How Can a Dual Alcohol and Cocaine Addiction Affect Your Cardiovascular System?

Even combining cocaine and alcohol one time greatly increases your blood pressure and heart rate, increasing your risk of experiencing cardiac arrest, a stroke, or even death. Maintaining a poly-substance addiction to alcohol and cocaine can yield a multitude of acute and chronic effects on a user\’s cardiovascular health. Overall, the effects of mixing alcohol and cocaine wreak havoc on your heart and blood vessels. In the short-term horizon, users experience increased vasoconstriction, which may lead to acute hypertension, blood clotting, and coronary spasms. Beyond the aforementioned, the short-term effects on a user\’s heart include but are not limited to, arrhythmias, myocardial infarction, vessel deteriorations, and thrombosis. The long-term effects of alcohol and cocaine consumption can lead to chronic ailments such as atherosclerosis, coronary artery diseases, and even cardiomyopathy. 

The Effects of Cocaine and Alcohol Consumption

Because cocaine is considered a stimulant, whereas alcohol is a depressant, the effects felt by using cocaine and alcohol differ greatly. No matter what your route of administration may be, cocaine produces an intense, short-lived high. Smaller amounts of cocaine typically make the user experience euphoria, heightened alertness and energy levels, increased talkativeness, a decreased appetite, restlessness, and, in some cases, anxiety and paranoia. Larger amounts of cocaine usage may lead to violent behavior, psychosis, panic attacks, and tremors.

On the other hand, the effects of alcohol are inclusive of a loss of motor coordination, slowed reflexes and speech, reduced inhibitions, increased sleepiness, and in some cases memory loss. Additionally, the effects of cocaine mask the effects of alcohol, causing users to consume more alcohol than they typically would. The effects of cocaine wear off much quicker than the effects of alcohol. Due to this, many people experience blackouts and even respiratory depression produced by the distorted amount of alcohol consumed.

The Dangers of Mixing Cocaine and Alcohol

When consumed together, cocaine and alcohol create a deadly byproduct in your liver called cocaethylene. This byproduct is more harmful than if you were to consume alcohol and cocaine separately. Simultaneous usage of alcohol and cocaine greatly increases a user\’s levels of cocaine in their blood, leading to pronounced and prolonged cardiovascular consequences. The usage of cocaine and alcohol together create a wide variety of short-term and long-term health complications. Some of which are irreversible and last a lifetime.

The possible short-term side effects of mixing cocaine and alcohol include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart palpitations and an increased heart rate
  • Cognitive impairment and lowered inhibitions
  • The urge to consume more alcohol or cocaine
  • Loss of coordination
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Death

Though the short-term effects of alcohol and cocaine abuse are very apparent and life-threatening, the long-term health effects are typically more pronounced and can lead to different chronic cardiovascular diseases, which could change your quality of life forever.


Additionally, mixing cocaine and alcohol is significantly toxic to your liver. Cocaethylene has been known to stay in your liver more than three times longer than either drug alone, has a toxicity level approximately 30% higher than either substance alone, and increases the potential for liver damage. Cocaethylene produces an increased level of perceived effects of both alcohol and cocaine. By blocking the reuptake of dopamine, this increases the probability that a user will continue to abuse both alcohol and cocaine. The half-life of cocaethylene is much greater than cocaine alone, meaning it is eliminated from your body at a much slower rate than cocaine alone. Over a prolonged period of time, this substance has been known to cause or potentiate many mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and a number of different personality disorders.

Are You or a Loved One Addicted to Cocaine and Alcohol?

Individuals that habitually combine alcohol and cocaine are at serious risk for dozens of life-threatening health complications. A poly-substance addiction to alcohol and cocaine is not able to be maintained for long before the serious health consequences begin to manifest within your body. That being said, it is never too late to get find support. Ready to get started living a healthy, fulfilling life? Our friendly counselors are more than happy to help and are available 24 hours a day. Call 833-610-1174. You\’re not in this alone.

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