Mixing cocaine with alcohol produces ‘deadly combination’, doctors warn
The warning, made on Victoria Derbyshire, a BAFTA-winning TV programme, comes in the wake of findings that doing so muddles the brain and heightens violent and impulsive behaviour.
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It also follows the reportage of a total of 13 deaths, including those of two contestants on Love Island, which happened in England. It is believed that they took the two substances between April 2018 and March 2019.
According to BBC, the programme, which showcases journalistic reports and findings from investigations, also uncovered a death in similar circumstances in Wales during the same period alongside another five in England where cocaine and alcohol were consumed.
“Taking cocaine and alcohol together caused his death 100 percent. To mix a stimulant with a depressant, it muddles your brain up completely and you just don’t know where you are,” said Steve Woolliscroft, an Englishman, whose son plunged to his death after consuming the substances.
According to some doctors, when you mix cocaine and alcohol the body produces cocaethylene, a substance that may temporarily enhance a high but also increases poor judgement and violent thoughts.
“Alcohol is a depressant, it increases the levels of Gaba (gamma-aminobutyric acid) in the brain, which is like its handbrake and makes us feel less anxious,” Julia Sinclair, professor of addiction psychiatry at the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
“You add cocaine into the mix and you have rocket-fuelled increased impulsivity which gives people the driver to complete an act that they may not otherwise do. It’s like crossing a road in front of a car speeding towards you.”
Statistics have shown a rise in the number of alcohol-cocaine-related deaths over the past two decades but more research, it appears, is needed to ascertain if there’s a link between combining these substances and suicide among, other life-threatening behaviours.
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Some research also suggests the mixture could increase the risk of suicide by a factor of 16.