What Happens When You Mix Crack and Alcohol?

Deadly when used on their own, mixing crack and alcohol can have fatal consequences. If you or someone you know is ingesting these substances together, we ask that you take the time to learn more about the side effects and dangers of combined use. This information could save the life of you or someone you love.

What Is Crack?

Derived from the coca plant common in South America, crack is an illicit street drug typically made from a mixture of cocaine, water, baking soda and ammonia. It usually comes in the form of yellow, pale rose or white solid blocks and crystals, and can be inhaled or snorted. Once the drug is ingested, it quickly produces an intense high that lasts for only a short period of time. After the high has subsided, users are left feeling drowsy, lethargic and irritable. People begin to build up a tolerance to crack the more often they smoke it, soon requiring more of the drug to experience the same high. Sometimes, ingesting crack only once is all it takes for a user to become addicted.

mixing Crack and alcohol

What Are the Side Effects of Crack and Alcohol?

On its own, crack is dangerous — when mixed with alcohol, it becomes even more deadly. Potential side effects of mixing crack and alcohol include:

  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Extreme paranoia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Liver toxicity
  • Shallow breathing
  • Heart attack
  • Coma

Dangers of Mixing Crack and Alcohol

Most people who mix crack and alcohol together do so because they believe alcohol will ease some of the negative side effects that usually come with a crack comedown, including vertigo and tremors. While this combination can induce a state of euphoria, the enormous health risks it poses aren’t worth a short burst of bliss.

Mixing crack and alcohol together can result in a wide range of dangerous and even lethal consequences. When both of these substances mingle in the body, the liver begins to produce a compound called cocaethylene. This toxic chemical takes a long time to leave the body, becoming more and more deadly as it builds up in the tissues and organs. As cocaethylene levels rise, the heart becomes vulnerable to myocardial depression, heightening the potential of sudden death. Crack also speeds up the absorption and metabolization of alcohol, lowering the amount of alcohol needed to experience alcohol poisoning or overdose.

Alcohol poisoning can be fatal. If you suspect someone is experiencing alcohol poisoning, call 911 immediately. Do NOT be afraid to seek help. If you do not have access to a phone contact Web Poison Control Services for online assistance.

Treatment for Crack and Alcohol

It’s never too late to turn over a new leaf. Both crack and alcohol are incredibly physically addictive, so kicking the habit without professional help can be both difficult and dangerous. Crack withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Agitation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscle pain
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Brain seizures

If you or someone you care about is struggling with crack and alcohol addiction, the best thing to do is seek help from a dedicated treatment center. The Recovery Village offers people access to personalized care and expert help from physicians, psychologists and counselors through the detox process and beyond. Contact an intake coordinator today to learn more about our nationwide care.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

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