Author: James Anderson

Can You Overdose on Cocaine? Risks, Signs, and Treatment

overdosing on cocaine

Cocaine is a stimulant3 that hijacks the brain’s reward system and floods it with the “feel-good” hormone dopamine. It works by causing dopamine to build up in the brain and send stronger signals. This results in an intense, short-lived euphoria, which is also why cocaine is addictive.

Cocaine overdose can cause a heart attack, stroke, and even death. To determine the effects of a cocaine overdose, they may run a chest X-ray or an electrocardiogram to detect heart damage. They may also perform a CT scan to determine whether the brain has been injured. It  makes you feel very happy and alert for a short time. But it carries many risks, including overdose and serious physical and mental side effects as well as addiction. If you or someone you know has problems with cocaine use, seek help from a doctor or mental health professional.

What Is a Cocaine Overdose?

A minor cocaine overdose may cause lightheadedness, agitation and sweating for 10 to 20 minutes. A severe cocaine overdose can last for an hour or longer and cause seizures, a heart attack or a stroke. Symptoms can show up within minutes to a few hours after you last used cocaine. If someone is showing signs of a cocaine overdose, call 911 immediately.

overdosing on cocaine

You can find help for cocaine addiction by calling a cocaine hotline. These toll-free help lines can help you determine whether you’re addicted to cocaine and where to find treatment. People who have overdosed on cocaine say their heartbeat was even faster than the elevated rate they normally experienced while on the drug. A rush of energy and increased alertness are normal signs of cocaine use. People who overdose report feeling like they were trembling or shaking. Other symptoms of a cocaine overdose include blurry vision, chest pain or tightness, extreme anxiety, confusion and hallucinations.

What to Do in Case Someone Overdoses on Cocaine

Emergency responders can help save the life of a person who is overdosing on cocaine. Cocaine overdose is a potentially life-threatening reaction to cocaine.4 It can happen within a few minutes to hours of use. Also known as cocaine toxicity, it has a serious impact on the heart and brain and requires quick action.

Keep in mind that paramedics and doctors are there to help you. The symptoms usually begin about 6-12 hours after your last use. There are about 750,000 cocaine-exposed pregnancies each year. Using cocaine during pregnancy can cause problems for both the parent and the developing baby. These unpleasant effects often make you want to use the drug again. Others dissolve the drug in water and inject it with a needle.

  1. These medications are only available in health care settings.
  2. LGBTQ adults are also more than twice as likely to have a substance use disorder.
  3. Others dissolve the drug in water and inject it with a needle.
  4. Medical professionals will work to stabilize the person’s condition.
  5. Daily schedules are usually an intensive mix of therapies, recovery activities, and downtime.

It’s important to spot the symptoms of overdose and get help immediately. Symptoms include a high heart rate and blood pressure, seizures, hallucinations, and trouble breathing. Counseling and other types of therapy are the most common treatments for cocaine use disorder. Sessions with a trained therapist can help you make changes to your behaviors and thought processes. You may need to stay in a rehabilitation center (also known as rehab) for intensive therapy and support.

During this time, you live on-site in a therapeutic environment away from triggers. Daily schedules are usually an intensive mix of therapies, recovery activities, and downtime. Underlying health conditions magnify the dangers of cocaine use. Its stimulant effects could trigger a life-threatening reaction in people with heart conditions. The most important part of any treatment plan is to give up the drug right away.

How Do People Use Cocaine?

With cocaine, there’s always a possibility of overdose. The number of deaths from cocaine increased from 15,883 to 24,486 (almost 54%) between 2019 and 2021. Treating addiction and co-occurring/primary mental health conditions with expert-led, personalized care at beach-side facilities in Malibu. A countryside center providing medically supervised detox, residential treatment, and aftercare connections with a focus on trauma and early recovery.

Another reason cocaine can lead to substance use disorder is that each time you use it, your body builds a tolerance. That means you have to use more and more of the drug to get high. The more you use it, the more your brain adapts to it. Research suggests that certain communities may be more prone to using drugs, including cocaine.

How Is RehabPath Different?

Medical professionals will manage symptoms and work to stabilize the person’s condition. 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.