Monday May 30th 2016

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Mixing cocaine with alcohol

Cocaine is a highly additive stimulant drug. Is cocaine addictive the first time you take it?  You bet.  On the other hand, alcohol is a sedative. Mixing the two can be very dangerous. To find out more, read on and feel free to leave your questions or comments below. We try to answer all legitimate questions with a personal and prompt response.

Cocaine and alcohol effects

How does cocaine work in the brain?  Use of cocaine causes the release a high amount of a neurotransmitter called “dopamine,” which is involved in the brain’s reward circuit and associated with pleasure. This allows cocaine to create a feeling of euphoria. Mixing alcohol with cocaine can lengthen and intensify this sense of euphoria. Some people also report that alcohol can help with negative side effects when the high from cocaine wears off.

However, many negative side effects can come about when a person uses cocaine and alcohol concurrently. Additionally, cocaine snorting effects increase the intensity and danger of the drug.  And there is data that suggests that when these two substances are mixed, users could become more display more violent behavior and harbor more violent thoughts than they would otherwise. What are some other dangers of mixing cocaine with alcohol?

Dangers of mixing cocaine and alcohol

Cocaine and alcohol together present the potential for a very dangerous drug interaction. These two substances can combine in the body to create a new substance called “cocaethylene.” Cocaethylene has a much longer half-life than cocaine alone, and can stay in the body up to five times longer. Cocaethylene can damage the liver, compromise healthy immune system functions, cause seizures, and greatly increases the risk of death.

Further, a real danger of mixing cocaine and alcohol is masked intoxication. Cocaine can superficially counteract some negative effects of alcohol intoxication. Cocaine decreases feelings of drunkenness, which can improve some of the effects of alcohol impairment. This could encourage someone to drive while under the influence, which can be dangerous to the self and other people. While alcohol is a sedative, the stimulant effects of cocaine can increase the user’s heart rate, which could potentially be dangerous.

Cocaine and alcohol overdose

Since cocaine lessens some of the feelings of inebriation that alcohol creates on its own, using the two drugs together can increase the potential for alcohol poisoning. By itself, cocaine can negatively affect the cardiovascular system; many cocaine deaths come from cardiac arrest. In the case of alcohol and cocaine together, there is an added risk of death from the metabolic processes sparked by this drug interaction.

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Cocaine and alcohol deaths

Drinking alcohol while using cocaine can cause the liver to create cocaethylene. Cocaethylene can increase the risk of immediate death up to twenty-five times that of cocaine.

Is it safe to drink on cocaine?

No, it is not safe to use cocaine and alcohol together. Combining coke and alcohol greatly increases adverse effects of both and creates a chemical known as cocaethylene that massively increases the possibility of immediate death. The combination of these two drugs should be avoided completely to avoid these risky effects.

Mixing cocaine alcohol questions

Still thinking about cocaine and alcohol? We invite you to share any questions you may have about interactions between alcohol and cocaine in the comments section below. We will work to answer them ASAP.

Reference Sources: NIDA: DrugFacts: Cocaine
PubMed: Cocaethylene toxicity
PubMed: Effects of concurrent use of alcohol and cocaine.

Photo credit: NIDA

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32 Responses to “Mixing cocaine with alcohol
robert gonzales
2:51 pm May 19th, 2014

besides drinking water to clean out your system from cocaine what else will work? coffee? juice? also is it true cocaine will show in urine more than 3-4 days after use? what can a person do to make sure it wont show up in the urine for a parole drug test?

5:29 am July 29th, 2014

When mixing cocaine and alcohol together and getting drug tested will both drugs come out positive on a test?

1:12 pm July 29th, 2014

Hi Steph. How frequently do you use? How long before the drug test did you mix cocaine and alcohol? These are all important factors that influence the test results.

The amount of cocaine you consume, the form in which you have consumed cocaine, the intensity level of the cocaine you consumed, the frequency of consumption, the effect of other medicines that you take on a daily basis, your tolerance limit, your age, your gender, your rate of metabolism, and your state of health are major factors that determine how long does cocaine stay in your system.

12:50 pm August 26th, 2014

I have recently heard that to mix Cocaine and alcohol results in toxic substance in the stomach. Can you send me any information on this toxic reaction, if it is true? please
Many Thanks

12:38 pm September 1st, 2014

Hello Julia. From a pharmacological pint of view, mixing cocaine and alcohol forms a toxic byproduct, which is called “cocaethylene”. Some users report that it hightens the euphoric feelings, since alcohol and cocaine go hand in hand.

It has been reported to be involved in 60% of sudden cocaine deaths. It has cardiovascular toxicity, it can lead to heart attack and strokes. So, combining these two substances should be avoided, especially if you have a heart condition!

10:33 am October 27th, 2014

I have been mixing cocaine and alcohol for several years without any knowledge until today of this 3rd chemical created. So far I haven’t had anything bad happen but I am worried about any damage that could have been done. Will lifestyle changes reverse the effects if any?

9:34 pm November 1st, 2014

Hi Mike. When taking chemicals for a certain period of time, they will change the way your brain and body work. You won’t know if mixing these two has caused damage in your organism until you get medically checked out. You can see a doctor to find out if there are any major damages. Our bodies are great at repairing themselves, but of course positive lifestyle changes and diet changes can only bring good.

6:20 am February 20th, 2015

What about beer?

1:03 pm February 20th, 2015

Hi Chris. Yes, beer too if it’s the alcoholic beer. It’s also an alcoholic drink.

4:46 pm March 24th, 2015

I tried a mixture of cocaine and alcohol Saturday night, it’s only Tuesday morning and I still feel weird. It was my first time using cocaine, I snorted it. As of Sunday night,I lose my balance when I walk, and can’t get up without getting dizzy. In fact, I can hardly move my head without pure dizziness. I’m afraid it won’t go away, all I have been doing is sleeping and resting. I don’t have insurance and feel like I might die from the symptoms, I want to go to the doctor. Please help

11:31 am March 26th, 2015

Hi Sandie. The best choice is to go to the doctor’s office and get examined. It’s obvious that the mixture of cocaine and alcohol, plus that it was your first time doing cocaine had done something to your central nervous system. I believe our bodies are amazing at recovering and healing themselves, but it’s better not to risk it. Please seek professional help.

3:08 am May 10th, 2015

If someone use cocaine for the first time and mix it with beer, fall asleep and when the person woke up like having chest pain and just want to sleep is that bad or normal

9:23 pm July 23rd, 2015

Is it true that if you mix alcohol and cocaine, it make you become violent?

1:28 pm August 7th, 2015

Hi Julia. Any drug can make you violent. Cocaine does lead to violent and aggressive behaviors, especially in combination with alcohol, when your inhibitions, judgement and self-control are impaired.

1:15 pm October 5th, 2015

I’ve never gotten sick or died from doing cocaine and alcohol. Are there statistics I can see about this immediate death from cocaethylene? If I wait to drink after I finished doing cocaine am I “safer” from cocaethylene?

6:18 pm October 10th, 2015

I have a friend who mixed alcohol and cocaine. It’s not his first time doing this but he does it on binges. What are some signs I should watch for while he is recovering. Also, what are some things he should get in his system to heal. I am all for natural healing but also am concerned too.

3:41 pm November 4th, 2015

Hi Pam. If he is stable then good nutrition and drinking a lot of fluids should help him feel better soon. But, if he is feeling unwell and displaying side effects of adverse symptoms, I suggest you take him to the hospital where he can be taken care of by medical professionals.

9:13 am November 13th, 2015

Hello so i just snorted coke Monday for my frist time and was drinking a lot of jack i only snorted 3 little lines of it but now just yesterday i was experiencing chest pain and anxiety i did go into the hospital to get it checked out and my chest xray ekg and all my blood work came back fine but i am still experiencing chest pain and some tightness in the troat i am guessing its just anxiety but i am curious is this stuff out of my system by now?!

1:08 pm November 13th, 2015

Hi Alexandra. You say that you just snorted coke and drank alcohol, then you say yesterday you went to the doctors because of the side effects from snorting and drinking. How long ago did you take coke with jack? Generally, cocaine and its metabolites stay in the system and can be detected 2-4 days after use.

11:12 am December 9th, 2015

What about smoking marijuana and snorting cocaine? What effects does this have on the body? Is it as dangerous to mix marijuana with cocaine as alcohol and cocaine?

3:44 pm December 9th, 2015

Hi Hugo. Smoking typically causes an increase in heart rate, so I believe you can also expect the same form smoking marijuana and snorting cocaine at the same time. Still, it all depends on how much you take.

12:40 am December 17th, 2015

What about taking sleeping pills or muscle relaxants after Coke? What are the effects of combing those together?

9:11 am December 20th, 2015

I have a question i drank alot one day and did some crack prolly bout a half gram to a gram it will be about 18 days since the crack but ive drank alcohol almost everyday since i quit would that affect how fast im clean or would i be clean already from the cocaine not worried about the alcohol

10:51 pm January 16th, 2016

I recently went on a drinking and cocaine binge. I had consumed at least 20 units of alcohol (within 12 hours) and roughly 2 grams of cocaine (spread throughout this period). At the end of this consumption, I quite suddenly started feeling particularly dizzy/dilarious and began sweating profusely. This coincided with a temporary, partial loss of hearing (which returned to normal after a couple of minutes). Lastly, the heart palpitations were do severe that I struggled to breath involuntarily.
After pouring iced water over myself, and taking a benzodiazapene from my friend, I felt relatively back to normal within a day, but the ordeal was terrifying – I though I may be having a heart-attack or stroke.
Are these symptoms indicative of an event that could cause long term damage?

3:34 am January 17th, 2016

Mixing the two can be bad, last Friday night my cousin went on his normal party Friday and unfortunately it was his last at the end of the night his breathing went weird and he went into cardiac arrest. So you take a gamble everytime you do it hey you might do it everyday for a year and be fine and that one night thats it.

11:30 am February 17th, 2016

What are the behavioural effects if you mix alcohol and cocaine? Will it make you sleepy or more alert?

8:42 pm March 18th, 2016

for a while now I have been mIixing the two. then I’ll take some sleeping pills to go to sleep. how bad am I hurting my body?

8:57 pm April 5th, 2016

My husband has been mixing cocaine and alcohol for 10 years now. He does it on weekends only, usually 2 days in a row, Friday and Saturday. He binge drinks, drinks an 18 pack by himself in about 8hrs or less. Cocaine I am not sure how much he takes. Next day he does the same thing. During the binge his hand and foot curl up, he limps when he walks, he slurs, speaks very slowly, and swings his head side to side. What is going on? Is it a stroke? When he sobers up he is back to normal.

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
3:09 pm April 11th, 2016

Hi Madison. It seems to me that these are side effects of mixing cocaine with alcohol. If your husband doesn’t feel well, call 911 ASAP.

1:32 am April 24th, 2016

How am I at risk for doing cocaine for 30 years what damage has it done to my health

9:17 am April 24th, 2016

I drank alot and did about a gram of coke plus popped a ecstasy pill Saturday at like 2 or 3 am I have a urine test on Tuesday is it possible to get clean in that time like 84hrs? With cocaethylene being in the system?

8:42 pm May 7th, 2016

Is it safe to consume alcohol if You wait 6-8 hours after your last line. If the most consumed was 2grams during 12 hours before that. I guess my main question is how long should I wait to consume alcohol after cocaine in order to avoid creating that dangerous chemical in your liver

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