Cocaine and Alcohol

Cocaine is a powerful stimulant and combining this drug with alcohol can have life-threatening effects. Learn more here.

What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a powerful stimulant mostly abused recreationally. It is most often snorted, smoked, or dissolved and then injected in a vein. There are many health effects associated with taking this substance, and it should be avoided. Cocaine and Alcohol is highly addictive and highly dangerous. It can cause respiratory disorders, heart attacks, stroke, and hallucinations.1


How Does Cocaine Work?

Cocaine works in several ways; it changes the chemical reactions inside the brain that allow us to think and react in certain ways. In addition to changing these chemical reactions, cocaine can also modify the neurotransmitters that control communication between our brains and the rest of our bodies. This provides a sense of euphoria and well-being that people end up desiring.

To understand how cocaine and alcohol affect one another, you need to understand how cocaine changes the way neurons communicate. Cocaine blocks many important chemicals from passing from nerve cell to nerve cell. When cocaine blocks these chemicals, those cells will not receive the messages they need to work properly.2

How Does Alcohol Work?

Alcohol works as a sedative, which can make any neuro-muscular action difficult. In fact, taking both alcohol and cocaine can make it very difficult to remember things. Some of the effects of alcohol and cocaine on the body include decreased memory, decreased judgment, and even hallucinations.

Both cocaine and alcohol affect chemical reactions in your brain, and alcohol is no different. The chemical called acetaldehyde reacts with brain chemicals to produce a “buzz” while drinking. However, alcohol also interferes with neurotransmitters’ chemical levels, which is why many people get headaches or have difficulty concentrating.3

Cocaine and Alcohol Effects

Vital Organs

Cocaine and alcohol are also known to affect the kidneys, pancreas, liver, and heart. This means that the abuse of these two substances can lead to several medical conditions that require treatment from a doctor. These conditions could be kidney failure, cardiovascular disease, and heart attack, among others.4

Central Nervous System

Both cocaine & alcohol affect your central nervous system. When taking these substances, the amount of dopamine in your brain can also drop drastically. This means that your brain will be unable to function properly. Damage done to the brain can be irreversible over time and may result in serious medical conditions, including psychosis, depression, and Parkinson’s disease.3

Blood Pressure

In addition to these effects, cocaine affects blood pressure. This is because it increases the amount of dopamine in your blood. This increase can cause hypertension. If you do not do something to decrease your blood pressure, the consequences of abusing alcohol and cocaine could include heart disease or stroke.4

The Brain

Alcohol also acts as an analgesic, which means that alcohol affects how you feel muscle aches and pains. However, because alcohol and cocaine can affect the brain in this way, it can make a person more susceptible to having accidents and injuries or do activities, they would not normally partake in. As a result, alcohol, and cocaine can cause people to take greater risks due to fewer inhibitions.

Alcohol also affects the brain’s blood vessels, making it much easier for the brain to lose water; because of this, alcohol changes in the brain’s chemical composition, making it harder for the brain to process important information. Cocaine affects the brain’s chemical interactions similarly, and though people might think they are more attentive; this is not necessarily true.5

Sex Drive

If the effects of cocaine & alcohol on your health were not enough, cocaine and alcohol could also affect sex drive. While alcohol affects sex drive negatively in most people, cocaine is reported by some to increase libido. However, when alcohol and cocaine are taken together, your libido will decrease. Not to mention that numerous studies have also linked alcohol and cocaine use to an increased chance of HIV infection.5

Dangers of Cocaine and Alcohol

When people take cocaine and drink alcohol at the same time, they may have very dangerous results. In combination with alcohol, cocaine often leads to feelings of paranoia and even psychosis. Cocaine & alcohol have both been proven to cause serious health complications that may lead to death. Cocaine affects the central nervous system, and prolonged use has been linked to heart disease, stroke, and hypertension.

Cocaine and alcohol abuse can also lead to long term effects. It can cause kidney damage and increase the risks of contracting diabetes. In fact, it may even increase the chances of cancer.

How Long Does Cocaine Stay in Your System?

How long cocaine will stay in your system depends on your health and the test that is used. Factors such as weight, body mass index, fluid intake, age, and metabolism can all affect how long cocaine will stay in your system. It is important to understand that cocaine tests will look for the metabolites and not necessarily the drug itself, at least for a urine test. While the drug is fast-acting and will disappear from the body within a day, the metabolites, or what is left over after being processed by your body, will remain detectable for about three days on average.

Cocaine and Alcohol Treatment

One of the best ways for people struggling with alcohol and cocaine abuse is to understand what led to substance abuse in the first place. By understanding this, you can begin the process of getting your life back on track with cocaine & alcohol treatment. Finding the right therapy with a support group will ensure that you can take the most important step to drug treatment : starting a new day free from substances.

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