Author: Alex Thompson

Cocaine Overdose: Symptoms and Prevention

overdosing on cocaine

Researchers believe that toxic levels of cocaine are not wholly dictated by dosage. Some reported cases of cocaine overdose involve a few hundred milligrams of the drug, while other people ingest several grams of powdered cocaine without overdosing. For those concerned about overdose, it’s important to be able to identify the signs of cocaine overdose. If you recognize these cocaine overdose signs in yourself or someone else, it’s important that you call immediately for help. Cocaine comes in a variety of forms including paste, liquid, powder, and free base forms known as crack. It is usually consumed via non-oral routes such as snorting, smoking, or injecting that delivers the cocaine chemicals to the brain quickly to enact their effects.

  1. We will also discuss what you can do in case of a cocaine overdose, how you can prevent overdose, and how to find treatment for cocaine use disorder.
  2. When the emergency responders arrive, they may continue the cooling method to ensure the person’s core body temperature is reduced.
  3. Although casual and even first-time users are still at risk, the risk of coke overdose increases significantly for chronic users.

Mixing cocaine with other substances – particularly heroin and alcohol – heightens the risk of a fatal overdose. Enough cannot be said about keeping the individual calm. The heart goes into overdrive during an overdose, so any mitigating efforts to lower heart rate are essential.

Health Effects of a Cocaine Overdose

A Schedule II drug (under the Controlled Substances Act), cocaine not only has a risk factor for withdrawal and overdose but also for abuse and addiction. Call 911 immediately to seek emergency medical care in the event of a suspected overdose. The method of ingestion, a person’s tolerance, and the purity of the drug all play a role in how much cocaine leads to an overdose.

overdosing on cocaine

Underlying health conditions magnify the dangers of cocaine use. Its stimulant effects could trigger a life-threatening reaction in people with heart conditions. The number of deaths from cocaine increased from 15,883 to 24,486 (almost 54%) between 2019 and 2021. A primary mental health and substance use residential center providing evidence-based therapies, trauma-specific therapies, and life skills training.

Often, the true extent of the damages from an overdose on cocaine may go unnoticed although the complications continue to progress. No one should be fooled into thinking things will be o.k. Alcohol, when combined with cocaine, creates a new metabolite known as coca ethylene which increases the effects of cocaine rather than minimizing it as one might think.

Ongoing research in this area suggests that both buprenorphine and naltrexone show promise. If you survive an overdose on cocaine, you should seek cocaine abuse treatment services. The residual effects of an overdose on cocaine can leave a person feeling guilty, confused, depressed, or even suicidal.

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Similar data related to nonfatal drug overdoses are reported through CDC’s Drug Overdose Surveillance and Epidemiology (DOSE) system. There’s currently no medication to reverse a cocaine overdose. Medical professionals will work to stabilize the person’s condition. Treatment may include oxygen support, blood pressure medication, or CPR. Seek immediate medical attention if you suspect someone has overdosed on cocaine. Overdose can happen whether or not someone has a cocaine addiction.

Overdosing on cocaine can cause unpleasant and fatal side effects. These can include changes in mood, such as paranoia and aggression, as well as physical symptoms, such as spikes in your body temperature, changes to heart rate, and vomiting. For more recent provisional data, please see Provisional Drug Overdose Death Counts from NCHS. This webpage is regularly updated to display the most recent final drug overdose death data published annually by NCHS. NCHS systems receive and analyze data from death certificates, including cause-of-death information reported by state and local medical examiners and coroners. Because drug overdose deaths often require lengthy investigations, data are updated as new information is received.

Cocaine Overdose Symptoms, Signs, Prevention, and Addiction Treatment

Using these substances however, only complicates the matter. Some people are more at risk than others, such as young adults, males, and people with heart conditions—even mild ones. Long-term cocaine use changes the heart structure5 and increases your risk of overdose. Other risk factors relate to how you take cocaine, like using too much or mixing it with other drugs.

Despite the dangers, most individual doses range between 10 and 150 mg each. The high itself almost never lasts for more than an hour, so users are inclined to use it incrementally. When users do not realize the amount they’ve put into their bodies already, this is a recipe for disaster.

Helping the person focus on controlled breathing can alleviate the risk of respiratory failure triggered by an overactive cardiovascular system. Cocaine overdose toxicity, then, hinges largely on the individual using the substance and their susceptibility to those toxins. If you suspect that someone is overdosing on cocaine, contact 911 immediately. Method of ingestion — orally, nasally or intravenously — plays a factor, as does the tolerance of the individual themselves. Cocaine should never be injected as this method requires the least amount to produce a fatal reaction, with as little as 20 mg.

Preventing Cocaine Overdose

Depending on the situation, treatment for cocaine overdose9 includes oxygen support, blood pressure medication, CPR, and more. Currently, there’s no medication to reverse a cocaine overdose. Many health care providers also refer people to rehab for cocaine addiction after a cocaine overdose.