Xanax and cocaine are two substances that are frequently misused on their own. However, when they are combined, the consequences can be serious and can even be deadly. If you are tempted to mix Xanax and cocaine, or you suspect a loved one is mixing them, it is important to know the risks of combining the drugs.
Effects of Xanax
Xanax is the brand name of the drug alprazolam, which is FDA-approved for anxiety and panic disorders and is a Schedule IVcontrolled substance. Like other benzodiazepines, Xanax is a central nervous system depressant and can cause many side effects like:
- Slurred speech
- Impaired concentration
- Confusion and memory problems
- Light-headedness or dizziness
- Dry mouth
- Movement problems
- Low blood pressure
- Slowed breathing
See More: What Are Xanax Bars?
Effects of Cocaine
What Happens if You Mix Xanax and Cocaine?
Cocaine and Xanax are often combined because the two drugs have contrasting effects. Cocaine is a drug made from the coca plant, found in South America. It is a stimulant and is sometimes called an “upper” because of its energizing effects. Xanax is a benzodiazepine medication that is prescribed for anxiety disorders. Some people call it a “downer” because it helps people relax.
What happens when you mix Xanax and coke? Some people like to combine these substances because they feel like the effects of one drug counteract the other. For example, some people might mix cocaine and Xanax because they find the benzodiazepine helps them come down from the effects of coke more easily.
Effects of Mixing Xanax and Cocaine
Combining Xanax and cocaine can be very dangerous. The interaction between Xanax and cocaine may produce unpredictable effects beyond what is expected with either drug. If either Xanax or cocaine is additionally mixed with other substances, including alcohol or painkillers, their negative side effects can worsen. People who mix drugs often find they are experiencing stronger symptoms than they would if they were just taking one drug at a time.
Furthermore, it can be hard on different organs anytime someone combines substances. The liver and kidneys are involved in processing drugs and alcohol. If a person overloads their system with substances, their body may not be able to keep up. This can lead to liver or kidney damage. Additionally, if the body can’t process everything a person has taken, toxins may circulate in their blood, which can damage other organs as well.
Is Mixing Xanax and Cocaine Dangerous?
It is dangerous to mix Xanax and coke because their interaction can affect a person’s brain and body in unexpected ways. When people combine multiple substances, they have a higher chance of overdosing. Additionally, treatment for substance abuse problems can be more difficult when a person is experiencing addiction to more than one thing. For example, someone may have more withdrawal symptoms when detoxing from multiple substances.
Combining these substances can also be problematic because it can affect a person’s mental health. When the feelings of euphoria and energy that a person gets from cocaine start to wear off, they will often crash and start to feel depressed, paranoid or aggressive. This can make a person more likely to hurt themselves or others.
Mixing Stimulants and Depressants
Stimulants and depressants have opposite effects on the body. Stimulants speed up different body processes, such as heart rate, breathing rate and body temperature. Depressants slow these processes down. Taking both substances together can be dangerous because the effects of one can mask the harmful effects of the other. For example, a warning sign that someone has taken too much cocaine is that their heart starts racing too fast. However, if they are also on Xanax, they may feel very relaxed and be less likely to notice. For this reason, mixing uppers and downers can lead to overdose or more serious health effects.
Dependence occurs when someone’s body adjusts to the presence of a drug, and a person needs the substance in order to function normally. If a person is dependent on a drug and then stops taking it, they will experience withdrawal symptoms. Cross tolerance of drugs happens when someone’s dependence on one drug makes them more likely to become dependent on a second drug. Because Xanax and cocaine are chemically unrelated drugs, there is unlikely any cross-tolerance between them.
Overdose Risk When Mixing Xanax and Cocaine
A Xanax or coke overdose is a risk when the two substances are mixed with each other or with other substances, including alcohol. When people have a Xanax overdose, their body slows down to the point where it is at risk of shutting down altogether. People often have symptoms like:
- Slurred speech
- Movement problems
- Mental status changes
On the other hand, people who overdose on cocaine may have symptoms like:
- Racing heartbeat
- High temperature
Others may notice the person is losing touch with reality in a cocaine overdose. If someone isn’t treated, they may have a stroke or heart attack. Overdoses of both Xanax and cocaine can lead to death. People who use these substances should be aware of overdose symptoms and be ready to seek help if they are experiencing harmful effects.
If you suspect someone is overdosing on cocaine and/or Xanax, you should call 911 immediately.
Xanax and Cocaine Addiction Treatment
If people are addicted to Xanax or cocaine, they will usually go through withdrawal when they stop the drugs. Unfortunately, withdrawing from both drugs at the same time can exacerbate the withdrawal process, making it more difficult to stay sober.
Getting professional Xanax and cocaine addiction treatment is usually a good idea for people who want to stop using them. Cocaine and Xanax treatment may include medical detox and inpatient or outpatient rehab programs where people can get individual or group counseling.
When people abuse multiple drugs at the same time or frequently use more than one substance over the same time period, it is known as polysubstance abuse. The Recovery Village Columbus has multiple treatment options that can support people through recovery from polysubstance use. Call us today to learn more about different programs that might be able to help you.
Harm Reduction Coalition. “Overdose Risks & Prevention.” Accessed July 31, 2022.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Prescription CNS Depressants DrugFacts.” March 2018. Accessed July 31, 2022.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. “What are the short-term effects of cocaine use?” May 2016. Accessed July 31, 2022.
Drugs.com. “Alprazolam.” November 9, 2020. Accessed July 31, 2022.
U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration. “Drugs of Abuse.” 2020. Accessed July 31, 2022.
Kang, Michael; Galuska, Michael A.; Ghassemzadeh, Sassan. “Benzodiazepine Toxicity.” StatPearls, June 27, 2022. Accessed July 31, 2022.
Vo, Kim; Neafsey, Patricia J.; Lin, Carolyn A. “Concurrent use of amphetamine stimulants[…]dergraduate students.” Patient Preference and Adherence, January 22, 2015. Accessed July 31, 2022.
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