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Illicit Drugs and Alcohol Interactions

Written by L. Anderson, PharmD on Nov 7, 2017.

The use of dangerous, illegal drugs is a concern by itself, but adding alcohol to the equation can result in even more dangerous, or deadly, consequences. The results are often unpredictable. Alcohol should not be consumed with illicit drugs, examples include the following, but there are many others:

A particularly concerning, yet often unknown interaction between alcohol and cocaine has been reported.

  • The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has found that the human liver combines cocaine and alcohol and manufactures a third substance, cocaethylene, that intensifies cocaine's euphoric effects but may increase the risk of sudden death.
  • According to the NIDA, this drug-drug interaction, between cocaine and alcohol, is the most common two-drug combination that results in drug-related deaths.

Types of Drug Interactions With Alcohol

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