Xanax and Cocaine

Mixing Xanax and Cocaine on table

Mixing Xanax and cocaine together is common due to the fact that the two drugs have counteracting effects. Cocaine, also known as coke, blow or snow, is a stimulant that makes people feel extremely happy, energetic and alert when it is first used. However, once the effects wear off, people tend to feel very depressed, anxious or angry. Some people think that using Xanax while coming down from a cocaine high helps reduce these negative feelings and makes it easier to sleep. 

Xanax (alprazolam) is a benzodiazepine often prescribed for anxiety and panic disorders. It can produce unpleasant side effects, such as tiredness and problems focusing. Some people may use coke to make them feel more alert when they take Xanax.

Combining Xanax and cocaine can be dangerous, so it’s important to understand the risks involved when you mix these two substances.

What Happens When You Mix Xanax and Cocaine?

Combining Xanax and cocaine can worsen their side effects and increase a person’s chances of an overdose. Combining them can also increase the risk that a person may become addicted to either drug. It’s harder to recover from addiction when someone has been abusing more than one substance, which is known as polysubstance abuse. While many people think they can mix Xanax and coke, it will often lead to serious problems.

It is important to remember that Xanax and cocaine can also be potentially dangerous when taken on their own. This is because they each have many harmful side effects and are addictive controlled substances.

Side Effects of Mixing Xanax and Cocaine

One of the main problems with mixing Xanax and cocaine is that each drug has negative side effects that worsen once they’re mixed with other substances. 

Some of the side effects of taking Xanax are:

  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Headache

People who have taken cocaine may experience:

  • Euphoria
  • Irritability and anger
  • Paranoia
  • Sensitivity to sights, sounds and touch
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Breathing problems

People taking Xanax, cocaine or both may be more likely to engage in risky behavior. Additionally, the interaction between cocaine and Xanax can lead to mental health effects. When the effects of cocaine start to wear off and a person begins to “crash,” they often feel more depressed. Because Xanax is a depressant (or “downer”), it also increases feelings of sadness, hopelessness and depression. People combining these substances may be more at risk of suicide. In addition, if someone has a pre-existing mental health disorder, taking multiple substances can worsen the symptoms of their disorder.

Dangers of Mixing Xanax and Cocaine

Because stimulants and depressants have opposing effects, taking cocaine and Xanax together can sometimes mask their overall effects. For example, Xanax slows down different vital functions in the body, but cocaine speeds them up. Someone who has taken too much Xanax might start to have their heart rate or breathing rate slow down, but they may not notice right away because the cocaine is making them feel more energetic.

Over time, repeated use of these drugs can lead to more serious health effects. If both substances are used regularly at high doses, a person’s body may have a hard time processing them quickly enough, which can cause toxins to build up in the body. 


To understand cross-tolerance, it is important to understand what tolerance means. Tolerance of a drug means that you need higher doses to achieve the same effects as before. For example, if you used to get high on low Xanax doses, you might eventually need to use higher doses to get the same high.

Cross-tolerance occurs when becoming tolerant to one drug causes a person to become tolerant to a related drug. Usually, this happens between drugs that are in the same category or work the same way. Essentially, your tolerance to one drug crosses over and applies to similar drugs as well.

This means that if you are tolerant to a benzodiazepine like Xanax, you may also have tolerance to certain other benzodiazepines. However, it can be easy to overestimate your tolerance when taking multiple related substances, which leads to an increased risk of overdose.

Xanax and Cocaine Potential for Overdose

Taking Xanax and coke together will increase a person’s risk of overdose. This is because the depressant side effects of Xanax can mask the stimulant side effects of cocaine and vice versa. This can make you feel like your body can cope with taking more drugs; in reality, your body is struggling, but the effects of the drugs are masking each other. For this reason, people who combine these two substances should be aware of the overdose symptoms for each.

Signs of Overdose

Symptoms of a Xanax overdose include:

  • Decreased heart rate
  • Low body temperature, which might look like cold or bluish skin
  • Confusion
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Muscle weakness or lack of muscle control
  • Exhaustion
  • Passing out

When someone overdoses on cocaine, they might experience:

  • Increased heart rate
  • High body temperature
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Nausea
  • Losing touch with reality
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Breathing problems

If you think someone is experiencing an overdose from either Xanax or cocaine, you should seek medical attention immediately. Overdoses from both of these substances can be serious or even deadly. Medical professionals can provide life support or give people medications to counteract uncomfortable or dangerous symptoms.

Mixing Cocaine, Xanax and Alcohol

Although there is little data available about mixing Xanax, cocaine and alcohol, this type of combination can be deadly. In 2019 alone, nearly half of drug overdose deaths involved multiple substances. This is because mixing a stimulant like cocaine with depressants like Xanax or alcohol can lead to unpredictable effects. Mixing the drugs can change the way your body responds to them, making you feel like you aren’t as high as you really are. This can increase your risk of overdose, as you may assume your body can handle more drugs.

Polysubstance Abuse and Addiction

Polysubstance abuse is common, and about 11.3% of those with addiction have both a drug and alcohol addiction. Being addicted to multiple substances increases the risk of overdose and also increases the risk of future addictions. In addition, polysubstance abuse can make addiction harder to treat, as a person’s body must adjust to life without multiple substances. For this reason, it is important to seek help for polysubstance abuse as early as possible.

Signs of Addiction

When a person begins to become addicted to one or more substances, there are often signs that the person is starting to struggle. These signs include:

  • Taking more of the substance than intended or over a longer period than intended
  • Unsuccessful attempts or desires to reduce or stop the substance use
  • Spending a lot of time focused on obtaining the substance, using the substance or recovering from the substance
  • Craving the substance
  • Failing to meet obligations at work, school or home because of the substance
  • Continuing to use the substance despite it causing problems in your life
  • Giving up or reducing other activities because of substance use
  • Using the substance in situations where it is physically hazardous to do so
  • Needing increasing amounts of the substance to achieve the same effects as before
  • Withdrawal symptoms when you try to quit or cut back on the substance

Treatment for Polysubstance Abuse and Addiction

Over half of admissions to substance abuse treatment programs consist of people who are misusing more than one drug, which is known as polysubstance abuse. When people are abusing multiple substances, treatment may be more difficult.

For example, withdrawing from a drug can be dangerous and difficult. Withdrawal from Xanax can lead to seizures, while cocaine withdrawal can lead to extreme depression. Medical detox is often recommended for both of these drugs. In these programs, addiction specialists help patients stay safe and avoid temptation while they go through withdrawal. In some cases, doctors may prescribe medication to help ease the detox process. 

In 2020, 6.7% of adults had both a substance use disorder and a mental health condition. When someone with addiction also has a mental health disorder, it is called a co-occurring disorder. People who have a mental health disorder and are looking for Xanax and cocaine addiction treatment should seek out a facility that is trained in dual diagnosis treatment. These programs help address a person’s underlying mental health problems while they are going through rehab.

For those who need cocaine or Xanax addiction treatment in the Pacific Northwest, The Recovery Village Ridgefield is here to help. Our team can help you identify which programs might help you or a loved one who is dealing with Xanax or cocaine abuse. Our inpatient and outpatient rehab programs can also help address polysubstance abuse and any co-occurring mental health disorders you may have. Contact us today to learn more about Xanax and cocaine addiction treatment programs that can work well for your situation.

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