Mixing Cocaine and Alcohol

Alcohol and cocaine are both dangerous substances. Using them can cause addiction, severe health problems, overdose, and ultimately death. When these substances are taken together, the risks are multiplied.

Combined cocaine and alcohol abuse also presents additional challenges in treatment. Withdrawal may be more extreme, and the user might be craving both of these substances at the same time.

If you have a problem with alcohol and cocaine, this article is for you. It will tell you why the combination of these substances is so dangerous, and how you can get cocaine and alcohol addiction treatment if you have fallen into addiction.

Why Is Mixing Cocaine and Alcohol so Dangerous?

The main reason why combining cocaine and alcohol is so dangerous is because they create a new substance in the body called cocaethylene. Cocaethylene is formed when the liver metabolizes cocaine and ethanol. This new substance amplifies the effects of both drugs, and it also takes longer to be metabolized by the body. This means that the effects of cocaethylene last longer than either cocaine or alcohol alone, and they are also more intense.

Cocaethylene is associated with an increased risk of overdose, and it can also lead to organ damage. In fact, cocaethylene is thought to be responsible for 20-30% of all deaths from cocaine use. Mixing alcohol and cocaine also increases the risk of accidents, violence, and suicide.

What Are the Effects of Taking Cocaine and Alcohol Together?

The effects of taking cocaine and alcohol together will depend on a number of factors, including how much of each substance is consumed and the individual’s tolerance levels. In general, the effects of cocaethylene are more intense than either cocaine or alcohol alone.Cocaethylene can cause feelings of euphoria and happiness, but it can also lead to aggression and violence. The risk of overdose is also increased when these substances are taken together. Symptoms of an overdose include seizure, stroke, and heart attack. In some cases, death can occur.

Dangers of Using Both Cocaine and Alcohol Together

There are many risks of combining these drugs. They include:

Increased Health Problems

Someone who mixes these toxic substances together risks even greater health problems. There is a significant risk of increased blood pressure, a serious risk of impacted cardiovascular health (including heart-related health issues such as heart attack), greater chance of stroke, and the larger amounts of alcohol involved cause more liver damage.

Drug users who take both of these drugs at the same time also face an increased risk of mental health problems including depression and anxiety.

More Risky Behavior

People who binge drink often do things that they would not normally do while they are sober. The same can be said for people who take cocaine. When these substances are used together, the chance of engaging in risky behavior also increases. These substances are particularly dangerous together in this respect, as alcohol slows down your reaction times and decreases your ability to think clearly, and cocaine makes you think that you are at the height of your game.

This leads people to engage in actions like driving cars when they are far too intoxicated. Often, the dangers of this kind of risky behavior are even worse when the drug wears off, as the somewhat sobering effects of cocaine leave the system, causing the user to be even more inebriated.

Why Do People Take Both Cocaine and Alcohol?

There are a number of reasons why people might take both cocaine and alcohol. Some people think that the combination will make them feel more intoxicated. Others believe that it will help them to party for longer or reduce the effects of a hangover. Some people might also take both drugs because they are trying to self-medicate for other problems, such as depression or anxiety. Some people drink alcohol when they take cocaine to reduce cocaine’s negative effects.

Whatever the reason, it’s important to remember that mixing cocaine and alcohol is extremely dangerous. If you have a problem with either of these substances, it’s important to get help from a professional addiction treatment program.

Cocaine and Alcohol Addiction

An addiction to any substance can ruin someone’s life. When a person is addicted to more than one substance, the negative effects are even worse. Mixing cocaine and alcohol together is no exception.

When someone combines these substances, the degree to which they are addicted is often greater than when they are ‘only’ addicted to one substance. This is partly because when these drugs are taken together, their effects are greater than the sum of their parts.

When someone is mixing cocaine and alcohol together, there is also likely to be a more intense withdrawal period, which may last for longer than when someone has either separate cocaine or alcohol addictions.

The increased alcohol consumption that comes with combined cocaine and alcohol addiction plays a part in this. While someone who is addicted to alcohol may drink one bottle of vodka before they pass out, someone who is mixing cocaine and alcohol could drink two, increasing the severity of withdrawal.

Polydrug Use: Mixing Alcohol, Mixing Cocaine, Mixing Other Drugs

Cocaine and alcohol use together is very dangerous. Frequently, though, people who mix cocaine and alcohol together also take other drugs. Here is a list of some of the drugs that are often combined with alcohol and cocaine.

Benzodiazepines

Taking alcohol and benzodiazepines like Xanax or diazepam can cause people to get in accidents due to decreased motor function skills as their system slows down. People also frequently overdose from this combination of substances. When cocaine is added into the equation, a user may feel invincible, leading them to take more of these substances, making the dangers even worse.

MDMA

Mixing alcohol with cocaine and MDMA, both uppers, puts a great amount of strain on the heart. While people may believe that MDMA is a harmless party drug that they take for euphoric effects, the chances of death are greatly increased when this drug is added to the already dangerous combination of cocaine and alcohol.

Crystal Meth

Crystal meth is a drug that, like cocaine, has stimulant effects. Users risk even greater damage to their cardiovascular system and vital organs if they engage in substance abuse by taking this drug with cocaine and alcohol.

How Can I Get Help for an Addiction to Cocaine and Alcohol?

If you or someone you love is addicted to cocaine and alcohol, there is help available. There are a number of different treatment options that can be effective, depending on the individual’s needs. In some cases, detoxification may be necessary to help the person safely stop using these substances. This can be followed by inpatient or outpatient treatment, which can help the person learn how to live a sober life.

Conclusion

Combining cocaine and alcohol can lead to alcohol addiction, cocaine addiction, acute and chronic effects, and sudden death. The impulsive and risky behavior that users often engage in can ruin their lives and the lives of others in a moment.

If you are addicted to these substances, it is time to speak with wellness professionals at an addiction treatment center. Doing this might save your life.If you are struggling with an addiction to cocaine and alcohol, please reach out for help today. There is no reason to suffer through this alone. With the right treatment, you can overcome this addiction and start living a healthy, happy life.

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Samantha Kelly​

Director of National Business Development & Admissions Coordinator

I am a dedicated and passionate professional with extensive experience in business development Admissions and marketing. I have an incredible passion for showing others that there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel if someone truly wants it.
Being in recovery myself I understand the struggles of addiction and alcoholism. I Started this Career path in 2009. With multiple years of experience, I bring a multi-faceted approach and am always seeking new ways to make a difference in the lives of those I work with.

Kim L. Buckner

Facilitator

As a Substance Abuse Motivational Speaker, Pastor, Peer Advocate, and Facilitator. Kim helps clients avoid relapse by understanding their triggers. Those people, places and things that can cause craving, as well as internal triggers like feelings, thoughts, or emotions. Kim also clients with identifying and building healthy relationships now that they’re clean and sober.

Kim’s background includes extensive experience as a motivational speaker and work in faith-based organizations helping youth and adults alike. He says he is motivated by giving back to the community, understanding, and not judging who she comes into contact with. Kim’s favorite quote is by Dr. Raymond Johnson: “The respect given to others rebounds to the giver to deny the scared in the Other is to deny it in oneself.”

Caty Burns

Clinician

Caty graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minors in Counseling and History. Throughout her undergrad, she worked at the local CASA program, supporting volunteers advocating for children who had experienced abuse and neglect. Caty worked for seven years at a community mental health center (CMHC), partnering with children, adults, and families.

During those seven years, she taught life and coping skills as well as behavior management, provided case management and peer recovery services, and facilitated treatment teams that included the client, family, providers, and community members. I have also worked at an IOP providing group therapy services. She is currently working towards my Master of Social Work.

In her free time, Caty enjoys reading, especially historical fiction, spending time outdoors and having movie nights with her family. Disney World is her happy place, and she dreams of living among the elephants.

Madison Knowles

Mental Health Therapist

My name is Madison Knowles, I am a Mental health therapist at NPAC. I am a single-mother of two and I have a daughter who is globally delayed and has been diagnosed with autism. I have been in this industry since I was 16 years old, as I was fascinated with human behavior. I obtained my masters in applied behavioral analysis and started off working with people with disabilities. I then found my love for counseling when I worked with juveniles who had mental health and substance use issues. I then decided to go back for my mental health therapy license after that and working in a forensic treatment center. I went on to obtain my therapy credentials and since 2017, I have also been working on my PhD in forensic psychology in which I am currently working on my dissertation. I am inspired by change and how resilient people can be. My favorite inspirational quote is “Some will, Some won’t, So what, NEXT!!!” This quote has inspired me to try, try, and try again no matter how hard life gets, someone will give you a chance eventually. As a therapist at NPAC, I have been given the opportunity to work with diverse populations such as in substance use and mental health and I am known for my work with people on the schizophrenic spectrum as well as with other clients with other severe conditions including personality disorders.

Megan Carmona, LMHC

Lead Therapist

Our Lead Therapist, Megan, is a bilingual Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in working with adults who struggle with addiction, anxiety, depression, and trauma. As Lead Therapist, she provides individual, family, and group therapy sessions to our clients.  Megan says “I am very passionate about therapy, especially about supporting my clients in exploring their strengths and identity. My goal is to provide individuals with the tools that can help them achieve independence in coping with their challenges and facilitating personal development.” In her free time, Megan enjoys watching docu-series and playing video games with her family. Her dream is to own acres of land so she can care for vulnerable animals, especially old dogs, cats, and horses. 

Kristen Bensley

Primary Clinician

As Primary Clinician, Kristen works with all aspects of our clinical team, from case management to primary therapy.  She has broad experience working in the mental health field. Prior to joining our team at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic, Kristen was part of the team awarded the Evernorth Behavioral Health Center of Excellence Designation by Cigna. She says her motivation is to help people rediscover who they are and become excited about the future and all the possibilities life offers. Kristen’s favorite quote is: “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

Ronn Daigle, MSW

Therapist, Utilization Review Clinician

Ronn Daigle services as a Therapist and Utilization Review Clinician at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has been working in the field of substance use disorder treatment since 2011, with experience in all facility-based levels of care. Ronn earned, both an Associate of Arts in Psychology (2013) and Bachelor of Science in Human Services, with an Addiction Studies Concentration (2015) from Indian River State College. 

Ronn additionally earned a Master of Social Work degree in 2021 and is a current Registered Clinical Social Work Intern working toward licensure (LCSW). He describes himself as detail oriented, and solution focused.

Ronn says: “There is nothing more fulfilling than working with someone who doesn’t believe in himself or herself, and being there in the moment with them when the belief begins. We work with individuals who come to us at a point and time in their respective lives where they do not believe that change for others is possible; let alone for themselves…throughout the process they eventually come to a point where they realize that change is not only possible, but achievable.”

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI

Assistant Clinical Director

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI is the Assistant Clinical Director at Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic who specializes in the treatment of LGBTQ, addiction, as well as mental health disorders ranging from depression and anxiety, to Bipolar Disorder, trauma, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, and eating disorders. Erika utilizes a number of modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Mindfulness amongst others. Erika has been in practice for close to a decade and has earned her license in Mental Health Counseling, as well as being a Master’s Certified Addiction Professional. Erika has worked with many individuals including couples counseling and family therapy, and is fluent in Spanish.
 
Throughout my years of practice, one of the things I enjoy helping people find is inner peace. Whether you are in the deepest parts of depression, overrun by your anxiety, controlled by your addiction, or there are certain issues in your life that are negatively impacting your ability to function, and have a happy, healthy life, maybe now is the time to talk about it. I am a big believer in empowerment, working hard in therapy, and utilizing different techniques to help you regain that inner peace that may have been lost along the way. I want to work with you as a team because with two people, absolutely everything is possible. I want to be there as a therapist, to help build you up, support you, but also help you be honest with yourself and accountable. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, my biggest goal for you is going to be simple….for you to no longer need my services. Why? Because if you no longer need my services, it means that you have regained your peace, you have regained your strength, you have regained your confidence. It means that you now have the tools to address any issues that try to derail you, and best of all, you will have the insight to overcome and thrive. So let’s begin this journey together, and get you to the place you want to be, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and in your sobriety.

Aurelio Ayuso, MSW, LCSW, CAP, ICADC

Clinical Director

Aurelio has worked with those that suffer from the disease of addiction in adults and juveniles alike for over 10 years, beginning in the United States Navy where he proudly served for 20 years, working with those that were succumbed by addiction due to trauma and continuing his passion for helping those in need locally in Central Florida.

He specializes in both Addictions and Trauma, he has worked first as a therapist then as the clinical supervisor to both the Juvenile and Adult Drug Court programs in Brevard County. Aurelio has been instrumental in developing substance abuse treatment programs directly tailored to help those that also suffer from complex trauma due to their addiction. He has been recognized by several organizations for his forward thinking and ability to tailor treatment to individuals in the most restrictive environments.

Mr. Ayuso received his Graduate Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker as well as Certified Addictions Professional in the State of Florida, and Internationally Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor. Aurelio specializes in the treatment of Addiction, Trauma, and Abandonment using strength based strategies deeply rooted in Solution Focused, and Mindfulness Therapies. At the Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic he passionately develops holistic curriculums that foster the belief that through addressing the mind, body, and spirit together, the Disease of Addiction can be addressed successfully.

Robert Lehmann, MHSA

Chief Operating Officer

Bob Lehmann is the Chief Operating Officer at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has a Master’s Degree in Human Services Administration with a concentration in Mental Health Administration and over twenty-five years of experience as a senior executive at addiction and mental health treatment facilities.

One of the reasons for his commitment to excellence in addiction treatment was his experience related to family members who suffered from the disease of addiction. Bob has been actively involved in community organizations throughout his career. Recently he was one of the founders of the Florida Addiction Treatment Coalition (FATC) and is its present Vice President. FATC was designed to bring together treatment executives in Florida to advocate on behalf of treatment facilities and the clients they serve adhering to a foundation of integrity and service excellence.

Jose R. Toledo, M.D.

Medical Director

A well-rounded and accomplished individual, Jose R. Toledo, M.D., is the Medical Director of Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a neurologist with 25 years of experience and has been in private practice since 1991 on the Treasure Coast of Florida. He completed his neurology training at the State University of New York and his Fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh in Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology.

He also completed 24 months of acute inpatient psychiatry at the Western Missouri Mental Health Center, University of Missouri in Kansas City. In 2008, Dr. Toledo participated in and was certified in the continuing medical education activity entitled “Buprenorphine and Office-Based Treatment of Opioid Dependence” from The Medical University of South Carolina during which began his quest to found and head Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a brain specialist with particular competence in addiction medicine and out-patient detoxification treatment and integrates the fields seamlessly. He is certified to prescribe Buprenorphine (Suboxone). He incorporates his background in neurology into the addiction field. Dr. Toledo is member/fellow of The American Medical Association, The Florida Medical Association and The American Society of Addiction Medicine