Cocaine and Alcohol Substance Abuse
Cocaine is a powerful stimulant while alcohol is an equally powerful depressant. Some people think that combining the two will cancel one another out, but they actually combine in a way that amplifies the risks and can lead to severe consequences.
Aside from an increased risk of overdose, drinking while on cocaine can cause rapid or irregular heart rate, trouble breathing, violence, and the potential for organ damage or failure. Before mixing substances like these, it’s critical to know the risks.
Are you looking for a confidential treatment program that can help you overcome prescription drug addiction or get your alcohol consumption in check. Zinnia Health can help. Call our team today at (855) 430-9439 to learn more about our treatment options.
What Are The Dangers of Mixing Alcohol With Cocaine?
There is a deadly myth that mixing alcohol and cocaine is a safe way to manage the effects these substances produce on their own. In reality, because cocaine is a stimulant and alcohol is a depressant, the combination can lead to unpredictable and potentially deadly side effects, including an increased risk of addiction and overdose.
Can You Drink on Cocaine?
Cocaine is a stimulant drug that produces painkilling, intoxicating, and energizing effects. Combining it with a depressant, such as alcohol, can lead to unpredictable and potentially deadly side effects. As such, you should not drink alcohol after taking cocaine.
How Long After Taking Cocaine Can You Drink Alcohol?
If you have cocaine in your system, you should avoid alcohol, but it can be hard to know when cocaine has cleared your system. The speed at which your body metabolizes cocaine depends on the way you take it.
Cocaine comes in two forms. The powder form is typically snorted through the nose or mixed with water and injected into the bloodstream. Meanwhile, freebase and crack cocaine are chemically different, but both taken through a pipe. Either form is dangerous when mixed with alcohol.
Dosage and frequency of use can also impact how long cocaine stays in your system. For instance, heavy users will test positive for up to two weeks after the last time they took the drug. You should be especially cautious about consuming alcohol 24-48 hours after taking cocaine.
Why Do People Mix Alcohol With Cocaine?
Someone addicted to cocaine may mix it with alcohol to reduce their energy level. On the other hand, a person who drinks alcohol regularly may take cocaine to boost their energy so they can make it through the day.
Individuals who combine the two mistakenly believe the two substances together cancel each other out or, at the very least, mitigates the effects of each other. But that isn’t the case, and for someone struggling with drug addiction and alcohol use disorder, trying to separate fact from fiction isn’t easy. And the dangers are concerning.
According to a 2022 report from Europe’s Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction, more than 50% of people suffering from cocaine dependence also have an alcohol addiction.
To complicate matters, mental health conditions often drive individuals to self-medicate with alcohol and other substances before receiving professional medical advice. However, addiction can worsen mental health conditions and aggravate or produce co-occurring disorders.
Why Is It Dangerous to Mix Cocaine with Alcohol?
On their own the use of alcohol and cocaine can wreak havoc on your body, lead to overdose, and result in long-term health issues and even sudden death. On top of that, the combined effects of these two substances on cognitive functions make it difficult to know when enough is enough, which can lead to side effects such as alcohol poisoning.
Cocaine is one of the most addictive substances on the market today and long-term cocaine use can lead to physical and psychological dependence. How long it takes to become addicted, the severity of cocaine addiction, and the chances of overdose or death, depend heavily on how long a person has used cocaine and how much they use.
A person’s body builds tolerance over time. As with any substance abuse, long-term use of cocaine can also lead to dependence. High tolerance and physical dependence on cocaine leads to higher and more frequent use, which can lead to overdose and, ultimately, death.
Note: This is not an exclusive list of cocaine’s negative effects on the body. If you have experienced any of these or others, or you’re worried about mixing alcohol and cocaine, please get in touch with Zinnia Health at (855) 430-9439 to speak to one of our caring specialists.
What Can Happen if You Drink on Cocaine?
Many potential side effects are multiplied when alcohol and cocaine are mixed and the combination can also lower or entirely remove inhibitions. This can create the potential for risky behaviors the individual wouldn’t normally engage in, such as:
- Unprotected sex
- Sharing needles
These behaviors can cause:
- Bacterial or other infections
Some of the most common effects of cocaine and alcohol include:
- Immediate elation or intense happiness
- Boost of energy
- Irresistible urge to talk
- Increased mental alertness
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Shaking or restlessness
- Panic attack
- Asthmatic breathing
Other biological effects occurring in the body that may not be outwardly apparent include:
- Increasing body temperature
- Rise in heart rate
- Spikes in blood pressure
- Irregular heartbeat
- Taxing of heart muscles
The long-term combination of cocaine and alcohol has even been linked to an increased risk of suicide.
What Are the Symptoms From Drinking Alcohol with Cocaine?
The most significant danger of mixing cocaine with alcohol consumption is the effect on your liver. As your liver metabolizes cocaine and alcohol, it produces metabolites and a deadly byproduct called cocaethylene. This compound is acutely harmful and creates a cocaethylene toxicity response in the body. It can remain for as little as a few days to as long as a few weeks.
When this compound is present in the body, especially at toxic levels, it can lead to serious consequences for cocaine users with alcohol addiction and even first-time users.
Short-term consequences include:
- Increased blood pressure
- Trouble breathing
- Irregular heartbeat
- Heart palpitations
- Faster heart rate
- Loss of cognitive capacity
- Violent thoughts
- Decreased coordination or ability to move
The longer it remains in the body, the worse these potential conditions become and can lead to:
- Heart attack
- Brain damage
- Liver damage
- Bleeding on the brain
- Heart disease
- Arrythmia, which can cause a heart attack
How to Get Help For a Cocaine Addiction
Drug abuse can cause long-lasting and permanent damage to a person’s mind and body. Polysubstance abuse is even more dangerous, and even harder to overcome. If you or someone you love is dealing with substance addiction to cocaine, alcohol, opioids, or any other drug, it’s important to learn more about substance use disorder and the recovery process.
The best treatment providers care about your well-being and they will provide treatment in a confidential, judgement-free setting. In addition to helping you with the initial side effects of drug use, they’ll also apply their knowledge of alcohol and cocaine research to help with:
- Co-occurring disorders, such as depression and anxiety
- Physical health conditions, including high blood pressure and kidney damage
- Cognitive behavioral therapy to help you understand your concurrent drug use and triggers
- Outpatient programs to provide ongoing support, especially if you’re dealing with impulsiveness, cravings, and other symptoms that can hold you back during the recovery process
The euphoric effects of a cocaine high can be hard to overcome on your own, and the concurrent use of drugs and alcohol makes it even harder. Fortunately, it is possible to recover from polysubstance use, as long as you have the direct, professional support you need.
If you or a loved one is suffering from the effects of alcohol abuse, cocaine abuse, or mixing these two substances, help is available. Reach out to us online or call us at (855) 430-9439 to speak with one of our specialists. Treatment options exist. The end of substance use begins with the first step, and Zinnia Health can guide you through every next step on your road to recovery.