Recreational use of ketamine (KET) has been increasing worldwide. Previous studies have demonstrated that KET induced neurotoxicity; however, few studies have examined how alcohol (ALC) affects KET-induced neurotoxicity. In light of the fact that some KET abusers combine KET with ALC, the present study was aimed to investigate the effects of ALC on KET-induced neurotoxicity and the underlying mechanism in vitro. Our data revealed that co-treatment with ALC and KET was more detrimental to cell viability than KET single treatment in both PC12 cells and primary cultured rat cortical neurons. Furthermore, ALC exacerbated KET-induced apoptosis characterized by morphological changes and the sub-G1 phase increase, which were mitigated by the pretreatment of CNQX, a known alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate (AMPA)/kainite (KA) receptor antagonist. In addition, ALC and KET co-treatment led to intracellular Ca2+ overload, down-regulation of p-Akt, p-CREB, PKA, CaMK-IV, Bcl-2 and BDNF expression and up-regulation of cleaved caspase-3 and Bax expression, which can be attenuated by CNQX pretreatment. These results indicate that the potentiation of ALC on KET-induced neurotoxicity was related to the down-regulation of CREB-related pathways. Our present study also indicates that ALC and KET co-abuse might cause serious neurotoxicity which should be conveyed to the public and drew enough attention.