Substance Use

Mixing Crack and Alcohol: Can You Drink on Crack?

line of crack cocaine with glass of whiskey

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Crack and Alcohol Substance Abuse

Crack is a street name given to cocaine processed with baking soda or ammonia, producing a “rock” form of the drug to make it more potent. It’s dangerous on its own, but people who are addicted to crack may be tempted to mix it with alcohol to intensify its effects, which can have dangerous consequences including hallucinations and an increased risk of overdose.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction or drug abuse, Zinnia Health can help. We offer evidence-based inpatient and outpatient treatment for addiction and mental health disorders and our addiction specialists are standing by to discuss your options. Call our helpline at (855) 430-9439 to learn more.

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What Are The Dangers of Mixing Alcohol With Crack?

The combination of crack and alcohol can induce both short-term and long-term risks, from a heightened risk of overdose to changes in behavioral health.

Some side effects of drinking alcohol while on crack include the following:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Irritability
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Insomnia

Can You Drink on Crack?

Like other forms of cocaine and any other type of stimulant drug, you should never mix crack with alcohol. In fact, drinking and taking crack cocaine poses even more significant risks than other types of cocaine.

The difference between crack and cocaine is that cocaine is a powder that can be snorted or dissolved in water and injected, while crack is processed to form a rock crystal that users can smoke. This means crack is more potent than powder cocaine, leading to a more intense high, but it also puts a person at greater risk of overdose when they take it in large amounts or drink along with it.

How Long After Taking Crack Can You Drink Alcohol?

Crack and alcohol should not be combined, which is why you should wait at least 24 hours after you last took crack before drinking. If you’re experiencing cravings for drug use and alcohol, you may be dealing with a substance use disorder.

Chronic abuse of crack and alcohol can lead to brain structure and function changes. Both addictions alter the brain’s chemistry by increasing levels of dopamine, which causes feelings of pleasure. They also change how nerve cells communicate, which can lead to problems with learning, memory, and decision-making skills.

Crack and alcohol use also increases the risk of developing mental health disorders like depression and anxiety. The way these substances change the brain makes quitting difficult. Additionally, withdrawal from alcohol or crack can be uncomfortable and even dangerous, which contributes to the difficulty of quitting. 

If you’ve been using crack and/or alcohol and you’re finding it hard to stop yourself from using them again, you’re likely dealing with addiction and it’s important to seek help with quitting.

Why Do People Mix Alcohol With Crack?

While it produces a stronger high, a key characteristic of crack is that it has a shorter duration of action than powder cocaine, which means that the high doesn’t last as long. This is one reason why people mix crack with alcohol in an attempt to amplify or prolong its effects.

Some people also mix crack with alcohol because they’re trying to self-medicate for underlying mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression. However, it’s been shown that substance abuse can worsen certain mental health disorders, which is why it’s critical to seek professional help.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction or alcohol abuse, help is available. Addiction treatment options include detoxification, therapy, and medication, and our team at Zinnia Health can walk you through all of them. Take the next step by calling (855) 430-9439 today.

Why Is It Dangerous to Mix Crack with Alcohol?

Mixing alcohol with crack magnifies the potential for adverse reactions.

Because alcohol and crack are central nervous system depressants, mixing the two substances can lead to the following dangerous side effects:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Coma
  • Sudden death from overdose
  • Imparied judgment and decision-making
  • Risky behaviors like unprotected sex or driving under the influence

When someone combines crack and alcohol, it’s classified as polydrug use, which is considered a more severe form of substance use that is accompanied by greater risks and a more complicated recovery process.

What Can Happen if You Drink on Crack?

Some of the potential outcomes of mixing crack cocaine and alcohol include:

  • Liver damage from the combined toxic effects of the two substances
  • Lung damage from smoking crack cocaine
  • Brain damage from chronic use
  • Death from overdose
  • Increased risk of developing cancer

Alcohol and crack cocaine users are also at an increased risk for developing psychotic symptoms such as paranoia, delusions, and hallucinations.

What Are the Symptoms From Drinking Alcohol with Crack?

Short-term effects of crack cocaine use include:

  • Increased heart rate and increased blood pressure
  • Increased alertness and hypervigilance
  • Hallucinations
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability and anxiety

These side effects can be amplified when you mix cocaine with alcohol, and you might also experience a range of other unpredictable side effects due to the combination.

Long-term effects of crack and cocaine abuse can lead to drastic changes in behavior along with:

  • Mood swings
  • Paranoia
  • Psychosis
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations

Heavy users may also experience restlessness, muscle twitches, and uncontrolled movements after taking crack cocaine.

How to Get Help For a Crack Addiction

Mixing alcohol with crack is a dangerous proposition. Not only is there the danger of overdosing on either substance, but the combination can also lead to death.

For those ready to take the first step toward recovery from polysubstance abuse, some of the most common treatment options include:

  • Inpatient hospitalization, which is often recommended for heavy drinkers and those with other complications, like heart problems. These programs usually last for 1-2 weeks or the duration of the initial detox.
  • Inpatient treatment at a residential facility, which can last for a month or more, depending on the individual. Hospitalized patients often transition to one of these facilities.
  • Intensive outpatient treatment, which may include daily appointments, depending on a person’s circumstances.
  • Outpatient treatment, which allows an individual to attend appointments once or more per week, based on their needs. People often transition into this program when they leave a residential facility.

In the case of alcohol addiction, withdrawal symptoms can put an individual at risk of serious consequences including heart attacks, which is why a medical detox is often recommended. A medical detox is when an individual goes through the withdrawal process at a treatment facility.

Substance abuse is a serious problem that affects millions of people worldwide. If you or someone you know is struggling with compulsive use of crack cocaine or alcohol, please seek professional help from a qualified treatment center so that they can get on the path to recovery.

Zinnia Health offers various programs to help people struggling with substance abuse recover and live healthy lives. Our knowledgeable staff is here to answer any questions you may have about our programs or substance abuse in general. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you or your loved one start on the road toward recovery.

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