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

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD By December 30, 2018

Many people use alcohol or cocaine, and they are often used in combination with each other. People can become addicted to either drug, but are more likely to become addicted when they combine the two together.

 

Drug Effects of Cocaine

Cocaine, a stimulant, may be used in several different ways. It is commonly snorted into the nose or smoked. When the drug is used, the person becomes mentally alert, has less of an appetite, and has difficulty sleeping. The user is more likely to engage in risk-taking behaviors. The effects are different with alcohol.

 

Drug Effects of Alcohol

Alcohol is primarily ingested orally by drinking. It is best known as a depressant, but some people say it is also a kind of stimulant. When using alcohol, which is also a drug, the person is slower to react to changes in the environment and becomes sleepy. Vision is blurred and the user has an increased appetite.

 

Why People Mix the Two Substances

Some people mix alcohol and cocaine together to increase the high they get from the two drugs. Other people combine the two substances to feel less drunk or to get a stronger high from cocaine. Another reason for combining those are to reduce anxiety. In addition, people may do it to reduce the symptoms of cocaine or alcohol withdrawals. Cocaine withdrawals lead to depression and anxiety. Alcohol withdrawal leads to headaches and also leads to depression. Next, we will talk about what happens when people mix the two drugs.

 

Drug Effects of Combining the Two

When the two drugs are mixed together, the liver makes cocaethylene, which is highly toxic to the body. It builds up in the body, and it affects the heart and the liver of the person using both substances. Cocaethylene raises blood pressure, leads to violent behavior, and makes it difficult for the user to make good decisions. It may cause a person to die unexpectedly. Studies have shown a greater risk of suicide in persons using both substances.
A study was done at Brown University about the increased risk of suicide among people who abused both alcohol and cocaine. Approximately 1,000 who went to the emergency for substance abuse were examined. The study found that users of both substances were more likely to attempt suicide within one year of going to the emergency room than users of other substances alone or other mixtures of substances. Therefore, the person who uses both drugs simultaneously urgently needs treatment because of the hazard it poses to you or your loved ones.

 

How to Treat a Person Addicted to Alcohol and Cocaine

Drug rehab centers would treat the person for both alcohol and cocaine abuse. If you live in or near New Jersey, give us a call today. Some of the aspects of treatment include the initial evaluation during intake, detoxification, individual therapy, and group therapy. We urge you to get help for yourself or your loved ones at rehab in NJ today.

Article Reviewed by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.

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