What is cocaethylene?

A book I'm reading said using cocaine along with alcohol creates cocaethylene/cocaethyline in the body, which is an addicting drug worse than cocaine (?) Really?

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The proper spelling is cocaethylene, pronounced as if it were two words coca and ethylene. The descriptive molecule name is ethylbenzoylecgonine. Both cocaine and this molecule are esters of benzoylecgonine. Many cocaine users report responding differently to cocaine with alcohol, and many of those report alcohol use with cocaine is far more "dangerous" than cocaine alone.

(09 Jun '15, 18:40) admin ♦♦

drug-addiction

Drug Addiction

Cocaine is a drug commonly associated with addiction, largely due to the immediacy of the stimulus/response mechanism, which is facilitated by snorting cocaine through the nose and the mucus membranes in the nasal cavity.

cocaine

Cocaine

Cocaethylene is a metabolite of cocaine

addiction

Addiction

Addiction to substances is a multi-faceted issue, but the strength and immediacy of the stimulus and response associated with drug use, such as when cocaine is snorted, plays a major role in whether or not something is considered "addicting" or "addictive".


Chemically speaking, Cocaine is benzoylmethylecgonine, an methyl ester of benzoylecgonine. Cocaethylene is also an ester of benzoylecgonine, but an ethyl ester. Benzoylecgonine is what they test for when they look for cocaine use by testing urine. It is a metabolite.. what's left after cocaine has been consumed by the body.

An ester is a chemical compound made by replacing at least one hydroxyl group (an "OH") with an alkoxy group (an -O-alkyl). So by swapping out an oxygen-ydrogen pair with either an ethyl or methyl group, you get these two compounds: cocaine or cocaethylene.

Usually esters are derived from carboxylic acids. Small, simple esters are widely known as the molecules in scents, like the scent of a flower or fruit. Simple esters are often isolated and sold for use in fragrances. Fats and oils are large, complex esters.

So technically, cocaethylene is a cousing of cocaine, and metabolizes into the same signature molecule that cocaine does.

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Asked: 09 Jun '15, 18:36

Seen: 2,721 times

Last updated: 09 Jun '15, 20:40