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The Dangers of Mixing Cocaine and Xanax

by | Published on Jun 4, 2021 | Drug Addiction

man mixing cocaine and xanax

Cocaine and Xanax are indeed very different substances. But, they have something in common – both are highly addictive. Many people end up combining cocaine and Xanax as they continue to experiment with drugs in the hopes that they’ll have a more intense euphoric experience. But, mixing the two often comes with many risks. 

What is Cocaine?

Cocaine or coke is a potent stimulant that most people use as a recreational drug. People can snot, inhale, or dissolve cocaine for intravenous use. The euphoric effects of cocaine are potent and short-lived. People experience loss of contact with reality, agitation, and intense feelings of happiness. 

Cocaine is hydrochloride salt in its powder form. In this state, people can snort it, inject it, or swallow it. This delivery method instantly affects how the body reacts to the substance and how it affects the brain. 

Most people will quickly develop a cocaine dependency, eventually ramping up their use and becoming cocaine addicts. Throughout this process, many try to quit cocaine on their own. Still, after experiencing withdrawal symptoms, they go back to using, sometimes at higher doses, resulting in an overdose. 

What is Xanax?

Xanax comes from the benzodiazepines family, and it’s the brand name for alprazolam. Similar to benzos, it works to suppress the central nervous system. Xanax (Alprazolam) is a prescription medication that treats anxiety and panic disorders. 

It works by interacting with neurotransmitters that inhibit brain activity, which helps keep anxiety at bay. Xanax is a fast-acting benzodiazepine, and people experience its benefits as quickly as an hour after taking it. 

Unfortunately, the effects of Xanax can be highly addictive, even when someone takes it as directed–virtually anyone can fall for Xanax addiction.

What Happens When You Mix Xanax and Cocaine?

Both substances are physically and psychologically addictive, which means mixing Cocaine and Xanax can quickly accelerate the onset of a substance use disorder. Although, someone who’s already combining these substances is already struggling with an addiction problem. 

Because of how each drug interacts with the body and with one another, it’s common for people to experience severe side effects, including toxic buildup of the drug that causes overdose or intoxication. 

Xanax is designed to depress the system. It is intended to reduce feelings of anxiety, and it can make some people feel tired or lethargic. Cocaine is the exact opposite because it is a stimulant. It increases energy and alertness in users.

The body and the brain may not be able to process a depressant and a stimulant simultaneously, increasing the risk of overdose.

If you mix cocaine and Xanax, it could be a deadly experience. The body can’t work fast enough to eliminate and process these substances, which causes toxicity or overdose. They also have opposite effects that can make the side effects worse. 

When taken at the same time, one lowers the efficiency of the other. This leads people to take higher doses than they’d typically do. According to the Centers for Disease Control, both cocaine and alprazolam were among the highest death rates by overdose in recent years.

Understanding Polysubstance Abuse

Polysubstance dependence is a type of substance use disorder in which people use at least three different drugs simultaneously. They don’t have a “favorite” drug or one they usually turn to in this case. Thus, it is impossible to silo out the one they’re “dependent” on. 

Initially, polysubstance abuse was part of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, but it was eliminated from the DSM-5 criteria. Today, even those who abuse multiple substances fall under the category of struggling from a substance use disorder. 

Should I Look for Help?

Not all the signs of addiction are noticeable, especially among high-functioning addicts. Even if someone only uses drugs once a month, they could be struggling with drug addiction. 

Changes in appearance, behaviors, problems with relationships, and loss of interest in things you used to enjoy are common addiction patterns. However, there are many more. 

Use the quiz below to help you get a better understanding. 

Addiction Treatment Options

Addiction affects every aspect of someone’s life. Effective treatments are comprehensive and personalized that vary from person to person. Most people need detoxification, behavioral counseling, and long-term aftercare. Others might also benefit from medication-assisted treatments. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with drug abuse, don’t wait any longer. At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, we believe in offering customized drug addiction treatment plans for those struggling with substance use disorders. 

We look at each treatment program on a case-by-case basis to cater to your needs to get better and walk towards recovery. From detoxification programs to group meetings and more, everyone in our treatment center is committed to helping you win the struggle with addiction. 



Jessica is Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s Clinical Director. She has a Master’s Level Certified Addiction Professional, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and has a Masters in Behavioral Science. Jessica’s education allows her to elaborate in-depth on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Narrative Therapy approaches to addiction treatment.
Medical Disclaimer:

Lighthouse Recovery Institute aims to improve the quality of life for anyone struggling with substance use or mental health disorder. We provide fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options, and their outcomes. The material we publish is researched, cited, edited, and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide in our posts is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be used in place of the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider.

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