It is dangerous to mix Xanax with any substance of abuse, including cocaine. There is no way to combine these substances safely.
Dangers of Taking Xanax and Cocaine at the Same Time
Writer Katie Campisano wrote an essay about her experiences using Xanax and cocaine for The Muse. She was aware of her tendency to misuse substances and had previously experienced problems with alcohol but began to experiment with cocaine and Xanax.
She often took cocaine and then used Xanax to calm herself down after cocaine’s effects. Campisano also mentioned that she often took more cocaine afterward to counteract Xanax’s calming effects.
The combination of these two drugs is not a good idea. Xanax calms the central nervous system and produces a feeling of tranquility, which makes Xanax a downer. Some people may become addicted to this feeling of relaxation.
Even when Xanax is used as prescribed, people often build a tolerance for it. Others may become dependent on it, believing they need it to go about their day.
Not only does this increase the chance of misusing Xanax, but a person cannot stop taking it cold turkey. Xanax causes uncomfortable feelings of withdrawal, and some symptoms can be dangerous. It is best to have a doctor medically supervise a reduction in dosage (tapering).
Cocaine, on the other hand, is a stimulant, or upper.
As mentioned by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), it increases dopamine when used. This floods a person with energy and makes them feel alert.
Dopamine that is released naturally can be recycled, but cocaine stops this natural process. Like Xanax, it can also build dependency and tolerance. A person who takes cocaine often may desire to increase their intake so that they can feel good.
Vice reports that mixing uppers and downers is bad for the heart. Additional research on adverse health outcomes related to Xanax and cocaine is still needed, but what is clear is that mixing drugs is an unwise decision.
Mixing Xanax with Other Substances
Xanax (alprazolam) is a widely known benzodiazepine meant to help people who have panic or anxiety issues. Its use requires a visit to a doctor’s office, where the physician will assess the patient and prescribe Xanax if it benefits them.
But Xanax and other benzodiazepines have gotten the public’s attention because they can be habit-forming and cause dependency. In addition, some individuals never obtain the right prescription, but choose to buy it unlawfully from friends who have a prescription, dealers, or online.
A person using Xanax for recreational reasons is doing so illicitly. The misuse of Xanax puts the person at risk of mixing it with other drugs, such as cocaine.
Another risk of illicit Xanax use is that a person may buy counterfeit medication, doses that are too strong, or pills that are mixed with something they are not prepared to take.
Not only that, but even under medical supervision, patients who take Xanax need to be careful about mixing it with other substances. Xanax can interact with a variety of prescription medications, alcohol, illicit drugs, herbal remedies, and even grapefruit.
Despite the dangers of mixing Xanax with drugs, some people will choose to experiment with this medication. Learn about the dangers of mixing Xanax with other substances like cocaine and how to prevent complications.
Common Drug Combinations with Xanax
Mixing drugs of any kind are unsafe. The best way to prevent an overdose or other health complications is to take Xanax as directed and abstain from mixing it with other substances.
A Vice article from January 2016 reports that it is common for people to take more than one substance at a time. This is called polysubstance abuse.
Below is a list of substances commonly mixed with Xanax.
Prescription painkillers and sleeping pills
The Fix says this combination of three medications is quite common. This combination could cause a slowdown in breathing that is difficult to notice.
This usually happens by accident, and it could happen with any drug in tablet form. Many dealers sometimes lace counterfeit Xanax with fentanyl or sell fentanyl pills masked as Xanax. On September 2018, police in Edmonton, Canada, confiscated fentanyl that was being sold as Xanax, as reported on CBC.
Cocaine is a stimulant, and some people are known to take Xanax (a downer) after a cocaine binge in hopes of winding down.
Is There A Safe Amount?
Mixing two or more substances is not safe. As mentioned in Vice, most people do not have the training necessary to understand when they are taking too much of something. Individuals may mix drugs because they want to “cancel out” some effects, but drugs do not work this way.
As such, there is no determined amount of Xanax or cocaine that can be mixed safely. If polysubstance abuse is a problem, it is best to get help from a doctor or treatment center.
Why Do People Mix Xanax and Cocaine?
Cocaine is a short-acting stimulant drug that has a substantial impact on the dopamine in your brain. Dopamine, a neurotransmitter, plays an integral role in reward and movement. For example, when you eat candy on a cheat day, this is a reward that stimulates dopamine levels.
Cocaine throws this rhythm out of whack, making your body only crave cocaine as the only reward and bypassing anything else. Artificially elevated levels of the naturally occurring chemical create an intense and euphoric high. However, once it wears off, known as the “crash,” a person will feel awful. For that reason, Xanax and cocaine might seem like an excellent combination, as one improves how the individual feels after the other.
Unfortunately, Xanax and coke are extremely dangerous, especially when used in conjunction with one another. A cocaine high does not last long, and the crash can be debilitating. During the crash, the individual feels tired, hungry, depressed, and physically and mentally sluggish.
Extreme depression can also accompany this feeling – some people report feeling suicidal. These feelings are so intense that a person will continue taking cocaine by any means necessary, leading to a “binge pattern.” If they’re unable to get more of the substance, they’ll take Xanax after coke as it “smoothes” out these comedown effects.
As was mentioned above, benzodiazepines like Xanax increase gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels in the brain and reduce brain cell excitability. It produces euphoria, and relaxation lowers anxiety levels and relieves muscle tension. However, benzo cocaine use can create an array of issues that should be avoided at all costs.
Many people might wonder if Xanax is an upper or a downer, but it’s considered a downer – cocaine is an upper. Many people also wonder if you can mix Xanax and cocaine, but the answer is never. These two drugs are commonly misused and abused. Xanax is often used in conjunction with cocaine to help a person counteract the sedative effects of the downer drug. In contrast, Xanax might be used to offset the anxiety and other adverse effects of cocaine. Xanax and cocaine can help a person stay awake longer and provide them with more energy. They might also use them to enhance or prolong the high. This can significantly impact your brain chemistry, creating both short-and-long-term consequences.
Increased Likelihood of a Cocaine or Xanax Overdose
Xanax and cocaine are two drugs that produce completely opposite physiological effects. For that reason, the risk of an overdose is much higher than if you took them separately. When you take cocaine, it produces an exhilarating and intense stimulating high. On the contrary, when you take Xanax, it causes you to feel sleepy and sedated.
When you mix the two, you will feel less of the sedative effects of Xanax and less of cocaine, meaning you might take more than your body can tolerate to feel it. For that reason, mixing these drugs is extremely dangerous. Overdose deaths have risen to historic levels in the United States.
Drug overdoses are more likely to occur when more than one drug is involved. Polysubstance abuse increases the potential side effects of each drug involved and makes overdoses far more difficult for doctors or first responders to treat.
Signs of a cocaine overdose include:
- Dangerously high blood pressure
- Irregular heart rate and racing pulse
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sweating and high body temperature
- Extreme confusion
As noted, stimulants often mask depressants’ effects, meaning you’ll be more likely to take more Xanax than intended, increasing the risk of an overdose.
Signs of a benzodiazepine overdose include:
- Slurred speech
- Sluggish movements
- Respiratory depression
- Loss of consciousness
- Cold to the touch
- Abnormal eye movements
If you witness an overdose, you must contact 911 immediately. The longer someone waits for help, the higher the odds of permanent damage or death. Get help right away.