Based on recent government reports, drug-alcohol combinations rank first as the major cause of drug-related fatalities in the U.S. Alarmingly, this ranking has been consistent for decades already. In a 2009 statistics, roughly 500,000 Americans had to be rushed to the emergency room due to overdose or poisoning caused by drug-and-alcohol interactions. Furthermore, another 2009 report from the Drug Abuse Warning network reveals that around 150,000 of them are victims of alcohol-cocaine combinations in particular.
The Addict’s Purpose Behind Mixing Cocaine and Alcohol
Cocaine is one potent CNS (Central Nervous System) stimulant that users love to take with CNS depressant club drugs like ecstasy, ketamine, LSD, methamphetamine and gamma-Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) to enhance the effects of euphoria. But aside from these drugs, people are also into combining cocaine with alcohol, which is another downer. Here’s why the cocaine-and-alcohol combo is so popular.
- It somehow intensifies the ‘high’ achieved from cocaine. Not only that, it also helps achieve the “ignorance is bliss” drunken state more quickly, since cocaine’s stimulant ability aids the alcohol in reaching the brain more quickly than it can on its own.
- The unwanted sense of extreme drunkenness due to alcohol is dramatically reduced by the stimulant action of cocaine.
- Undesirable symptoms associated with coming down from the high of cocaine are alleviated by alcohol.
The Dangers Lurking Behind the Cocaine-Alcohol Combination
Cocaine, when used alone, has a negative impact on the user’s overall health. Specifically, it has the following effects:
- A dangerous elevation in heart rate.
- Elevated blood pressure.
- Vasospasm or narrowing of the arteries.
- Abnormal heart rhythms.
- Brain damage.
- Erratic or violent behavior
- Permanent lung damage.
- Nasal perforation, when cocaine is regularly snorted.
- Ulcers or perforations.
- Kidney damage or failure.
- Heart attack, even in the absence of heart disease.
- Sudden death
So what makes cocaine so in-demand, despite all these fatal side-effects? Users claim that the euphoria that cocaine provides also includes:
- Feeling more alert and energetic.
- An elevated mood.
- Feeling supreme.
However, users may also feel:
Having emphasized that cocaine is already fatal on its own; combining it with alcohol makes it even more so. Here’s what happens when you mix the two:
- It compounds the impact on your cardiovascular health, thus potentially hastening the onset of pathological arrhythmias, cardiomyopathy, and heart attack.
- As explained by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the chemical cocaethylene is produced. While it can produce feelings of pleasure that are more intense than just cocaine or just alcohol alone, the danger it poses is simultaneously greater than either alcohol or cocaine used independently.
Cocaine and alcohol, when used together, result in the following risk factors:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Chest pain
- HIV and Hepatitis due to contaminated needles and sexual promiscuity sans protection.
- Violence-related injury and trauma
- Heart attack
Long-term effects include:
- Breaking down of bones and muscles.
- Internal organ damage.
- Poor coordination skills.
- Impairment of long-term memory.
- Unsound decision-making skills.
- Social impairment or difficulty relating to people at home, in school or on the job.
- Constant brushes with the law, usually concerning public disturbances, violent behavior, and theft (to sustain one’s addiction).
Why Addiction Treatment Centers are Crucial to Preventing Cocaine-and-Alcohol Fatalities
If you suspect that your loved one is a victim of cocaine abuse or addiction, seek professional medical help immediately. Warning your loved one about the dangers of such deadly combinations and coaxing him to enter rehab will save his life. The first step is to compare and choose from local addiction treatment centers near you.