Published On: April 10, 2024Categories: Alcohol Addiction, Cocaine AddictionComments Off on Why Do People Use Cocaine When Drinking Alcohol?

Many people who become addicted to cocaine never even considered touching the stuff until one night when it was offered to them when they were drunk. With their inhibitions curbed by alcohol, they gave it a try. Then, for whatever reason, they began to seek out cocaine almost every time they went out drinking. What is it about the combination of cocaine and alcohol that makes this happen?

Have you ever wondered why some people (maybe you?) always seem to crave cocaine when they go out and drink alcohol? This article has the surprising answers to this mystery. 

Why Do People Use Cocaine When They’re Drinking?

Before we get into the chemistry lesson, let’s look at the behavioral and “practical” reasons why people might combine alcohol and cocaine (if you can call that practical). First, alcohol is a CNS depressant. When you take your first few drinks, alcohol can actually have a mild stimulant effect and get you sort of amped up. This, combined with lowered inhibitions, is why some people can get wild when they drink. 

1 – Alcohol Makes You Sleepy Sooner or Later

But sooner or later, alcohol makes you tired. Especially if you eat after you’ve been drinking or you were already a bit tired to begin with. For responsible drinkers, getting sleepy after a few cocktails means it’s time to call an Uber and head home. For people with an addiction or addictive tendencies, sleepiness while drinking is an obstacle to be overcome. But how?

2 – Cocaine is a Stimulant that can Counter Alcohol’s Depressant Qualities

Many people who use cocaine and alcohol together do it because it allows them to party harder and longer. Cocaine’s stimulant effects counteract the booze grogginess without sobering you up. That allows you to drink even more. So there’s one reason. Then, of course, you have the euphoric side effects cocaine produces. Finally, people have lower inhibitions when drinking. So someone who might ordinarily not even try cocaine may give it a go when they’re drunk. 

But… that can’t be it, can it? That doesn’t seem to explain why some people crave cocaine when they’re drinking but might not even think about it any other time. Something’s up. 

But, Why Does Drinking Alcohol Make Me Crave Cocaine?

Here’s where we get into the chemistry of addiction. Way back in 1979, when a whole lot of alcohol and cocaine were being consumed together in discos from coast to coast, scientists discovered something. 

They already knew that combining cocaine and alcohol in the human body created a third, unique chemical found nowhere else on earth. That chemical is called cocaethylene. What they discovered was that this cocaethylene stuff had some very particular side effects of its own. 

Why does drinking make you crave cocaine?

  • Because the combination makes cocaethylene which creates intense euphoria.
  • Because cocaethylene is very addictive, more so than alcohol or cocaine alone.

Alcohol + Cocaine = Cocaethylene

When the body metabolizes alcohol and cocaine is introduced, it forms a third drug, which exists nowhere else in the world:  cocaethylene. Cocaethylene creates intense euphoria, well beyond what cocaine alone can do. It also tends to lessen your inhibitions, even more than alcohol does. So, it probably won’t surprise you to hear that cocaethylene is very addictive. 

When people drink and suddenly crave cocaine, more often than not, they are actually chasing that cocaethylene high — they just don’t know it. The problem is that, of course, alcohol and cocaine are bad for your health. But, this cocaethylene stuff is even worse. Way worse. Cocaethylene happens to be highly toxic to the liver, brain, and heart. 

Why is Combining Alcohol and Cocaine So Dangerous? 

The moral of the story is that alcohol and cocaine are both addictive. Even someone who is a relatively responsible weekend drinker can inadvertently become addicted to cocaethylene and cocaine. It’s not important whether alcohol use increases first, or the cocaine becomes the larger problem. The point is that there is a serious risk of becoming addicted to a toxic drug made in your own body — which most people don’t even know exists. 

Cocaethylene (alcohol + cocaine) is very dangerous because:

  • It is more addictive than either alcohol or cocaine alone.
  • It’s much more toxic to the liver, brain, and heart than even alcohol or cocaine alone.
  • Most people aren’t even aware that cocaethylene exists or the harm it does. 
  • Using cocaine and alcohol together makes accidental overdose more likely. 

Real Help for Alcohol and Cocaine Addiction in NJ

If you or someone you love is losing control of their life due to alcohol and cocaine — North Jersey Recovery Center can help. We offer one of the most well-regarded substance use disorder treatment programs in the Northeast. 

Our evidence-based, dual-diagnosis curriculum addresses depression and anxiety along with addiction. We leave no stone unturned in helping the people we treat achieve complete recovery. 

You or the person you love deserve the best help they can get. That’s NJRC

Let’s talk about what we can do for you and your family today. (877) 790-5873