08 Nov Cocaine And Alcohol: A Dangerous Duo
It goes without saying that cocaine is a dangerous drug. Not only is it illegal, but the drug itself can be extremely damaging to your health. In fact, because cocaine is so addicting, it is easy to become addicted to, and even overdose on.
But what about alcohol?
Alcohol, though legal for those over the age of 21, can be just as dangerous and addicting as cocaine. Further, an individual can become extremely sick and even die from alcohol poisoning.
Now, what about cocaine and alcohol combined?
It should be a no-brainer: When mixing cocaine and alcohol—any type of drug and any type of alcohol for that matter—the consequences will be bad, even deadly. Yet, cocaine and alcohol mixed together can be particularly damaging to your body and health.
This article will educate you on the dangers of cocaine, the dangers of alcohol, and then the dangers of combining both drugs. Though learning to live a sober life is difficult, remember, it can be done. Do not let the withdrawal symptoms scare you. It is never too late to get help and make a positive change in your life.
About Cocaine Abuse
Regardless of your age or specific condition, you are already well aware of the fact that cocaine is an illegal drug. However, in order to fully understand just how dangerous cocaine abuse is, and how harmful it can be to your body and your future, it’s imperative to learn about its origins (i.e. where it came from, how it can be used, and what it’s called on the streets).
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), over 14 percent of all Americans age 12 and older have used cocaine in their lifetime. That’s a true, yet staggering statistic. What makes this statistic even more alarming is the fact that cocaine is highly addictive. Therefore, once people try cocaine, it is common for them to not only try it again and again but become addicted to it.
Cocaine is a stimulant that affects the brain by increasing an individual’s energy levels. Further, the drug helps to keep people awake for longer periods of time, while at the same time, causing their heart rate and blood pressure to increase. Feelings of pleasure are also peaked during this time. Because cocaine is so dangerous, addictive, and has the ability to negatively affected the brain, it has been classified as a Schedule II drug in the United States by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
Today, there are commonly two different types of cocaine used: A powder form, which can be snorted, injected or smoked, and a rock form—crack cocaine—that is often smoked.
Cocaine has several street names. These names largely differ according to state and location. Regardless of its name, the drug is still extremely dangerous, addictive, and highly illegal.
Common names for cocaine often include the following:
- Snow White
- White Powder
- White Fluff
- Big C
When a person regularly uses cocaine, he or she will likely become used to it, and even build up a tolerance for it. Once this tolerance has been established, the individual will have to consume higher and higher doses in order to experience any sort of high. When this action takes place, abuse has occurred, meaning the individual is abusing cocaine.
Addiction often forms the following abuse. When a person believes they need the drug to function, even can’t live without it, they are addicted. This same addiction can happen with cocaine, alcohol, and most other drugs.
Both a drug and alcohol addiction can and often does consume a person’s life, resulting in a lack of interest in other life events, such as school, friend, family, career, health, and other responsibilities. Next, an addicted party will often start to self-destruct, but because they are so deeply addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, they won’t realize it.
Reading the Signs of Cocaine Abuse
As with any sort of addiction or change in behavior, there are signs that can reveal a drug problem is occurring. Of course, just because you see a friend or loved one showing one of these signs does not necessarily they are addicted to cocaine or even using the drug. However, if you do tend to routinely notice the following symptoms, it could prompt you to take action and find out more information (i.e. if a drug problem is taking place or not).
The following signs could mean a cocaine problem is happening:
- Needle marks on the arms or other body parts (meaning the drug has been injected)
- Burn marks, usually on hands and/or lips (meaning the drug has been smoked)
- Any types of drug paraphernalia on their person or in their personal effects (i.e. pipe, spoon, syringe)
- A drastic change in mood, weight, sleeping and eating patterns, and levels of energy
- Any kind of uncharacteristic, high-risk behavior
- Dilated pupils
- Frequent nosebleeds
- Financial difficulties
Again, don’t freak out just because your friend gets a bloody nose or suddenly shows off uncharacteristic behavior. There could be another reason for the actions. Yet, if the behavior or nosebleeds persist, then you might want to start worrying. Depending on how close you are to this individual, you may simply be able to ask whether or not they are going through a difficult time and if they need help.
When a person decides to use cocaine, he or she is actively risking both their physical and mental health. They also run the risk of dealing with legal ramifications. Again, cocaine is illegal in all 50 states, meaning if you are caught using it, dealing it, or even possessing it, you could face legal trouble that includes jail time.
Though it’s easier said than done, you can avoid using cocaine. Because it is so addictive, it is best to not even try it. The following tips may come in handy if or when you find yourself in the presence of the narcotic:
Always say NO—no matter what the circumstances are
Stay away from negative people, situations, and influences
Manage your stress in a healthy way, perhaps with exercise
Build strong, healthy relationships that don’t involve drug use
Have goals, and always be working towards those goals
If you start to become interested in drugs, recognize the signs
Lastly, never be afraid to ask for help.
About Alcohol Abuse
Millions of people across the country struggle with alcohol abuse every single day. It could be argued that alcohol is even more dangerous than drugs because it is easily accessible—anyone over the age of 21 can walk into a store and purchase as much as they want to.
Just like with drugs, not everyone who drinks alcohol will become addicted to it. However, alcohol is highly addictive and easy for many people to crave. Though, it is vital to understand that addiction and abuse or not the same thing.
More often than not, when a person abusing alcohol, he or she keeps drinking, despite them having a firm grasp of the negative effect it has on them. When a person is addicted to alcohol, they generally drink it every single day, believing that they can’t function without it. You could even say that this person “depends” on alcohol.
Just like with drug abuse, there are signs an individual has an alcohol problem, such as the following:
- Neglecting responsibilities—both personal and family
- A decline in professional performance (or academic performance if the individual is still in school)
- Signs of depression
- Unnatural conflicts
- The inability to control drinking
- The inability to stop drinking
- Increasing the consumption of alcohol
- Putting themselves or other people in danger by drinking (i.e. drinking and driving)
- Experiencing symptoms of withdrawal when not drinking
Again, just like with drugs, just because you see a person experiencing one or more of the symptoms above does not mean that he or she is an alcoholic or even abusing alcohol. Yet, if the person continues to show these signs, then it is likely a problem is or will occur. In that case, you may either want to find out more information or, depending on your relationship, have an open conversation with the individual.
With alcohol abuse, there are both short and long-term effects to be concerned with.
Short-term effects of drinking too much include the following:
- Impaired Judgment
- Memory Loss
- Slurred Speech
- Trouble Breathing
- Difficulty Concentrating
Long-term effects of drinking too much include the following:
- Brain Damage
- Liver Disease
- Mouth Cancer
- Throat Cancer
- Liver Cancer
- Breast Cancer
- A Weakened Immune System
Many of the examples listed above, such as cancer, are extreme, meaning a person would have to drink continuously and large amounts of alcohol to experience them. However, they are possible consequences and can occur. Therefore, it is necessary to be aware of them, as well as the other, less damaging consequences.
When Cocaine and Alcohol Are Mixed
It goes without saying that when cocaine and alcohol are mixed, the consequences—both health and legal—are much more damaging. While many of the consequences already mentioned above can occur, they will be escalated due to the dangerous combination of drugs and booze.
Unfortunately, it is quite common for an individual to mix cocaine and alcohol together due to the nature of both. Simply put, because cocaine is considered an “upper,” many believe they are able to consume more alcohol after using cocaine.
When cocaine and alcohol are combined, all of the consequences detailed above can occur, but even more life-threatening, these consequences can take place, too:
- Heart Attack
- Heart Pain
- Cerebral Infarction
- Brain Tissue Damage
- Death of Blood Vessels
- An aneurysm
- Heart Disease
While cocaine and alcohol are both dangerous, when combined, the consequences are even more deadly.
How to Get Treatment
Getting proper and professional treatment for alcohol and cocaine does not have to be difficult. More important, getting help is possible. Whether or not you have insurance, whether or not you are financially stable, there are treatment options available for everyone.
When it comes to treatment, the most important factor is they want to get help. There are many treatment options in the state of Georgia for cocaine abuse as well as alcohol abuse. Ask yourself if you want to get better and if you want to live a healthier life. If an individual on drugs does not think they have a problem or does not want to better his or her life, then getting help or trying to get help would not be successful.
Once it’s been determined that help is wanted, it’s important to find a good facility. Every rehabilitation facility offers something different, and the point is to find the center that is best for a person’s particular needs.
Depending on whether or not you’re in any sort of legal trouble, you may need to hire a professional attorney. Most attorneys or law firms will offer potential clients a free consultation, in which you can detail your case and meet with the lawyer to determine whether or not it is a good fit. The lawyer can advise you of your options, and offer you the best course of action to take.
Once you have been convicted of a felony, it will be difficult to find work and get credit. Therefore, a lawyer can help lighten your sentence, which in turn, could make your life easier.
It’s Never Too Late
Watching someone you know suffer from a drug addiction is extremely heavy and difficult. Whether they are using cocaine or alcohol—or both—the situation is hard. However, one way to try and keep a handle on it is to remember that it’s never too late to get help.
Further, it is important that there are different options for getting help, too. Depending on the severity of the addiction, rehab may be necessary, an outpatient program, or even AA. Regardless, find an option that best suits your needs and go from there. As long as you are able to seek treatment you will be able to avoid the long-term effects of cocaine addiction and alcohol abuse.
Addiction is a disease, and while it can take a while—as well as a lot of effort—to get help, the first step is admitting that you want help. You can turn your life around.