The Danger of Mixing Cocaine and Alcohol

Man sitting on a couch with glass and bottle of whiskey

Addiction usually begins by taking just one substance, or drug. However, especially in party settings, it is common to mix various drugs. One of the most common combinations is cocaine and alcohol. Moreover, as is to be expected, mixing substances is never a good idea since they increase the risks of suffering serious addiction problems. Let us see what effects combining these drugs has and why it is so dangerous to do so.

Cocaine and Alcohol

Alcohol is part of depressant drugs and its main effect is intoxication, especially after a few moments of consumption. However, it is a depressant substance, since once this effect has passed, alcohol begins to produce a general decrease in different functions of the body. For its part, cocaine is a stimulant psychoactive substance that alters the different functions of the body. It is usually taken in an inhaled powder form, although it can also be given by injection into the blood or by smoking. Like alcohol, it is a highly addictive drug.

According to some studies, approximately three out of four cocaine users also drink alcohol at the same time. The effect that people who take cocaine seek is the feeling of euphoria that usually lasts between 5 and 30 minutes, and is followed by feelings of anxiety. That is why these people also drink alcohol to help counteract that anxiety. Otherwise, those who drink alcohol also use cocaine to counteract the sedative, and performance-reducing effects of alcohol to keep partying.

Effects of Alcohol and Cocaine Use

Let us first briefly take a look at the effects of alcohol and cocaine separately. An abusive consumption of alcohol produces:

  • Decreased heart rate and breathing rate
  • Decreased body temperature
  • The feeling of exhaustion, fatigue, and drowsiness, listlessness
  • Less attention and psychomotor coordination

Cocaine use produces:

  • Increased heart rate and breathing rate
  • Increased body temperature
  • Feeling of euphoria, of increased spirits and energy; hyperactivity, physical and mental arousal
  • False sense of greater performance and success, of greater security and self-confidence

As was said before, users turn to one of these drugs to counteract the effects produced by the other. In this way, people who first drink alcohol, and then cocaine do so to eliminate the depressant effects of the drink itself. Similarly, the hyper-stimulation state caused by cocaine can lead to hallucinations, muscle stiffness, tremors, restlessness, dizziness, anxiety, aggressiveness, insomnia, and panic attacks. In this case, alcohol is used to reduce that feeling of loss of control and excessive hyperactivity.

Long Term Effects of the Combination

What are the long-term effects of combining alcohol and cocaine? Even if a person reaches the end of the night without suffering any serious consequences for using both drugs, their body will pay the price sooner or later. There are studies that affirm that this prolonged use of alcohol and cocaine can damage the heart, even in young and healthy people. Another very negative consequence is that once you get into this habit of consumption, it can become very difficult to quit. It has been observed that drinking even moderate amounts of alcohol can make cocaine more attractive to users. Consequently, efforts to stop using cocaine can be compromised.


Get help to overcome drug addiction or any addictive behavior. Seek the best professionals if you suffer from addiction with or without a substance. Contact Impact Recovery Center, if you think you need help to regain control over your life and become sober again.