Combining cocaine with Xanax is dangerous and can increase the chance of a person overdosing. Unfortunately, mixing drugs is commonplace in today’s world. This behavior may be due, in part, to a lack of education surrounding the potentially dangerous effects of mixing drugs. Since even a first-time use can result in sudden death, education is key to staying safe. Mixing cocaine with a benzodiazepine, like Xanax, is a common drug combination.

Cocaine is a stimulant with over 20 million users worldwide. When combined with other drugs, even prescription medications, cocaine’s potential for causing harmful side effects increases.

Xanax is a prescription medication used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. In 2013, over 48 million prescriptions of Xanax were dispensed in the United States. However, Xanax is commonly misused without a prescription.

Cocaine and Xanax affect the brain in different ways. Both drugs affect neurotransmitters in the brain. Cocaine is a stimulant that affects the neurotransmitter dopamine and causes a euphoric high with increased alertness and energy. Xanax affects the neurotransmitter known as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and promotes a calm, relaxed feeling.

The ways cocaine and Xanax affect the brain can increase the likelihood of overdosing. Taking Xanax with cocaine can mask the sedative effects of Xanax, potentially resulting in an overdose.

Side Effects of Mixing Cocaine and Xanax

Used separately, cocaine and Xanax have very different effects on the mind and body.

People who use cocaine may experience:

  • Extreme happiness
  • Energy
  • Mental alertness
  • Irritability
  • Sensitivity to sound, sight, and touch
  • Paranoia

People who use Xanax may experience:

  • Decreased anxiety
  • Drowsiness
  • Low-energy
  • Depression
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability

Some of the effects of using cocaine and Xanax are opposing. This opposition is often one of the reasons that someone who uses cocaine may decide to misuse Xanax as well.  When a person is coming off the high from cocaine, they may experience depression along with physical and mental exhaustion. People sometimes choose to use Xanax as a way to come down comfortably from a cocaine high. Despite the soothing effect, Xanax may have as a “downer”, it has been known to cause depression and thereby can increase those feelings in people who use cocaine.

Because of how different they are, cocaine and Xanax can also interact with one another and can create dangerous or deadly side effects, including a toxic buildup of drugs that your body isn’t able to eliminate quickly enough. This buildup may lead to:

Over time, the brain adjusts to the activity of cocaine and Xanax, causing serious withdrawal symptoms such as high blood pressure and extreme physical discomfort. This adjustment, in addition to the need for more of each drug to achieve the desired effect, increases the potential for overdosing when cocaine and Xanax are combined.

Key Points: Cocaine and Xanax

Mixing cocaine and Xanax can be dangerous, even deadly. Keep the following key points in mind when considering combining cocaine and Xanax.

  • When cocaine and Xanax are taken together, they have oppositional effects, and the negative side effects of each can be made worse
  • Someone who takes cocaine and Xanax is at a higher risk of developing a polydrug abuse problem, which is difficult to treat
  • Using cocaine with Xanax can mask Xanax’s sedative effects, resulting in an increased likelihood of experiencing an overdose
  • Both drugs have a risk of developing a dependency the more they are used. Using them together only increases that risk.
  • The safest option is to avoid cocaine use and only use Xanax as prescribed by your health care provider

If you or someone you know struggles with cocaine, Xanax or both, reach out to us at The Recovery Village. Call to speak with a representative who can tell you about professional treatment plans and help you find a location that works for you. Don’t wait to receive help, start your healthier future today.

    

National Institute on Drug Abuse. “What is cocaine?” July 2018. Accessed April 29, 2019.

Motta-Ochoa, R., Bertrand, K., Arruda, N., Jutras-Aswad, D., Roy, E. “‘I love having benzos after my coke shot’: the use of psychotropic medication among cocaine users in downtown Montreal.” Int J Drug Policy, November 2017. Accessed April 29, 2019.

Richards, J.R., Le, J.K. “Cocaine Toxicity.” Stat Pearls, January 2019. Accessed April 28, 2019.

Ait-Daoud, N., Hamby, A.S., Sharma, S., Blevins, D. “A Review of Alprazolam Use, Misuse, and Withdrawal.” J Addict Med, January-February 2018. Accessed April 29, 2019.

Webmd. “GABA: Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid.” March 20, 2017. Accessed April 29, 2019.

Nichols, Hannah. “What you need to know about Xanax.” Medical News Today, December 7, 2017. Accessed April 29, 2019.

Raison, Charles. “Expert Q&A: What are the long-term brain effects of Xanax?” CNN Health, March 23, 2010. Accessed April 29, 2019. 

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