The Difference Between Being Drunk and Being High on Cocaine

Drunkenness is the state of being intoxicated after participating in the heavy consumption of alcohol. Since alcohol is a legal substance that most adults can obtain easily, being drunk is common at parties, meetings, bars or clubs, or in individuals’ homes.

Being high on drugs may have some similar effects as being drunk, but also with some marked differences. What are the differences between alcohol and cocaine and how can understanding these differences be useful to us?

Differences Between Alcoholism and Cocaine Abuse

Apart from their legal status, there are many differences and signs that can help a person to differentiate when someone is high or drunk.

The effects of a powerful stimulant like cocaine can last for hours. Both alcohol and cocaine can cause violent mood swings, but cocaine is much more likely to cause extreme violence and sudden angry outbursts. While alcohol is a depressant, cocaine increases energy and alertness. In the comedown—when the effects of the drug are passing—cocaine may cause paranoia and anxiety, with possible fever and seizures at high doses.

Overdoses of cocaine are also different since they pose a higher risk of death. Just one high dose of cocaine can cause heart failure, with occasional use affecting body and mind on an ongoing basis.

Alcohol and cocaine have another important difference. While abusing alcohol over time could lead to alcoholism, it often takes more time compared to cocaine abuse. With cocaine, it might only take one dose to create a certain degree of dependence, either physical or psychological, leading to tolerance and addiction.

Why Is Knowing the Difference Between Being High or Drunk Important?

The importance of this information lies in prevention and recovery efforts. It is not uncommon, especially at parties, to mix different types of substances and drugs. In most cases alcohol abuse is involved as well.

Avoiding substances that induce instant euphoria such as cocaine and helping others to stop abusing them through information about the risks of use can deter individuals from falling in the trap of addiction. Saying that using illegal drugs is just the same as drinking alcohol is a mistake that has led many people to experimentation with higher doses and harder substances every time. Sadly, most of these people who start abusing heavy drugs end up needing the help of a rehab center to effectively overcome the problem.

Obtaining useful and accurate information on the tools available for recovery is the first step to take if you or someone close to you is already struggling with addiction or substance abuse. Call our toll-free helpline for free information on medically-supervised detox programs, intervention services and treatment programs that will meet your unique needs. We are available 24 hours a day to take your call.

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