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What is Cocaethylene?

When an individual combines cocaine and alcohol, it creates a third, extremely dangerous substance in the body. The substance created, cocaethylene, is highly toxic and can easily lead to overdose. Combining alcohol and cocaine is associated with increased risk of overdose, death, seizures, liver damage, and immune system damage.

The creation of cocaethylene in the body from combining alcohol and cocaine make overdose and death much more likely than using each substance separately. According to Amitava Dasgupta in Alcohol, Drugs, Genes and the Clinical Laboratory, “Cocaethylene is a toxicologically important compound formed due to coadministration of cocaine and ethanol. The hepatic carboxyltransferase enzyme is responsible for formation of cocaethylene. Unlike benzoylecgonine, which is the inactive metabolite of cocaine formed in the absence of alcohol, cocaethylene is an active metabolite of cocaine. Moreover, cocaethylene has a plasma half-life of three to five times the half-life of cocaine and is associated with seizure, liver damage, and compromised immune function. Moreover, LD50 of cocaethylene is significantly lower than cocaine and as a result carries an 18–25 fold increase over cocaine alone in risk of immediate death.” Therefore, even small amounts of cocaine and alcohol, when used together, can lead to death by overdose and a host of other health complications.

Addiction specialists are increasingly concerned about the dangers of cocaethylene because many users are unaware of its effects. Jamie Doward, in a 2011 Huffington Post article entitled Cocaethylene Studied: Cocaine, Alcohol Mix to Create Toxic 3rd Chemical, explains, “Drug addiction clinics say they are becoming increasingly concerned by the health risks associated with the chemical — the only known example of the body forming a third drug following the ingestion of two others. For not only is cocaethylene toxic in the liver, it is also blamed for heart attacks in the under-40s and a surge in social problems. But because so little is known about the drug, few experts can agree on the nature of the threat to users, and indeed society as a whole.” Many users combine the two because of their increased ability to provide euphorigenic effect, but the combination can easily cause dangerously rapid hear rate and higher plasma cortisol concentration, leading to heart attacks and death.

Your life doesn’t have to be held back by the chains of addiction. You can avoid the consequences of drug use by making the decision to seek help now. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, brings together behavioral health and addiction specialists, spiritual guides, and holistic experts to address your addiction from every possible angle. For information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431