after, or as you are drinking alcohol, due to its ability to mask the effects of alcohol.
This dangerous combination of drugs, and its effects on your cognition and vital organ systems, carries an increased risk for alcohol poisoning and life-threatening drug overdose.
Alcohol and cocaine abuse can also produce a toxic compound in the body called cocaethylene, which is known to stress the cardiovascular system and have serious cardiotoxic effects.
What Are The Effects Of Cocaine And Alcohol?
Cocaine is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant. Alcohol is a depressant. Taking cocaine can mask effects of alcohol like intoxication and drowsiness, and vice versa.
Unfortunately, this dangerous combination can have a number of negative effects on physical health and mental health. Here are some of the short-term and long-term risks.
Short-Term Risks Of Cocaine And Alcohol
Mixing depressants like alcohol and stimulants like cocaine can make you feel as though you are less intoxicated than you actually are, due to the masking effect.
This drug combination can have cognitive, mental, behavioral, and physical side effects.
Short-term side effects and risks of mixing cocaine and alcohol include:
- aggressive or violent behavior
- difficulty breathing
- high body temperature
- impaired judgment
- poor coordination
- emotional distress
- increased heart rate
- increased blood pressure
- heart attack
Combining the two can also increase the likelihood of binge drinking, or excessive cocaine use, both of which can lead to accidental alcohol poisoning or drug overdose.
Effects Of Cocaethylene From Cocaine And Alcohol
Another danger of this combo is its ability to cause the production of cocaethylene. Cocaethylene, formed in the liver, has an even greater toxicity than cocaine.
This compound can stress the heart, kidneys, and other vital organs. It is also associated with seizures, compromised functioning of the immune system, liver damage, and sudden death.
Long-Term Risks Of Cocaine And Alcohol
Abusing cocaine and alcohol over time can produce drug dependence, withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and an alcohol addiction or cocaine use disorder.
Cocaine use disorder, the clinical diagnosis for cocaine addiction, can impair a person’s health, as well as their overall quality of life and ability to function in daily life.
Frequently mixing alcohol and cocaine can also increase the risk of serious substance-related issues down the line, including health issues, legal troubles, job loss, and relationship issues.
Why Are Cocaine And Alcohol Used Together?
Cocaine and alcohol are sometimes taken together to achieve strong euphoric effects (i.e. a stronger high) or to counteract the other drug’s effects.
Unfortunately, the combination of alcohol consumption and cocaine can produce unpredictable effects, including life-threatening heart problems, high blood pressure, and organ damage.
Treatment For Cocaine And Alcohol Abuse
Cocaine and alcohol abuse can pose serious health risks. And this can be difficult to overcome alone, especially if you have been taking these substances for a long time.
If you or a loved one is regularly mixing alcohol with cocaine, a substance abuse treatment program may be recommended to help guide you on a path toward recovery.
A treatment program for cocaine and alcohol use disorder may involve detox, drug counseling, medication, and behavioral therapies to help address all aspects of drug abuse.
Find Alcohol And Drug Addiction Treatment Today
If you or a loved one has a substance use disorder, you’re not alone. Recovery is possible.
At DetoxRehabs.net, we help connect everyday people affected by addiction with treatment options that can help support a fulfilling life in addiction recovery.
For more information about available treatment options, or to find a drug rehab program near you today, call our helpline to speak with a specialist about your options.Article Sources
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — Polysubstance Use Facts
- Journal of Addictive Diseases — Cocaethylene toxicity
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: PMC — Neurotoxic and cardiotoxic effects of cocaine and ethanol
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: PubMed — Effects of concurrent use of alcohol and cocaine