Dangers of Mixing Crack Cocaine and Alcohol
Crack cocaine, or crack, is the free base form of cocaine that is often smoked. Cocaine powder, with its feature of decomposing at high temperatures, usually cannot be smoked. Hence, freebasing is carried out to produce crack cocaine, which vaporizes only at temperatures above 90°C. When crack is smoked, it offers a quick and intense feeling of pleasure due to rapid absorption into the blood. From there, it is almost instantaneously converted back to its base form, and the effects wear out. This speedy decline of the high obtained from the substance is a major contributing factor to its abuse. Freebasing to produce crack cocaine can be recreationally prepared at home by heating cocaine powder with baking soda in a pan until it solidifies.
For a long time, many people for many reasons have consumed alcohol. Many people take this substance for happy occasions and sad or unhappy experiences for soothing emotional pain. Alcohol exists in different forms, especially as beer, wine, or hard liquor like gin. In any case, when individuals overuse alcohol, it results in a type of substance abuse known as alcoholism.
When Crack Cocaine is Taken Together with Alcohol
Smoking crack cocaine has severe effects on the body, including the increased risk of heart attack and stroke, and breathing problems. Due to the short half-life of crack, individuals tend to experience severe depression and intense craving between smoking joints. On the other hand, alcoholism results in a range of unhealthy physical, emotional and behavioral conditions. These include pronounced aggression, feelings of discontent, nausea and vomiting, tremors, and delirium.
Mixing crack cocaine with alcohol is akin to complicating an already dangerous situation. Cocaine acts as a stimulant on the nervous system, while alcohol functions as a depressant. Thus, when the two are taken together, they can react to produce an antagonistic effect or result in a highly addictive situation. In many cases, the latter is more prominent typically, when both are taken in high amounts. Furthermore, the liver combines both substances to create cocaethylene. This new product intensifies the feelings of euphoria gotten from smoking cocaine but also dramatically increases the danger of causing sudden death.
When crack cocaine is used with alcohol, it rapidly increases the alcohol concentration in the blood, although the individual may not feel intoxicated. Fatality results from blood poisoning if the individual continues to imbibe, causing a spike in alcohol-blood volume. In another instance, when alcohol is used with crack cocaine, it increases the heart rate up to five times more than when only crack cocaine is used. Rapid beating of the heart like this can lead to sudden death from heart failure. Aside from the risks of severe addiction and death, combining crack cocaine with alcohol causes impaired performance on learning, concentration, and memory tests.
Find Help for Crack and Alcohol Abuse
Considering the adverse effects of using crack cocaine and alcohol, whether together or alone, seeking help for yourself or a loved one, becomes paramount. Doing this serves to bring about sobriety and prevents any permanent dire situations from setting in.
NJ Addiction Resources offers this timely help by connecting New Jersey residents to recovery centers with complete addiction rehabilitation plans. We also provide emotional support and encouragement to keep individuals in recovery until they become fully sober. To find out more about our services, please contact a recovery advocate today.