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Dangers of Mixing Xanax and Cocaine

Cocaine powder bag and a pile of Xanax pills on a black counter  

Xanax and coke are often used together because they have opposite side effects. Xanax is a “downer” that makes people more relaxed. Cocaine is an “upper” that gives people energy. People who use cocaine may take Xanax because it alters their trip, helps them come down from a high more easily, reduces withdrawal symptoms or helps people deal with a mental health disorder.

The number of kids taking Xanax has held fairly steady in recent years. 399,000 teens, or 1.6% of kids in the U.S. aged 12-17, recently said that they’d used Xanax or other benzodiazepine medications in the past year. Teen cocaine use mostly declined in the past couple of decades, with 2.7% of high school seniors saying they’d tried it in 2017.

What Happens When You Mix Xanax and Coke?

Many people mix cocaine and Xanax because they feel that the side effects of one drug cancel out the side effects of the other. Xanax slows the body’s stress responses and lowers a person’s blood pressure, breathing rate, and heart rate. It is normally prescribed for anxiety and panic. Cocaine, on the other hand, is a stimulant drug. It allows people to stay awake for long periods of time and feel more happy and energized. It tends to speed up body processes like breathing and heart rate and often raises a person’s blood pressure and body temperature.

However, cocaine highs usually only last for a short period. Once a person crashes, they will often feel worn-out and depressed. Some people feel that taking Xanax can take the edge off of a cocaine high and will help them be more relaxed and avoid negative side effects as they come down from the high.

Unfortunately, often the opposite happens when one mixes Xanax and coke. The side effects of each drug often get worse, rather than cancel each other out, when they are used at the same time. Additionally, when cocaine is combined with teen Xanax abuse, kids are more likely to overdose or become addicted to one or both of the drugs. It’s also more difficult to treat addiction when someone has been abusing multiple substances.

Side Effects of Mixing Xanax and Coke

The side effects of Xanax use in teens include:

  • Feeling calm and less anxious
  • Tiredness
  • Depression
  • Feeling irritable or restless
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble focusing
  • Blurry vision

When kids use cocaine, they may have:

  • Euphoria, or feelings of extreme happiness and pleasure
  • Extreme energy
  • Increased focus
  • Insomnia
  • Feelings of irritability, anxiety or aggression
  • Sensitivity to lights and sounds
  • Difficulties breathing

The interaction of cocaine and Xanax may have unexpected and harmful effects on the body. They both affect chemical signals in the brain in slightly different ways, which can lead to conflicting signals to different organs or processes in the body. Additionally, the liver and kidneys are responsible for processing and removing substances. If high levels of multiple substances are taken at the same time, the liver and kidneys may not be able to keep up and toxins might stay in the body longer than they should, damaging other organs.

People who are mixing Xanax and coke might have side effects like:

  • Changes in heart rate
  • Irritability
  • Not being able to focus or think clearly
  • Tiredness
  • Feelings of depression

One of the biggest problems with taking Xanax and coke together is that someone may not even realize they’re having side effects. For example, someone who has taken Xanax may not notice if their breathing rate has slowed down too much because they’re feeling more mentally alert from the cocaine. If some of these drugs’ effects are being masked, a teen will be more likely to take additional doses and put themselves at risk of overdosing.

Xanax and Coke Overdose

An overdose happens when someone takes more of a drug than their body can handle. Overdoses can cause serious damage and result in death. Many overdoses happen because of tolerance and dependence. Tolerance occurs when someone’s body adjusts to having a drug around, and a person needs to take increasingly higher doses of a drug in order to feel an effect.

Dependence happens when the body starts to need the constant presence of a drug in order to work normally, and a person starts going through withdrawal whenever the drug leaves their system. Teens can become tolerant to or dependent on either Xanax or cocaine individually, but their chances go up when they mix both drugs together.

Symptoms of a Xanax and coke overdose include:

  • Confusion or dissociation from reality
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Feeling too hot or too cold
  • Changes in breathing patterns
  • Feeling extreme tiredness
  • Feeling off-balance or falling down
  • Passing out

Anyone who thinks that they or a friend is going through an overdose should immediately call 9-1-1. Overdoses can be life-threatening, but emergency responders carry medicines that help reverse overdose symptoms and can provide life support.

If you’re worried that your teen is taking Xanax or cocaine, or is using multiple substances at a time, they may need professional help in order to quit using the drugs. Call Next Generation Village to learn about drug and alcohol addiction treatment that is specifically geared towards kids and teens.

Medical Disclaimer: Next Generation Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a 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 provider.


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