Alcohol and Cocaine

Clinical and Pharmacological Interactions
  • David A. Gorelick
Part of the Recent Developments in Alcoholism book series (RDIA, volume 10)


Both clinical experience and epidemiological studies in community and specialized (e.g., treatment) populations indicate that the prevalence of co-use of alcohol and cocaine, and the comorbidity of alcoholism and cocaine addiction, are greater than would be expected from the chance occurrence of two independent conditions. Alcohol and cocaine have pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic interactions that may account for some of this co-use. While their reinforcing properties have neuropharmacological and behavioral differences, a unified theory of reinforcement by alcohol and cocaine has been proposed, involving dopamine activity in the ventral tegmental area-nucleus accumbens circuit. Regardless of their pharmacology, the prevalent co-use of alcohol and cocaine has important implications for drug abuse treatment and indicates the need for future research on this topic.


Antisocial Personality Disorder Cocaine Abuse Cocaine User Cocaine Dependence Alcoholic Anonymous 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • David A. Gorelick
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Treatment and Early Intervention Branch, Addiction Research CenterNational Institute on Drug AbuseBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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