03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Cocaethylene Studied: Cocaine, Alcohol Mix To Create Toxic 3rd Chemical

Drug addiction clinics say they are becoming increasingly concerned by the health risks associated with the chemical -- the only known example of the body forming a third drug following the ingestion of two others.

For not only is cocaethylene toxic in the liver, it is also blamed for heart attacks in the under-40s and a surge in social problems. But because so little is known about the drug, few experts can agree on the nature of the threat to users, and indeed society as a whole.

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