How Alcohol Interacts with Cocaine

Cocaine is a powerful and highly addictive central nervous system stimulant. It targets the portion of the brain that regulates mood, pleasure and wellbeing, so users of this drug feel euphoric, energetic and alert. Also known as “coke,” cocaine is generally sold as a fine, white, crystalline powder to be injected, snorted or smoked. Adults aged 18 to 25 years have a higher rate of cocaine abuse than any other age group.

Taking cocaine by itself is dangerous due to its addictive properties as well its side effects. Unfortunately, many people combine cocaine with alcohol to produce an increased and prolonged euphoria. In other words, by combining drugs users experience a high that is greater than that of taking only one of the drugs. The combination allows people to prolong and intensify a high, and it also negates problematic results of abusing one drug. For instance, people that take the two drugs together mitigate the hangover of drunkenness, so they can drink for longer periods without suffering the consequences. In addition, cocaine can lead to a false sense of sobriety, which may encourage users to continue drinking past the stage of drunkenness.

Damage of Mixing Cocaine and Alcohol

Taking cocaine or alcohol separately can be dangerous, but taking them together leads to a host of compounded problems. For instance, taking both drugs impairs judgment and behavior, which may lead to risky behaviors, such as unprotected sex, violent outbursts or driving under the influence. Furthermore, combining the two substances increases heart rate greatly, which can damage the heart and other organs (like the liver, where alcohol is processed in the body). Taking these drugs together makes it more difficult to sober up, often leading to anxiety and depression. Most notably, combining alcohol with cocaine creates a third substance known as cocaethylene, which builds up in the liver over a number of years to create toxicity in that organ. In addition, this chemical might cause heart attacks, especially in people under 40 years of age. The euphoria of taking cocaine and alcohol together is far outweighed by the many problems it could create.

Getting Help for Your Dual Addiction

If you are addicted to cocaine and alcohol, we can help. Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline anytime to talk with one of our admissions coordinators about recovery. Together you can determine when and where to get treatment. The coordinator can also suggest treatment facilities that specialize in Dual Diagnosis treatment, such as alcohol and cocaine addictions. Your life is too valuable to gamble on drug consumption, so call us now to start the road to recovery.

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