UK: Deadly Mix of Alcohol, Cocaine
At least 13 deaths within a year are attributable to self-inflicted harm caused by taking a mix of cocaine and alcohol.
Figures show there has been a rise in the number of alcohol-and-cocaine-related deaths over the past two decades, and an increase in cocaine use.
Some research in the United States even suggests the mixture could increase the risk of suicide by a factor of 16.
There are calls emerging for more research to be conducted into the combination of alcohol and cocaine and its links with suicide or life-threatening behaviour.
Some doctors believe that when alcohol and cocaine are mixed, the liver produces a substance called cocaethylene, which may temporarily enhance the high – but also increases blood pressure and the likelihood of violent thoughts.
There are no standardised statistics for these types of deaths. After consulting an academic, the BBC found the figures by searching local and national media articles – it is likely the number of deaths will actually be higher.
Professor of addiction psychiatry Julia Sinclair, who is chairwoman of the faculty of addictions at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said the way coroners recorded their conclusions could be obscuring emerging trends in difficult cases.