Mixing cocaine with alcohol

What are the effects of mixing cocaine and alcohol? Can you overdose? Or maybe get really sick? More here mixing cocaine and alcohol.

minute read

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.

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.
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.


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  1. I did a half gram of coke and drank 3 mixed drinks . Then I waited 11 days before taking a drug test . Do you think it will come up clean ? I have previously did it 3 weeks before that day of that half g and drinks . I don’t binge or do it regularly. I also have a fast metabolism. Do you think I will be fine for my drug test after 11 days and doing such a small amount? It’s for a really good job . Plz help

  2. I am 3 weeks clean from using cocaine. I used to smoke it frequently I’m in counselling and doing very well.
    I have a UA coming up for a job and I did a home test and it’s still testing positive for cocaine. I have stopped using alcohol as well.
    I did usually drink wine when I used.
    I’ve seen reports of UA testing positive from 3 days to 3 weeks. My job UA will be at approx. 4 weeks but I think I can move to 5 weeks. I’m drinking water (no pop etc.) eating healthy and really trying to rebuild. Not passing this UA would be devastating. Is it possible for me to STILL test positive at 4+ weeks???

  3. I was out with my friend one Saturday night I had a couple of drinks and we meet up with two fellas the crack was good and by the end of the night we when back to there home one of the fellas had cocaine I don’t take drugs I looked at him to what the ferk like and he give me a drink so I had that and I can’t explain my actions after words I had sex with this fella and I never done what I did that night with anyone I am worrying could I have been give something in my drink I couldn’t explain why I was so horny and bold I am so sorry to ask I want to know for my own peace of mind thank you

  4. Every time I drink I end up using cocaine it happens every time and has done for years, is this addiction I don’t think about the drug sober at all

    1. Hi Michael. Alcohol consumption can impair brain function resulting in poor judgment, and also it can be a drug trigger. My advice is to stay away from alcohol, and mixing alcohol with other drugs. Don’t put yourself at risk.

  5. Hello all…and thank you for reading

    On Sunday I was out drinking all day watching football and was also snorting coke all day as Well this went on from about 11am to 2am so along period of time…im not an avid coke user nor do I plan on ever using it again but that night while drinking a beer I noticed my right hand went numb and I diddent think much of it but the next morning when I woke up my right hand was still numb and it’s been about 4 days and now every time I wake up from a nap both of my hands are numb…im starting to get kind of scared I took myself to a local hospital where they checked my blood pressure and did a EKG on my hear which he said came out fine I’m just curious if anyone can help me as I’m starting to worry and I just need help someone pointing me in the right direction I feel so stupid and very immature and anything will help thank you all

    1. Hi JEFF. Maybe checking your blood pressure and doing EKG is not enough. I suggest you speak with your doctor again and do more tests.

  6. my friend had a bad trip at a houseparty while snorting lines.they dont know if it was blow or was mixed with something else.she had anxiety attacks,she had a severe headache,started scratching her head. they were drinking beers,and had 5 gms between 5 people.sometimes,people dont know what they are even doing- and there is no tester.its more than 72 hours. she is still feeling dick? any idea if she needs to be hospitalised or any tests need to be done?
    any advice on this?

    1. Hi Roxy. It seems that your friend’s situation is serious. I suggest that she sees a doctor to run some tests.

    1. Hi G. Call the helpline you see on the website to get in touch with a trusted treatment consultant who can help you find the best rehab program for you.

  7. On Saturday I sniffed two very small lines of cocaine.i got called in for a drug test on Tuesday for a new job that I didn’t realize I was going to receive after waiting three weeks for a call back. I have a high metabolism and I drink alot of water is there anyway I could pass the screening?

  8. Can someone PLEASE tell me how much is considered excessive? 1g 2g? More? And in what timeframe? Over the weekend or everyday? 1g a week is what usually happens. Is that excessive?

  9. I had read on another page that crack cocaine makes a person want to do no good sexual desires, as in cheat on their significant other is basically what their saying. How true is this?

  10. Hi I have been drinking and taking cocaine for about ten years but the last two years have gone much worse where I’m doing it twice a week now. I k ow if I didn’t drink I wouldn’t take the cocaine but I always say I’m not drinking this week and I actually believe myself soon as the weekend is here I talk myself in to its OK I deserve a drink then for days later I’m depressed feeling guilty and it just goes on and on but now I just want to be done with it but I’ve said this so many times I never ever stick to it. Can you give me some advice of what to do please

  11. Hi my boyfriend used to binge on coke and alcohol every week end for about 7-8 years.
    We got together 12 months ago on the condition he changes his ways. Which he as.
    Then Friday I found out he’s been using again, due to 2 lovely dealers knocking on my door.
    I’ve ended the relationship as he new the score. It’s not my scene I’m 10 Years older than him. An 8 year old and a 17 year old who’s very impressionable. I’m also a nursery teacher so you I just don’t want it near me.
    He’s begging to come home all sorry and wants my help to change. I don’t no if I can’t trust him. He’s had lots of chances and it’s ok today he wants to change will he feel the same in a fortnight on payday!!!!
    What help can I get him if it’s just now and then he takes it. What can I do??

  12. I ve been using coke for a long time now, I am an alcoholic regrettable……… Coke picks me up but after a few minutes of high it gives me major panic attack which fades a few minutes later. I drink more, then do more and then the circle happens all over again…… Don’t live my life I am 39…….

  13. Hi iv had a shit year with my dad being diagnosed with terminal cancer and when diagnosed he got given 18 months to live now thats 8 months ago, after alreading losing my mum to cancer 5 days after my 10th birthday its hit me hard to watch him go from 17 stone to 9 1/2 hes my hero n i dont wanna lose him. I turned to drink and drugs (coke) just to stop me breaking down in tears wen im with him witch makes him feel (in his words) hes letting us down. But now its got to the stage iv left of the drink n drugs but now i cant keep any food down or drink for to long. I dont wanna go doctors because its always bad news witch will cause body stress n make things worse and if i look on google it says the extreme like iv got 5 days to live. Any info would be great. Sorry for long message.

    1. Hi Stephen. I’m really sorry about what you are going through, but your health problem needs to be taken care by a doctor immediately.

  14. Hi I have done coke and drink together for a long time but only sometimes and never had a problem but the last 2 month I have done it I keep been sick all night I feel sick all night and I don’t know y it worrying do have an explanation for these symptom pls

  15. I agree it’s a dangerous combination, however talking from experience I’ve never known anyone to have a cardiac arrest through combining the the two together , I’m not condoning it or saying either of the two drugs are safe but in all my years I’ve never seen anyone OD on this combination of coke and alcohol…
    Jarod is funny as fuck , best comment out of the lot of you … FairPlay mate .. keep it real ! ?

  16. Hi, my nephew has recently commited suicide, he jumped from a very high bridge onto a road below. The toxicology report says there was Cocaethylene in his system. I have read that this is produced in the liver by mixing cocaine and alcohol together. There was no alcohol in his system, could this have effected his mind/thinking. We don’t know why he did this, we just need answers, but unfortunately my nephew took the answers with him. Any information at all would be beneficial to our family, we are broken hearted. Kind regards

  17. Why, do I feel my IQ dropping when reading all these excerpts concerning cocaine??? If you can’t handle cocaine which has been around since, ” Louie the Great and Einstein? ” Then, please stay away from your amateur usage? It’s all about modification and yes, say that to an alcoholic? He or she may punch you in the nose? LOL…You undesirables back tracking about, what did I do to myself? I’m freaking out!! Listen, true intellectual powder is only for the high society that has succeeded in this country for many centuries, period! My premise is simply this….You did low life powder and move on from it because, only a young millionaires like me with terrific looks can only handle this fine white treasure? No exceptions and/or hypochondriacs excepted …

  18. I wasn’t drinking alcohol I was tipsy, then I did one line of coke, I’ve only done coke once in my life. My symptoms turned really crazy I was really violent and ended up with terrible injuries due to my behavior. I don’t remember what I was thinking just that I felt so anxious and irritated

  19. I had not used cocaine since early December of 2016. I made a big mistake last weekend (Feb 26 of 2017) and snorted approx .5 grams of cocaine while drinking.
    I was clean for almost 3 months prior. What are the chances that I will be clear of all metabolites by the end of the week? (March 5)

  20. So between midnight and 6 am. I snorted 5 grams of coke and drank a 6-pack of tall boys. Now 5 hours later and my shoulders keep moving and stretching on their own. It’s getting worse as of an hour ago. They stretch and touch my ears. I tried to stop it but it is getting worse stretching a little more as time goes by. Looks like I have Parkinson’s disease. I have guests from out of town over. Some of them did more than me and seem be fine. This is the only side effect I have. I don’t even feel high anymore. Is this an emergency or should I wait it out?

  21. I mixed coke, weed and booze together in 2013, i had a heart attack and tripped out, i dont believe anything is real anymore, i highly suggest never to mmix drugs. It changes you or can kill you

  22. Hahaha i snore Coke everyday and drink 10-15 beer a day for the past 5 years You only live once im doing fine just hate life a society so who cares._.

  23. My 28yr old husband recently told me that his been using cocaine on and off for a year no. He said he used it only like 4-5 times in that year and uses only when drinking alcohol because it doesn’t give him a bad hangover is that true? He also has a kidney transplant donated my his mom for about 5 yrs now. The last time he used he lost $800 dollars on gambling and that’s when he decided to tell me that his been using I was very disappointed and he promised that he wouldn’t use again hand he doesn’t want to loose his family! He said that he is not addicted and he can stop when he wants he did go months without trying it again and like I said he said he only does it when he drinks and not always. I offered him to go get some help, but he said his fine. He seemed very embarrassed I don’t know what to do I forgave him for it but sometimes it is still on my mind I do try and look for signs but I don’t see any. Do I just forget it and believe him since he says his word is his bond? Or do I keep asking him every time I think he still uses? Pleases help! From a desperate wife:(

  24. I don’t mix the two, coke and alcohol, hardly ever. The 1 time I did. I felt drunk but at the same time felt super slap happy from obviously from the coke use I stayed up the entire night on it. What are my risks if I mix both, alcohol and coke, once a week?.

  25. ive always had a problem with drink, and I can consume a lot more alcohol than my body she be able to handle, Take cocaine on occasions but when I do I go over board and go on a bender, should I get banging headaches and feel so anxious? Also my heart beats so fast that I think I’m going to die? But then I feel like I need to drink and do more to feel normal again

  26. Hi, I drank a lot last saturday along with snoring alot cocaine. I stayed awake through Sunday untill 3pm. Woke up at midnight and went back to sleep untill Monday morning. I was very depressed because I had used cocaine and drank in the past, but never like last time. My question is how long does t cocaethylene stay in your system and is it still dangerous after 3 days?

    1. Hi Robert. Cocaine generally stays in your system and can be detected in urine for 2-4 days after use. However, heavy or chronic cocaine users may have an extended detection window of up to a week or 10 days.

  27. I am a 35 yr old female. Drank a half bottle of jack daniels, smoked 3 small bowls of pot and snorted about 6 lines of coke all over a 7-8 hr time line. This was first time doing coke in a month and usually dont use. I am wondering how long it will take before the coke portion will no longer show up on a drug test?

  28. hey, I’m wondering what if we mixed cocaine and alcohol together?.. is it possible that you can be hyper for 6 hours even if u had people making u drink coffee, sleep, shower while u were high to make u back to being sober again.

  29. 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

  30. 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?

  31. 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.

    1. 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.

  32. 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?

  33. 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.

  34. 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?

  35. 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

  36. 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?

    1. 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.

  37. 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. 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.

  38. 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.

    1. 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.

  39. 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?

    1. 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.

  40. 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

  41. 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

    1. 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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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?

  44. 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!

  45. 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

  46. 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.

  47. 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?

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