When people combine cocaine and alcohol they often have the idea that they are sober. But people become aggressive and impulsive from the combination. Moreover, it is very taxing on the heart and there are other risks associated with the combination.
What are the effects of alcohol + cocaine?
Cocaine and alcohol have (partly) opposite effects. Cocaine makes you feel energized and awake, while alcohol makes you feel numb. People who take cocaine and alcohol at the same time therefore have the impression that the two substances cancel out each other’s effects. If you are drunk and take a pinch of coke, it can feel like you are sharp and clear again. You feel less drunk, but more strongly under the influence.
You can often tell by looking at these people that they are not sober. People who combine cocaine and alcohol are more likely to be aggressive and display impulsive behavior. They then do things they would not normally do, such as fight with others.
When cocaine and alcohol are combined a new substance is produced: cocaethylene. This substance, like coke and alcohol, works in the brain. Users feel happy and confident. These feelings may seem stronger than with cocaine or alcohol use alone.
What are the risks of alcohol + cocaine?
- Using more.
People who combine alcohol and cocaine often go on longer. They then drink more alcohol and use more coke than people who take only one of the two substances. The reasons for this are that because of the cocaine you do not feel that you are tired and drunk. Furthermore, many people find the intoxication of cocaine very tasty, they want more of it. Going on longer and using more will cause more risks and a worse hangover.
- Impulsivity & aggression.
The combination of alcohol and coke can also lead to impulsive behavior. This means that someone suddenly does something without thinking. This can lead to unpleasant or dangerous situations. Moreover, people are more likely to be aggressive if they have combined cocaine and alcohol. 1It can also happen that you use more on an impulse than you actually intended.
It can also happen that you use more on an impulse than you actually intended.
- Traffic accidents.
Combining cocaine and alcohol can be very dangerous in traffic. Users have the feeling, by taking coke, that they are not drunk or less drunk than they really are. Some people feel that they can still drive a car, which is not the case. Thus, they overestimate their ability to drive. If you have consumed alcohol and/or cocaine you should not take part in traffic!
- Heart problems & organ damage.
The substance cocaethelene, which is created when alcohol and cocaine are combined, is highly toxic to the body. The heart and blood vessels, in particular, can suddenly get into trouble. Both cocaine and alcohol cause an increase in the heart rate. As a result, the heart needs more oxygen. Cocaine and cocaethylene further rush your heart. They act as vasoconstrictors. This means that your heart gets less oxygen even though it needs more. This causes it to pump even harder. This can lead to a shortage of oxygen in the heart muscle and to cardiac arrhythmia or even cardiac arrest.
Furthermore, cocaethylene is harmful to the liver and other organs.
In addition, it takes four times longer than cocaine alone for cocaethylene to leave the body. This means that the toxic effects remain in the body for a long time.
Alcohol and cocaine, addiction
People who combine alcohol and cocaine experience the effects as pleasant. They feel happy and confident. Because this feeling is stronger than with cocaine or alcohol alone, there is a greater chance of addiction. Of the people in treatment for alcohol addiction, a large proportion are also addicted to cocaine. Of those in treatment for cocaine addiction, one-third are also addicted to alcohol.
In summary, the combination of alcohol and cocaine has the following risks:
- increased risk of cardiac arrest, cardiac arrhythmia and stroke
- liver damage
- increase in aggressive thoughts/behavior
- traffic accidents
- depression, anxiety calms, and persecutory delusions
- increased risk of psychosis
Finally, the combination of cocaine and alcohol can lead to a major hangover. Users often say they feel wrecked, out of sorts, irritable and mildly depressed the next day.
Risks of quitting cocaine
Stopping using cocaine on your own is not always without risk. It depends on each person and the degree of coke addiction/abuse. Professional guidance is highly recommended, so that withdrawal is safe and controlled. This will also increase your success in kicking the habit. There is always a risk of relapse. It is important that you change your lifestyle and environment. This is sometimes even more difficult than withdrawal itself.