The Dangers of Mixing Cocaine and Alcohol

Mixing cocaine and alcohol can lead to some very dangerous consequences. When together, these substances interfere with metabolic systems and damage organs.

Cocaine and alcohol are both common party drugs that can be found at bars, clubs, lounges and more. Many substance abusers will even use both substances when at home. Mixing drugs is never a good idea. This is known as polysubstance abuse or polydrug abuse.

“1 in 8 drug addicts in 2004 abused both alcohol and a drug simultaneously.”

National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSUDH)

Polysubstance abuse is incredibly dangerous. The various drugs and alcohol can interact with one another and cause devastating results and effects. It can also lead to more pronounced mental health issues among drug abusers. This article will look at the risks of mixing alcohol and cocaine together.

The Dangerous Effects of Mixing Cocaine and Alcohol

To understand why it is dangerous to mix both alcohol and cocaine together, you must first understand the differences between the two substances. They have very different properties. When mixed together, each substance will interact with the other to produce a more pronounced effect.

Cocaine is a stimulant. This illicit drug kicks the central nervous system (CNS) into high gear. It basically stimulates the neurons, so that the user feels energized and ready to party. Alcohol, on the other hand, is a depressant. It relaxes the CNS, and has the opposite effect that cocaine has.

When taking both cocaine and alcohol together, each substance will mask the effects of the other. This causes the drug addict to drink more and to do more coke. This will overwhelm the drug user’s body and cause him or her to have an increased risk of overdosing.

Interference with Your Metabolism

Both alcohol and cocaine are metabolized in the liver. Alcohol will actually slow cocaine metabolization down by about 20%. This means that the effects of cocaine will last longer. This causes further strain to the cardiac system.


Another interesting thing that happens when you mix cocaine and alcohol together is that your liver will metabolize cocaine in a different way. It will produce a psychoactive substance known as cocaethylene.

Cocaethylene has a plasma half-life that is about three to five times that of cocaine. This metabolite is difficult to clear from the body, and it will stay in your system for a longer period of time. Cocaethylene will have effects that are similar to those of cocaine. The main issue is that cocaethylene is more toxic than cocaine or alcohol. This means that it can cause profound damage to one’s body. Cocaethylene has been linked to:

  • A weakened immune system
  • Liver damage
  • Seizures

This substance can also cause immediate and sudden death, like cocaine. The issue here is that the risk of immediate is about 18- to 25-folds higher. Someone drinking alcohol and using cocaine can keel over at any time. The production of cocaethylene is proportionate to the amount of cocaine and alcohol consumed.

Stop Polydrug Abuse and Get Help Now

If you tend to take more than one substance at a time to get a more potent high, you likely struggle with a substance use disorder (SUD). Don’t let your addiction worsen.

Depending on the severity of your addiction, you may need inpatient treatment or outpatient treatment at a treatment facility. Get the help that you need today. Contact us for more information.

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