Alcohol is blamed for about 2,100 overdose deaths a year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cocaine, meanwhile, killed 14,510 people in the last year.
Now, let’s back up a step and look at how many American adults use these drugs. The National Institute of Health says that about 86 percent of adults drink. In comparison, only about half of a percent of adults use cocaine.
That statistic alone tells you that cocaine use is a far riskier activity.
Here’s what can happen after using cocaine just one time: The drug makes your heart beat faster and increases your blood pressure and body temperature. The result can be a heart attack or stroke.
In fact, one Australian study called cocaine the “perfect heart attack drug” due to both its short and long-term effects on the heart.
And, after years of opioids and heroin getting all of the headlines, cocaine use is once again on the rise.
As we already mentioned, some 14,000 people overdosed on cocaine in 2017. That’s nearly triple the number of overdoses reported just three years earlier in 2014.
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Is Cocaine or Alcohol Worse?
With all that said, you’d think we have our answer: Cocaine is far more dangerous.
But that’s not quite the whole story. While only a couple of thousand of people die in the United States from an alcohol overdose, some 88,000 deaths a year are caused by alcohol. That figure includes deaths caused by alcohol-related chronic diseases, as well as those caused by alcohol-related car accidents.
The bottom line? Both drugs can and do kill and both drugs are harmful to society.
The Raleigh House in Denver, Colorado
At The Raleigh House, we believe that everyone can recover from drug or alcohol addiction. And, to us, recovery doesn’t just mean getting sober, it means gaining the tools you need to lead a full and rewarding life.