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Cocaine (Coke) and Alcohol Interaction: Can You Combine Cocaine and Alcohol?


Author: Thomas Roth

Last Updated: 2/01/2023

Cocaine is a stimulant drug that’s usually sold by “dealers” on the street. There are some medical use cases for cocaine but it’s typically used as a party drug. Cocaine has a high risk of being abused, especially when combined with alcohol. In fact, a study published in the National Library of Medicine has found that thousands of adults in the United States mix cocaine and alcohol because of the “high” it produces.

The mixture of cocaine and alcohol is unsafe. Research suggests that alcohol and cocaine use leads to physical damage to several organ systems. Additionally, abusing alcohol and cocaine increases the risk of mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, and suicide. Taking cocaine when drunk also increases the risk of overdose from alcohol or cocaine. 

Ultimately, it’s important to avoid mixing cocaine and alcohol.

What is Cocaine (Coke)? 

Cocaine is a stimulant that comes from the coca plant. According to a Cocaine Research Report published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, cocaine is a powerful stimulant that has a high risk of abuse. Cocaine has been around for hundreds of years and people in South America have chewed on Erythroxylon coca leaves for thousands of years. Erythroxylon coca is the plant that people use to create the drug cocaine.

The plant Erythroxylon coca produces a stimulant effect but according to the Cocaine Research Report, the purified version of the drug is much younger. In fact, the purified chemical, cocaine hydrochloride, was only isolated from the plant around 100 years ago. In the past, cocaine was used in medical elixirs to treat illnesses and to provide numbness for medical surgeries. Today, cocaine is a schedule II drug.

Is Cocaine Illegal? 

Cocaine is a controlled substance in the United States. It’s a Schedule II substance, which means it’s legal for medical use. Furthermore, states like Oregon have decriminalized cocaine. Otherwise, cocaine is illegal to possess or sell and will result in fines or jail time.

Is Cocaine Addictive?

Cocaine is an addictive substance, according to several Cocaine Research Reports published in the National Library of Medicine. It’s an addictive substance because it activates reward receptors in the brain. When someone has elevations in these reward receptors they’re more likely to seek out the drug. Cocaine is addictive in rats, mice, and humans.

What are the Effects of Cocaine and Alcohol?

Alcohol and cocaine are two very different substances. Cocaine increases the activity of receptors in the brain, while alcohol decreases the activity of receptors in the brain. Alcohol is known as a depressant, whereas cocaine is known as a stimulant. The effects of both drugs are found below.

What are the Effects of Alcohol? 

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. Therefore, consuming alcohol slows down communication between receptors in the brain. Alcohol also causes an abundance of serotonin that makes someone feel happy. When someone is under the influence of alcohol, functions of the body begin to slow down.

The effects of alcohol on the body are found below.

  • Slurring words
  • Red face and flushing
  • Issues with coordination
  • Trouble walking
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Changes in mood
  • A reduction in memory
  • Increases in risk-taking behavior
  • Impairment to judgment

Alcohol also has several serious effects that increase the risk of overdose and death. These are found below.

  • Passing out in an unfamiliar place
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Blacking out and not remembering the night
  • A reduction in breathing
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Lower body temperature
  • Vomiting

When someone overdoses from alcohol it’s known as alcohol poisoning. People may also die from alcohol use because they choke on their vomit.

What are the Effects of Cocaine?

Cocaine is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant. Stimulant drugs speed up signals in the brain responsible for messaging. The result is an increase in energy, focus, and memory. People who take cocaine also report feelings of euphoria and being more talkative.

The most common effects of cocaine are found below.

  • A reduction in social anxiety
  • Increases in conversation 
  • Enhanced focus
  • Mental sharpness
  • Euphoria
  • Sensitivity to senses including sight, sound, and touch
  • Numbness of the mouth

Cocaine may have some positive effects that people who take the drug enjoy. However, many individuals who take cocaine experience negative side effects. These side effects are found below.

  • Panic
  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Confusion
  • Paranoia
  • Increases in blood pressure and heart rate
  • Cold sweats
  • Sweating

Taking too much cocaine will result in an overdose. Consuming large quantities of cocaine over long periods increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other health problems.

What Happens if you Mix Alcohol and Cocaine?

Mixing cocaine and alcohol is dangerous. One study found in the National Library of Medicine, by ED J M Jennings, found that mixing cocaine and alcohol increases blood pressure and heart rate by up to 30%. Other studies by McCance-Katz also found that mixing alcohol and cocaine is more dangerous than using either substance alone.

What makes the mixture of cocaine and alcohol dangerous is that it impacts many systems in the body and increases the risk of alcohol or cocaine addiction. Alcohol and cocaine addiction may also be co-occurring addictions. There are also distinct physical and mental effects of mixing alcohol and cocaine.

What are the Physical Effects of Mixing Cocaine and Alcohol? 

Individuals who mix alcohol and cocaine will experience several physical effects. One of the most notable effects is that taking cocaine when drunk will make someone feel less intoxicated than they are. Someone who feels less intoxicated than they are experiences a greater risk of alcohol poisoning.

Below we list the other physical effects of cocaine and alcohol on the body.

  • Increase in body temperature
  • Elevations in blood pressure
  • Slower breathing
  • Dehydration
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Increase in heart rate
  • Numbness in the mouth
  • A drip in the throat may cause numbness at the back of the throat

It’s also important to note that alcohol and cocaine cause the liver to create a toxic chemical known as cocaethylene. Cocaethylene damages the brain, liver, kidneys, and other organs in the body. Elevations in cocaethylene have also been linked to seizures.

What are the Mental Effects of Mixing Cocaine and Alcohol?

The combination of cocaine and alcohol has an impact on an individual’s mental health. Studies from the National Library of Medicine have found that mixing cocaine and alcohol increases the risk of suicide, depression, and other mood changes. There is also research that suggests that the mixture of alcohol and cocaine leads to aggression and violence.

Below we list the mental effects of mixing cocaine and alcohol.

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Aggression
  • Confusion
  • Feeling less drunk 
  • Increase in energy levels
  • Fluctuations in mood

The mixture of cocaine and alcohol may also result in permanent mental health disorders that develop over time. Avoid mixing alcohol and cocaine to preserve your mental health.

What Happens When You Mix Cocaine with Alcohol and Weed? 

Mixing cocaine, alcohol, and marijuana (weed, THC) is never a good idea. When you drink alcohol and ingest marijuana the effects of alcohol and marijuana are amplified. The result is severe intoxication that may result in blacking out or vomiting. Adding cocaine to alcohol and marijuana consumption will make someone feel soberer. Initially, feeling more sober will feel good but it increases the risk of overdosing on alcohol.

What Happens When You Mix Cocaine with Alcohol and Xanax?

Xanax and alcohol are both depressant drugs. Mixing alcohol and Xanax will amplify the effects of both substances. People who mix alcohol and Xanax are more likely to lose consciousness or overdose from alcohol or Xanax. Adding cocaine to alcohol and Xanax will result in someone feeling more sober. Feeling more sober may feel better temporarily but it increases the risk of overdosing on alcohol or Xanax. Furthermore, mixing cocaine with alcohol and Xanax will result in changes in heart rate that are fatal.

Can You Mix Alcohol with Cocaine?

No, you can’t mix alcohol with cocaine. It’s possible to drink alcohol and take cocaine but the outcome is rarely positive. Mixing alcohol and cocaine increases the risk of death and overdose. For these reasons, nobody should mix alcohol with cocaine.

Does Cocaine Cancel the Effects of Alcohol?

No, cocaine does not cancel the effects of alcohol. Cocaine will make someone feel more sober but this doesn’t mean that blood alcohol concentration (BAC) decreases. Feeling sobered increases the risk of overdose because someone who mixes cocaine and alcohol is more likely to drink more alcohol.

Can Alcohol and Cocaine Cause Seizures? 

Yes, alcohol and cocaine increase the risk of seizures. The mixture of cocaine and alcohol causes the liver to produce cocaethylene. Cocaethylene is a toxic chemical that damages organs in the body. Too much cocaethylene in the bloodstream increases the risk of having a seizure.

Can Alcohol and Cocaine Kill You? 

Yes, the mixture of alcohol and cocaine can kill you. The mixture of alcohol and cocaine is deadly because someone is more likely to feel sober. Feeling more sober increases the risk of drinking more alcohol and that may result in alcohol poisoning. Alcohol poisoning is often fatal without medical attention. Cocaine and alcohol abuse will also kill someone in the long term by damaging organ systems in the body. Overall, the chances of Alcohol-related death increase when someone abuses alcohol and cocaine.

Can Alcohol and Cocaine Damage the Brain?

Yes, mixing alcohol and cocaine increases the risk of brain damage. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, cocaine is an addictive substance, so people will continue to seek it out. Repeated cocaine and alcohol use leads to brain damage like alcohol-related dementia and an alcoholic wet brain.

Why Do People Mix Cocaine and Alcohol?

People combine cocaine and alcohol for several reasons that vary depending on the person. However, one study from the National Library of Medicine found that 50% to 90% of people who abuse cocaine also abuse alcohol. The most common reasons for mixing alcohol and cocaine are found below.

  • The high
  • To feel more sober
  • To treat withdrawal from cocaine

The High 

The high that comes from mixing alcohol and cocaine is desirable for people who drink alcohol and take drugs. When an individual mixes cocaine and alcohol surveys have found that the high is better than the intoxicating effects alcohol or cocaine produce on their own. The effects of the high are usually an increase in energy levels, feeling more alert, and an increase in talking.

To Feel More Sober 

Alcohol is a depressant and cocaine is a stimulant. Therefore, mixing cocaine with alcohol makes the user feel less drunk from alcohol. Feeling less drunk from alcohol allows someone to consume more alcohol and be around the “party” for longer periods. Still, feeling more sober than you are is dangerous and increases the risk of alcohol poisoning.

Treating Cocaine Withdrawal 

The effects of cocaine only last for about 30 minutes to one hour. Once the effects of cocaine begin to fade people become irritable, agitated, and even aggressive. Unhappiness and other mental health issues may follow, especially if someone is addicted to cocaine. Consuming alcohol helps people manage these systems.

Regardless of the reasons for mixing cocaine and alcohol, the combination of alcohol and cocaine should be avoided.

What Other Drugs are Dangerous to Mix with Alcohol?

Mixing cocaine with other drugs is also dangerous. Cocaine is an illegal substance in the United States, and other countries as well, so not much is known about its interactions with other medications. For these reasons, you should avoid mixing cocaine with other substances.

Below we list the other drugs that are dangerous to mix with cocaine.

Cocaine is an illegal substance, so it’s not a good idea to take cocaine or mix it with other substances.

What are the Treatment Options for Cocaine and Alcohol?

Treatment for cocaine and alcohol addiction is available across the United States. As a co-occurring addiction, cocaine and alcohol addiction must be treated together for the best results. The options for cocaine and alcohol addiction are found below.

We always recommend calling our addiction hotline to get help for alcohol and cocaine addiction. Additionally, you can check our directory services to find alcohol rehab centers in your area.