What happens when you combine cocaine and alcohol, a stimulant and a depressant? Common sense tells you that they cancel each other out. However, that’s not actually the case. Here’s what really happens.
Understanding Cocaine and Alcohol
As a stimulant, cocaine makes you feel energetic. Some compare it to being on top of the world. Your mental alertness increases. The same’s true for your willingness to take risks. On a physiological level, your body’s increased state of alert leads to the potential for aggression. Blood vessels constrict, which leads to high blood pressure. You may detect heartbeat irregularities. Alcohol slows you down. It impairs your judgment and leads to diminishing motor coordination. You feel tired, and your heart rate slows down. Your blood pressure goes down with it. Cocaine and alcohol have obviously opposite effects on the body. Mixing cocaine and alcohol is a common practice. Alcohol and cocaine addiction treatment center specialists frequently see clients with dependencies on both drugs. People believe that the combination reduces the adverse effects of either drug.
What Really Happens
Mixing cocaine and alcohol leads to a dangerous byproduct in the liver: cocaethylene. This substance does lead to a temporary boost in the highs these drugs produce. However, it also increases blood pressure, violent urges, and impaired judgment. Most importantly, it can stress the cardiovascular system. Therefore, taking both cocaine and alcohol can lead to poor decision-making. It may end in sudden death. You may suffer a heart attack or stroke. If this doesn’t kill you, it could result in lasting brain damage.
Seeking Treatment for Poly-substance Abuse
In spite of the risks, the combination of the two drugs continues to be a staple in club culture. However, there’s a way out of the vicious cycle. Detox and rehab assist you in your desire to quit using. Treatments include:
- Medical detoxification for one or both drugs to end the dependency without pain or adverse reactions
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy emphasizes the importance of healthy coping skills
- Dialectical behavior treatment as a means for dealing with emotions that won’t let you make good decisions
- Family therapy, which focuses on rebuilding trust and ending enablement
- Psychodrama, which is a profound method for learning empathy and understanding others
- Group therapy that helps you lay the foundation for support group attendance in the future
Part of rehab is also life skills and social skills training. Because both drugs are so easy to get, it’s essential to relearn how to navigate social settings without them. Most importantly, you need to feel comfortable with your new self. Almost all clients benefit from participation in a rehab aftercare program when they graduate from rehab. It sets you up for success as you leave the facility and practice long-term recovery. Loved ones are frequently a strong support network to keep you going. Learn more about the dangers of cocaine and alcohol, then seek help at Promises by dialing 844.875.5609.