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Cocaethylene: Mixing Cocaine and Alcohol

Cocaethylene is a substance created in the body when cocaine and alcohol are used at the same time. Unforunately, this substance can prove to be dangerous and deadly.

Oftentimes when people use drugs, they are polysubstance users, meaning that they use multiple substances at the same time. One of the more popular, and dangerous, combinations that occurs is the mixing of cocaine and alcohol. There are a number of different risks and life-threatening symptoms that can occur from the concurrent use of cocaine and alcohol, not to mention the fact that it creates a third-party substance in the body known as cocaethylene.

Despite the dangerous problems associated with these two substances, there are drug and alcohol treatment centers in California to help people overcome and conquer these addiction issues.

Before we dive into what cocaethylene actually is, let’s first understand what these two substances do to the body on their own.

Effects of Cocaine and Alcohol Alone

While cocaethylene can have serious and detrimental effects on the body and brain of drug and alcohol users. It is important to understand how each of these substances interact with the body on their own.

Effects of Alcohol

Being a legal substance, ethanol alcohol is one of the most used drugs in the country. Unfortunately, it also has a number of dangerous problems associated with its use. Alcohol use and binge drinking affects nearly every organ in the body, the central nervous system, and can take a serious toll on your body. A few of the common issues that excessive drinking can lead to include:

  • Mood disruptions
  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Arrhythmias (or irregular heartbeat)
  • Stroke
  • Alcoholic hepatitis
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Increased risk of cancer

Alcohol addiction leads to both short-term and long-term effects that can be detrimental for an individual’s health These are just a few of the dangerous symptoms associated with excessive alcohol use. Now let’s take a look at the problems associated with cocaine abuse.

Effects of Cocaine

Cocaine is a drug usually taken intranasally that produces an intense high for about 15 to 30 minutes. This dopamine high keeps users coming back for more – leading to a dangerous cycle of cocaine use and abuse. This continued use can lead to numerous physical and mental health problems, including:

  • Irritability
  • Panic
  • Paranoia
  • Tremors
  • Strokes
  • Comas
  • Increased body temperature
  • Increased heart rate and high blood pressure
  • Heart attacks

Now that we understand a little more about what these two substances do individually, let’s better understand what happens when you mix them.

Effects of Cocaine and Alcohol Mixed

Combining alcohol and cocaine is popular among drug users, likely for the combination of the euphoric high from cocaine and the depressant effects that alcohol brings. Some studies even suggest that cocaine users will drink alcohol concurrently to reduce the anxieties and discomfort that comes with cocaine addiction and withdrawal. While cocaine and alcohol are dangerous on their own, the side effects only become more severe when the two are combined.

A few of the major issues associated with mixing the two drugs include:

  • Increased impulsiveness
  • Heightened cardiovascular problems
  • Increased alcohol consumption and cocaine usage
  • Increased toxicity
  • Sudden death

All of these issues are associated with the production of cocaethylene in the body. Cocaethylene is a unique substance that is produced in the body when mixing alcohol and cocaine. 

There are a number of problems and dangers associated with cocaine and alcohol use, when the substances are mixed, it amplifies the symptoms of each.

Let’s take a closer look at cocaethylene.

What is Cocaethylene?

Cocaethylene is a psychoactive substance that is produced in the body when cocaine and alcohol are used concurrently. Cocaethylene is an incredibly dangerous substance in the body and can lead to a number of life-threatening problems including seizure, liver damage, and problems with immune functioning.

The presence of cocaethylene in the body carries a 18- to 25-fold increase over cocaine alone for immediate death. The cocaethylene half life is three to five times longer than cocaine alone.

Cocaethylene is stronger than both alcohol and cocaine alone and leads to more exacerbated and deepened effects that these two substances already bring – including heightened cardiovascular dangers and, as we’ve mentioned previously, an increased risk of death through cocaethylene toxicity.

Polysubstance Abuse

Cocaine and alcohol use is one of the most popular forms of polysubstance abuse, the use of two or more substances at the same time. The use of alcohol specifically is a substance that is commonly used with nearly all other forms of drugs.

Along with cocaine and alcohol, many individuals will concurrently use alcohol with prescription medications like oxycodone, Xanax, and other opioids and benzodiazepines. As you probably guessed, the concurrent use of these types of substances lead to numerous dangerous and negative effects that can result in long-term health issues and death and cause major drug use and addiction problems.

This increased substance abuse can lead users down a dangerous path of continued addiction and cause alcohol use disorder and other forms of substance use disorder.

Signs of Cocaine and Alcohol Abuse

If you are worried that a loved one may be struggling with a cocaine or alcohol addiction, there are many different signs that you can look for. A lot of the signs of cocaine and alcohol abuse are similar to other types of addiction.

Some of the most common signs and signals that someone is abusing these include:

  • Decreased interest in hobbies and activities
  • Having different sleeping habits
  • Problems with friends or family members
  • Legal trouble
  • Financial problems
  • Engaging in secretive behaviors
  • Angry outbursts

Along with these behavioral changes, there are some physical health signs that you may notice too, including:

  • Runny nose and sniffling
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Poor hygiene
  • Slurred speech

Now let’s take look at how you can go about finding treatment for these addiction issues.

Treatment for Cocaine and Alcohol

Cocaine and alcohol is a dangerous combination that can lead to major damage to mental health and can lead to life-threatening physical health problems. Despite the problems associated with cocaine and alcohol and the addictive nature of both drugs, there are treatment options available to help those who are struggling.

Both cocaine and alcohol addiction treatment centers are in place to help those who are dealing with major addiction issues.

Renaissance Recovery is an outpatient drug abuse and alcohol rehab that offers numerous forms of group and individual therapies to help clients learn more about their personal addiction issues and develop strategies to overcome them.

If you or a loved one are dealing with some form of alcohol or drug addiction, Renaissance is here to help you. Please reach out to our admissions team to learn more about treatment options available to you, finding a treatment provider, and how going to an alcohol and drug intensive outpatient program can help you conquer addiction and achieve long-term sobriety.

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Renaissance Recovery Coronavirus Policy Update

As the national pandemic continues to make it increasingly difficult for individuals to receive quality aftercare, The District Recovery Community & Renaissance Recovery has provided a solution to all those seeking long term care. We are proud to announce that we will be offering all aspects of our treatment including intimate groups, one on one therapy, and case management to individuals in all states from the comfort and safety of your home. This is a great option for clients that are in need of continued treatment, but are returning home to be with their families during this time.

The District Recovery Community and Renaissance Recovery will remain in operation during this time and continue to serve our mission of treating those suffering from alcoholism and addiction.

We encourage you all to reach out to learn more about how we can work together to ensure that our clients remain sober, safe, and continue to get the help that they need.