Author(s): McCanceKatz EF, Kosten TR, Jatlow P
Abstract Share this page
Abstract BACKGROUND: Simultaneous abuse of cocaine and alcohol is widespread and increasingly detected in patients seeking emergent care. This double-blind, randomized, within-subjects study used a paradigm more closely approximating practices of drug abusers to better understand the pathogenesis of cocaine-alcohol abuse. METHODS: Subjects meeting DSM-IV criteria for cocaine dependence and alcohol abuse participated in three drug administration sessions: four doses of intranasal cocaine (1 mg/kg every 30 min) with oral alcohol (1 g/kg) administered following the initial cocaine dose and a second dose (120 mg/kg) at 60 min calculated to maintain plasma alcohol concentration at approximately 100 mg/dL during cocaine administration; four doses of cocaine/placebo alcohol; four doses of cocaine placebo/alcohol. Pharmacokinetic, physiological, and behavioral effects were followed over 8 hours. RESULTS: Cocaine-alcohol produced greater euphoria and increased perception of well-being relative to cocaine. Heart rate significantly increased following cocaine-alcohol administration relative to either drug alone. Cocaine concentrations were greater following cocaine-alcohol administration. Cocaethylene had a longer halflife with increasing concentrations relative to cocaine at later time points. CONCLUSIONS: Enhanced psychological effects during cocaine-alcohol abuse may encourage ingestion of larger amounts of these substances over time placing users at heightened risk for greater toxicity than with either drug alone.
This article was published in Biol Psychiatry
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy