Mixing alcohol and cocaine can cause 'deadly' reaction, warn doctors
Doctors in the UK have cautioned that mixing alcohol and cocaine can lead to "deadly" outcomes.
The two substances when combined create an effect that makes a person more likely to take their own life, according to a BBC programme.
Some doctors believe that this is down to cocaethylene, which is formed in the liver when both cocaine and alcohol are ingested. This may give a stronger high but also increases blood pressure, violent thoughts and weakened judgement.
Though this theory has not been definitively proven, both substances are highly dangerous, said professor of addiction Julia Sinclair.
"Alcohol is a depressant, it increases the levels of Gaba (gamma-aminobutyric acid) in the brain, which is like its handbrake and makes us feel less anxious," she told the BBC.
"You add cocaine into the mix and you have a rocket-fuelled increased impulsivity which gives people the driver to complete an act that they may not otherwise do. It's like crossing a road in front of a car speeding towards you."
The number of combined alcohol and cocaine-related deaths is on the rise in the UK. Two of the best-known cases of such deaths are related to ex-Love Island stars Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis.
Sophie passed away in June 2018 while Mike died in March of this year. Both were found to have mixed alcohol and cocaine in the time leading up to their deaths, though antidepressants and paracetamol were also found in Mike's system. The coroner at the inquest into Sophie's death said that combining alcohol and cocaine would make someone "16 times more likely" to kill themselves.