Updated: Mar 1
Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug with serious short-term and long-term side effects. It can come in many forms and is illegal to use recreationally. It is often mixed with other substances such as other stimulant drugs or synthetic opioids. Because of this, the risks associated with cocaine use rise dramatically.
Cocaine addiction is a problem
14.70% individuals ages 12 and above have used cocaine in their lifetime, with those ages 26 or older comprising 16.80% of cocaine users.
Men are the ones who frequently use cocaine on a day-to-day basis. However, cocaine is widely used in North and South America, with 6.35 million and 2.74 million people using the drug respectively.
According to a report in 2018, the age-adjusted rate of cocaine-related drug overdose deaths rose from 1.4 per 100,000 normal population in 1999 to 2.5 in 2006, then dropped to 1.3 in 2010 and 1.5 in 2011. The rate increased by an ave-related drug overdose deaths rose from 1.4 per 100,000 normal population inrage of 27% per annum from 2012 through 2018 to a rate of 4.5 in 2018.
Despite the illegal nature of its use, the proliferation of cocaine is widespread across the world. Its availability as a recreational drug can be tied to the increase in the rate of cocaine-related drug overdoses and deaths in those areas.
What is a Cocaine Overdose?
A cocaine overdose is a situation wherein an individual takes too much of the drug and experiences adverse and life-threatening effects. The chances of a cocaine overdose happening is largely unpredictable as there are many factors that contribute to it such as the purity of the cocaine, the age and overall health condition of the person using it, and the method for how it was ingested. It is worth noting that even first-time users of cocaine can suffer from a cocaine overdose.
What are the signs of a cocaine overdose?
People who suffer from cocaine overdose exhibit symptoms such as:
High blood pressure
High body temperature
Extreme agitation or anxiety
According to Richards and Le (2020), those who misuse cocaine may also experience diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, chest pains, headaches, and blurred vision or vision loss. Given that cocaine can be consumed via nasal inhalation, trauma to the nasal and palatal tissues can also occur. Severe symptoms of a cocaine overdose include strokes and heart attacks which may not necessarily lead to death but may have lasting debilitating effects on the body.
How much cocaine does it take to overdose?
Cocaine affects each individual differently. For example, people who use cocaine regularly tend to have a stronger resistance to the toxins of the substance compared to first-time users or those who do not intake cocaine frequently.
However, people who use cocaine generally attempt to prolong the sensations they are experiencing by taking increasing amounts of it, unaware that by doing so, they reach potentially deadly amounts of the substance. Taking more of the substance that your body can handle is where the danger begins.
What can you do in case of an overdose?
When a loved one or yourself is experiencing the symptoms of a cocaine overdose, the most urgent action should be to contact 911 for emergency medical assistance. However, while waiting for professional medical assistance to arrive, or if there is none available, there are a few things you can do to aid a person suffering from a cocaine overdose:
Combat hyperthermia by monitoring the body’s core temperature and applying either a cold compress, or placing the person in front of a fan. In severe cases, immersing the body in an ice bath may be necessary to maintain a stable core body temperature.
Make sure the person’s airways are unobstructed and that they have access to oxygen.
In case of a seizure, ensure that the person is in a safe place free from things that may injure them such as sharp or hard objects.
Being able to act fast is paramount to a person’s survival. In a cocaine overdose, symptoms tend to escalate pretty quickly and could result in severe complications or even death if not acted upon immediately.
What are the possible treatments?
Treatments for cocaine overdose are based on the clinical symptoms you or your loved ones are experiencing. In all cases, urgent medical assistance is necessary. Some people may need urgent treatment for hypertension caused by their increasing blood pressure, and some may need antipsychotics for their agitation.
After the person experiencing a cocaine overdose has been stabilized, they can be entered into a recovery facility where they can undergo various behavioral therapies aimed towards rehabilitation. These kinds of treatment tackle the psychological issues and possible motivations for their substance abuse and are geared towards addressing the root problems of the addiction.
The best treatment is prevention
An average of 5,512 people die from cocaine overdoses yearly. Fortunately, this is a reality that can be avoided. We at Recovery Blvd can help you or someone you love overcome the pit of addiction and steer clear from the suffering of a drug overdose. We have a wide array of programs and treatments catered towards recovering from substance abuse, preventing addiction progression, and helping you establish a brand new direction and outlook in life.
Some of our high-quality professional programs and therapies include:
Advanced Relapse Prevention;
Substance Abuse Counseling; and
With just enough support and the right treatment, you can leave your substance addiction far behind and begin on a new path towards a brighter tomorrow.
Take the first step towards embracing the best you could become by giving us a call at (866) 231-3007. Visit our drug rehab in Portland at 1316 SE 12th Avenue, Portland, OR 97214, to book an appointment.