Signs Of A Cocaine Overdose

Often referred to as a street drug, cocaine is one of the most prevalent and dangerous illicit substances. Cocaine is highly addictive, and its use can lead to overdose and even death. When someone uses cocaine, they often experience an increase in energy and confidence, an inability to sleep, a lack of appetite, and a feeling of greater physical and mental precision. Since these feelings don’t last, an individual may start to take more of the substance to reach the same response.

If you believe someone is experiencing a drug overdose, please stop reading and seek medical attention.

Increasing the dose of cocaine could lead to overdose or death, especially if the substance is laced with illicit drugs like fentanyl. Fentanyl is incredibly dangerous; a dose as small as 3-milligrams can be deadly. If someone is overdosing on cocaine, they may experience the following physical symptoms:

  • Pain in the chest or stomach
  • Irregular heart rhythm
  • Rapid breathing
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Increase in body temperature
  • Convulsions

A cocaine overdose can also cause psychiatric symptoms such as paranoia, increased anxiety or panic, confusion, unexpected changes in mood, restlessness, hostility, agitation, or even violent behavior. In more life-threatening cases of a cocaine overdose, often referred to as cocaine toxicity, one could display the following symptoms:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Seizure
  • Coma
  • Death

Recognizing the signs of cocaine overdose can help save an individual’s life. If you or a loved one is struggling with cocaine abuse, it may be time to seek treatment

What To Do If Someone Overdoses On Cocaine

If you believe someone is overdosing on cocaine, try to remain calm and get the individual emergency care as soon as possible. You can call 911 or take the person to the nearest emergency department.

It is not advised to attempt to manage a cocaine overdose alone, so it is best to get medical professionals involved. Medical professionals can help determine the best course of action to stabilize a person overdosing on cocaine. Do not worry that you will get in trouble or suffer legal consequences for trying to get someone professional help. Many states now have laws to protect individuals that attempt to help another person in need.

Treatment Options

If you are struggling with cocaine addiction or know someone who is, help is available. A person struggling with cocaine addiction or any substance use disorder (SUD) can pursue one or more of the following treatment options:

Featured Centers Offering Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

Medical Detox

The first step before an individual can begin inpatient or residential treatment is often medical detox. The detoxification process aims to rid the body of substances so the individual can be physically and mentally prepared for treatment. Detox programs offer round-the-clock medical observation by physicians and nurses and typically require medication assistance to manage severe withdrawal symptoms. 

Inpatient Treatment

Individuals who enter inpatient programs are monitored by medical staff 24/7. This level of care typically involves a 21-day to 90-day stay in a treatment facility, but treatment staff will determine the length of stay once an individual arrives for treatment. Depending on the treatment facility, people in this level of care will often attend group and individual counseling sessions and may participate in other alternative forms of treatment.

Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP)

This level of care provides more independence to individuals than at the residential level. Those in this level of care can attend partial hospitalization programs (PHP) during the day and return home at the end of the day. In certain circumstances, PHP may also provide medical attention. Those in this level of care will attend group and individual sessions like in inpatient treatment but typically for fewer hours per day or week.

Intensive Outpatient Programs

These programs may benefit someone who does not need 24-hour observation but still needs support. These programs typically operate a few days a week for a few hours each day. Clients reside at home while attending these programs; some can even work during the day and attend these programs at night. Intensive outpatient programs are a part of continuum care, so it is meant to aid those who still need support but not to the degree of inpatient or PHP.

Transitional Living/Sober Living Homes

Transitional or sober living homes are suitable for those who may have already completed treatment at a treatment facility. Individuals can live in these homes for several months to years. Sober living homes promote long-term sobriety and can help people develop a support network in their community. Additionally, these homes provide structure to individuals’ lives and help people gain independence while assisting them in finding jobs and other resources to help them reintegrate into society.  

Cocaine-Related Overdose Deaths

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), cocaine-related overdose deaths increased from 5,419 in 2014 to 19,447 in 2020. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that there were 24,538 deaths from cocaine in 2021. These numbers indicate that cocaine use continues to get worse over time. As the number of cocaine users continues to grow, the risk of overdose also increases.   

Don’t Wait To Get Help

Any amount of cocaine use can cause short-term and long-term health problems, so it is essential not to wait to seek treatment. There is no need to hit “rock bottom;” treatment is available for you. Contact a treatment provider today for a free and confidential call on treatment options.