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Cocaine tends to speed up the user's nervous system, while alcohol tends to slow it down. Some users combine the two in the hopes of moderating the effects of one with the other. Instead, they're creating a deadly combination.
When people mix cocaine and alcohol, the two substances combine in the liver to form cocaethylene, which intensifies cocaine's euphoric effects (including delusions of grandeur). This combination is thought to increase the risk of heart failure and cardiac arrest, and many drug-related deaths occur among people using this combination.
Scientists from the National Institute on Drug Abuse studied the combination and found that people who used both cocaine and alcohol showed poorer performance on intelligence tests and more impaired decision-making skills than users of either substance alone.