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Cocaine Overdose Dangers

cocaine

A stimulant which might be utilized to block someone from feeling pain in a specific location, cocaine comes from a plant.1,2 To get the stimulant impact from coca leaves, they have been chewed and consumed by individuals for millennia.1

Though cocaine previously was in a type of soda as well as in numerous remedies intended to help with assorted ailments, it’s very addictive and now designated a Schedule II substance.1,3,4 If recurrent use occurs, it could impact the structure as well as working of an individual’s brain.1

Cocaine’s form could be whitish little chunks (these might be called “crack”) or could be white powder.1,2,5

An individual might smoke crack, an individual might inject dissolved powder, an individual might snort powder, or an individual might use cocaine via another way.1,2,5 Smoking might result in a high that has a duration of 5-10 minutes, while snorting might result in a high that endures for 15-30 minutes.2

Someone might use cocaine via a “binge” (someone uses multiple times, using bigger and bigger doses, in a small time span to stay high); someone who binges might feel paranoid, suffer panic attacks, suffer psychosis, feel irritable, and/or more.2,6

An individual can die after using cocaine just once.2

The Brain

This stimulant is able to impact someone’s brain, for instance by impacting the reward system, tied to motivation.2,7 This might prompt addiction in someone.2

Cocaine is able to induce an accumulation of a lot of the neurotransmitter dopamine in between neurons, yet acclimation to these greater amounts and lowered sensitivity can occur.2

An individual might become tolerant in certain ways to cocaine; thus the individual might consequently, seeking the withdrawal alleviation and/or pleasure amount this individual felt previously, use more often and/or bigger quantities.2,5,6 Someone is able to become sensitized simultaneously, however, where an individual is able to suffer negative effects at smaller cocaine doses than previously required to cause them; this as well as the aforementioned tolerance can heighten an individual’s overdose risk.6

Cocaine Overdose

An individual who overdoses on cocaine might experience issues including:2

  • Having seizures
  • Having elevated blood pressure
  • Having a heart attack
  • Having hallucinations
  • Being anxious
  • Having elevated temperature
  • Having a heartbeat that is not regular
  • Being agitated
  • Having trouble breathing
  • Having a stroke
  • Dying

Call 911 immediately if you or someone else might have overdosed.

Treatment

 

Trained individuals can provide supportive care for someone who has overdosed on cocaine.2

 

Sources:

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). Cocaine: What is cocaine?.
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2018). DrugFacts: Cocaine: What is cocaine?.
  3. United States Drug Enforcement Administration. Drug scheduling.
  4. (2019). Controlled substances: Alphabetical order.
  5. Drug Enforcement Administration; U.S. Department of Justice. (2017). Drugs of abuse: A DEA resource guide: 2017 edition.
  6. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). Cocaine: What are the long-term effects of cocaine use?.
  7. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). Cocaine: How does cocaine produce its effects?.
About The Contributor
Sophie Stein, A.P.R.N.
Clinical Editor, American Addiction Centers
Sophie Stein is a Clinical Editor at American Addiction Centers. She received her master’s of science in nursing from Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. She is credentialed by the ANCC as a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner... Read More