Mixing Cocaine drugs and alcohol is a very dangerous game. The effects of mixing cocaine and alcohol are far more dangerous than taking either substance in isolation. The combination of the two creates a tertiary drug called cocaethylene when mixed in the liver. This specific pair of substances is the only known example of this kind of thing happening. Cocaethylene is very dangerous, and can be extremely detrimental to health.
Since cocaine is a stimulant, which creates an excitability in users, and alcohol is a depressant, which slows the heart rate in users, when the two are mixed together, they begin to compete. This sends mixed signals to the body, which can cause organs such as the brain and the heart to shut down. Alcohol can have a more potent depressing effect when combined with cocaine. This can cause users to become very aggressive and violent.
Further, street drugs are frequently laced with other chemicals. Cutting powdered cocaine with other toxins happens all too often, and most drug users, especially addicts, don’t fully know what they’re ingesting. By taking cocaine laced with other unknown substances, and mixing it with alcohol, users put themselves at increased risk for heart failure and strokes.
When the body is introduced to cocaethylene, it runs a heightened risk of heart problems. A user’s heart will beat that much faster, creating even higher blood pressure than cocaine does alone. Cocaethylene has a longer half-life than cocaine, which means its effects last up to five times longer. It stays in the system longer than cocaine, too, causing extended stress to the heart, and to the liver, where it is processed. This chemical can be fatal in the user for up to twelve hours. The risks of heart attack are increased exponentially, even in people under the age of forty.
Mixing cocaine and alcohol gives the user a unique high that decreases the feelings of intoxication, while intensifying the high from the cocaine. This state of being leads people to drink excessive quantities of alcohol to try to feel drunk, way past the amounts that normally cause them to feel that way. This can lead to alcohol poisoning and death, because the feeling of intoxication is masked by the high. Mixing can also cause people to feel sharp, rather than sloppy, so they often feel like they are sober enough to drive. This decision can be very dangerous, if not lethal.
Many people who are not addicted to cocaine in the binging sense partake recreationally, and only when they are also drinking. There are many adults who only decide to ingest cocaine after being under the influence of alcohol, which impairs their decision-making abilities. They don’t realize the dangers of mixing, however, because they aren’t daily users. The misunderstanding of the potency and danger or cocaethylene leads to far too many deaths, because people don’t see that cocaine is dangerous even when not used regularly, and even more so when mixed with alcohol.