06 Sep What Happens When Combining Cocaine & Other Drugs?
Cocaine is known to be a powerful and dangerous stimulant that produces euphoric effects. Anyone who has even casually abused cocaine typically has tried other substances concurrently, which can drastically increase the effects of both, especially when drinking. Common substances combined with cocaine are alcohol, prescription drugs, opiates, and heroin. The combing of cocaine and other substances is unsafe because of the reactions the substances can have with one another. While the pleasurable effects become stronger to the abuser, they also put their health at deadly risk. If you or someone you know has a problem with mixing cocaine and other substances, you may want to seek medical or professional help.
A Word from a Professional
An interview about the dangers of abusing cocaine with other drugs was done with Brian Lutz, a Therapist at Clear Recovery Center in Redondo Beach, CA. His areas of expertise focus on substance abuse, chronic illness, and helping people struggling with relationship and family issues. Lutz mentioned:
“Anytime you are combining more than one substance together, you increase more negative consequences. While mixing substances increase the reward and dopamine stimulation of your brain, you put yourself at higher threat for health risks.”
He went on to express, the stimulation of your brain can create more of a dependency on keeping the euphoric effect. An easy way to think about the dangers of mixing substances is, the higher the brain stimulation while on the substances, the higher risk you put your body at for health complications. These health complications can also lead to heartbreaking outcomes, such as stroke, coma or even death. Brian also discussed more on the possible outcomes of abusing more than one substance together:
“If you abuse more than one substance together constantly, there is a possibility of developing Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome, otherwise known as PAWS. PAWS is the second stage of withdrawals where you can experience heavier emotional and psychological withdrawal symptoms.”
Combining Cocaine and Alcohol
A common combination for some cocaine users that mix substances are cocaine and alcohol. When a user mixes cocaine and alcohol together, the liver produces a psychoactive substance known as Cocaethylene. The substance produces a stronger and longer lasting feeling of ecstasy than cocaine can create alone. Because alcohol overpowers the nervous system, it also acts as a depressant. Cocaethylene then has a heavier effect in the liver and bloodstream. Alcohol and cocaine can temporarily increase the high while also increasing impulsive behavior, blood pressure, and toxic levels in the liver.
The euphoria effects of cocaine and alcohol combined together include some of the following:
- A strong and active high.
- High energy and mental alertness.
- Larger risk-taking.
- Easily agitated
- A bigger craving for more as the high wears off.
The health effects of cocaine and combined together include some of the following:
- Compressed blood vessels that lead to heart palpitations and high blood pressure.
- Increased body temperature.
- Loss of appetite.
- Reduced reactions and reflexes.
- Damaged motor coordination.
- Blurred vision.
- Impaired judgment.
- Memory loss.
- Slowed heart rate.
- Slow breathing rate.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Upset stomach.
One of the worst and highly possible outcomes of regularly using cocaine and alcohol together is death.
Combining Cocaine and Meth or other Stimulants
Cocaine mixed with other stimulant drugs such as methamphetamine or prescribed medications such as Adderall are commonly used together. Stimulants can include prescribed medications that are often used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, otherwise known as ADHD, narcolepsy, and obesity. Some amphetamines include the following:
• Adderall XR.
• Dexedrine Spansule.
• Methamphetamine (street)
The effects of several stimulants are limited. When cocaine and stimulant drugs are combined, the high intensifies and creates more energy. Both cocaine and stimulants boost the dopamine release of the brain and leaves the body feeling an increase in energy, attention, and alertness.
Since the high from cocaine and stimulant drugs is greater, the high is brief and results into health problems. They slow down the heart rate, respiratory system, and digestive system. While each stimulant will have different effects with cocaine, they all produce unsafe and threatening side effects. Some side effects include some of the following:
- High blood pressure.
- High body temperature.
- Muscle shakes or tremors.
- Muscle deterioration.
- Chronic exhaustion.
- Cardiovascular damage.
- Breathing problems.
Cocaine and Benzodiazepines
Benzodiazepines, or benzos, are often prescribed to individuals suffering from mental health as well as physical issues. They are used to treat muscle spasms, seizures, anxiety, panic disorders, alcohol withdrawals. Typical benzodiazepines that are prescribed by doctors and commonly abused with cocaine can include:
- Xanax (Alprazolam)
- Heroin (street)
Benzos induce relaxations in the central nervous system while allowing the muscles to relax. Combined with cocaine’s intense body stimulation, cocaine and opiates increase the levels of dopamine and endorphins created a high level of pleasure through the body. There are serious health effects that come with mixing cocaine with benzodiazepines. Some health effects include some of the following:
- Enhanced sedation.
- Irregular heartbeat.
- Slowed, irregular, depressed, or stopped breathing.
- Slow or shallow breathing.
- Unresponsiveness awake or unconscious.
Cocaine and Heroin or other Opiates
Opiates are drugs with morphine-like effects, obtained from the poppy plant. They impact the brain’s pleasure systems and restrict the brain’s ability to notice pain. Opiates are used to treat different forms of physical pain. They are usually prescribed to people to treat mild to severe pain such as after a serious injuries, post-surgery, and chronic pain. Some common prescribed opiates include the following:
- Heroin (street)
Both cocaine and opiates create an overlapping contrasting effect that disturbs the body’s natural tendency to keep balance. Some users inject heroin or take opiates slightly before the cocaine high wears off to boost the high in the body. A popular combination of drug mixing is cocaine and heroin. Cocaine and heroin together are known as “speedballing.” Heroin and cocaine have opposing effects to the body. Cocaine stimulants the central nervous system, while heroin slows it down. The risk of an overdose increases when cocaine and opiates are done together. Some typical health risks include some of the following:
- Increased respiratory rate.
- Circulatory problems.
- Liver damage.
- Respiratory depression.
- Intense sweating.
- Joint pain.
- Body weakness.
- Respiratory arrest.
Abusing Cocaine with Other Drugs Is a Hazardous Path
When a user abuses cocaine with other drugs, the effects irritates one another and can be dangerous and deadly to the human body. While the pleasurable effects do tend to increase, so do the chances of an overdose. If you have read this article and think you may have a problem with using cocaine with other drugs, there is professional medical help to walk through a road of recovery. Living a drug free life is possible, especially with proper help and guidance.