It is not uncommon for those who use drugs or alcohol to use multiple substances together for a number of reasons that may be interrelated. Coloradoans who use cocaine and alcohol together may do so because the two substances balance each other out or because they think it heightens the experience, but they are only putting themselves at risk for what can be serious complications and effects.
When Cocaine and Alcohol Mix
Cocaine is a stimulant and alcohol is a depressant. When the two are mixed together, they may seem to balance each other out so the high from the cocaine is not uncomfortably high, but the alcohol does not lead to depressed feelings or, worse, falling asleep. Usually, the drinking comes first, and the influence of the alcohol convinces the addict that the cocaine is a good idea and will not be a problem.
Whatever the reasoning behind using both cocaine and alcohol, it is a dangerous practice for several reasons. First, it puts more strain on your heart because it is being depressed, then stimulated at nearly the same time or in rapid succession. Second, the cocaine and alcohol combine together to make a new compound, cocaethylene, which has similar effects to cocaine but can give users a much stronger effect than cocaine alone.
Cocaethylene has led to heart attacks and other severe or even fatal health consequences for some who use cocaine and alcohol–many of whom are decades younger than the usual heart attack victim. About two hours after cocaine and alcohol meet in the liver, they form cocaethylene. But it takes the liver longer to process cocaethylene than it does cocaine and alcohol separately, which is why the high is intensified and is longer-lasting than with either one alone.
Another risk of using cocaine and alcohol together is that with inhibitions drastically lowered, users are more likely to consume large amounts of alcohol, which their livers really cannot handle because of the increased toxicity of the cocaethlyene already found there. Alcohol poisoning and death can result from such use.
Many of the unexpected deaths among cocaine users may be attributable to cocaethylene, experts think, especially for those in their 20s and 30s. In a few cases, an undiagnosed heart condition can be exacerbated by the cocaethylene and cause the heart attack to occur.
While it may seem to be “working” to use cocaine and alcohol together, it can be putting a strain on your heart that will not be noticed or attended to until it is too late and there is permanent damage to the heart–or a heart attack has left the user dead.
There is a way to make sure the mixture of cocaine and alcohol do not cause fatal heart attacks or damage to the heart and liver of users. The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake can help Colorado cocaine and alcohol users break the dangerous habit of mixing these drugs by overcoming their addictions to them. Contact us today!