Cocaine is used by millions of people nationwide. It is highly addictive, and comes with a danger of overdose. The number of overdoses on cocaine has been increasing in past years.
Cocaine overdoses can cause death, brain damage, or other health complications. If you believe someone is having a cocaine overdose, please call 911.
Cocaine Overdoses Explained
Cocaine use comes with a list of risks. Many of them psychological, some physical. One of the biggest risks of cocaine abuse is the risk of overdose.
An overdose happens when someone takes too large a dose of the drug that causes a severe reaction. Cocaine in large doses can cause life threatening complications.
Due to the differences in potency and reactions they have on people, there is no set amount that is considered to cause an overdose. Even small doses can be deadly when cocaine is cut with other synthetic drugs.
Since cocaine frequently comes as a white powder, it is nearly impossible to know what is in the cocaine unless it is tested.
Symptoms of a Cocaine Overdose
Cocaine overdose usually causes some identifiable conditions in most people. Common overdose symptoms include chest pain, seizure, vomiting, and extremely high heart rate. Cocaine overdoses can also cause heart attacks.
People experiencing a cocaine overdose will likely feel overwhelming anxiety and paranoia. The paranoia and anxiety can impair the person’s decision-making ability.
If the cocaine was cut with another drug like fentanyl, overdose symptoms may differ. They can include similar symptoms to heroin overdose.
How Overdoses Happen
When a cocaine user builds a tolerance to the drug, they usually have a specific amount that they use. However, every batch of cocaine is of different potency. Cocaine can also be cut with different drugs. When the user goes to do their “normal dose”, it may be far stronger or weaker than the previous batch.
This change in potency can cause a user to overdose on the same amount they use normally. There is no way for them to know how potent the drug is. When combined with other drugs, the risk of overdose only increases. Overdoses also have side effects.
When someone overdoses, the speed at which they receive medical care can be life saving. Most people’s hearts beat extremely fast and they have difficulty breathing. Cocaine overdoses can be fatal.
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Effects of Cocaine Overdose
Cocaine overdoses can impact people in a number of ways. Overdoses can cause damage to the heart, nervous system, lungs, and brain. Depending on the person, dose, and how the drug is administered, effects may vary.
Damage to the heart is one of the most common results of cocaine addiction and overdose. Cocaine causes an increased heart rate, and overdose brings the heart rate to dangerous levels. This can cause a number of life threatening conditions.
Damage to the lungs is often associated with freebase cocaine or smoking crack cocaine. Cocaine overdose can cause shortness of breath, slowed breathing, and even death if the body does not get enough oxygen. Brain damage usually occurs in relation to lack of oxygen.
Medical Intervention for Cocaine Overdose
As with most drug overdoses, medical intervention can be life or death. It is vital that 911 is contacted immediately if you or someone you know may be experiencing an overdose.
Cocaine in any form or dose can cause an overdose. Medical treatment for overdoses vary depending on the conditions an individual is experiencing.
Medical professionals will know how to best handle a cocaine overdose. Most treatment includes stabilization of the individual to normal respirations. They may also administer fluids or provide other medications to counteract a dangerously elevated heart rate and low blood pressure.
Nobody should attempt to treat an overdose on their own. Overdoses are extremely dangerous and frequently life threatening.
Cocaine Overdose Deaths
Cocaine overdoses were responsible for over 14,000 deaths in 2018 according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. When cocaine is cut with other drugs like fentanyl, it increases the risk of relapse.
Those struggling with cocaine addiction are at the highest risk for cocaine overdose. This is due to their higher tolerances to the drug and frequency of use.
The safest and most effective way for those struggling with cocaine addiction to stop is to enter a cocaine treatment program. Medically supervised detox combined with a structured environment is the best course of action.
Cocaine Addiction Treatment
Cocaine addiction is a serious concern. Cocaine addiction has negative consequences on people’s physical and mental health. If you or a loved one is struggling with cocaine addiction, we are here to help.
We are available 24/7 to discuss substance abuse treatment options and provide you with a path to freedom from addiction. Call us anytime at (800) 817-1247
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