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Mixing Cocaine & Benzos: Side Effects And Dangers

Benzodiazepines are depressants that can have dangerous combined interactions when mixed with cocaine which is a stimulant category of drug. Mixing cocaine and benzos can lead to respiratory depression, coma, and even death. If you’re abusing any of these substances, seeking professional help is important before the situation gets out of control.

Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant that raises body temperature, increases heart rate and blood pressure, keeps users awake, and sharpens their focus, attention, and alertness. The class of central nervous system depressants known as benzodiazepines or benzos for short are frequently given to treat anxiety disorders, muscular spasms, seizures, and sleeplessness as well as to help with the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. 

In general, cocaine and benzos have quite opposite pharmacological effects. Benzos are “depressants” whereas cocaine is a “stimulant,” and the two together can have unexpected negative consequences.

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Dangers Of Mixing Benzos & Cocaine – Mixing Cocaine Benzos

Dangers Of Mixing Benzos & Cocaine. Many people don’t realize the dangers of mixing these two drugs. Benzo is a depressant, and cocaine is a stimulant. This can create a dangerous cocktail that can result in death. The effects of alcohol and cocaine are very different. Alcohol slows down your Central Nervous System (CNS) while cocaine speeds it up.

When you mix the two, it confuses your CNS and can lead to an overdose. Mixing alcohol and cocaine also intensifies the effects of both drugs, which can lead to dangerous behaviors like driving while intoxicated. The dangers Of mixing benzos & cocaine should not be taken lightly, as it can be extremely harmful and lead to severe consequences, including death.

What Happens When You Mix Cocaine With Benzos?

It’s critical to understand the dangers of combining benzos and cocaine. Combining the two substances can have unexpected effects on a person’s brain and body, making it extremely dangerous. Your central nervous system receives conflicting signals when you combine the two drugs.

Different bodily functions including heart rate, breathing, and body temperature are all accelerated by stimulants. Depressants impede these procedures. Combining the two drugs might be risky since the positive benefits of one drug may obscure the negative effects of the other.

A warning indication that someone has used too much cocaine, for instance, is when their heart begins to beat too quickly. However, if they are also taking Xanax, they can feel quite calm and not notice as much. Because of this, combining stimulants and depressants might result in an overdose or other detrimental health implications.

Mixing cocaine and benzodiazepines (benzos) can be dangerous and potentially life-threatening. Both substances have opposing effects on the central nervous system, with cocaine acting as a stimulant and benzos as depressants. When these substances are combined, they can counteract each other’s effects, leading to unpredictable and risky outcomes. Some potential consequences of mixing cocaine and benzos include:

  1. Masked effects: The stimulating effects of cocaine may temporarily mask the sedative effects of benzos, leading users to believe they are less intoxicated than they actually are. This false sense of sobriety may result in taking higher doses of benzos or using more cocaine, increasing the risk of an overdose.
  2. Increased risk of overdose: The combination of a stimulant like cocaine and a depressant like benzos can strain the cardiovascular system and increase the risk of overdose. Symptoms of an overdose may include chest pain, seizures, difficulty breathing, and unconsciousness.
  3. Increased addiction potential: Combining benzos and cocaine may heighten the addictive properties of both substances. This increased addiction potential can lead to long-term physical and mental health issues, as well as increased difficulty in quitting or reducing use.
  4. Heightened side effects: Mixing cocaine and benzos can amplify the side effects of both drugs, such as anxiety, paranoia, drowsiness, dizziness, and impaired judgment. These heightened side effects may increase the risk of accidents, injuries, or other dangerous situations.
  5. Cardiovascular complications: Cocaine and benzos can have opposing effects on the heart, with cocaine increasing heart rate and blood pressure, and benzos causing relaxation of blood vessels. The combination may lead to an irregular heartbeat, increased risk of heart attack, or other cardiovascular complications.
  6. Worsening mental health: Cocaine use can exacerbate anxiety, panic attacks, and other mental health issues, while benzos are often prescribed to treat these conditions. Mixing the two substances can worsen existing mental health problems or lead to new ones.

It’s crucial to avoid mixing cocaine and benzodiazepines due to the potential risks and complications. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use, seek professional help from a healthcare provider or addiction specialist.

How Much Cocaine Can Be Dangerous To Take With Benzodiazepines?

Coke and benzos cannot be combined at any level that is considered safe. In the United States, cocaine is mostly used as a street drug and has very little medical utility. As a result, there is no regulation and it can be challenging to determine exactly what is in a substance and can also make it more difficult to detox from.

Distributors of cocaine frequently cut the drug with several chemicals before selling it. Many of these chemicals might be harmful on their own and their adverse effects are unexpected.

Long-term Side Effects of Benzo Addiction

Long-term side effects of benzo addiction include organ damage, brain damage, and mental health problems. Benzos are highly addictive drugs that act on the central nervous system. They are typically prescribed for anxiety or insomnia but can also be taken recreationally. Long-term use of benzos can lead to organ damage, brain damage, and mental health problems.

Organ damage can occur because benzos slow down the heart rate and breathing, which can lead to heart failure or respiratory failure. Brain damage can occur because benzos cause brain chemistry changes, leading to memory, judgment, and coordination problems. Mental health problems can occur because benzos can cause psychosis, paranoia, and anxiety. Long-term use of benzos is dangerous and should be avoided.

Benzodiazepines Most Commonly Mixed With Cocaine

  • Alprazolam (Xanax)
  • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
  • Clorazepate (Tranxene)
  • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Lorazepam (Ativan)
  • Midazolam (Injection)
  • Clobazam (Onfi)
  • Estazolam (Prosom)
  • Flurazepam (Dalmane) 
  • Quazepam (Doral)
  • Temazepam (Restoril)
  • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium) is used for alcohol withdrawal.

In 2020, some 4.8 million adults and children aged 12 and older abused prescription benzodiazepines, and many times cocaine addicts mix them together.

Addiction Treatment Options for Cocaine and Benzodiazepine Abuse

Mixing several drugs, such as combining stimulants and depressants, calls for comprehensive and careful treatment. To attain sobriety and rehabilitation, inpatient or residential treatment is frequently required.

In a rehab context, a combination of treatment and medication is often utilized to treat polydrug use. Our team is here to answer your questions. All you have to do is decide to take back your life. With a little help, you can overcome your addiction.

When you mix cocaine and benzos, it confuses your Central Nervous System and can lead to an overdose. Mixing alcohol and cocaine also intensifies the effects of both drugs, which can lead to dangerous behaviors like driving while intoxicated. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and our admissions coordinators are standing by 24/7 to help. Contact us to receive help for alcohol addiction treatment immediately.


FAQs Cocaine Vs Benzos

How does Cocaine Interact With Benzos in your Body?

Cocaine is a powerful & significant working stimulant that causes a range of effects, including increased alertness, energy, and feelings of euphoria. Cocaine has several harmful effects, including anxiety, paranoia, and addiction. Benzos are a type of medication that is often prescribed to help people manage anxiety or stress. However, benzos can also be habit-forming and interact with other medicines in potentially dangerous ways. When cocaine and benzos are taken together, the result can be a dangerous increase in heart rate and blood pressure. Sometimes, this can lead to seizures or even stroke. As a result, it is essential to be aware of the potential risks before taking any medication, especially if you are also using cocaine.

What Are The Long-Term Side Effects of Cocaine Use?

Long-term side effects of the mostly used cocaine use can include physical and mental problems. Some of the most common physical problems associated with long-term cocaine use include cardiovascular problems (e.g., heart attack, stroke), respiratory problems (e.g., difficulty breathing, chronic bronchitis), gastrointestinal problems (e.g., ulcers, intestinal blockage), and neurological problems (e.g., seizures, strokes). Long-term mental effects of cocaine use can include paranoia, delusions, psychotic symptoms, and depression. In addition, cocaine use can lead to dependence and addiction. People who are deeply addicted to cocaine may experience withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit, including fatigue, depression, anxiety, and increased appetite.

What Are The Dangerous Short-term Side Effects of Benzos Abuse?

Several dangerous short-term side effects can occur when someone abuses benzos. Firstly, benzos can cause drowsiness and sedation, making it difficult for the person to concentrate or stay awake. This can lead to accidents or injuries and make it harder to think clearly and make decisions. Secondly, benzos can cause impaired coordination and balance, making it difficult to walk or stand. This can again increase the risk of accidents and injuries. Finally, benzos can cause shallow breathing, leading to a lack of oxygen in the body and potentially causing brain damage. These are just some of the dangers & adverse effects associated with benzos abuse; others include seizures, coma, and even death.

Can a Mixture of Cocaine and Benzos lead to death?

It's important to know that an overdose on either drug alone could be fatal. The increased possibility of an overdose is one of the most serious risks connected with combining cocaine with benzos. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that in the past 19 years, drug overdoses have claimed the lives of close to one million Americans. Abuse of several drugs was a major factor in many of the fatalities. When a person utilizes many addictive drugs concurrently, this is referred to as polydrug abuse. The following are signs of a cocaine and benzodiazepine overdose:
  • Irregular heartbeat, blood pressure, breathing, and body temperature
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Trouble with coordination
  • Mental confusion
  • Nodding out or loss of consciousness

Are All Types of Benzos Harmful With Cocaine?

Mixing cocaine with any pharmaceutical benzodiazepine medication is incredibly dangerous. People will combine stimulants and depressants purely for fun, as is typical of most polydrug use cases. Combining these two can be harmful and hazardous (in the short and long term). The body is pushed into a harsh situation of great pressure when a person combines the two. There is a conflict between the respiratory, central nervous, and cardiovascular systems (whether to slow down or speed up).

Does Cocaine Affect Anxiety When Taking Benzos?

To treat the signs and symptoms of anxiety and panic disorders, benzodiazepines are commonly prescribed. As a medicine that slows autonomic processes including blood pressure, breathing, and heart rate to control the stress response. The use of this medication lowers body temperature, anxiety, and tension in the muscles. Cocaine generally has the opposite effect, which in turn can counteract the medication's intended purpose.

What Are The Short-Term Effects of Cocaine Abuse?

Short-term side effects of cocaine can include constricted blood vessels, dilated pupils, and increased body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. Cocaine can also lead to headaches and gastrointestinal issues such as abdominal pain and nausea. Short-term side effects of cocaine can also include anxiety and paranoia. In some cases, cocaine can cause sudden death due to cardiac arrest or seizure. Some of the more serious & adverse long-term effects of cocaine use include liver damage, kidney damage, lung damage, and stroke. Short-term side effects of cocaine typically last for a few minutes to an hour after use. However, the drug use, long-term results can last for months or years after someone stops using cocaine.

How Long After Taking Cocaine Can You Take Benzodiazepines?

Generally speaking, it takes a few hours to a few days for the body to fully rid itself of the metabolites created by cocaine. Benzodiazepines shouldn't be administered until these metabolites have left the body. More importantly, an assessment should be made whether or not addiction to either substance is present. It could be very dangerous if you are prescribed Benzos and have an addiction to cocaine. It may be time to seek help from an addiction treatment center.

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Abdulkareem A. Alfazil, Robert A. Anderson, Stability of Benzodiazepines and Cocaine in Blood Spots Stored on Filter Paper, Journal of Analytical Toxicology, Volume 32, Issue 7, September 2008, Pages 511–515,

Drevin, G., Briet, M., Ferec, S., & Abbara, C. (2022). Toxicity of designer benzodiazepines: A case of etizolam and cocaine intoxication. Forensic science international, 336, 111324.

Teheran, A. A., Pombo, L. M., Cadavid, V., Mejia, M. C., La Rota, J. F., Hernandez, J. C., … & Lopez, T. S. (2019). Cocaine, ethanol, cannabis and benzodiazepines co-consumption among patients assisted at the emergency room. Open Access Emergency Medicine: OAEM, 11, 211.

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Magnified Health Systems aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.

Picture of This content is verified and moderated by Dr. Brendan Bickley

This content is verified and moderated by Dr. Brendan Bickley

Dr. Bickley graduated from U.C. Irvine with honors: Phi Beta Kappa, Golden Key International Honor Society, Cum Laude. He has been featured on national radio and print media. He is also a frequent lecturer at National Conferences. He holds an A.S. degree in Drug & Alcohol Studies, and two B.A. degrees in Criminology & Psychology, and masters and doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. He is a licensed California Drug & Alcohol Counselor Level II, a licensed Clinical Supervisor and is certified in treating Eating Disorders.

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